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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sansara, SansAra, Sansaara

Sansāra literally means ‘roaming about through births and rebirths’.

According to religion, though the ātman[1] is eternally free or nityamukta, it has somehow got itself entangled with avidyā.[2] It is stated to be anādi or beginning-less. Though it can be ended.

This avidyā leads to its perceiving dvaita or duality which is the world and other beings as different from it. This ideology creates kāma or desire in its mind, to get what it wants or get rid of what it does not want. To fulfill this kāma it has to take repeated births. This transmigration is called sansāra.


  1. Ātman means the soul or the Self.
  2. Avidyā means ignorance or nescience.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore