DID I EXIST BEFORE AND
WILL I BE BORN AGAIN?
A quest into the quest of all
A quest into the quest of all
DID I EXIST BEFORE …. and …. WILL I BE BORN AGAIN?
These two perennial questions have haunted human beings since time immemorial, and have been answered in many mystic and clear ways.
This book presents the answers given from time to time in a logical and convincing sequence and concludes in such a way that it is the final answer and no other argument is needed or can be given.
This book presents a curious and independent investigation, shows a general as well as personalized approach and settles the question forever by accepting and declaring that the aim of this journey is to attain God. The soul attains it and is freed. Read the book for that Moksha (salvation).
Detailed Synopsis of the Book:
DID I EXIST BEFORE …. is a theosophical book dealing with the subject of ‘life before and after this mortal realm’ . Based on his perceptions of the life principles and personal belief, the author strives to establish that the creation is a process beyond any beginning or end in which each soul (and its soul-mate) is ‘separated’ from the Great Soul for a spiritual ‘Hide-and-Seek’, to find Him back using his own free will. To make this Hide-and-Seek intricate and interesting – and, at the same time, full of meaning and purpose – God (The Great Soul) inspired each soul to find his or her soul-mate and rush together to meet Him. Those who found their soul-mates are close to finding God since ‘human heart’ is the common dwelling-place of both the ‘Beloveds’. Material love becomes a tunnel through which one emerges in the realm of Immortal Love.
The single purpose for the creation of this multi-faceted universe and human souls is: To love God as God loves His creatures and so He created them. The way to God is through this colorful, transient world. This finite world contains in itself both postulations for a soul – every atom guides here to the abode of the Most Beloved and, simultaneously, it has messes and snares to withhold the seeker from journeying to the Divine. Every soul is free to choose its course - either to behold this mortal charm from an ‘eternal’ vista or witness this eternal magic of life from a ‘mortal’ vista. To wander and be lost in this forest ... or drink its fresh-gushing water, partake of its yummy fruits, and – fresh and rejuvenated – rush to the Beloved. With the sequential fluttering of the wings of ‘free will’ and ‘destiny’ the swan of the soul will soar to the sky – leaving the indelible trails of ‘karma’ which will guide his journey further … in the next life!
Choosing the course to God requires a highly developed spiritual drive. No soul can attain this perfection in a single life effort. It has to come and go again and again, learn from its own pangs and pleasures, till it finally knows that this entire world is but a ‘meaningful phantasmagoria’ for the evolution of the soul.
The book, written in a lucid style, is enriched with suitable and authenticating quotations from Baha’i texts, the Bible, the Geeta, the Quran and other sources, and yet they are limited to retain the book’s original flavor as an open-hearted book for any general reader who is curious to know about his or her existence before and after, rather than making it a burdening philosophical treatise.
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THE CHAPTERS OF THE BOOK:
1. Believe it or Leave it, 2. The stage is Set, 3. The Indomitable Force of Life, 4. From Unmanifest to Manifest, 5. The Myriad Worlds, 6. In the Ocean of Eternity, 7. The Beginning That has no Beginning, 8. Love Me so that I May Love thee, 9. I ‘Attracted’ this Life, 10. Levels of Consciousness, 11. Death: The Messenger of Joy, 12. Detachment and Surrender, 13. Did I exist Before?
READ A SAMPLE CHAPTER FROM THE BOOK
BELIEVE IT OR LEAVE IT
Genius is experience. Some seem to think that it is a gift of talent, but it is the fruit of long experience in many lives. Some are older souls than others, and so they know more.
The greatest impediment to revelation of truth has ever been our ‘colored spectacles’ to see it. We never stand near truth as an ‘unknown’, ‘unlearned’, ‘unachieved’, and ‘unprejudiced’ individual. The first thing we do before setting an ‘appointment’ with truth is to wear our spectacles, because we are always afraid thinking ‘oh, what if the color of truth is something else than I believe?’ So, some go wearing Hindu specks, some putting on Christian goggles, yet others Islamic binoculars …. and there are many other spectacles! An average Hindu stands there defensive of his deep-rooted belief in ‘reincarnation’. A Muslim is fully alert that no fact should appear that proves the theory of reincarnation because, as they say, it is against the teaching of Islam. A Christian also stands quite ready with his protective radars ON so that nothing goes against Christian teachings that have no belief in rebirth. Similarly, a Baha’i has his own defensive shield, because their religion does not believe in ‘reincarnation’ in line with the Hindu concepts, and a Buddhist appears with a different posture. Nothing can be a worse treatment with truth than seeing it with eyes fully blind and mind completely unreceptive.
I feel that everyone who is going to read this book should, for a moment, hurl away his or her ‘isms’ in the Indian Ocean (or the Pacific Ocean, if that is nearer)! Please don’t tailor the truth according to your tenet but tailor your tenet according to the truth.
I personally have a great respect for all religions and their teachings and I am a person whose daily prayer session includes sincere reading of verses from the Geeta, the Quran, the Bible and Baha’i Prayers, and, if I can get, I will like to add more Scriptures to my prayer session. That’s because I want to see the truth from several windows so that my mind settles in complete certitude. At the same time, I also maintain that each individual has to find his or her truth by himself or herself, because truth is a very ‘relative’ term ….. relative with time, with space, with individual, with the level of knowledge which is always in progressive mode, etc. and yet truth is ‘absolute’, too! These two aspects of ‘truth’ – its relativity and absoluteness – must be observed carefully to grasp the full picture. What Krishna said in His time was not all contextual with a progressive time. For example, He said that He created four ‘varnas’ (castes or groups based on their work and skills): Brahmins, the learned class; Kshatriyas, the ruler and warrior class; Vaishyas, the trader class; and Shudras, the serving class. Can even a staunch Hindu honestly admit today that this ‘classification’ is just and applicable in today’s society? Is it possible to divide this complex human society, with ever-increasing activities day by day, in these four ‘compartments’, especially when they became a class-order based on exalting one over the other? The fact is: many things that Krishna taught and many things that He did not specifically teach were ‘relative’ to His time, relative to the capacity and receptivity of the people of His time. There are many things that Krishna did not at all ‘talk about’. For example, He did not reveal any significant amount of teaching about “equality of men and women” but Baha’u’llah did so. While reading the Scriptures blindfolded, we must remember this specific nature of truth. Now, since Krishna did not say anything about equality of men and women, it does not mean that He did not consider this equality valid or He was against the equality of men and women. In His indirect teachings and through His personal example He amply showed that He loved and safeguarded women and valued their dignity.
Every religion in its respective time teaches about the ‘core values’ relevant for that time. Every Messenger appears as a divine Teacher who teaches us on two bases – first, the ‘spiritual curriculum’ prescribed by God and, second, the receptivity of the people. Just consider yourself to be a pupil in Grade 1. The teacher who came to teach you is learned enough to guide you into the principles of syntax and etymology, but he limits himself to teaching you alphabet and simple words. Because the syllabus prescribed to him does not allow him to go beyond that nor it will be in your capacity to know about etymology and syntax before you have learnt alphabet.
Geeta, Tripitak, Talmud, Zendavesta, Tattvarthasutra, Bible, Analects, Kojiki, Chuang-tzu, Quran, Bayan, Aqdas, Adi Granth, Dianetics – whatever Scripture can be named, none of them deal with “each and all” sphere of human life, they do not shed guidance on A to Z matters of spiritual realm. We cannot therefore make any Scripture a final basis to prove or disprove everything. They all focus on the ‘most vital teaching for that time’ and other matters become secondary. For example, the main emphasis of the Bible is on God’s kindness and the sins of the humankind and the appearance of the Christ to save us from our sins by offering His own life. Christianity is the religion of “faith” and “forgiveness” and the “immensity of God’s kindness” for all of us that culminated in the sacrifice of His own chosen son – Jesus Christ. The Quran focuses on the orders and disciplines of human life and the ultimate peace and salvation of mankind in surrendering before Allah. It deals with several other topics, as does Bible too, but the main focus are on these things only. Baha’u’llah lays His emphasis on practical activities with spiritual intents that can advance the human civilization as a unified body. Though His Writings shed light on many mystical aspects, His exhortation to mankind is to refrain from idle imaginings and waste no time in the pursuit of such knowledge that ‘begin with word and end with word’. Lord Krishna appeared in a different time when the subjects dealt in the Bible or the Quran or the Aqdas were not so relevant but the knowledge about the nature of soul was to be imparted essentially to an innocent-hearted seeker whose name was Arjuna (literally meaning, ‘The Simple One’). Let’s always remember this time-specific truth of the Holy Books and the Messengers of God before concluding anything.
Do Christianity and Islam believe in rebirth? This becomes a weighty question only when we first ask: Have Christianity and Islam dealt specifically with this question in any dedicated chapter or explanatory passage of the Bible and the Quran respectively? As stated above, these Scriptures had to focus on other aspects of life and spiritualism according to the mandate of God, but the “Geeta” deals with it in length, especially in its 2nd and 6th Chapters. However, many passages in the Bible and the Quran clearly refer to concepts like “rebirth”, “life again”, “heaven” and “a world beyond this world” and such things, in the same way as “Geeta” also teaches about the power of faith and surrender to God as an ‘under-current’.
Is there no belief in the Old Testament or the New Testament in previous life? Is it not true that Jesus Christ referred to the arrival of Prophet Elijah as John the Baptist?
“But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands”. …. Then the disciples understood that that He spoke to them of John the Baptist. – The Bible, Matthew 17: 12,13
What is the meaning of the resurrection of the Christ?
The day of life and the night of death have kept on recurring from the time immemorial and so it will be till the end that has no end.
It is You who causes the night to slip into the day and the day to slip into the night. You bring forth the alive from the dead and the dead from the alive. You give provision to whomsoever You want … . – The Quran, III:27
What does it mean that there is a ‘Day of Judgment’ when each being will be ‘raised up again’ and brought before Allah for reckoning? You are given a ‘second birth’ …. That is also rebirth. And within a ‘second birth’, who knows, you have a life-span of ‘several births’! I gave you $5000 in one payment or in several instalments, it is almost the same thing. We live only one life after this life for 5000000000000000 years or live several lives in this span of time, what’s the difference? These 5000000000000000 years will not remain the same always, different experiences will keep us changing and that is like ‘taking many births’….. OR ….. we can be born many, many times in that infinite span! What’s the difference? It is said that when a fetus is in the embryo, its frame and features change every few seconds. By the time it is out in this world, it has taken ‘several births’ though we consider it a single birth. In Koran there is a passage which goes like this:
Him who was passing by a ruined settlement and who exclaimed: Will Allah enliven this settlement after its decay? Then Allah made him die for a hundred years and revived him again. He asked as to how long did he tarry, and (the man) replied: ‘a day or a part thereof’. Allah said: ‘You tarried for a hundred years. Look at your spoiled food and drink, and your ass. Look at the bones so that we make you a token unto mankind, and see how we join everything and cover with flesh’. When everything was thus evident, he said: Allah is surely able to do everything. – The Quran 2:259
This passage has three important messages: 1. Allah can re-shape a thing after its death or destruction, 2. Allah is beyond time and space, and 3. Allah is able to do all things. Thus, what we calculate as ‘one’, ‘two’, and ‘three’ or as ‘first’, ‘second’ and ‘third’ will be quite insignificant for the Supreme. Even in our one lifetime in this birth, we take new births several times. Not only our cells but even our mental dispositions completely change. We rise to a new level of consciousness almost every day. Thus the same eternal soul enters into a new body each time we grow into a teen from a child, into an adult person from a teen, and into an old being from a teenager. In this sequence, death is only a next stage of life after oldness.
It is hurting to know that in many Islamic countries, incidents related to the memories of previous birth are intentionally suppressed because they think it goes against Islam. It equally hurts me to know that many people in India forcefully relate the syndromes of a mental disease to the reminiscences of one’s previous birth. The hesitations of Islam as well as Baha’i Faith are basically due to their belief that ‘Nobody can be a partner with God’. They fear that by accepting that an individual soul existed before, they will proclaim its partnership with God. In the same way, the fear of Christianity in accepting reincarnation is that reincarnation believes in gradual evolution of soul, from primal to advanced stages of awareness culminating in ‘nirvana’ or salvation; whereas Christianity has already concluded that all humans are sinners and no human being can ever achieve that perfect station of a pure soul.
Neither Islam nor Christianity needs to fear, because the truth that every soul existed before in the Great Soul and will eventually blend in the Great Soul has nothing to do with ‘partnership’ with God nor does it argue that one day a soul can be Pure like God. When we dip a million vessels in the sea, each vessel receives a ‘part of the sea’ and yet no vessel is a ‘partner of the sea’. The image of the sun can reflect in a thousand mirrors but no mirror can claim to be a ‘partner’ of the sun. The ‘sea’ contained in the vessel was already in the Sea. The light reflecting in a mirror always belongs to the sun in its originality. The “Geeta” tells us that soul is not something that ‘comes’ or ‘exists’, ‘enters’ or ‘leaves’. It is free from birth and death:
This soul is not born in any time nor does it meet death. It is not something that happens (or becomes) or ceases to happen. This soul is free from birth, perpetual, eternal, and timeless. It does not die by the death of the body. – The Geeta, 2 : 20
Bodies come and exit, enter or leave. Exactly, as in the case of the mirror and the sun, there is no light in the mirror itself but the light of the sun appears in it. What we know as individual souls of John and Christina, Ramesh and Nina, Saleem and Zena are not, in truth, ‘individual souls’ in the same way as no mirror actually contains any light. When ‘bodies’ appear in any form, the Light of the Truth is shed on them and we see different-different reflections in different-different mirrors. This is only a phantasmagoria, a meaningful phantasmagoria created by God for a purpose – and the purpose is the soul’s realization of love for God. Thus, in actual sense, there is only one SOUL reflecting in all and there is no question of ‘partnership with God’ when ‘partners’ do not even ‘exist’.
In the same way, no soul can ever attain that level of purity which can be acceptable in the holy presence of God. I remember, when I was a middle school student, children of my grade were encouraged to adopt ‘Sanskrit’ as an ‘optional language’. The teachers used to say that those who will opt Sanskrit will get high scores. Really! Students who chose other vernaculars were getting hardly 60-70% while we, who chose ‘Sanskrit’, were scoring beyond 80%. All this ‘encouragement’ was because Sanskrit was becoming an obsolete language by that time and its revival was necessary. In a time when love for God and likeness for being good and noble is becoming outdated, a ‘pure’ soul means even a soul that at least prays sincerely or fulfills some other minimal requirements. This grade of ‘purity’ is nothing to do with soul’s deservingness but, still, God wants to ‘encourage’ this purity in the same way as my teachers wanted to promote ‘Sanskrit’ as a noble language. No doubt, we all are sinners and that’s why the Saviour came to absolve us. It does not mean, however, that we should not try to be ‘pure’. A little effort of the soul in this direction is immensely praiseworthy in the divine realm where kindness rules more than strictness:
When Allah decreed the Creation, He pledged Himself by writing in His book which is laid down with Him: My mercy prevails over my wrath. – Hadith, Qudsi 1
Truth cannot surface until we throw out our colored spectacles and get free from the barriers of religious fears and prejudices. There is no need to fear that if we unmoor our boats and sail across the ocean of truth, boldly and adventurously, it will offend Mohammad or displease the Christ, infuriate Baha’u’llah or disgrace Krishna. God Himself is Truth and these Messengers came to show us that Truth only. We really don’t need such Messengers and even God if They revenge upon us for a pure, intent voyage to the shore of truth, but no, we are ourselves afraid and indecisive. How assuring it is to know that truth is unchangeable and all Messengers came from the same Source! It is NOT POSSIBLE that Krishna said something which Mohammad confronted and what Jesus Christ said about the absolute truth was in contradiction with the teachings of Baha’u’llah. But it is POSSIBLE that we might have failed in correlating their basic teachings and in understanding them in their total relativity.
Each individual here has a unique life – totally incomparable to the other. Each one seems to be carrying a unique mission, a unique thought pattern, a unique set of actions and reactions. Why does this uniqueness exist? Why all are not the same? And what factors decide each one’s uniqueness? I have observed my own life and the lives of others. There are people who are born with perfections and a magic wand in their hand! And there are people who spend their life wiping the sweat of their brows and finding a petty nickel. We erroneously claim that those who succeed have bought success by paying its cost. Many, many have paid these costs and yet success seems far from them. Many have followed these ‘rules of wealth and success’ but the result was not so great! The others really ‘came, saw and conquered’!
There are times when everything goes so easily. You receive the love of your life as easily as a powerful magnet attracts a piece of iron nearby. You become the ‘apple of eye’ of all the people around you. Everything goes as favorably as it is your natural right to get every good of the world. Money flows in your pocket as flowers bloom in spring. You bask in the sun of fame and glory; enjoy praise and approval coming from all sides. Whatever you touch becomes gold. And then, suddenly, the spring turns into autumn. The fondest love of your life is gone and won’t come back even if you scream and lament so deplorably. All the wealth of life evaporates -- wealth not only in the terms of ‘money’ but also in the terms of peace and wellness, charm and glory. All the flowers fade away and only thorns are there to rule. All lights have disappeared and you are enveloped in an abysmal darkness. Even if you touch something with a magic wand, no change is there, oh! No effect.
And then again the wheel turns. While you are sleeping hopelessly in your night of dearth, a warbling sound awakens you. A bird chirps and you open the window and, lo! The dried-up river of life starts warbling again. The bird of hope is chirping. There is sunlight, there is music. A new love dawns in your life, a new glory is smiling for you with a dazzling crown in her hands. You get a ‘new life’! Who says ‘life’ is only after ‘death’? Even in this same physical existence I died many times and many times I was re-born. I am the same but not the same today. There is something in me that is intact but still I am completely changed. ‘Death’, as we call and know it, only marks my ‘visible disappearance’ from a manifest state but who knows even that is ‘Life’ though not visible to our earthly eyes! Many times I ‘disappeared’ even when you felt you are seeing me, feeling my presence, but you never knew I have ‘come again’, a completely new being …. and you know not!
I know, for those who do not want to believe in ‘reincarnation’, it is easy to say that this is a natural pattern of life, that whatever happened to me were just consequences. But why? Why is it so that we live in the same world, sharing the same resources of nature, basking under the same sunlight, living the same life as everyone else does, subjected to the same universal laws, and yet each one of us is carrying a ‘different world’ around him or her? Why these ups and downs of life come as my individual fate? Why all don’t have the same destiny? If God is Just, as we call Him, why there are so many differences and discriminations? What is the meaning of my individual life and why so?
These and many other questions have recently made me utterly dismayed and engrossed in finding a satisfactory answer. This book is not written to prove the belief in ‘rebirth’ nor is it written to disprove it. Many close experiences of my life prompted me to write this book based on my own perception and I just responded to this inspiration … realizing it well that I am not at all an authority on this matter. But it is good I am not an authority and so I have no ‘spectacles’. I will have no hesitation to admit, if it is strongly brought to my realization, that my belief in the previous birth and life after death might have been a mistaken belief. I have nothing to defend but my own soul and sincerity. I am here with my eyes open, ears alert, mind free, to investigate into a query that faced me so vehemently. I also know that this universe is like a mirror that reflects our own faith. Those who “don’t want” to believe in this theory or anything, will “never believe” and those who “want to believe” because of their individual needs and tendencies will “always find something” to keep up their belief. This book is a humble tribute to both of them. As said Martin Luther King, “Every man must do two things alone - his own believing and his own dying." I leave it on you …. Believe it or leave it!
 The Geeta, 4 : 13
 Refer to the story of Draupadi whom He helped when she was being humiliated in the court of Duryodhana.
 (All scripture from the Bible taken in this whole book are from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved).
 Throughout these Holy Texts and elsewhere, in a general sense, the term ‘man’ also refers to ‘woman’ mutatis mutandis.
 Thankfully from source: http://hadithqudsi.sacredhadith.com/hadith-qudsi-1
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