s. The forms of the appearances are mostly unchangeable. Only the bodies of men and their age increase or decrease in consequence of the greater or less influence of sin or merit, during immeasurably long periods,--the _Avasarpi[n.]i_ and the _Utsarpi[n.]i_. Souls are, each by itself, independent, real existences whose foundation is pure intelligence, and who possess an impulse to action. In the world they are always chained to bodies. The reason of this confinement is that they give themselves up to the stress of activity, to passions, to influences of the senses and objects of the mind, or attach themselves to a false belief. The deeds which they perform in the bodies are Karman, merit and sin. This drives them--when one body has passed away, according to the conditions of its existence--into another, whose quality depends on the character of the Karman, and will be determined especially by the last thoughts springing from it before death. Virtue leads to the heavens of the gods or to birt
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