Reincarnation, or punarjanma as it is called in Sanskrit, is the principle of rebirth in which a person’s jiva progresses through many births on its path to moksha, or liberation. Hindu Dharma preaches that while death may destroy the body, the jiva is immortal—it never dies. The jiva is intrinsically pure, but because of the layers of desires and ignorance of ‘I-ness’ and ‘my-ness,’ it goes through transmigration in the cycle of births and deaths, which is refered to as samsar. At the time of death, the jiva takes on another body with respect to its karmas. Every karma performed produces a result which must be experienced either in this life or the next.

As long as the jiva is warped in maya, it remains attached to material desires and is subject to the cycle of births and deaths. According to the Purãnas, the jiva passes through 8,400,000 different births, which includes all of the phyla in the animal and plant kingdoms, before it attains a human form. Depending on our karmas, our jiva will regress into a lower life form due to base karmas or progress into a higher life form due to righteous karmas. A jiva’s birth into a human body is the highest and rarest of all births. In a human birth, the jiva’s main purpose is to worship God in order to achieve moksha and to free itself from maya and the cycle of births and deaths. 


According to the Hindu shastras, moksha should be the ultimate goal of human life. Moksha is the liberation of the soul from maya, all material bondages, desires, and the cycle of birth and death. The liberated jiva then resides in Bhagwan’s divine abode, Akshardham, where it eternally experiences the divine bliss of Bhagwan. In Akshardham, each jiva has an individual identity, as they have always had. In Akshardham, the jivas are eternal and countless, each different from one another. After a jiva leaves its mortal body, it attains a divine body by the grace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, who comes to take it to Aksharadhãm. In Aksharadhãm, all the muktas (souls who are released from the cycle of births and deaths) are subservient to Bhagwan Swãminãrãyan and forever remain absorbed in the bliss of His darshan.

The ignorance of maya cannot be conquered by the jiva alone. For this reason, it needs the contact and association of the human form of Bhagwan or the gunatit sadhu. Only through a profound spiritual association with either Bhagwan or the gunatit sadhu and their grace, can a soul become brahmarup or ãtmarup, realizing oneself to be ãtma and rising above maya.

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