Friday, January 6, 2012


Life, Death and rebirth
Since the soul is eternal; it is neither born nor does it die. What we call death is the soul leaving the body that
had become too dysfunctional and uninhabitable for it. The soul is then given a new body to continue on its journey. This changing of bodies by the soul is called reincarnation. The Bhagavad Geeta explains this in a very wonderful way:
dehino ‘sminyathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntaraprāptirdhīrastatra na muhyati
(Bhagavad Geeta 2.13)
“The soul changes bodies in this life itself, from childhood to youth, to old age. Similarly, at the time of death, the soul changes bodies. The wise are not bewildered by it.”  The Western world believes that this is the only life we have, and the religions that have originated in India say that we keep taking births, until we are liberated from Maya. Since we have not seen the past or future lives, how can we be sure that the concept of rebirth is correct?, 
Swamiji clarifying on the topic of rebirth
The Nyāya Darśhan gives the following proof of rebirth:
jātasya harṣhabhayaśhokasampratipatteḥ (Nyāya Darśhan 3.1.18)
It says if you observe a little baby, you will find that without any apparent reason it sometimes becomes happy, sometimes sad, and sometimes fearful. The Nyāya Darśhan explains that the little baby is remembering its past life, and hence experiencing these emotions.
The Nyāya Darśhan gives another proof of rebirth:
stanyābhilāṣhāt (Nyāya Darśhan 3.1.21)
It says that a new born baby has no knowledge of language. How can a mother teach it to suckle the breast when it is inserted in its mouth? However, the baby has experience of drinking milk from the breasts, teats, and udders of innumerable mothers in infinite past lives, even in animal forms. Hence, when the mother puts her breast in the baby’s mouth, it automatically starts suckling from past practice.
Without accepting the concept of rebirth, it is impossible to explain the disparity between human beings. For example, let us suppose someone is blind from birth. If that person were to ask you, what did he do that he was punished in this way, what answer would you give him? If you said it was the result of his karmas, he would respond that if there was no previous life then there were no past karmas at the time of birth. If you said that it was the will of God, he would reply that if God is all-Merciful, why would He want someone to
be blind? The only logical answer would be that the person had had previous lives and it was the consequence of that person’s karmas from past lives.
Most of the Eastern religions accept the principle of rebirth. Actually, many famous intellectuals and thinkers in the Western hemisphere have also believed in it, for example Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Schelling,
Most early Christians accepted it, but in the sixth century, in the Council that took place, King Justinian rejected the concept of rebirth, and took out all reference to it. He banned belief in it, and said that those who mention it will be punished. The Sufi tradition of Islam believes in rebirth. The famous Sufi Saint Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi said: “I have had many many births before I became human.”
 Muslim, Khurasani, are other Sufi Saints who have also talked about rebirth. Also, the Shias amongst the Muslims believe that the soul is born repeatedly.