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Thread: Can a missed life be someone's last life?

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    Can a missed life be someone's last life?

    I’m 72 years old, and so the matter of what happens next, at the end of this life--what I should expect and work for in that regard--has become particularly relevant for me at my age.
    .
    I was going to ask this question at the beginners’ forum, but it closely relates to another question that was asked here: Is worldly life a curse? Certainly, as one of the answerers pointed out, everything we want or would like has to be strived for, in a dog-eat-dog world, full of risks, dangers and hardships, largely due to routine ongoing predation and harm done by people to eachother. Consequently, there are many tragic instances in which someone never really gets to have life. It’s as if being born guarantees only that someone has a theoretical chance of maybe getting to live.
    .
    My question:
    .
    Is release from (the appearance of) reincarnation available to everyone? Is enlightenment, whatever it is, accessible to everyone in this lifetime, if only they find out what they need to find out? And would exemption from rebirth even be desirable for everyone even if it were possible?
    .
    Can everyone (including me), if they want to and make the effort, be done with worldly lives at the end of this lifetime, and should everyone want to and make it a goal for the end of this lifetime?
    .
    I’m interested in what traditional Hindu Vedanta says about that.
    .
    My impression was that the traditional view was that only a rare few people will be done with lifetimes at the end of this life. Isn’t that true? (My feeling now is that that’s how it is)
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    This question, it seems to me, strongly relates to dharma, for me, because:
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    If I spend the rest of this life counting on worldly life ending for me at the end of this life, with an attitude of rejection and renunciation of continuing worldly life, that couldn’t be very good for my next life, if I’m reborn in spite of my expectations, wishes and attitude of renunciation and rejection.
    .
    But my question is more specific than that: What I really am asking is:
    .
    If a person completely misses their youth, if their early life consisted only of missing-out on life, due to being cowed by their parents, and other bullies, into actually giving up on life at an early age (I mean completely giving up), long before starting school, so early that they don’t even remember any details of what was going on…Would it make any sense at all for that person to expect to be done with worldly life at the end of this lifetime? That’s my question, and it’s about me.
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    Sure, this a most unusual situation, and a most unusual life. That’s why I can’t find my question being answered anywhere.
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    I’m not saying that I was unusually unfortunate. Obviously many are much more unfortunate. Of course loss of life isn’t at all unusual in this world. It’s just that the manner in which it happened for me was unusual.
    .
    So: Would it make any sense for me to expect to be done with worldly lifetimes at the end of this life? Could that be possible, or even desirable, given my background?
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    Can such an outrageously, ridiculously, missed life be someone’s last lifetime? Would that make any sense?
    Roger
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    .

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    Re: Can a missed life be someone's last life?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté Roger
    Quote Originally Posted by RogerOwens View Post
    I mean completely giving up.
    Tell us what you completely gave up or what you think you gave up... this is important.


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    ps -
    We are considered a sadācārin¹ when a post begins with a welcome, a hello, some preamble to his/her post that is well received by our HDF members. Please consider starting off your post with a hello, or a namasté , or some salutation. It is our custom here to do this...we ask you to join in on this custom.
    http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=2550, a nice post on Core values of HDF written by a senior member.

    1. sadācāra - virtuous conduct , good manners , well conducted, well mannered
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Can a missed life be someone's last life?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~
    namasté

    I was hoping that we would hear from Roger, as he mentions the following in post 1:
    actually giving up on life at an early age (I mean completely giving up)
    This completely giving up is no small thing. Yet we find this notion in the kaṭhopaniṣat (kaṭha upaniṣad 1.2.20), offered in the following verse:
    ( I add the devanāgarī script i.e. saṃskṛt only for my practice and for those that care to inspect the verse)

    अणोरणीयान्महतो महीया नात्माऽस्य जन्तोर्निहितो गुहायाम् ।
    तमक्रतुः पश्यति वीतशोकोधातुप्रसादान्महिमानमात्मनः ॥ २०

    aṇoraṇīyānmahato mahīyānātmā'sya jantornihito guhāyām |
    tamakratuḥ paśyati vītaśokodhātuprasādānmahimānamātmanaḥ || 20|| 1.2.20

    The key term is akratuḥ or a+ kratuḥ. Looking at the word's components we have the following: not (a) + will, intention, desire (kratu). It is = to 'without active will' and therefore = to completely giving up. Let me then offer the relevant part of this verse.
    It says to the one without active will (
    akratuḥ) freed from sorrow beholds the glory of (the) Self (ātmanaḥ) by His grace (dhātuprasādā).

    So, this completely giving up is quite rewarding to the jijñāsu1 (~ seeker ~). To others this giving up may be viewed as ‘loss’. The loss of things to many has little attraction. Yet for the jijñāsu ( code for mumukṣuḥ2 ) this is a most welcomed occurrence. In this case it is not the loss of things ( house, car, clothing, family) but of the ignorance that binds one into thinking I am the body, I am a manager, I am big/small, I am happy then sad – all these things that people think they are, but not their authentic nature (Self).

    Q: Is it possible to ~practice~ giving up ( akratuḥ )?
    A: Yes, one method is called pratiprasava; the term means 'counter order' , returning to the original condition. This is call out in patañjali’s yogadarśana ( yoga-sūtras), chandogya upaniṣad , and the vijñānabhairava tantra ( some prefer to call it śivavijñānopaniṣat).
    Q: But I wish to do this ‘giving up’ by devotional service (for the bhakta).
    A: Yes, this is possible and here it would be called prapatti – or unswerving surrender.
    Q: Yet I want to practice not with my eyes closed but during the day.
    A: Yes, this is niṣkama action – that is, unselfish actions (niṣkriya)

    All of these approaches require one thing ( as I have found); no pretending. No self-hypnosis that one is doing it and really just running through the methods pretending i.e. one must make the resolve (kratuḥ)


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    1. jijñāsu - desirous of knowing , inquiring into , examining; but of what ? Self, Being, pure awareness
    2. mumukṣu – the one eager to be free from mundane existence of the world ; free from duality and differentiated/fractured awareness
    Last edited by yajvan; 22 May 2017 at 07:12 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Can a missed life be someone's last life?

    Namaste,

    Quote Originally Posted by RogerOwens View Post
    Can everyone (including me), if they want to and make the effort, be done with worldly lives at the end of this lifetime, and should everyone want to and make it a goal for the end of this lifetime?
    Interesting questions!

    I am not sure how can I assume that merely making an effort to stop the cycle of reincarnation at personal level will translate to that actually happening. That is the most desirable thing to happen to a living entity but it is totally out of our control. We have to live with the results of our past karma and elevate ourselves to a spiritual level - however high the threshold is - before we are given the privilege of getting off the train of rebirths. It is the Divine that decides as to when we have made it, rather than our wishful thinking or us making an effort towards ensuring this life to be the last one. When I occupy myself with something which only the Divine has control over, I waste valuable time in getting to the stage where I might become worthy of the desired results. I believe it was Thoreau who said, "I have never met a person who was fully awake, how could see him in the face?" The spiritual light from a realized soul who had earned the right to transcend the cycle of birth and death would be blinding for me.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 11 June 2017 at 01:09 PM.

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    Re: Can a missed life be someone's last life?

    Namaste Roger,

    I would try to answer your questions :
    Quote Originally Posted by RogerOwens View Post
    Is release from (the appearance of) reincarnation available to everyone?
    Yes. It is always available to anyone and everyone.

    Is enlightenment, whatever it is, accessible to everyone in this lifetime, if only they find out what they need to find out? And would exemption from rebirth even be desirable for everyone even if it were possible?
    Enlightenment and release from the cycles of births and deaths are simultaneous. Once you are enlightened (as Buddhists say) or Sef-realised (as Hindus say), you are free from the cycles of births and deaths as the main cause of being in this trap is our "ignorance of our Own True nature" and once that cause is removed there no SamsAra and no births and no deaths.

    Can everyone (including me), if they want to and make the effort, be done with worldly lives at the end of this lifetime, and should everyone want to and make it a goal for the end of this lifetime?
    There is no need to wait for coming to the end of lifetime before trying for enlightenment. You can do as soon as you realise the need and hat is better. Even if you do at the end of lifetime, it is OK.

    I’m interested in what traditional Hindu Vedanta says about that.
    The above is as per Vedanta.

    My impression was that the traditional view was that only a rare few people will be done with lifetimes at the end of this life. Isn’t that true? (My feeling now is that that’s how it is)
    This is not a rule but this is what happens because it is difficult to shed our attachments to this body/mind/worldly pleasures and pains i.e. samskArs. However, if anyone is able to do that he/she is free.

    If I spend the rest of this life counting on worldly life ending for me at the end of this life, with an attitude of rejection and renunciation of continuing worldly life, that couldn’t be very good for my next life, if I’m reborn in spite of my expectations, wishes and attitude of renunciation and rejection.
    Renunciation leads to cessation of desires and that leads to release from our bondage. If there are wishes and desires left, the aim of renunciation is not achieved and that leads to re-birth(s) for fulfilling those wishes/desires and activities and chances arising out of stored impressions in mind.

    If a person completely misses their youth, if their early life consisted only of missing-out on life, due to being cowed by their parents, and other bullies, into actually giving up on life at an early age (I mean completely giving up), long before starting school, so early that they don’t even remember any details of what was going on…Would it make any sense at all for that person to expect to be done with worldly life at the end of this lifetime? That’s my question, and it’s about me.
    As you are alive and asking this question, your "giving up" act means me to me as you are in depressed state and losing interests in life/world. Renunciation is not getting into state of depression. You are depressed means that you expected something from that this world and that is not fulfilled and that is basically due to attachment to your desires. So, if the situation changes, these desires which are now sleeping will arise again. So, this state will again give rise to next birth and that would be painful again. You have to be emotionally strong. You must learn to be happy by yourself. Love others just for your own inner happiness as all beings have God inside. Shift your focus from your miseries to alleviation of other people's miseries. If that doesn't happen, you will be born with the similar traits in your mind and your miseries would continue. We have to remove all our negative traits within us with our own efforts in this life itself if we don't want those traits and tendencies to continue in our next lives.

    Sure, this a most unusual situation, and a most unusual life. That’s why I can’t find my question being answered anywhere.
    You may think so but there are several people of your type.

    So: Would it make any sense for me to expect to be done with worldly lifetimes at the end of this life? Could that be possible, or even desirable, given my background?
    My dear friend, you are never "unfit for enlightenment" or "unfit for the grace of God" ! You are sinner or unfit because you think so for yourself. You cannot change the past. Change the present and the future. Shift your focus to alleviating pains in others. Live for making someone's else life cheerful. Live i love for each and everyone because you are none but Brahman. All your miseries are just a bad dream. Please shake this dirt of your past memories off which you are carrying. You decide that you would be happy in God's love ... that is all you need to be happy. Help others as much as you can. Meditate and feel the God's presence within yourself. See God in all beings. If anything bad happens to you, accept it as God's wish and pray to him with all love to God to make it easy for you.

    Can such an outrageously, ridiculously, missed life be someone’s last lifetime? Would that make any sense?
    There is no life which is so bad that it is unfit for being the last lifetime. Yours is no exception. Just change your attitude and thinking patterns.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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