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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/45

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A friend, a judge in Ceylon, had to sentence a Cingalese to be hung for murder. The man, when sentence had been pronounced, glared at him and said: "It is well, and shortly after I shall be a dog and will bite and tear you." The doctrine of the Hindu as to the spirit of man is that it passes at death into some other body, presumedly that of an animal. And that this was the belief of other Aryan peoples can hardly be doubted. The soul is immortal, imperishable, and it must have a body into which to enter. Till it finds such it hovers about uneasily.

Pythagoras and his followers taught that after death men's souls passed into other bodies, of this or that kind, according to the manner of life they had led. If they had been vicious, they were imprisoned in the bodies of vile brutes, there to do penance for several ages, at the expiration of which they returned again to animate men; but if they lived virtuously, some animal of a nobler kind, or even a human creature, was to be their lot.

What led Pythagoras to this opinion was