Rebirth vs Reincarnation – What’s the Difference?

From a Buddhist perspective, death is a temporary end to a temporary process. Energy is neither created nor destroyed – it is always in flux, changing forms.  When it comes to rebirth vs reincarnation you can think of the question in this context – consciousness is like energy – it is never destroyed, never “dies”, but is always changing form.

Re-birth is instantaneous, and it happens from one moment to the next. The previous formation, thought, feeling, phenomena disappears and a new one arises. That also happens when we die, consciousness continues after the body dies, into the next moment.

Reincarnation on the other hand, takes longer, and is the building up of the form, the body, which consciousness inhabits.

And speaking of death, dying and re-birth – an important thing to distinguish from the Buddhist point of view is that after we die, what is re-born is consciousness itself, not your ego personality.


Additional Material on Rebirth vs Reincarnation

VIDEO: Vajrayana Buddhism and the Life, Death and Rebirth Bardos


Hear Doug Qapel Duncan and Catherine Pawsarat Sensei speak on the life, death and rebirth bardos, from the point of view of Vajrayana Buddhism. This talk was hosted by Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto, on February 6th 2021. Link to the livestream available here: Vajrayana Buddhism and the Life, Death and Rebirth Bardos.

death dying bardos impermanence rebirth video
death and dying process

Free Infographic: What Happens to Consciousness During the Death Process?

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