Hindu Reincarnation & Past Life Model
Reincarnation Survey Results
"Do you believe in Reincarnation?" was the last very interesting survey we ran here on Mastery of Meditation, Yoga & Zen, and those results are now in. The results were a little surprising, as I did not anticipate sure strong support for the existence of Reincarnation and Past Life Laws. Before I discuss more details on this intriguing subject, let me first give you all the details of these results.
Reincarnation Results Chart:
Reincarnation Research World Response Map:
Reincarnation Results Analysis:
So from the results above you can see that 75% of you felt that reincarnation and past lives do exist and of the remaining 25%, only about 8% felt there was no such Universal Law of Reincarnation, while the other 17% were open to the possibility, but were as of yet undecided. Furthermore, you can see that the responses pretty much spanned most of the globe, with readers from all 5 continents chiming in and providing their input. So from the point of view of global belief, the answer was a resounding yes, that Reincarnation and Past Lives do exist.
A big thank you to all of you who did participate, this survey received a very good response, which of course gives us more data to go on.
Reincarnation & Past Life Laws & Models:
There are several models for Reincarnation & Past Life cycles, and as some readers commented, many of these can be found throughout Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and other scriptures and literature. Overall, with regard to such higher laws of the universe, you can read about my general approach to them in the article Secrets of the Universe, which uses a Zen story to illustrate my ideas. But, with regard to reincarnation and past lives in general I would like to give you a particular Hindu model for this system which I find to be quite interesting and thought provoking.
Hindu Model for Reincarnation:
For sure there is more than one view of reincarnation and if you read Tantric literature you will find a great many accounts of past lives of humans that traversed both the plant and animal kingdoms (specially if you read Agora texts). So the model I am proposing is certainly not the only one in existence, but it is certainly a very appealing and comprehensive one.
Although an entire book could be written (and many have been) on this model, I am going to summarize it’s essence for you here.
From Param Bhraman (or Supreme Godhead) comes forth Souls. These Souls exist in "Creation", where everything is non-dual and all can merge and emerge from each other without boundaries. From Creation, a Soul descends into "Existence" and begins it’s journey of life and death to experience all levels of manifestation. Here in "Existence" duality is encountered.
In order to participate in "Existence" the Soul is provide bodies in the following order. Upon descending, they first acquire a mental body and enter into "Swahah", the mental plane. These bodies are very subtle and at a high rate of vibration, and this vibration is the key to determining the experience that the Soul is going to have. From this plane, as the rate of vibration is lowered, a second body is acquired, an emotional/astral/psychic body and the Soul can then descend into Bhuvah. Finally, to experience manifestation at an even lower rate of vibration, a physical body is acquired and the Soul can descend into Bhuh. The lower the rate of vibration, the lower the emotions, thoughts and bodies one feels and has.
The journey of the Soul thus starts at the highest rate of vibration and experiencing everything, descends into the lowest rate, from where it then begins it’s journey back towards Creation. Along the way, Karma is generated in the form of intentional harm that one does, and this Karma has to be worked off in order to proceed back to the higher planes and finally to Creation. The decision to descend is purely voluntary and it is just to play in manifestation for a while and then return back to merge with Creation.
This journey can take a very long time, or if the Soul is eager to return, they can find ways to work off the Karma faster (through Yoga/Meditation/Sadhana) and work their way back sooner. In this model, the Soul or Higher Self is ever available to assist in the journey back and building the lines of communication with one’s Higher Self is of course then very helpful. Finally, in this model of reincarnation, the Soul never takes on any animal or plant body and only acquires human sheaths (mental/astral/physical).
So from the above model of reincarnation we can learn the following. The return to Creation is inevitable and you are just here to play. So smile, relax and enjoy your journey . Also, if you are familiar with the all important Vedic Mantra, the Gayatri Mantra, it should allow you to see it in a new light now. After all the first 4 words in that mantra are, OM BHUR BHUVAH SWAHAH (Creation & the 3 Planes of Existence ). Here is a link to download this mantra if you like…
Final Thoughts on Reincarnation & Past Lives:
Here are some more articles regarding Higher Self, Reincarnation, Karma etc, which you might find interesting.