Ever think being reincarnated as an ant could be a step toward liberation? For most Hindus the highest goal is moksha, when you are released from the cycles of rebirth and achieve unity with God.
Step 1: Be born Be born.
Step 2: Live your life Live your life. If you are human, you have reached the highest state of self-consciousness. With that comes both freedom and responsibility.
TIP: Keep in mind that according to the law of karma, your present condition is determined by your actions in the past. This means you can’t pin the blame for your current situation on anyone but yourself.
Step 3: Live righteously Live righteously and strive to fulfill the Hindu dharma, or duties.
Step 4: Pursue spiritual path Pursue one of the four spiritual paths to realize God: knowledge; love and devotion; selfless action; and meditation.
Step 5: Detach yourself Gradually detach yourself from physical objects, desires, and stimuli. Only through release from self-interest can you reach liberation.
Step 6: Die Die.
TIP: Hindu funeral practices, like cremation and expressions of grief, facilitate the soul’s passage to the next stage of life.
Step 7: Be reincarnated Be reincarnated. Your soul, or true self, always remains the same even if your body doesn’t. You’ll probably pass through all six categories of life forms before breaking the cycle of samsara: aquatics, plants, reptiles and insects, birds, animals, and humans.
TIP: What form your body takes depends on your desires and, you guessed it, karma. Major transgressions can send you back to the plant or animal world.
Step 8: Repeat steps Repeat the steps as necessary until you are liberated from samsara. It’s believed that eventually everyone will get there--and there’s no time limit.
FACT: According to Hindu scriptures, you can be reincarnated in any of the 8.4 million life forms until you achieve moksha.