PDA

View Full Version : Reincarnation



galaxy18
09 July 2009, 08:18 AM
http://leagueofdevotees.blogspot.com/

Reincarnation (http://leagueofdevotees.blogspot.com/2009/06/reincarnation.html)


When the relationship with the material body becomes impossible (because of old age or serious disease), spirit soul gives it up and takes another body. This is called reincarnation, or taking another body.

Although we cannot see it with our eyes, it is a quiet natural phenomenon. If the soul is eternal, where it goes when the body is unable to host it any longer? This "new place" is given by the laws of nature according to the nature of the consciousness the person has at the moment of death.

God loves his sons; He doesn't condemn them to the eternal hell even if they have led a life of serious sins. He will give chances again and again. This "chances again and again" is reincarnation. The best form of life is the human, because is the only one with the capacity to understand transcendental subject matters. So, to loose a human life running after the mirages of sense gratification is not intelligent at all.

If we loose the form of life we'll have to go back again in the evolution cycle to be back, one day, to the human form. Spiritual life begins with enquiries about the Truth. The aim of life is never to take back a material body, but to take again our original spiritual body, which is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss, in a loving relationship with Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, the Divine Couple of Vrindavana.

http://leagueofdevotees.blogspot.com/

saidevo
09 July 2009, 09:44 AM
The critically acclaimed Hollywood films Before Sunrise and Waking Life directed by Richard Linklater have a brief discussion about reincarnation, typically with the western mind-set.

Dialogue from the film Before Sunrise:

Boy: Do you believe in reincarnation?
Girl: Yeah, it's interesting.

Boy: A lot of people talk about past lives and things like that, you know? Even if they don't believe in it in some specific way, people have a notion of an eternal soul, right?
Girl: Yeah.

Boy: Okay. This is my thought: 50,000 years ago there's not even a million people. Ten thousand years ago, there's, like, two million people on the planet. Now there's between five and six billion people on the planet. If we all have our own individual, unique soul...where did they all come from?

Boy: (continuing) Are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls? Because if they are, that represents a 5,000 to one split of each soul... in just the last 50,000 years, which is a blip in the Earth's time. At best, we're these tiny fractions...of people walking Is that why we're so scattered? Is that why we're so specialized?

Dialogue from the film Waking Life:

Boy: Just about reincarnation and where all the new souls come from over time. Everybody always say that they've been the reincarnation...of Cleopatra or Alexander the Great. I mean, it's impossible. Think about it.

Boy: (continuing) The world population has doubled in the past 40 years, right? So if you really believe in that ego thing of one eternal soul, then you only have a 50% chance of your soul being over 40. And for it to be over 150 years old, then it's only one out of six.

Girl: So what are you saying then?
Boy: Reincarnation doesn't exist...or that we're all young souls like where half of us are first-round humans? No, no. What I'm trying to say is that somehow I believe...reincarnation is just a...a poetic expression of what collective memory really is.

Boy: (continuing) There was this article by this biochemist that I read not long ago, and he was talking about how when a member of a species is born, it has a billion years of memory to draw on. And this is where we inherit our instincts. I like that. It's like there's, um, this whole telepathic thing going on that we're all a part of, whether we're conscious of it or not. That would explain why there's all these, you know, seemingly spontaneous, worldwide, innovative leaps in science, in the arts. You know, like the same results poppin' up everywhere independent of each other.

**********

Well, how do we counter this line of argument?

saidevo
09 July 2009, 09:50 AM
Here is a somewhat queer recent news item on reincarnation:

Reincarnation is real and a science too: Expert
Swahilya, New Indian Express newspaper dated 29 Jun 2009

CHENNAI: John Adams, an American revolutionary, who was the first Vice President and the second President of the United States was in Chennai on Saturday. Well, almost. He was in his present reincarnation as Dr Walter Semkiw who learnt about one of his past lives as the President of the US.

Though he was disbelieving what he heard first from a psychic, when he was working as a medical director of an oil company called Unocal 76, whose slogan happened to be, ‘The Spirit of 1776,’ he felt a booming voice within to study the life of John Adams. His pursuit made Semkiw open up a new area of research on reincarnation. Many of his presentations are made in the book Born Again – Reincarnation Cases Involving International Celebrities, India’s Political Legends and Film Stars.

Semkiw’s mission statement is “To make violence obsolete, To make our oneness known, To help create a civilisation, We return to with joy, on planet earth, our terrestrial home.” He says the knowledge that we come back again to earth after our death and can change our religion, colour, race, nationality and gender can help us realise that it is of no use to fight over our differences.

As we reincarnate, we bring the same energy template or hologram that projects itself into the soul in the foetus and this gives the person the same physical features, the same hobbies and interests among other similarities.

Besides the many cases of reincarnation from the US and other parts of the world, his book Born Again has a separate section on reincarnation cases in India. His confirmations with Ahtun Re a spirit guide and Kevin Ryerson a trance medium reveal that Amitabh Bachchan was Edwin Booth one of the greatest Shakespearean actors. His wife Mary Mc Vickers has reincarnated as Jaya Bachchan.

Lucy Hale, who was engaged to John Wilkes Booth, brother of Edwin, who assassinated President Lincoln has come back as Sonia Gandhi and her father John P Hale, a US Senator has reincarnated as her son Rahul Gandhi. Indira Gandhi was earlier Edwin Stanton, the Secretary of War under Lincoln, during the American Civil War. Former President A P J Abdul Kalam was Tipu Sultan in his previous births, says Dr Semkiw.

Eastern Mind
09 July 2009, 02:46 PM
Personally, I trust very few past life 'experts'. Especially when the famous people are involved. I think I was some unknown soldier.

But on the spiritual path, what exactly is the use of knowing your past life? This is the life you are in now. Dharma now. In fact, this is the moment, you are in now, reading this. Past lives make for discussion for trivia purposes only.

Who needs proof? Hindus really shouldn't. It sort of comes with the territory. As far as the argument about there being more souls because there are more people, the Hindu response that I am most familiar with is that God is ever creating more and new souls.

Aum Namsivaya

Znanna
09 July 2009, 06:42 PM
Namaste,

Y'all know I'm not orthodox, but instead more experiential/experimental.

IMO, time is more holographic, multidimensional, simultaneous ... than linear. In my experiments, I found I could be in multiple times and places (and bodies) all at once, in different combinations. (Two bodies, same time ... same body, different times or place, etc.)

Past is future; future, passed.



ZN/shamanistic

saidevo
09 July 2009, 11:13 PM
VaNakkam EM.



As far as the argument about there being more souls because there are more people, the Hindu response that I am most familiar with is that God is ever creating more and new souls.


No, more and new souls are NOT created by God in Hinduism; it's a Christian theological concept necessitated by their concepts of one term of life and destruction of individual souls.

In Hinduism I think, the number of individual souls in the current cycle of creation (between PraLaya-destruction and SRuShTi-creation) is constant. The concept of indidual soul includes the life-force that exists in all beings in the three kingdoms of life. From the Advaitin's POV, once Creation has come into existence, Brahman's cosmic consciousness underlies and subsumes all forms in space and time--both animate and inanimate--with units of biological forms and energy projected over this substratum of consciousness as individual souls distinguished by their egos (the jIvAtman), like froth and bubbles on the surface of water. While this is the case in the physical universe, in the other thirteen subtler realms/worlds/planes of space, the individual self is projected in subtler units of matter and energy, animated by the cosmic consciousness underneath.

In this scenario, there is no question of individual human souls becoming just a fraction of their ancestors because of increase in the human population. The disembodied human souls live in subtler realms retaining their identity and on rebirth can pass into lower forms in the animal and vegetable kingdom also, depending on the karmic balance. The individual souls thus exist for ever and are eternal, not only during the current cycle of creation, but are retained as such in the following cycles too.

saidevo
09 July 2009, 11:36 PM
Namaste Znanna.

The concept of time is more illusory than the concept of space: since IYO, "time is more holographic, multidimensional, simultaneous ... than linear", time cannot be treated as a dimension like space. These different perceptions of time are possible because the consciousness of an individual soul (as part of the cosmic consciousness) is pervasive over all the realms of space and can bring to focus individual events and sort of relive them. Your cryptic comment "past is future, future passed" is a nice way of summing this up.

In one sense, there is no time: because time is nothing but a change in the state of space, perceived by consciousness as it happens (again, the term 'happen' is time-associative) and preserved in the folded realms of space for further perception at will.

Since the memory of earlier births is shut out to an ordinary individual human soul, the soul perceives its current existence in a specific body as reincarnation. As it progresses in path of 'Atma sAdhana', this perception widens and the soul acquires the ability to perceive its 'earlier births' as well as of others. At this juncture, the soul's reincarnations seem to it like the pages of a book, readily to be viewed as desired.

atanu
10 July 2009, 02:33 AM
Namaste Znanna.
At this juncture, the soul's reincarnations seem to it like the pages of a book, readily to be viewed as desired.

Namaste saidevo ji,

It is almost like man on a boat seeing a part of river and man on an aeroplane seeing almost the full river. Yet, all this is in the realm of seeing, which never will end, as per the teaching of Vedanta, till the Seer is seen.

The Seer has not incarnated but His seeing takes on many shapes. The Purusha who is of shasrashira, saharsapada, sahrasabahu does magical things remaining the same.

The individual souls may remain eternal, but they are mere shapes and names in Mahat -- cosmic consciousness of Purusha, which is one and all.

Om Namah Shivaya

atanu
10 July 2009, 02:35 AM
But on the spiritual path, what exactly is the use of knowing your past life? This is the life you are in now. Dharma now. In fact, this is the moment, you are in now, reading this. Past lives make for discussion for trivia purposes only. Aum Namsivaya

Namaste EM,

I find this most practical. Of what use is knowing a past dress, since one yet remains unknown to oneself.

Om Namah Shivaya

Eastern Mind
10 July 2009, 08:02 AM
VaNakkam EM.



No, more and new souls are NOT created by God in Hinduism; it's a Christian theological concept necessitated by their concepts of one term of life and destruction of individual souls.

In Hinduism I think, the number of individual souls in the current cycle of creation (between PraLaya-destruction and SRuShTi-creation) is constant. The concept of indidual soul includes the life-force that exists in all beings in the three kingdoms of life. From the Advaitin's POV, once Creation has come into existence, Brahman's cosmic consciousness underlies and subsumes all forms in space and time--both animate and inanimate--with units of biological forms and energy projected over this substratum of consciousness as individual souls distinguished by their egos (the jIvAtman), like froth and bubbles on the surface of water. While this is the case in the physical universe, in the other thirteen subtler realms/worlds/planes of space, the individual self is projected in subtler units of matter and energy, animated by the cosmic consciousness underneath.

In this scenario, there is no question of individual human souls becoming just a fraction of their ancestors because of increase in the human population. The disembodied human souls live in subtler realms retaining their identity and on rebirth can pass into lower forms in the animal and vegetable kingdom also, depending on the karmic balance. The individual souls thus exist for ever and are eternal, not only during the current cycle of creation, but are retained as such in the following cycles too.


The words 'creation' and 'destruction' are the best English translations of Sanskrit some translator in history could come up with, and as usual probably had a Christian bias. Perhaps 'emanation' and 'dissolution' would be better. Certainly a lot gets lost in translation. I don't see a conflict between 'God creates souls all the time' and 'the number of souls remains constant'. The latter is a non-linear in time approach, and probably more accurate. But the former is the same thing thinking more linear in time. Regardless of all this, as you know my personal take is rather non-philosophical, which puts me in no position to debate such things. Once again, I'm personally not convinced if it matters to our own evolution what we believe in such philosophical areas.

Aum Namasivaya

saidevo
10 July 2009, 08:36 AM
Namaste Atanu and EM.



But on the spiritual path, what exactly is the use of knowing your past life? This is the life you are in now. Dharma now. In fact, this is the moment, you are in now, reading this. Past lives make for discussion for trivia purposes only.


I don't think that even as Advaitins, we can set aside the knowledge about the truth of reincarnation as a matter of trivial importance in the spiritual path.

No one has provided a better proof of this than the Shakya Muni, Sri Gautama Buddha. On the night he achieved his enlightenment, he developed retro-cognitive knowledge, which he used to read his past lives and glance through the spiritual path he had travelled. In his first paean of joy, the Buddha said: "Through many a birth wandered I, seeking the builder of this house. Sorrowful indeed is birth again and again." The Pali Jatakas record 357 past lives for him as a human, 66 as a god, and 123 as an animal. For Buddhists, the biography of the Buddha consists of not one but many lives. (http://reluctant-messenger.com/reincarnation-buddha.htm)

Interestingly, the famous theosophist and clairvoyant investigator of life Bishop C.W.Leadbeater starts his autobiographical work How Theosophy Came To Me with these words: "My first touch with anything that could definitely be called Theosophy was in the year 504 b.c., when I had the wonderful honour and pleasure of visiting the great philosopher Pythagoras. I had taken birth in one of the families of the EupatridŠ at Athens—a family in fairly good circumstances and offering favourable opportunities for progress."

I also understand that 'Jyotisha', the Hindu Astrology can reveal about our karma and reincarnation through a meticulously computed and expertly analyzed personal horoscope.

Practically speaking, as an Advaitin I can by now intellectually understand that my individual self is just a shape, a play in the 'lIlA' of the Seer and that the apparent isolation would continue to remain until my individual self realizes its unity with the Seer (or maybe the Seer chooses to let this happen). Since I can only hope that this might happen experientially after many more births, for me the knowledge about the ramifications of karma and reincarnation is a valuable tool in my spiritual path.

Eastern Mind
10 July 2009, 08:48 AM
Namaste, and Vanakkam:

I'm sorry, but you missed the point. I take reincarnation as just a given, a fact of life, the truth. Obvious as the sun. For me there is absolutely no need to prove or verify reincarnation. Fact is I do know my last life, and the individual past lives of 4 out of 5 of my children.

The point was that it is really of no use to know this. It doesn't help me be a better person. How does ranting about past lives help you to act with virtuous conduct, which in my opinion, is the first sadhana? And for many embodied souls, the only sadhana necessary at this point in their individual progress back to Siva.

Aum Namasivaya

atanu
10 July 2009, 09:53 AM
Namaste Atanu and EM.

I don't think that even as Advaitins, we can set aside the knowledge about the truth of reincarnation as a matter of trivial importance in the spiritual path.

Practically speaking, as an Advaitin I can by now intellectually understand that my individual self is just a shape, a play in the 'lIlA' of the Seer and that the apparent isolation would continue to remain until my individual self realizes its unity with the Seer (or maybe the Seer chooses to let this happen). Since I can only hope that this might happen experientially after many more births, for me the knowledge about the ramifications of karma and reincarnation is a valuable tool in my spiritual path.

Namaste Saidevo ji,

The reincarnation is the undoubtable fact, for Hindus. Brahma Sutra describes, almost like water cycle or carbon cycle, the jivatma cycle. How, jiva enters food, which father eats and seed is created. For a common person it would be a fairy tale, but we know that Brahma Sutra is Brahma truth. Gita and upanishads also tell us how jivatma leaves a body to acquire another.

It is a fact beyond doubt. It is also true that this transition is a change of a much bigger scale than the daily transitions from dream to waking, wherein the nature of stories change. But attention on the dreams does not allow the unravelling of the nature of the dreamer and similarly knowing past and future helps in no way. It is also a siddhi, like any other, which may actually be detrimental, by strengthening the ego.

Secondly, jivatma is of atma tattva -- every bit of it. Only difference is how the atma tattva assumes local curves and contours and names, as per the desire.

I just wanted to highlight this difference of understanding between dualists and monists. Hardcore dualists will gleefully point out that jiva remains a jiva, since tattvas are eternally different.

Regards

Om Namah Shivaya

OmSriShivaShakti
29 July 2009, 02:50 PM
Namaste, and Vanakkam:

I'm sorry, but you missed the point. I take reincarnation as just a given, a fact of life, the truth. Obvious as the sun. For me there is absolutely no need to prove or verify reincarnation. Fact is I do know my last life, and the individual past lives of 4 out of 5 of my children.

Aum Namasivaya

Reincarnation is talked about quite a lot throughout Hindu scriptures, yet I have never seen one verse of any holy text that said that a person could know his previous lives. Is there any scriptural basis to your (or anyone else's) claims of knowing your previous lives?

dhruva023
29 July 2009, 07:26 PM
It has been proven scientifically, and holy text also supports it. did you read Mahabharat?

saidevo
29 July 2009, 11:19 PM
I am not all familiar with jyotisha, but it seems an expert astrologer can know about previous births astrologically, as this link offers:
http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com/2009/03/knowing-your-previous-birth.html

mukunda20
28 September 2009, 05:02 AM
The critically acclaimed Hollywood films Before Sunrise and Waking Life directed by Richard Linklater have a brief discussion about reincarnation, typically with the western mind-set.

Dialogue from the film Before Sunrise:

Boy: Do you believe in reincarnation?
Girl: Yeah, it's interesting.

Boy: A lot of people talk about past lives and things like that, you know? Even if they don't believe in it in some specific way, people have a notion of an eternal soul, right?
Girl: Yeah.

Boy: Okay. This is my thought: 50,000 years ago there's not even a million people. Ten thousand years ago, there's, like, two million people on the planet. Now there's between five and six billion people on the planet. If we all have our own individual, unique soul...where did they all come from?

Boy: (continuing) Are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls? Because if they are, that represents a 5,000 to one split of each soul... in just the last 50,000 years, which is a blip in the Earth's time. At best, we're these tiny fractions...of people walking Is that why we're so scattered? Is that why we're so specialized?

Dialogue from the film Waking Life:

Boy: Just about reincarnation and where all the new souls come from over time. Everybody always say that they've been the reincarnation...of Cleopatra or Alexander the Great. I mean, it's impossible. Think about it.

Boy: (continuing) The world population has doubled in the past 40 years, right? So if you really believe in that ego thing of one eternal soul, then you only have a 50% chance of your soul being over 40. And for it to be over 150 years old, then it's only one out of six.

Girl: So what are you saying then?
Boy: Reincarnation doesn't exist...or that we're all young souls like where half of us are first-round humans? No, no. What I'm trying to say is that somehow I believe...reincarnation is just a...a poetic expression of what collective memory really is.

Boy: (continuing) There was this article by this biochemist that I read not long ago, and he was talking about how when a member of a species is born, it has a billion years of memory to draw on. And this is where we inherit our instincts. I like that. It's like there's, um, this whole telepathic thing going on that we're all a part of, whether we're conscious of it or not. That would explain why there's all these, you know, seemingly spontaneous, worldwide, innovative leaps in science, in the arts. You know, like the same results poppin' up everywhere independent of each other.

**********

Well, how do we counter this line of argument?

Namaste everyone,
This line of argument can be countered because, in this case, the boy is only quoting the number of humans which varied in time, but he doesnt take into account other species or entities like animals insects etc(all those having souls). agreed that 50000 years ago there were not even a million people, but the number of other species were very large . one thing to note here is the evolution of insects or animals into higher stages like humans have increased in due course of time, hence we see only increase in number of humans, not of other species. It feels strange that we humans are so self centred that we can hardly see anything other than "I,Me,Mine".
If we take a look at the big picture of the entire Cosmos(Prakruthi), there is dynamic equilibrium at all points of time.If a soul has progressed from its present life as an insect, it might take its next life as a human which might increase the number of humans by one and decrease number of insects by one.still there is equilibrium.
mukunda

yajvan
28 September 2009, 12:50 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

NamastÚ

The Upaniṣads discuss this topic... one of my favorites is the
kaṭhopaniṣad; Another that reviews this is Chāndogya Upaniṣad.
These great works review going and coming╣.


My teacher would aways say, when the critic would ask him about reincarnation, I am against re-incarnation.

This is the brilliance of the wise - Why so? The intent is to stop the ceaseless birth-after-birth cycle , hence why guru-ji was against this.
I then take the same inititive: I do not want to come back, plain and simple. I am against it, and am trying to do what I can in this life-time, this opportunity to realize ones SELF, Brahma Sakshtkara ( Self Realization) or turiyatit chetana (sustained turya). This is my intent, my resolve. Yet I am still bound by the laws of nature, of samskaras and the vasanas that reside in me.

As another friend told me as we talked of death, he said, Dieing is easy, I did it a million times...


praṇām

1. More on this coming and going here if there is interest: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=1671&highlight=reincarnation (http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=1671&highlight=reincarnation)