Reincarnation


Reincarnation is a subject that has baffled humanity since time immemorial.  What is reincarnation?  Reincarnation is based on the fact that man is composed of a body, a mind and a soul.  The body is ephemeral while the mind and the soul are eternal.  When the body passes away, the mind which is attached to the soul takes a new body, just like a person exchanges old clothes for new ones.

The mind is a bundle of memories and desires.  Just as in a tree exists the seed of a future tree, similarly the human mind has the seed for a future body.  So long as the mind is filled with desires, it will have to take a body because the Law of God or Nature stipulates that most human desires shall be satisfied.  And this goes on and on until desires are annihilated and the soul attains liberation, which is mergence in the Supreme Soul.

The unlimited wants of the human mind cannot be fulfilled in a single life of the earthly existence.  Another reason for not being able to fulfil all desires in a single body or life is because we are all bound by the inexorable Law of Karma, which states that we reap the fruits of actions committed in a previous life.  Can we prove that we are reaping the fruits of our good or evil deeds of a past life?  Reincarnation is a fact that cannot be denied.  If we do so then the question arises: what criteria does the Supreme Lord use to make the destiny of some people smooth and fill the life of others with tears from birth till death?  “As you sow, so you shall reap”, says the Bible.  There have been cases where young people remember and describe vividly the experiences of a past life with good precision.  In many cases these have been checked and found to be genuine.

Nearly all religions of the world have spoken about reincarnation.  In the Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna tells Arjuna: “I and you have passed through many births.  I know them all while you do not”.  In the Bible, Jesus Christ, referring to John the Baptist, said: “Elie did come but you could not recognise him.”  In the same Bible it is mentioned, though in a hidden way, that John the Baptist and Jesus were in a former incarnation the prophets Elie and Elijah.  Buddha mentioned the wheel of birth and death and pointed the way to get liberation from the chain of action and reaction which leads to re-birth.  Every effect has a cause in this universe, every suffering has a reason, every action has a reaction.  God’s justice is so perfect that each action has its reaction however insignificant it may seem to be.

The mind is matter though in a subtle state, and matter is eternal, therefore the mind is eternal.  Action is performed when motivated by the mind.  When one performs an action it is bound to have a reaction, be it positive or negative.  It is said to be positive if the action is in harmony with the Laws of Nature and negative if it is not.  In either case the waves of the reaction, caused by the action performed, attach themselves to the subtle bodies of the doer.  Space is like an infinite ocean and the mind and the body are like points; any movement by them will create ripples and these ripples will return back to the centre from where they were produced.  This also explains the law of cause and effect or of action and reaction which the Hindus call “karma“.  When we throw a small pebble in a lake, ripples are created and move away in the circle and then come back to the centre.  This illustrates the inexorable Law of Reincarnation or Karma.  However it must be borne in mind that, as all religious matters, reincarnation is not a subject of discussion but a subject of meditation.  This argument is only meant to invite the reader to further reflection and inquiry.

 

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