1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Do you believe in Rebirth? September 27, 2008

 author unknown

I got this smart picture sent from India – that is an excellent piece of humour 🙂 I enjoyed the picture so much that I felt inspired to write a post on this truly mysterious topic.

Reincarnation, literally “to be made flesh again”, is a metaphysical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body. This essential part is often referred to as the spirit or soul, the “higher” or “true” self, “divine spark”, or “I”. According to such beliefs, a new personality is developed during each life in the physical world, but some part of the self remains constant throughout the successive lives.

Belief in reincarnation is an ancient phenomenon. This doctrine is a central tenet within the majority of Indian religious traditions, such as Hinduism (including Yoga, Vaishnavism, and Shaivism), Jainism, and Sikhism. The idea was also entertained by some ancient Greek philosophers. Many modern Pagans also believe in reincarnation as do some New Age movements, along with followers of Spiritism, practitioners of certain African traditions, and students of esoteric philosophies such as Kabbalah, Sufism and Gnostic and Esoteric Christianity. The Buddhist concept of Rebirth although often referred to as reincarnation differs significantly from the Hindu-based traditions and New Age movements in that there is no “self” (or eternal soul) to reincarnate.

Rebirth or reincarnation has become a popular topic since last decades in the West. That is a bit surprising, because the overwhelming majority of mainstream Christian denominations reject the notion of reincarnation and consider the theory to challenge basic tenets of their beliefs. However some modern Chrisitans try to find the missing link. Apparently reincarnation was taught by the early Christian church, but due to bias and mistranslations, these teachings were lost or obscured.

Interestingly, the Bible contains passages in the New Testament that could be interpreted to allude to reincarnation. In Matthew 11:10-14and 17:10-13, John 1:21, the Jews ask John the Baptist if he is Elijah and John replies clearly that he is not, implying that Jesus’ reference was meant in a figurative sense (which is what most Christians accept). It should be noted that Elijah never actually “died,” but was “captured” in a chariot of fire. Furthermore, the prophetic texts stated that God would send Elijah back to Earth, as a harbinger of Jesus Christ. As cousins they were born respectively to barren Elizabeth and Zacharias; Jesus, firstborn of Mary and Joseph, was the first to rise from the dead visibly demonstrating his power over death…

I can not say I “believe” in reincarnation/rebirth, because I don`t see anything here to blindly believe in.Reincarnation seem to me to be the only logical explanation, why people, especially born from the same parent and grown up in the same life conditions are so totally different in the talents, skills, interests and nature. Some people have such eyes – when I look into them I think there are thousands of years behind…Very ancient eyes…. Some people are incredibly wise and knowledgeable about many things which they actually can not know…

At the same time I believe that knowing the past life will of not help anyone,that is why we “loose” this memory. At the most, it will give us a feeling of guilt if we committed a crime or a big ego if we happened to be some great well known personalities. So, take it easy 🙂




20 Responses to “Do you believe in Rebirth?”

  1. agathoszoe Says:

    I do not believe in reincarnation. I happen to be a Christian. However, I do believe in rebirth – both figuratively and spiritually. Ultimately, according to the tenants of Christianity, the faithful will be raised back to life – a kind of “rebirth” – with a spiritual body that will be able to live for eternity with God. I don’t support blind faith, but one should strive to investigate ones faith and then authentically live according to the teachings and practices of that faith system. I could be wrong, but if I close my mind and never investigate, how will I ever know? For now, I live and practice what I see to be the closest faith system that supports and reflects this reality – the teachings of Jesus Christ and his apostles.

  2. axinia Says:

    agathoszoe, your arguments are clear, thank you.
    I do not know you, and have no idea in whihc belief system you grew up, but I strongly suppose it was Christianity. it would mean you did not really “choose” it for yourself.

    the only thing is…suppose you have been born somewhere else, like in India or Arabic countries or China – you would have been convinced in the very different system !:) We are much more dominated by our surroundings that we can ever imagine…

  3. Nita Says:

    Hey, that was a funny board! 🙂

  4. I can see the humour in the board, Axinia 🙂 and I can enjoy it but I don’t like the way it portrays tigers 😦 Tigers are not dangerous on their own. They would not attack anyone unless they are provoked 😐 (or if they happen to be man-eating tigers)

    I don’t know if I believe in reincarnation or not. Atleast, I don’t believe that the soul gets transplanted into another body just like that 😐 It could be much more complicated than that, the exact answer is something that I am still searching for 😐

  5. swaps Says:

    But Axinia, the maths don’t tally. Human population has been growing steadily (it never declined!!), more rapidly today, which means that when one generation perishes it doesn’t leave enough souls to meet the demand of a larger gen-nxt.

    But rebirth is still possible as it is not handicapped by falling supply of souls.

    Anyway, I believe the more promising line of investigation on siblings not being alike etc. is genetics and collective unconsciousness. I really like the later.

  6. axinia Says:

    thanks, dear 🙂
    About the population growing… just think how many arts (and millions) of animals have totally diet our in the recent 100 years…where do they go?
    🙂 that is the speculation, of course, but it is interesting.

  7. Taras Says:

    I believe I would head the other way if I came across this sign. I do believe there is such a thing as an afterlife, but I’d rather not find out either way in the jaws of an man-eating tiger.


  8. axinia Says:

    right, Taras 🙂

    even me…As I believe in rebrith, I have no probalem to die any time, but I will not seek death on purpose, or venture in the dangerous places 🙂

  9. Taras Says:

    You’ve got that right. I’ve looked death in the face more times than I care to remember because of the stupidity of others. It is not something you want to do, believe me. It’s something akin to peering into an abyss from which there is no return, no escape. On several occasions I was very lucky to remain unscathed, let alone alive. For that reason, I do not go out seeking danger, it comes often enough to me as it is thanks to the actions of others.


  10. Bad Karma Says:

    Rebirth happens in some form. It can be direct (e.g. reincarnation), or indirect (you die, you become the soil, life comes out of that soil).

    There is some energy to it all. I believe in reincarnation when I see a child prodigy. It seems there are great spirits continuously reincarnating over centuries – Da Vinci, Mozart, Einstein, etc.

    I think the Dalai Lama proves reincarnation. Every time he leaves his body, he always tells his disciples to find him where he will be born next. And the boy they find always manages to learn the teaching much more quickly than his counterparts.

    Lots of parallel thoughts!

  11. axinia Says:

    Bad Karma, you have given good examples, thanks a lot!

  12. Raman Says:

    Your answer to Swaps is not speculation, it is actually true. A little story from Indian Mythology:

    A sage called Narada used keep chanting Lord Narayana’s name throughout the day. Suddenly he realised that while he chants the name, he actually does not know what it means or why he chants it. He goes and asks Narayana about the same.

    Narayana takes him to earth from the heavens. They spot a caterpillar and Narayana asks Narada to chant the name near the caterpillar – as soon as Narada does it, the Caterpillar dies. Narada is shocked but Narayana insists that Narada repeat the process with a butterfly. The butterfly also dies. Narada is aghast and refuses to commit further sins. But Narayana’s insistance and Narada’s faith in Narayana, makes him repeat the process with mouse, dog and finally a cow – all die immediately.
    Finally, Narayana & Narada reach a town whose king had just been blessed with a boy. The entire town & the royal family is celebrating the heir to the throne’s birth when Narayana asks Narada to whisper his name in the baby’s ears. Narada refuses saying he will surely be stoned to death by the people and the king but eventually obliges. Once he whispers, trhe new born sits up and laughs at Narada and says “Chanting Narayana’s holy name does not just kill you – it improves your status in the life and death cycle. I was the caterpillar, butterfly,…and cow. I progressed every cycle because you chanted the lord’s name to me. Now, I am the final stage where I have been blessed to be a human. I will chant lord’s name to ensure my cycle ends here and there is no rebirth.”

    Thus, chanting the lord’s name (any lord, Narayana is just an example) releases you from the eternal life & death cycle and takes you to mukti (eternal bliss).

  13. axinia Says:

    thank you Raman, I never heard of that story. I believe it works somehow that way… 🙂

  14. Joel Says:

    Reincarnation was “deleted” from the bible…however those who tried to delete it(the concept) were not able to really cleanse remove all the traces; Just like the example of mentioned by Anixia…another is the healing by Jesus of a blind person since birth…The apostles of Jesus asked him if the person was blind since birth due to the sins of his parents, or the person could not have sinned before he was born…Jesus answered that he was born blind to become an “example” to show the power of God; that means it was already a “scripted” act. It was already pre-programmed and this sad role ( the blind guy ) had to play. The spirit of the person was already “produced” to play such a role, whether it was “recycled” or “new testvproduct”

    Shakespeare wrote in one of his plays something like- the world is a stage where every one has a role to play and mine a sad one…

  15. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi Says:

    Yes I believe in rebirth or reincarnation. Rebirth and reincarnation have almost identical meaning. There is a subtle difference, of course. If some great soul takes rebirth for the emancipation of the other souls it is known as reincarnation. For others, if they take birth again, it is simply rebirth.

    My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state.
    HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab. Sarkar Sahab later on became Fourth Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith
    Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.

  16. Nishant Says:

    Meditation has the potential to answer this question.

    I tend to believe that I’ve been born as a Native American, Southern French, Tibetan (no reference to Tibetans of today here), a Scandinavian, and… perhaps even a Nazi in Central-West Europe (for I can get so cold, insensitive that I won’t move a finger – hope it makes sense).

    I came to India as a seeker in a previous birth, fell in love, and departed unsatiated. God reincarnated me here to join my forlorn love who, in turn, has taken birth in another land.

  17. Triveni Says:

    This is only getting more and more accepted nowadays. Especially after the past regression therapies that was introduced by Brian Weiss. Of course I highly recommend against any such process that takes you to past as it is dangerous, but then his techniques just prove that reincarnation does occur.

  18. Indian Fakir Says:

    The lion in the pic reminds me of an old Sahaja joke.

    “While passing thru a jungle a S/Yogi comes across a lion who forces the yogi to be his guest. Out of fear, the yogi closes his/’her’ (why not?) eyes and starts muttering prayers to protect him. Soon, he opens his eyes only to see the lion also sitting with his eyes closed as if in meditation. When their eyes meet, the lion asks the yogi as to what he was doing. The yogi replies that he was a Sahaja Yogi and was chanting the Durga mantra for protection, and asks the lion in return as to what HE was doing.

    The lion replies that he was chanting the ‘Annapoorna mantra’.

    Bon appetit!

  19. […] in reincarnation because…it is so obvious to me. As I have pointed it out severl times earlier, the fact that people have different levels of mastery of life/talents/skills regardless their […]

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