Concept of Reincarnation as a science
There are several factors that are involved in understanding this higher law of nature. Let us understand these complexities one by one.
It may be too premature to decide that these phenomena are totally accidental. Sages said that these talents were there in the unmanifest in the form of possibilities, and are ready to manifest at the right time. Let us try to understand what this means. What is this unmanifest? What did the sages mean by manifesting it when the suitable time comes?. The Indian philosophy explained such phenomena (child prodigy) by proposing the concept of rebirth. The child who shows some extra ordinary talent in music must have been a very devoted student of classical music in the previous birth and this music has gone so deep into the person’s personality that he or she carries the music through the soul. This soul (sukshma sharira) while migrating after death into the next body carries this coded impression of the musical talent. This shows the extra ordinary relationship of the person with the music. This child must have nourished music close to her heart and spent all her life in music during her previous life which has entered into the present life. It is her investment through intense love for music that has given her this talent right from birth in this life. This knowledge from the scriptures helps us to realize that our life here is not a beginning and end all but it is a very small portion of a long journey. This applies not only to an art or music or an extraordinary phenomenon but it refers to each and every small thing that has shaped our personality and behaviour in every walk of life! Once we understand and experience this fact it makes us lot more responsible and cautious about any thing we do (good or bad) during this life which may leave us with a strong impression for the next life. Though we have many more desires to do or to achieve etc we don’t have a fitting instrument called body mind complex at the time of death we come back with new instrument called body mind complex with the whole idea of finishing the unfinished agenda. These unfinished desires and other things called as vasana and they are the cause for our rebirth or reincarnation l
The understanding of reincarnation makes you realize that you are not just what you are now. This present life is only a link in the continuum of your existence in this creation. Let me explain this a little more. Let us see what you mean by your ‘birth day’ which you celebrate with such great importance. It is just the day you came out of your mother’s womb and the people around saw. the baby with their eyes. Did you really come into existence on that day? You know that this so called ‘date of birth’ is only for relating it to the record of the world outside. This has very little to do with your original date of birth. You give so much importance to this date and celebrate year after year, although you know very clearly that you were there for 9 months in mother’s womb before coming out. From the womb if you go further back, you were there in the sperm of the father and the ovum of the mother. Take it further back. The scriptures say that all your faculties, fears, desires, etc that made you an unique personality were there in the form of coded impressions(karmas) in the soul (sukshma sharira) that left the previous body. This is the unmanifest seed in the subtle world that carries accumulated impressions (sanskaras) from several lives before. The scriptures go on to say that you chose to be born in this family culture because you wanted the congenial atmosphere to manifest those qualities during this life. The family that nurtured you gave you all the background nutrition through generations of the value systems and traditions. In fact we can see that this choice is reflected even in the physical features as genetic coding that determines the shape of the nose or color of the hair etc.. For example if your intense desire was to become a film actress you will chose a family of beautiful people and not ugly people. This shows up at the time of birth itself as physical features of the baby and its mannerisms. We say ‘wow, the baby is so tall, pretty with long fingers and toes and blue eyes she will become an actress like her great grand mum’.
Thus we may now say that this nature’s law is: Large number of unique abilities are there in the unmanifest, in the form of possibilities, and are ready to manifest at the right time. These are in the form of very strong possibilities only and we need to make them manifest through our efforts. If we fail in our efforts, then it can not express itself’. In this process besides our self effort to actualize there are other factors which are environmental etc.
Environment and nurture
Now let us consider the contribution of the environment to the component of ‘nurture’. The place you grow, the people around, the values of your parents seeded into you is necessary to shape you up. That is why it is said that we are in a web of life. In this web of life we are even connected with the planets and stars etc, to some degree or the other. Though all these effects are there from various forces one most important primary force which is responsible for our journey is the self effort which is one’s own will power. If one has a strong will power then all ‘like forces’ join hands and help him in that direction and he can resist the ‘opposing forces’. On the other hand if one has a weak will power other forces will drag him in all other directions.
Rabindranath Tagore’s father wanted to protect the child from the influence of the Indian surroundings right from his early childhood. He wanted him to be influenced by the British ways. He engaged special teachers to teach him at home and when it did not work out he sent him to England to educate him under strict supervision. But Tagore’s will power was so strong once he came back from England he went back to his original interest. The love for nature and poetry that was suppressed for a long time found its expression. He started writing poetry, which was not the liking of his father at all. The father wanted him to be a scientist and not an artist. But what was the result? Tagore became a great a poet to be rewarded with a noble prize. Thus we see how a strong will power can resist any outside force. In Tagore’s case we can see the play of all the factors we have mentioned until now. (a) He had the seed of becoming a great poet from his previous birth (b) his jiva (soul)chose to be born in this family because it needed the congenial environment of nurture that included the atmosphere of a rich Indian Bengali family full of soft emotions along with the strong will power and intelligence of the father (although he did not use them to grow the way the father wanted) (c) the stay in England helped him to obtain the British training in hard work, punctuality, meticulousness and mastery over English language and (d) the strong will power to achieve excellence. Thus he could flower out fully when all these aspects came together i.e. the basic poetic tendency from his previous birth, the strong will power of the father, the soft emotions from the mother and Bengali state culture, and the training in British culture and English language.
- to be continued...
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