The Concept of Rebirth leads to the conclusion that nothing happens by accident. This is not a fatalistic idea, however, since whatever happens is both the result of previous choices and actions and is necessary for completing the experience of the individual. What happens to us is the fulfillment of what we have done in the past; what is to be in the future will likewise be the result of present action. The karma created by previous action cannot be altered. We can, however, determine future birth. Knowledge, alone liberates from the wheel of rebirth, wisdom and knowledge purity the way of life and action. The aspirant, must continuously prepare himself for receiving true knowledge, which will enlighten and liberate him. He must look for the deeper levels of knowledge beneath and behind the superficiality of fact and cognitive experience.
The selfless action is the means by which we can attain the highest spiritual realisation leading to liberation from rebirths.
The advantage of reincarnation in human form is that it provides the one reborn with a certain degree of free will, which can be used for spiritual progress and for overcoming the bonds of past karma. It is necessary to understand that there are four kingdoms in the cosmos: The human, the animal, the vegitable and the kingdom of clay and stone. Human life affords the opportunity of evolution towards a certain destiny, that destiny being determined by ourselves alone. When we become dependent upon the fruits of our actions our destiny takes a form which may necessitate many, additional lives; but through selfless action liberation can be achieved in this life
About the Author
Dr. Salila Nayak, 'Anjali', the author was born in 11th feb 1959 at Bhubaneshwar capital of Orissa, brought up in Chabish Para (Distt. Bhadrak) with love and affection of Maya Devi (MAMA) the grand mother. Her school life has been moulded by her teacher Sri Ambica Charna Panda of Midnapur. Throughout of her college carrier she has been secured first class. She has been graduated with 1st class Hons. (Sanskrit) and distinction from Bhadrak College and Post Graduated from Vani-Vihar Utkal University. She has completed her M.Phil and Ph.D degree from Delhi University. Her thsis "The variants of the root to sleep in the Mahabharata" has already been published. One Sanskrit book with the title "Prakrit Vyakaranam" has been published. Oriya book with the title "Bharatiya Sanskrti me Nari" (The Women in Indian Literature) is under publication. Her two books are under preparation with the title, "An approach to Kalidasa", and "Technique in the structure of Astadhyayi. Her D. Lit. thesis is one the Sex sublimation in Sanskrit Literature.
Many research paper of author has been published in the felicitation Vol. Of Delhi University and Utkal University and in other Research Journals of state and National levels.
She has delivered a series of talks regarding women in A.I.R, Berhampur, Ganjam, Orissa.
After getting divine encouragement and mental preparation I started to write about Rebirth, observing the activities of different persons and different activities of different persons and different activities of same person.
Present study is based on the concept of Rebirth, which means renewal of life; change of spirit : the rebirth of learning in the western world. The living being is eternal by nature, but due to his bondage in material existence he has to change his body over and over. The process is called the transmigration of the soul. The living entity has to work for his livelihood, because that is the law of material nature, and if he does not act according to his prescribed duties, he transgresses the law of nature and binds himself more and more to the cycle of birth and death. The Isopanisad justifiably declares;
If a man fails to discharge his duties as a human being, he is forced to transmigrate to the asurya planets and take birth in degraded species of life to work hard in ignorance and darkness.
One unavoidable factor in life is that none can continue living life without experience, since life is merely a continuity of experiences. The moment the individual has stopped experiencing anything within or without, he is considered to be dead and thereafter decay sets in and the form and structure of the persons crumbles down to become the very elements of which it was constituted.
In every experience man yearns to gain the perfect; he wants happiness and peace. Perfect and endless happiness alone satisfy him. Thus, seeking new occasions to experience a more perfect and complete happiness, he goes from one set of circumstances to another pattern of situations created by changing the arrangement of things; all in the hope that he may procure for himself a greater and better happiness, fuller and deeper.
Whatever be the type of experience that we may gain, it is certain that an experience can be gained only when we come across the world of the experienced. We feel and know by experience that we are eternal and this existence of the soul can not be limited by time nor manifested through duration. In life, it is before all things useful to perfect the understanding or reason; in this alone man's highest happiness or blessedness consists; indeed, blessedness is nothing else than contentment of spirit, which arises from the intuitive knowledge of spirit, which arises from the intuitive knowledge of God. To perfect the understanding is nothing other than to understand God, his attributes and the actions which follow from the necessity of his nature.
There can be no reality apart from experience, says idealism. Not only the Hindus, but also all the religions of the world accord their opinions about Rebirth.
The urgent need of moral reform was perceived by many people in Arabia before the advent of Muhammad. Indeed Muhammed received his first "divine revelation" in the solitudes of the mountains near mecca. He proclaimed that God had inspired him to be His Messenger to mankind. He opined that, who having the power to help some one does help him, God will help him in this world and the hereafter; and if he does not help him, having the power to help him, God will pursue him for it in this world and the hereafter.
According to Jesus "every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, cast into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you shall know them."
The goodness or badness of an act depends on the object at which it aims the purpose or intention of the agent and the circumstances. These must conform to the rule of reason, which is the principled of human conduct. The supreme criterion of moral conduct is the reason of God, the eternal or divine law, the laws of the old and the New Testament. "The law of the old testament has earthly goal, demands just works, and has fear for its motive, the law of the New Testament has a heavenly goal, demands holiness of will, and its motive is love.
The soul is an intelligent, sensitive, and vital principle, a trinity which forms and moves the body predisposed to such action, as well as feels, thinks, and wills.
The intelligent soul can, therefore, exercise its functions without a body; it is immortal. "after the dissolution of the body it can remain active." There is not one universal intelligence as the Arabians held; if there were, man would be neither a rational or a moral being, his thinking and willing would be the work of something distinct from him. The individual soul continues after death to exist in all its parts, as intellect, sense soul, and organic soul for these constitute one single soul and forms a newbody for itself like its old one. The human soul knows universal and is, therefore, immaterial, hence separation from the body can not destroy it; and since it is an actual form (a living principle), it can not perish, for actuality (life) implies continued existence.
According to Hume, the "self" is merely a bundle of experiences from birth to death, the experiences occur in temporally successive order, and this whole series constitutes the bundle; there is no self beyond the bundle of experiences, and the bundle simply is the whole series of experiences. We may call this the bundle theory of the self.
There are some philosophers who imagine we are every moment intimately conscious of what we call our self; that we feel its existence and its continuance in existence for my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at anytime without a perception, and never can observe anything but perception. Hume is aware only of certain states of consciousness (Hume calls them "Perception" in this passage) but not of the self that has them. Like most of the Indian sages Tagore believes that man should realies the "ultimate truth" which will liberate him from the cycle of birth and death. Experience, according to him is within the world of Maya (appearance). He advocated that man should live for the ultimate Truth which liberate us from the bondage of death and unites us with God.
In the first part there is the description of rebirth in ancient scriptures and second part there is a research oriented studies on Rebirth in Sanskrit Literature. In third part the contemporary philosophers view on Rebirth and in last but not least there is the description of how one will be free from rebirth.
In order to appreciate this book one should not only known the effects of Rebirth but must know the causes also. Then alone one can understand the impact of many discussions, analyses and descriptions given herein. Illustrations also present concepts and informations not otherwise contained in this book.
The materials for this book have been procured from observations and experimentations. At the sametime certain standared books and research publications have also been profitable consulted. Indeed, without the help of these works, this book would not have assumed the present shape. These books and research papers have been duly listed in the foot notes all through the text and also in the bibliography given at the end. The author expresses her gratitude to the writers and publishers of all these.
It will ridiculous on the part of the author to claim any originality in a work of this nature for which she has necessarily depended upon numerous standard books. However she feels that certain inferences, conclusions and interpretations give at relevant places through out the text have been own. And the glossary serve as the useful tools in understanding different words.
The author expresses her thanks to her family members, her grateful thanks to her teachers. Thanks to Mr. Inder Kalra and Mrs Pramila Kalra for their help at the time of material collection at Delhi university, Delhi. I am also thankful to Mr. Arun Kumar, of Library science, Delhi University for his co-operation and staffs of Central Reference Library.
I extend my thanks to Nag Publishers, Delhi for the keen interest he has shown for bringing out this book. And my thanks are dued to the Rastriya Sanskrit Samsthan for financing to publish this book.
Lastly I express my thanks to those who are directly or indirectly has rendered their help to publish this book.
Love at first sight is a certain feeling of a previous life altogether. These souls loved before. They remember that, and actually feel as if they had met each other. Faith in the preexistence of the soul is common feature of Hinduism, while faith in the post existence or immortality of the soul is common to almost all the great religions of the world. So long as there is ignorance, so long as there is desire, a man must pass through repeated births and deaths. This cycle is known as rebirth. As long as a man has not attained the highest freedom called Mukti or liberation, he has to be born again and again, and experience the bitter-sweet fruits of life.
In his lecture on "Reincarnation", Swami Vivekananda Says:
"The soul has an infinite past and also an infinite existence which connects the past, the present and the future, and transcends both time and space. The past and the future existences of the spirit are not known to us but in reality there is a continuum of existence. Though no body can deny the existence of his own self, its real nature can be understood only through the power of higher intuition"
The Katha upanisad says:
"This self cannot be seen through physical eyes for it is without visible form. But it can be realized in the depths of the purified heart. Those who know it become immortal".
The law of karma as well as the doctrine of transmigration is applicable only to bound souls, those people who identify themselves with their ego, mind, sense and body, they are born again and again. But those in whom a new, higher consciousness has dawned are freed from the false identification and realizing their true nature as the infinite spirit, are freed from the cycle of birth and death. They become immortal.
The subtle body is born again and again in new gross bodies and gains fresher experience. After each physical death the subtle body may remaining the subtle worlds for a time until the time for rebirth comes close.
According to the law of karma, a man takes his birth in a high family, or becomes rich, or very well educated, or very beautiful because of good works in the past life.
The demonic man knows no limit to his desire to acquire money. That is unlimited. He thinks only of how much assessment he has just now and schemes to engage that stock of wealth further and further. For that reason, he does not hesitate to act in any sinful way and so deals in the black market for illegal gratification. He is enamoured by the possessions he has already, such as land, family, house and bank balance and he is always planning to improve them. He believes in his own strength, and he does not know that whatever he is gaining is due to his past good deeds. He is given an opportunity to accumulate such things, but he has no conception of past causes. He simply thinks that all his mass of wealth is due to his own endeavour. A demoniac person believes in the strength of his personal work, not in the law of karma.
Any one with a material body cannot remember his past life, nor can he foretell his future life, nor can be predict the outcome of his present life, therefore he cannot know what is happening in the past, present and future, unless one is liberated from material contamination, he cannot know past present and future.
We are all our own ancestors, seen from the spiritual stand point, and we lonely reap what we ourselves have sown. But reincarnation is not the most vital point, we have to try to get full illumination in this very life. So reincarnation should never be stressed very much in spiritual life. If our present life is the result of our present efforts, Karma is never indentical with fate. The law of Karma is the law of effort intelligent, conscious self effort, never a teaching of fatalism and lethargy. So we should rather stress intense Sadhana than be fatalistic in our attitudes.
In vedic literature the living entity is called Jivatma and Brahman, but he is never called Parabhrahman. The living entity (Jivatma) takes different positions, sometimes he merges into the dark material nature and identifies himself with matter, and sometimes he identifies himself with the superior, spiritual nature. Therefore he is called the Supreme Lord's marginal energy. According to his identification with material or spiritual nature, he receives a material or spiritual body. In material nature he may take a body from any of the 8, 400,000 species of life, but in spiritual nature he has only one body.
In material nature he is manifested some times as a man, demigod, animal, beast, bird etc. according to his Karma.
One of the important arguments for reincarnation has been built by the Hindus on the feeling on instinct. Instinct is the result of past experience.
Man is born in this world, with his instincts, desires, emotions and passions. He is busy in his pursuits which are oriented towards happiness. Not being satisfied with what he is, he always hankers after something which he has not got, and again the chain reaction of efforts, resistance, success, failure and again efforts, goes on for ever.
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