Belief In The Resurrection In Indian Religions

This small article covers Belief in the Resurrection in Indian Religions.

During history, there have been many religions in India, although it is highly probable that these religions are the distorted varieties of a single true religion. However greatly they have been distorted, almost all of them contain the principle of belief in the Resurrection and eternity. In many of these religions, belief in eternity takes the form of belief in reincarnation. However, Buddha did not believe in eternal cycles of reincarnation. He believed that souls would ultimately return to the Absolute Being and find eternal peace and contentment. The souls that enter other bodies are evil ones and do so in order to be purified in them. When they are purified, they also return to the Absolute Being and find peace and happiness.




Further information: Rebirth (Buddhism)

There are stories in Buddhism where the power of resurrection was allegedly demonstrated in Chan or Zen tradition. One is the legend of Bodhidharma, the Indian master who brought the Ekayana school of India that subsequently became Chan Buddhism to China.

The other is the passing of Chinese Chan master Puhua (Japanese:Jinshu Fuke) and is recounted in the Record of Linji (Japanese: Rinzai Gigen). Puhua was known for his unusual behavior and teaching style so it is no wonder that he is associated with an event that breaks the usual prohibition on displaying such powers. Here is the account from Irmgard Schloegl’s “The Zen Teaching of Rinzai”.

“One day at the street market Fuke was begging all and sundry to give him a robe. Everybody offered him one, but he did not want any of them. The master [Linji] made the superior buy a coffin, and when Fuke returned, said to him: “There, I had this robe made for you.” Fuke shouldered the coffin, and went back to the street market, calling loudly: “Rinzai had this robe made for me! I am off to the East Gate to enter transformation” (to die).” The people of the market crowded after him, eager to look. Fuke said: “No, not today. Tomorrow, I shall go to the South Gate to enter transformation.” And so for three days. Nobody believed it any longer. On the fourth day, and now without any spectators, Fuke went alone outside the city walls, and laid himself into the coffin. He asked a traveler who chanced by to nail down the lid.

The news spread at once, and the people of the market rushed there. On opening the coffin, they found that the body had vanished, but from high up in the sky they heard the ring of his hand bell.”


Further information: Reincarnation

There are folklore, stories, and extractions from certain holy texts that refer to resurrections. One major folklore is that of Savitri saving her husband’s life from Yamraj. In the Ramayana, after Ravana was slain by Rama in a great battle between good and evil, Rama requests the king of Gods, Indra, to restore the lives of all the monkeys who died in the great battle. Mahavatar Babaji and Lahiri Mahasaya are also believed to have resurrected themselves.

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