While immortality means a person simply never dies, reincarnation is when the physical body dies but the soul or consciousness is reborn into another life. This is a process that repeats itself over and over again. In that sense, we can say that we never really die. We just undergo rebirth into the next life or consciousness.
Reincarnation in Buddhism
The teachings of Buddhism place a man in the middle of the ten realms of being. The very top of the realm is Buddha and the very bottom is the depraved man. Note that these realms are not physical but connotes a state of mind. It also means that a man has all the other states in various degrees in his being. A person can then be as compassionate as Buddha and at the same time, have the ability to create his own sufferings.
A man’s words, actions and more importantly, thoughts are the energy he releases into the universe. The quality of these energies impacts the influences he receives and the whole process is known as karma. Think good thoughts, speak good words, perform good actions and you will receive good karma.
As a man achieves the Buddha state, the process of reincarnation ends there.
Reincarnation in Hinduism
Meanwhile, in Hinduism, reincarnation results in samsara or the cycle of births and deaths. Karma is the law that governs reincarnation. It is earned and can be passed down from previous lives.
Living a good, selfless life will likely earn a man good karma and a higher position in the caste system. Leading a life of corruption, selfishness and spite can result to a lower caste position in the next life.
The ultimate goal in Hinduism is to forsake all kinds of pursuits and exit the cycle and receive the declaration that the soul is now one with Brahman. The soul is given the opportunity to learn and grow in the likelihood of the Universal Soul with every rebirth.
Immortality in Reincarnation
The very essence of our being will never be lost. It will never die. It will live again and again until we can become one with the Universe.