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Understanding Reincarnation

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This presentation discusses the understanding of reincarnation by comparing it to a novel idea about motion or change. The reincarnation is not just something that occurs at the time of death but at every moment in time. The causes and the mechanisms of this reincarnation are discussed.

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Understanding Reincarnation

  1. 1. UNDERSTANDING REINCARNATION A S H I S H DA L E L A I N T R O D U C I N G V E D I C P H I L O S O P H Y — L E S S O N 5
  2. 2. WHAT IS REINCARNATION?
  3. 3. T H E A P P E A R A N C E O F M OT I O N : N E O N S I G N S • In a neon sign when lights turn ON and OFF one after another in succession, an appearance of motion is created • The lights are not moving, although they are turned ON and OFF in succession • All the lights exist simultaneously but the are visible only sometimes WELCOME
  4. 4. T H E A P P E A R A N C E O F M OT I O N : M OV I E R E E L • In a movie reel all the pictures exist simultaneously but they become visible one after another in a sequence • To make this picture visible, a light is shined on the particular frame of the movie reel. • The shining light converts the invisible picture into a visible phenomena; the shining light makes the preexisting reality visible to the observer
  5. 5. MATERIAL POSSIBILITIES R E I N C A R N AT I O N I S A T H E O RY O F A P PA R E N T M OT I O N • The world exists as a possibility which remains invisible (it is eternal as a possibility) • Consciousness shines light on possibility and makes it visible • When light is shined on some possibility, the shining part becomes the soul’s personal conscious experience • Reincarnation means the light of the torchlight is moving from one possibility to another THE SOUL CONSCIOUS EXPERIENCE PRANA
  6. 6. REINCARNATION AND MOTION • Neither the soul nor the body are moving – The “body” is a fixed eternal possibility – Its location is defined in relation to other possibilities, which are also fixed – The soul is also fixed in an eternal distinction to other souls • The movement is due to prana – the changing connection between body and soul – The prana connects the soul to the body as an experience – It is like the light of the torch which points to some object • The changing experience is therefore due to the changing prana
  7. 7. BHAGAVAD-GITA 2.13 English Transliteration Meaning in English dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death.The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change. Reincarnation at the end of life is just like change of body in this life
  8. 8. M OT I O N V S . C H A N G E • Vedic philosophy presents us with a novel idea about change • Neither matter nor soul are changing; both matter and soul are therefore eternal • However, the connection between matter and soul is changing.This changing relationship of the soul to matter is called “reincarnation” • Our body is not moving; we are rather changing bodies Scientific Theory of Motion: Material Particle Changes Position VedicTheory of Change: Spiritual Particle Changes It’s State
  9. 9. RESPONSES TO PHILOSOPHICAL QUANDARIES
  10. 10. THE UNIVERSAL REALITY T H E R E A L I S M O F P O S S I B I L I T I E S • The world is REAL as a POSSIBILITY; the possibilities are eternal, but they manifest due to consciousness • The possibility state is called UNMANIFEST (avyakta) and the conscious state is called MANIFEST (vyakta) • My experience is not my private illusion because there is an objective possibility • But, the idea that I AM THIS EXPERIENCE is illusory.The soul is different from material experience and possibilities The Supreme Soul The Individual Soul INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE
  11. 11. PHILOSOPHICAL POSITIONS WESTERN REALISM WESTERN IDEALISM VEDIC REALISM • The world exists independent of the observer • Matter is causally active even if we do not observe it • The observer is not involved in the causality of the world • The tree falls in the forest even if nobody is in the forest to observe it • I can’t be sure of any reality outside my experience • I cannot be sure of the existence of other observers who can see just like me • The tree falls in my experience; if I’m not there to see it, there is no tree falling in the forest • The world exists outside my awareness as a possibility • Some consciousness makes it a real phenomenal experience • The tree can fall without my awareness, but there is always some awareness responsible for the tree falling in the forest Vedic Realism is midway betweenWestern Realism and Idealism
  12. 12. WHY MODERN SCIENCE IS WRONG • Classical physics has a false idea – the particle is moving from one position to another – Reality – all the particles are fixed in space as possibilities – The appearance of motion gives the false impression that the same particle is in a new position • Quantum physics has a better idea – the world exists objectively as possibility – The problem is that we don’t know how the consciousness moves through these possibilities – We are still trying to create the theory of “classical motion” in quantum theory Science should study the movement of consciousness through the material possibilities, rather than the motion of matter itself
  13. 13. THE THEORY OF MOVEMENT OF CONSCIOUSNESS
  14. 14. H OW D O E S P R A N A C H A N G E I T S F O C U S ? • Prana is controlled by three different types of agencies • The current set of available universal possibilities • The individual desires, choices, or preferences • The individual destiny that forces the circumstances • The prakriti, guna, and karma are constantly churned with time • The universal possibilities change, our desires change, and our destiny changes PRANA PRAKRITI GUNA KARMA THE UNIVERSAL POSSIBILITY INDIVIDUAL CHOICE INDIVIDUAL DESTINY TIME CHANGING FOCUS & TRANSMIGRATION
  15. 15. T H R E E S TAG E S O F M A N I F E S TAT I O N • Time transforms the totally unmanifest world into an “about to manifest” world • In this state, the soul can see something is going to happen, and becomes interested in doing it themselves • Time also creates desires in us and manifests the karma; the soul can reject the desires and resist the force of karma (generally a hard proposition) UNMANIFEST POSSIBILITIES ABOUTTO MANIFEST POSSIBILITIES MANIFEST POSSIBILITIES TIME SOUL TIME CREATES THE ENTICEMENTS OF THE WORLD THE SOUL FALLS FOR THESE ENTICEMENTS
  16. 16. U N I V E R S A L A N D I N D I V I D UA L C H A N G E • The individual experience is the combination of • The possibility • The opportunity (karma) • The desire (guna) • Time changes all three things simultaneously • The world as a whole is changing with time • Our desires or personality is changing with time • Our destiny is changing with time (new karma is manifest) UNIVERSAL ETERNAL POSSIBILITY (UNMANIFEST) UNIVERSAL CURRENT POSSIBILITY (ABOUTTO MANIFEST) INDIVIDUAL DESIRE (GUNA) INDIVIDUAL DESTINY (KARMA) Current Universal Events Current Individual Events
  17. 17. FOUR KINDS OF BODIES
  18. 18. THE SPIRITUAL REALITY (Eternal and Unchanging) THE UNCONSCIOUS REALITY (Time makes it Conscious) THE CONSCIOUS REALITY (The Elements of Sāñkhya) THE THEORY OF FOUR SPACES PARA (Spiritual Body) PASYANTI (Causal Body) MADHYAMA (Subtle Body) VAIKHARI (Gross Body) PRADHANA (Eternal Possibility) PRAKRITI (Current Possibility) MAHAT (Individual Experience) BHUTA SOUL GUNA (Desire) AHAMKARA INDRIYA TIME KARMA (Destiny) BUDDHI TANMATRAMANAS PRANA
  19. 19. C AU S A L I T Y O F T H E U N C O N S C I O U S • Guna and karma constitute the “causal” or unconscious body –The advanced soul who has learnt to be awake during deep sleep can see the body of guna and karma • This unconscious realm creates conscious experience –To be free of guna and karma (and reincarnation) one has to purify the unconscious desires and destiny • We are carrying the guna and karma with us as our unconscious realm or body • InVedic philosophy this is called the karana sarira or causal body • It is the real cause of the material journey or the succession of bodies during reincarnations • Reincarnation ends only when this causal body has been purified
  20. 20. "As we live through thousands of dreams in out present life, so is our present life only one of many thousands of such lives which we enter from the other more real life… and then return after death.” ― LeoTolstoy www.ashishdalela.com

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