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In Buddhism and Hinduism, samsara is the phenomenal world in which we live, and the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. In Buddhism, samsara refers to the six realms of existence in which beings can be born according to their karma: as hell beings, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, demi-gods (Skt. asura), and gods. The central goal of Buddhism is to escape the suffering of samsara by achieving nirvana, a state beyond this cycle of rebirths.