- a Greek term meaning REBIRTH or TRANSMIGRATION of the SOUL from one body to another in a cyclic life pattern. As a religious PHILOSOPHY it appears to have originated in India around 600 B.C. and was taught by PYTHAGOREANS in Greece where it entered ORPHIC MYSTERIES and both PLATONISM and NEO-PLATONISM. In India it is found in HINDUISM and JAINISM but not BUDDHISM where the doctrine of REINCARNATION is similar but in important respects different.
Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.