37 – Reincarnation

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit


Reincarnation or Rebirth is a spiritual concept where it is believed that, a soul migrates after each biological death, to a new physical body. It is a central tenet of all major Indian religions, like Hinduism,Buddhism,Jainism and Sikhism.  Majority of denominations within the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam do not believe in Reincarnation.

The following narrative relating to  Reincarnation,  is from the book ‘Deivathin Kural (Voice of God)’  by Kanchi Paramacharya.

One day a foreigner approached Acharya and sought proof for Reincarnation, which is the bed stone of Sanathana Dharma. He re-directed her to a local maternity hospital and asked her to report back, her observations. She came back and reported that, she noticed bi-polar opposite states.

  • Some were born healthy and some fragile
  • Some were born rich and some poor
  • Some were very handsome and pretty and some unattractive
  • Some were bright and some pale

Kanchi Acharya asked her the reasons behind the disparity in states of birth for which she did not have a convincing answer. Acharya went on to elucidate the reasons behind the disparity.

Alternate faith systems, believe that there is only one Birth, and after death, the Soul goes to Heaven or Hell depending on its actions in the current birth. The fact of existence of Heaven/Hell after death is more to be believed, as nobody has come back to narrate their experience. But what is observed at present is, people are experiencing Heaven and Hell at the stage of birth itself. Any layman on seeing this, will have the following questions.

  • If God is benevolent, then, why did he create the disparities at birth ?
  • If there is no logic behind such disparity, how can the very hypothesis of existence of God be valid and how can He be trusted to save the World ?

Acharya went on to conclude that, disparities in birth is due to actions in one or more previous births (Praradba Karma). In the absence of alternative logical explanations, Sanathana Dharma espouses the Reincarnation  theory.

Thiruvalluvar in his Chapter 4 emphasizes the theory that Dharma yields the rewards in the present and subsequent births and ultimately leads to salvation. Couplet 37 says that “It is not necessary to realize or know the truth about the effects of  Dharma from Scriptures. It can be easily ascertained by just comparing the persons riding the palanquin with those carrying the same”.

அறத்தாறு இதுவென வேண்டா சிவிகை 
பொறுத்தானோடு ஊர்ந்தான் இடை 

Arath-thaaru Idhuvena Vendaa Sivigai
Poruththaa-nodu Oorn-dhaan Idai

பரிமேலழகர் உரை: 

அறத்து ஆறு இது என வேண்டா – அறத்தின் பயன் இது என்று யாம் ஆகம அளவையான் உணர்த்தல் வேண்டா; சிவிகை பொறுத்தானோடு ஊர்ந்தான் இடை – சிவிகையைக் காவுவானோடு செலுத்துவானிடைக் காட்சியளவை தன்னானே உணரப்படும். பயனை ‘ஆறு’ என்றார். பின்னது ஆகலின். ‘என’ என்னும் எச்சத்தால் சொல் ஆகிய ஆகம அளவையும், ‘பொறுத்தானோடு ஊர்ந்தானிடை’ என்றதனால் காட்சியளவையும் பெற்றாம். உணரப்படும் என்பது சொல்லெச்சம். இதனான் அறம் பொன்றாத் துணையாதல் தெளிவிக்கப்பட்டது.

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S N Srirama Desikan

ஸி²பி³காவாஹகம்  த்³ருஷ்டவா தத்ரத்யஞ்ச ஸமக்ஷத:
த⁴ர்மப்ரபா⁴வே ஸுஜ்ஞேயே குத: ஸா²ஸ்த்ரம்  குத: ஸ்²ருதி: