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Karma and rebirth: the doctrine of karma and rebirth in the Upanishads, early Buddhism and the Bhagavad Gita

Menzie, Barbara K. (1987) Karma and rebirth: the doctrine of karma and rebirth in the Upanishads, early Buddhism and the Bhagavad Gita. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This work collates most of what was written in relation to karma and rebirth in the Upanisads, 'early Buddhist sources, and the Bhagavadgȋtȃ. Attention has been paid to the implications of the psychological aspects of the doctrine and an attempt made to discover, through the writings, the perspective of the people of the times. The writer has searched the sources for areas where there may be similarities or otherwise. Comparing original versions of the relevant Sanskrit sources with existing translations, the writer found certain inadequacies in them and tried to explain the issues raised thereby. In seeking to trace the origins of the doctrine she took account of hints pointing to the Vedic hymns. Within each of the stated themes, the Upanisads are dealt with as far as possible in what is believed to be their chronological order. When examining the early Buddhist sources, she sought to ascertain what it was that the Buddha taught in relation to karma and rebirth by using the many birth stories to try to tease out the message. The Bhagavadgȋtȃ, with its emphasis on right action, is clear and concise in the way in which it spells out the doctrine and the emotional battle played out by Arjuna gives a graphic description of the process. Throughout, the writer has sought to identify the intrinsic factor which continues from life to life and the determinants which shape the future of the person in the process of rebirth.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1987
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:45

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