One of the eternal mysteries that philosophers have grappled with is about what happens to the soul when we die. While religions such as Islam and Christianity take the view that humans are granted a single life and there is no rebirth, Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism are emphatic that a human life is but one of the many that the soul experiences in its journey to grow and live out accumulated karma.
Interestingly, the West too has had proponents of reincarnation; but to learn about them we need to go far back in time, back to the time of Plato and Socrates in Greece.
Skeptics may be unwilling to take the word of Krishna in the Bhagvad Gita, in which he tells his disciple, the warrior Arjun, “We have both taken many births. I remember each one of those, but you do not have any recollection of your past bodily manifestations.”
However, these lines from the sacred Hindu text tell us what research today is reaffirming and already there are huge databases of evidence in support of reincarnation and rebirth.
Enthusiasts and believers have painstakingly researched verifiable cases of reincarnation and today many such cases can be studied online.
Psychologists have noticed a pattern in the likes, dislikes, phobias, skills, and even in physical similarities between an individual in his present birth and the past life that he claims to have lived.
The concept of reincarnation is linked to the philosophy of karma. The soul comes back to reap what it sowed in previous births. Believers in reincarnation or rebirth state that we carry the impressions of our past births; this is what is known as “Samskara” in Hindu and Buddhist thought. And this “Samskara” dictates the circumstances of a birth. Our past actions decide whether we will be born in a family of cobblers, businessmen, or to a single mother.
Knowledge that each birth is a milestone in our journey to attaining spiritual perfection can serve to steel us against vices that invariably pull us down and tie us to the cycle of birth and rebirth.
It can help us reject the impermanent and ethereal in favor of permanent bliss, the kind that saints and sages talk about in their discourses.
If you have experienced a feeling of being at a place before, an attraction for an individual, a sense of calm at a particular location, then hold on those feelings. These are subtle indicators of a life lived earlier.
Such events are also a sign that your consciousness has evolved sufficiently to actually register these indicators.
You are moving up the spiritual path. Don’t let go. Meditate. Repeatedly ask yourself the question “Who am I?” “Am I this corporeal body?” “What is the purpose of my existence on this Earth?”
Such contemplation is the secret to taking full advantage of the signals that our mind sends to us to figure out about where we’ve come from.
Tibetan philosophy holds that enlightened souls can choose where they will take birth. And many Dalai Lamas, the spiritual heads of Tibetan Buddhists, are considered to be reincarnations of earlier Dalai Lamas.