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Samsara is a doctrine in which the world and human life are seen as negative or illusory, beacause of the impermanence of phenomena and disease. This belief is found in religions such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism which teach the sequence of repeated rebirths that all beings are subject to. Samsara has no beginning and can only be ended by enlightenment. The ways to enlightenment differ from tradition to tradition.

Buddhism teaches that when one frees from samsara he reaches nirvana; in Hinduism and Jainism, liberation from samsara is called moksha or mukti.

The Mahayana Buddhist tradition teaches in the Heart Sutra[?] that samsara and nirvana are dual aspects of the same ultimate reality. Or in other world, freedom is not reached by renouncing the world. Because they are relative to each other, they are, each of them, ultimately unreal and empty.

Etymology: Sanskrit, "course of life", samsare = sam (together) + sarati (it flows).

See: Wheel of Life

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