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Chapter VI: Beautiful, Intelligent Ignorance.

How are famous reincarnation stories explained by Vedanta?

The Macrocosmic Mind and the Three Gunas, The Three Bodies, The Gross Body, Superimposition, The Subtle Body – “Me”, Doubt, Resolve the Doubt and Act, The Seeds, Dharma, Your Nature – Svadharma, Universal Values – Samanya Dharma, Situational Ethics – Visesa Dharma, Ordinary Dharma – Everyday Dharma, Body Dharma, Appropriate Response, Law of Karma – A Spinning Whirligig of Energy.

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How are famous reincarnation stories explained by Vedanta?

Postby georgschiller » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:38 pm

Hello everybody,

I've got a question which has followed me for quite some time and I never came across with a totally satisfying answer to the question of Reincarnation. There are popular - even famous stories of reincarnation - like the one explained in the link below. There are stories of children who at a very young age had extraordinary explanations of past lives. They have such precise information about their past profession, machines, landscapes, people, their names, etc.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... -life.html

From a Buddhists point of view it is easy, they just believe in reincarnation (as most Asian countries do).
From what I know Vedanta describes it in the way that Vasanas get reborn (but does this include information such as people, profession, etc. from past lives?).
I also have heard that reincarnation only refers to thoughts and that identification with it stops. I am sure that is not the complete explanation of Vedanta.
That is why I am asking this question to get a deeper understanding and familiarity with Vedanta!

Thx a lot :)
Georg
georgschiller
 
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Re: How are famous reincarnation stories explained by Vedant

Postby Vinay » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:19 am

Georg, are you familiar with the 3 bodies teaching?

If not, have a look at this image:
http://www.shiningworld.com/site/images/charts/Self-Not-Self-1.jpg

If you see there are 3 components in the Subtle Body. There is one more component called "Memory" which is not shown in the image. When a person dies the Gross Body is destroyed but the Causal & Subtle bodies transmigrate and take up another Gross Body.

So Memory being a function of the Subtle Body is available in the new incarnation as well, but is repressed. However in some people's cases like the example you mentioned, they are able to recall past events. That also explains why child prodigies are born since they carry forwards skills learned in their previous lives.

Hope this helps!
Vinay
 
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Re: How are famous reincarnation stories explained by Vedant

Postby georgschiller » Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:15 am

Thank you a lot Vinay!!

That memory is part of the subtle body makes absolute sense! A big question mark of mine has been solved!!

P.s. do you know if there is a video or text by James Swartz on this topic? I would like to know more about reincarnation, child prodigies, etc. But it is not so important... :)
georgschiller
 
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Re: How are famous reincarnation stories explained by Vedant

Postby Vinay » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:37 am

P.s. do you know if there is a video or text by James Swartz on this topic? I would like to know more about reincarnation, child prodigies, etc. But it is not so important... :)


I'm sure Ramji has talked a lot on this topic, but it must be hidden within various videos. I don't know of any videos dedicated exclusively on this topic. Your best bet would be searching for Satsangs on reincarnation.


Vinay
 
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Re: How are famous reincarnation stories explained by Vedant

Postby georgschiller » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:54 am

Oh, thanks again Vinay!

Can I ask you another question?

Since the number of humans has greatly increased over the past century I have been wondering where do all the reincarnation come from?
I mean lets just say 200 years ago there were 1000 million people on earth and today there are about 7300 million people. Every year about 80 million people get born. Where do the reincarnation come from when there were not so many people on earth before. And more interestingly, lets assume world population will shrink down to 100 million people in 40 years due to massive catastrophes. where do all the reincarnation go if there are not many humans left to have children?

this question is just out of curiosity and I guess there is no real answer to it. I remember Chinmaya said once to a similar question that we all go to heaven if global catastrophes happen.

thx again Vinay for your knowledge and time :)
Georg
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Re: How are famous reincarnation stories explained by Vedant

Postby Vinay » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:14 am

Since the number of humans has greatly increased over the past century I have been wondering where do all the reincarnation come from?


This is a common question. Here's my take on it. Someone can correct me if I am wrong.

1) Firstly, according to the creation theory of Vedanta all the Jivas were created at the time of creation. A Jiva is anything that has a Subtle Body. So plants, animals and humans are all Jivas. So all Jivas that existed on earth in the past, that are living today, and those that will be born in future.. all were created at the time of creation. So no new Jivas are being created. The 7 billion 'human' Jivas have always existed.

2) Secondly, time is not real. In a non-dual reality there can be no time. So at the level of the macrocosm, at the level of Isvara, there is no time. So all Jivas, in a way, as a part of the macrocosm exist out of time.

3) So according to a Jiva's karma they incarnate at varying points in time. One Jiva can be born in 5,000 BC, then 700 BC and then in the 21st century. Another Jiva can incarnate for the first time on earth in the 21st century because of its particular bundle of Karmas.

So perhaps the Samashti Karma (collective Karma) of the world requires that a lot of incarnations happen at this point in time.

And more interestingly, lets assume world population will shrink down to 100 million people in 40 years due to massive catastrophes. where do all the reincarnation go if there are not many humans left to have children?


In Hinduism there is a concept of Lokas (worlds). Different lokas exist, and a person when dead, can be born in one of the other lokas. So if there is a drastic decrease in population, the Jivas may just go back into the macrocosm (Isvara), or be born in different Lokas, or maybe incarnate on other Earth like planets.

I remember Chinmaya said once to a similar question that we all go to heaven if global catastrophes happen.


The concept of heaven is different in Hinduism from other religions. Heaven is also a loka (world) where a Jiva can be born to enjoy the fruits of its good karma (Punyam). And when its Punyam is exhausted, it's reborn on Earth or similar worlds. So according to the scriptures you won't get to enjoy heaven if you don't have a lot of good karma.

Hope this helps. This is my understanding from what I've learned so far. I may also be wrong on some points :) , but I think you can get the general idea.
Vinay
 
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Re: How are famous reincarnation stories explained by Vedant

Postby georgschiller » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:48 pm

Thank you again! This makes absolute sense!
I love the idea of different lokas, heaven and the possibility of being reincarnated with time pauses of several hundred years (that explains some stuff for me because I have recurrent images of a life as a human way back before agriculture started) or being reincarnated for the first time at all! Also that there is no time because everything is non-dual is great!
Thanks a lot!! I love this stuff :)
georgschiller
 
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Re: How are famous reincarnation stories explained by Vedant

Postby Anja » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:46 pm

georgschiller wrote:Hello everybody,

I've got a question which has followed me for quite some time and I never came across with a totally satisfying answer to the question of Reincarnation. There are popular - even famous stories of reincarnation - like the one explained in the link below. There are stories of children who at a very young age had extraordinary explanations of past lives. They have such precise information about their past profession, machines, landscapes, people, their names, etc.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... -life.html

From a Buddhists point of view it is easy, they just believe in reincarnation (as most Asian countries do).
From what I know Vedanta describes it in the way that Vasanas get reborn (but does this include information such as people, profession, etc. from past lives?).
I also have heard that reincarnation only refers to thoughts and that identification with it stops. I am sure that is not the complete explanation of Vedanta.
That is why I am asking this question to get a deeper understanding and familiarity with Vedanta!

Thx a lot :)
Georg


In traditional advaita-vedanta, as I understand it, it's like this:

It's not the individual that get's reborn or reincarnated. It's the impersonal vasanas and samskakras that need a new body to perform a certain task. The impersonal Self gets itself a self, a jiva, a body-mind, for the sake of experiencing. And by that overcomming certain desires that aren't in line with the totality of existence.

In other words, it's not the individual that incarnates, it's the Atman that picks a certain genetical set, like parents and a country, that seem to be the best vehicle to do that particular task.

Children remind what their task, their goal, their aim was when they are young enough and not having been programmed by societies delusions already. But that does not mean they, as the currant jiva, are re-incarnated as a jiva.

Here is where Ishvara comes into the picture. Ishvara, as I understand the principle, is where certain patterns (Vasanas and samskaras) play out. Patterns as in karmic dutys, who get picked up by a new jiva to be a part of the solution. The Ishvara principle itself, which is about balance, picks a jiva (a body-mind) for the sake of playing out what needs to be played out.

In my case, for example, I was educated by non-capitalists, non-religious people in western germany in my first 20 years of life. Then I worked in the media buisness and then I became insane in the eyes of the "normal" everyday society I'm still a part of. Now I'm a writer, talking about my experiences and about what I think is wrong with normal, regular (western) society, under the premise of traditional advaita-vedanta.

And that is not a job I would recommend whole-heartedly. Although it's what I love to engage in.
Anja
 


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