While on the whole I agree fully with your writeup, I just had a bone to pick.

Most Hindus do not believe that the cycle of reincarnation is endless (by the way, reincarnation and karma, while linked in Hindu philosophy, are not part and parcel. It is quite easy to believe in one, and not the other).

At least, most of the Hindus I know (myself being one of them) do not believe this. Instead, the general idea of Hindu reincarnation, as I understand it, is this:

The soul undergoes the cycle of reincarnation many times. Every time, its actions in its past life determine its state at the outset of the new (this is where karma comes in). However, once the new life is begun, a soul is free to do whatever it wants, within those bounds. Actions from the past life do not necessarily come back to influence the next (although this is by no means ruled out).

Eventually, a soul has accrued enough "goodness" (or good karma, I guess you could call it), to transcend the mortal coil, and attain moksha.


While this might seem very similar to the Buddhist view of reincarnation, this is the view I was brought up with, and I think it has come about due to the tempering influences of Buddhism on Hinduism (which are now rather widespread throughout India).