20+ Famous Quotes About Death and Rebirth


The concept of rebirth has fascinated people since time immemorial, with many adherents of world religions that believe in reincarnation. Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism all believe in rebirth as a central tenet in their respective religions. Writers, poets, and artists have explored the concept of both literal and metaphorical rebirth over the centuries.

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It can bring comfort to people that no matter what they’ve gone through, they have the potential start over with a clean slate. These quotes about rebirth may provide you with some solace or inspiration.

Short Quotes About Rebirth

These quotes may be short in length, but they are long in wisdom. 

1. “Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was a major leader in the movement to free India from British rule. He was also a spiritual man who was influenced by Hinduism and Jainism. In this short quote, he sums up the concept of rebirth in an accessible way.  

2. “I was born in a hospital, and I returned to be reborn. If you're going to look at me differently, see me as stronger than I was before.” - Greta Farrell

In this short poem, the author likens mental health recovery to a kind of rebirth. There is more than one way to consider the concept of rebirth aside from dying and being born.

3. “With death, there is always rebirth.” - Dipa Sanatani

Quotes about death aren’t always sad. This line reminds us that rebirth can’t happen without death. It’s all part of the cosmic balance. 

4. “True change is the rebirth of the way we learn.” - Alan Maiccon

Most people think of rebirth as a spiritual or metaphysical matter. This quote demonstrates that it can also be a matter of intellectual growth and change.

5. “My sun sets to rise again.” - Robert Browning

Robert Browning was a prolific poet. But this brief line demonstrates his capacity to express major concepts in very few words. 

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Buddhist Quotes About Rebirth

The concept of rebirth is one of the central principles of Buddhism. Most people know that Buddhists believe in reincarnation. What they may not know is how deeply that belief is entwined with other Buddhist doctrines. These quotes demonstrate the importance of rebirth in Buddhism:     

6. “In Buddhism, rebirth is part of the continuous process of change. In fact, we are not only reborn at the time of death, we are born and reborn at every moment.” - Dr. Peter Della Santina

In his book Fundamentals in Buddhism, Dr. Santina efficiently breaks down the concept of rebirth. This quote illustrates how rebirth isn’t limited to certain moments in your life. It’s an ongoing process. 

7. “He has no need for faith who knows the uncreated, who has cut off rebirth, who has destroyed any opportunity for good or evil, and cast away all desire. He is indeed the ultimate man.” - Gautama Buddha

In Western culture, the concept of rebirth may seem like a good thing. Who wouldn’t like the opportunity to have a blank slate? However, in Buddhism, there is something called samsara which is the cycle of repeated birth, living, and dying. Being trapped in the cycle of samsara is actually considered suffering. It’s interesting to consider how different perspectives can influence your views.

8. “Long is the cycle of birth and death to the fool who does not know the true path.” - Buddha

It should come as no surprise that this Buddhist quote about death also alludes to the constancy of rebirth. After all, they are all part of the same cycle. 

9. “When conditions are sufficient things manifest. When conditions are no longer sufficient things withdraw. They wait until the moment is right for them to manifest again.” - Thich Nhat Hanh

Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh remains one of the best-known voices in Buddhism. While this quote may seem heady, it’s really all about learning how to let go. 

10. " I tend to think of death as being like changing your clothes when they are old and worn out, rather than as some final end." - Sogyal Rinpoche

While the prior quote may make Buddhism seem impenetrable, this line has a little more whimsy. Rinpoche is the author of the beloved 1992 tome, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. This excerpt ably demonstrates Rinpoche’s more accessible approach to this longstanding religion.  

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Phoenix Quotes About Rebirth

The ancient Greeks believed in a mythological bird called the phoenix. According to the lore, phoenixes would live for a long time before combusting into flame and dying. However, a new phoenix would arise from the ashes of the one that came before it. Over time, the phoenix has become a symbol for someone who goes through hard times and comes through their trials even stronger. 

11. “The phoenix must burn to emerge.” -  Janet Fitch

On the surface, it may seem unusual for a quote about rebirth to come from a Mormon author. But while Mormons classify themselves as Christians, some beliefs skew closer to Eastern religions. This includes notions of a rebirth of the soul. 

12. “How can you rise, if you have not burned?” - Fatima Ahmad Ibrahim 

Ibrahim was born in Khartoum, Sudan in 1930. She was a women’s rights activist and a political leader in a time and place when it was often difficult to be a woman. This quote reflects her steely nature.   

13. “You may kill a fire. And everything you know falls to dust and ash. Yet the remarkable treasure in this seemingly hopeless pile is hidden deep within. The burning embers incarnate the perpetual desire to go from spark to flame.” - Akilnathan Logeswaren

These are inspirational words from a well-known activist. While this quote doesn’t specifically say the word phoenix, the reference is clear. 

14. “Wise is the one who flavors the future with some salt from the past. Becoming dust is no threat to the phoenix born from the ash.” - Curtis Tyrone Jones

Jones, a poet, illustrates how wise and fearless phoenixes can be. 

15. “So old friend, do tell me what is better. Death, endured once or a zillion times?” - Zubair Ahsan

Many quotes about phoenixes are inspirational and uplifting. This one reminds us that they also must endure great pain on their way to immortality. 

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Quotes About Rebirth in the Spring

In many places around the world, spring is considered a period of growth and rebirth. After a long and hard winter, plants begin to grow bringing color and new life. Those plants will help feed and nourish us and give us new life, too.     

16. “Spring reminds us that resilience is only a season away.” - Angie Weiland-Crosby 

If you feel like you’re in need of a rebirth of your own, let this quote inspire you.  

17. “Spring is far more than just a changing of seasons: it’s a rebirth of the spirit.” - Toni Sorenson 

Sorenson, another Mormon author, carries her faith with her to continue writing prosaic words reminding us of the resilience of the spirit. Here, she makes the comparison of spring to a new beginning.

18. “I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?” - Edward Giobbi

Spring is often symbolically associated with the idea of youth. This quote serves as a reminder that you can appreciate rebirth and renewal at any age. In fact, the older you are, the more resonant that thought may become.  

19. “The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” - Harriet Ann Jacobs 

Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery in the early 1800s. Despite tremendous hardships, she learned how to read and write before making a daring escape to the north. Her memoir, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, is an incredibly important part of American history. If anyone understands rejuvenation and rebirth, it’s this remarkable woman.   

20. “Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be.” - Tracy McMillan 

For some people, the prospect of rebirth can be daunting. Change is often scary, but this quote reminds us that it can also bring joy. 

Rebirth, Rejuvenation, and Regrowth

In one of William Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays, The Tempest, he coined the word “sea change.” The phrase sea change has come to denote a paradigm shift that alters the way people see or experience things. It’s not unlike the concept of rebirth. Even if you don’t believe in literal reincarnation, the idea of a spiritual or metaphorical rebirth is appealing. 

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