As a result of
our actions and thoughts and
the attachments developed thereby, we come into being in a fresh birth with certain fixed
tendencies. The doctrine of past and
future lives and continuity of evolution through many lives is an extension of the law of
cause and effect as we see it working every day.
is this extended application of the natural law that distinguishes Hinduism from most
other religions. No explanation or theory in regard to the ultimate cause of things
can be free from difficulties or made proof against objectionsfrom a mere rationalist
point of view.
On the assumption, however, of an immortal soul as the
basis of personality, it can be claimed that no theory can be formulated more in
conformity with known laws of nature than the Hindu doctrine of karma. Man,
according to the law of karma, evolves himself exactly according to his actions, the
process being unbroken by death and passing on to the next life.