“Like the revolutions of a wheel, there is a regular succession of death and birth, the moral cause of which is the cleaving to existing objects, while the instrumental cause is karma (the power which controls the universe, prompting it to activity), merit and demerit.
“It is, therefore, the great desire of all beings who would be released from the sorrows of successive birth, to seek the destruction of the moral cause, the cleaving to existing objects, or devil desire.” They, in whom evil desire is entirely destroyed, are called Arhats.
Freedom from evil desire insures the possession of a miraculous power. At his death, the Arhat is never reincarnated; he invariably attains Nirvana – a word, by the bye, falsely interpreted by the Christian scholars and skeptical commentators.
Nirvana is the world of cause, in which all deceptive effects or delusions of our senses disappear. Nirvana is the highest attainable sphere.
The pitris (the pre-Adamic spirits) are considered as reincarnated, by the Buddhistic philosopher, though in a degree far superior to that of the man of earth. Do they not die in their turn? Do not their astral bodies suffer and rejoice, and feel the same curse of illusionary feelings as when embodied?
What Buddha taught in the sixth century, B. C., in India, Pythagoras taught in the fifth, in Greece and Italy. Gibbon shows how deeply the Pharisees were impressed with this belief in the transmigration of souls.
The Egyptian circle of necessity is ineffaceably stamped on the hoary monuments of old. And Jesus, when healing the sick, invariably used the following expression: “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” This is pure Buddhistic doctrine. “The Jews said to the blind man: Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? The doctrine of the disciples (of Christ) is analogous to the Merit and Demerit’ of the Buddhists; for the sick recovered, if their sins were forgiven.”
But, this former life believed in by the Buddhists, is not a life on this planet, for, more than any other people, the Buddhistical philosopher appreciated the great doctrine of cycles.”
H. P. Blavatsky