Introduction to Sri Aurobindo’s Rebirth and Karma

The entire question of rebirth, sometimes called reincarnation, is shrouded in religious dogma, philosophical argument and rampant popular superstition. It is therefore extremely difficult to understand what in fact the situation is–is there some form of rebirth? If so, what is the functioning, mechanism and purpose of rebirth? How do we ascertain the facts relating to the operation of the process of rebirth? Is there any way to verify, one way or the other, the reality of rebirth?

Whether or not rebirth is a reality, there is the separate, although potentially related, question of karma. Here again, there is a mix of philosophy, religion and popular superstition associated with the concept of karma, essentially, “cause and effect”. There remain questions about why good people suffer, or why some are born into circumstances that are filled with luxury and ease, while others have to struggle and suffer under terrible burdens. Buddhism has perhaps had the most to say on the law of karma, the chain of consequences, and there are clearly many things to be learned from their insights.

Rebirth and the law of karma have occupied humanity for many millenia all around the world. It is a subject that requires observation, reflection, insight and inner experience to come to any solid understanding.

In Rebirth and Karma Sri Aurobindo takes up these subjects in a systematic and comprehensive manner.

Sri Aurobindo,