Many people say that Hinduism believes that we take only one birth and after that way go to heaven or hell. As example -

  1. In Vedas , there is no mention that we take multiple births. Vedas indicate that we take only one birth.
  2. Rituals like offering Pind daan to ancestors indicate that our ancestors are still in the heaven or hell.
  3. In gita Arjun says to Krishna that ancestors of famlies whose varna dharma get destroyed fall from heaven to hell and they resides in hell for eternity.

Gita 1:42

Hybrid castes ensure that the family line and those who destroyed the family line, both go to hell. Because their ancestors fall and are deprived of offerings of funereal cakes and drink

Gita 1:44

O Janardana! If the family dharma is destroyed, those men are doomed to spend an eternity in hell. So we have heard.

  1. Also It is being said that sins and virtues done by people are sometimes borne by the descendants of people who committed sins or virtues. Thus it also indicates no next birth.

Many say that the belief about taking multiple births was added latter by people who didn't understood the scriptures properly. Because scriptures were not in written form but only in the memory of people. So, some people later changed the scriptures.

Also people claiming to remember previous lives doesn't prove that it was their previous birth . As It can be a case of transfer of memory also. There lives a boy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhGX1YCsvAM) who claimed to remember his multiple previous lives and many of those people (i.e. his claimed previous lives) lived simultaneously. So it is clearly a transfer of memory thing going here rather than previous lives.

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    1. Heaven and Hell are other births. 2. This ignores all of the sapient races in Hinduism, which make a human life focused view not make sense. Aug 3, 2021 at 14:57
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    The very premise of this Q is based on false interpretation and extrapolation of BG; Shouri clearly states that in a previous birth, He was Narayan and Arjuna was Nara; that They had been born many a times, He remembers it all but Partha doesn't; also that "that which is born is sure to die, that which is dead, will be born again"
    – RGH
    Aug 3, 2021 at 15:09
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    @RishitaGhosh Vedas also mention about only one birth . Rituals like Pind-daan to ancestors also indicates only one birth. I didn't only quote Gita.
    – river
    Aug 3, 2021 at 15:13
  • @river a day in pitruloka = 1 earth year and time passes differently in diff lokas; so it may take a few generations here on earth for the manes to take rebirth plus pind daan nowhere proves there's only 1 birth; how'd you explain karmic cycle and samsara then?
    – RGH
    Aug 3, 2021 at 15:15
  • @river wrong assumption in pt 2. Doing pind daan does NOT mean they are still in hell or heaven…hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/48120/8735. Garuda Purana and skanda Purana explains how offering is reached to them Even if they moved to other yoni
    – Ketan
    Aug 3, 2021 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


The answer that quotes the Upanishad is more than enough. I am just adding to that answer by quoting Rig Veda that clearly states that a person after death can come back to earth.

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

When thou hast made him ready, Jatavedas, then do thou give him over to the Fathers. When he attains unto the life that waits him, he shall become Deities’ controller.

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.

Thy portion is the goat: with heat consume him: let thy fierce flame, thy glowing splendour, burn him. With thine auspicious forms, o Jatavedas, bear this man to the region of the pious.

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, Jatavedas.

Rig Veda X.16.1-5


None, because the Vedas say that reincarnation is real:

Chhandogya Upanishad 5.10.7 - Those whose conduct has been good here will shortly get birth such as a brahmana, a kshatriya, or a vaishya. But those whose conduct has been evil will be born in evil births shortly such as the birth of a dog, or as a pig, or a chandala.

And then a brahmana, etc. who does good or evil deeds will once again be reborn, and so on.

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    Upnishads are not Vedas. Upnishads are commentary of a person. This is why you will find conflicting opinion in different Upnishads.
    – river
    Aug 3, 2021 at 19:16
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    @river Upanishads are also part of the Veda, commentary or not Aug 3, 2021 at 20:06
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    @river If upanishads are not vedas, then what do you think are vedas?
    – Ikshvaku
    Aug 4, 2021 at 18:48
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    @Ikshvaku Vedas are Samhitas. Upanishads , Brahamanas , Aranakya are Vedic literatures not Vedas.
    – river
    Aug 4, 2021 at 19:00
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    @river Based on what authority? Vedic tradition and commentators consider all those Vedas because they are propagated by rishis, even if they came later. Either way, you would accept Isha upanishad since it's part of yajur veda samhita right?
    – Ikshvaku
    Aug 4, 2021 at 20:24

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