Reincarnation is a concept of Hinduism mentioned in the Upanishads, Puranas, Bhagavad Gita, but I could not find its mention in the Veda Samhitas.

Is it mentioned in the four Vedas, that is in the Vedic Samhitas: Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda or the Atharva Veda?


5 Answers 5


Well, there are several hymns in Vedas which can mention rebirth. However it depends upon interpretation.

I've found couple of verses from Rigveda Mandala 1 of which interpretation mention rebirth according to Swami Dayananda Sarasvati, the founder of Arya Samaj. Though Ralph Griffith or Gayatri Pariwar's translation doesn't mention rebirth.

Quoting Rigveda Bhashya of Swami Dayananda Saraswati:

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English translation:


In this Mantra, the doctrine of Re-birth is enunciated. Whatever kind of actions performed by men, they got the same kind of birth and enjoyment in the next

Rigveda Mandala 1, Sukta 24, Mantra 2:

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English Translation:


O men, we certainly believe in om eternal, Immortal God who is dispense of fruit of good or bad actions done by us and according to Whose laws we get rebirth. You must also know that one God to be giver of rebirth, non else can do this work. It is he who gives birth to emancipated persons also through parents at the end of MahaKalpa.

  • Actually I could not understand Gujarati,can you provide English translation of swami dayanand saraswati interpretation. Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 6:38
  • 1
    @KarmanyaNanda I'm looking for if English translation is available otherwise, I'll translate it.
    – Pandya
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 6:40
  • @KarmanyaNanda I've found English translation at Internet Archive and just updated the answer.
    – Pandya
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 8:08
  • @Pandya Do not you think Arya samaj version is too much speculation than reinterpretation?
    – user12262
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 8:47
  • @shanu I don't follow them.
    – Pandya
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 8:52

RV mentions reincarnation in mandala X hymn 56, however the notion of reincarnation is different from as we know it today. After a person dies his soul starts journey to some unknown world. Then the Gods transfer his soul to their domain and unites the soul with body.

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So the notion is similar to what ancient Egyptians had where after death soul unites with body and the person starts enjoying life again after being dead!

  • I think it's more like discribed the way Of gods as said in yajur Veda 19.47.This hymn may be indication to the beautifull way of Gods after death,what do you think? Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 5:37


Shukla Yajurveda Book III

We call the spirit hither with a hero-celebrating strain, Yea, with the Fathers’ holy hymns (53)

The spirit comes to us again for wisdom, energy, and life, That we may long behold the Sun (54)

The spirit here denotes Atma which comes to us (human beings) after being somewhere for sometimes. Since it is clearly written that it comes again, it clearly denote reincarnation.

Atharva Veda IX.10

Back, forward goes he, grasped by power inherent, immortal born the brother of the mortal. Ceaseless they move in opposite directions: men mark the one and fail to mark the other (16)

The he mentioned here is Atma which is immortal and the mortal here is body. What this verse says is that there is no time frame for reincarnation. It also says men will notice only one thing (mortal body) and fail to notice the other (Atman).

Rig Veda X.16

Burn him not up, nor quite consume him, Agni: let not his body or his skin be scattered. O Jātavedas, when thou hast matured him, then send him on his way unto the Fathers. (1)

When thou hast made him ready, Jātavedas, then do thou give him over to the Fathers. When he attains unto the life that waits him, he shall become the Deities' controller. (2)

These verses pray to Agni to send the spirit of the dead person to forefathers once the body is perfectly burned up.

The Sun receive thine eye, the Wind thy spirit; go, as thy merit is, to earth or heaven. Go, if it be thy lot, unto the waters; go, make thine home in plants with all thy members.(3)

The merit mentioned here is Karma. What this verse says is that based on the merit, the spirit of the dead person go to earth (to be born as human) or heaven or waters. ( I don't know what the waters here signify)

Again, O Agni, to the Fathers send him who, offered in thee, goes with our oblations. Wearing new life let him increase his offspring: let him rejoin a body, Jātavedas. (5)

This verse asks Agni to send the dead person to forefathers(Pitrus) through the oblations or last rites done by some people. Also the second sentence clearly says he may be reborn by joining a body and increase his offspring.

  • All verses you stated are humans/rishis asking for rebirth. None of these evidence that rebirth is the norm and the law, unlike upanishads & Bhagavad Gita. Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 17:08

There is no explicit mention of reincarnation in the Vedic Samhitas. However, some people think that some verses in the Vedic Samhitas can be interpreted to mean reincarnation.

I have heard the mention of two pathways, of birth and death, the ways of parents, the learned and the mortals. On these two roads each moving creature travels. Each soul leaves the present parents and assumes new ones.

Yajur Veda 19.47 translated by Devi Chand

  • Translation is wrong
    – user9554
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 12:53
  • How do you interpret Yajur Veda 35.2? Do you agree with this author? Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 16:03
  • @Sv who knows which translation is accurate.a Sanskrit scholar can only tell this btw I have seen his answers in quaro mostly his answers are on the subject That Brahma,Vishnu,shiva doest exist and Only Indra is the supreme God but if we see vedas praise all Gods supreme in diffearent hymn like shri Rudram for Lord Shiva,narayana suktam Of Lord vishnu ,agni suktas for Lord agni and Indra suktas for Lord Indra. Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 16:21
  • Well I hope adi shankaraarcharya would have wrote commentary atleast on Rig veda and yajur Veda then there would not be much confusion. Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 16:23
  • @KarmanyaNanda Vishnu is present in Rigveda, in some hymn he helped Indra in killing the demon Vrita!
    – user12262
    Commented Oct 22, 2017 at 8:16

There are no explicit mention but there are mention of puranas in hymns of vedas and puranas in turn mention rebirth so-

Verses, and songs,and magic hymns,purana,sacrificial text.all the celestial Gods whose home is heaven sprang from the residue.(Atharva Veda book 11,hymn 7 verse 24).


Lord vishnu's vamana avatar is mentioned in samhitas, the three gunas are mentioned in atharva veda- if there is mention of avatars in Vedas like vamana- sage narayana then it will support rebirth too.

The samhitas are part of upasana and devata kanda finding karma and rebirth in them is impossible.

Brahmanas are karma kanda you won't find them mentioning rebirth or other such philosophy. Each part of veda is for different reason. Brahmanas is for rituals.

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