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In Buddhism and Hinduism, the endless round of birth, death, and rebirth to which all conditioned beings are subject. Samsara is conceived as having no perceptible beginning or end. The particulars of an individual's wanderings in samsara are determined by karma. In Hinduism, moksha is release from samsara. In Buddhism, samsara is transcended by the attainment of nirvana. The range of samsara stretches from the lowliest insect (sometimes the vegetable and mineral kingdoms are included) to Brahma, the highest of the gods.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on samsara, visit Britannica.com.