CHAPTER NO:-10 》PART:- 14》Rebirth according to merits of previous births.

▪ The law of karma says that every time an individual acts, whether his action is on the physical, mental, or psychic level, he creates an effect that will be returned to him either in his current lifetime or in a future lifetime.
▪ Once he has absorbed the effect of his previous action, he is freed from that action; he does not have to experience the results of his good or bad actions indefinitely.
▪ The law further states that every, person, object, and non physical form is bound by karma until it achieves liberation from karma.
▪ Until someone is liberated from his past, present and future karma, he must continue to be reborn on earth.
▪ The  karma  a  person  amasses  in  each  of  his  lifetimes  determines the circumstances under which he will be born, the major incidents and occurrences that will happen during his lifetime, and the opportunities and obstacles that will help or hinder him as he walks down the pathway of life.
▪ There is an overall karma that binds all things, but when an individual soul enters its first human incarnation, a direct karma begins to be amassed. In an individual’s first human incarnation he will perform both good and bad actions.
▪ The law of karma states that for every positive action he performs, a positive action will be returned to him; and for every negative action he performs, a negative action will be returned to him.
▪ But the results of these actions will not necessarily return to an individual in one lifetime. The karmic results of both good and bad actions are usually received over a number of lifetimes.
▪ It will be easier to understand how the law of karma works if we can imagine that when an individual enters his first human incarnation he is given two karmic “ bank accounts.”
▪ All  of  his  positive  action  from  that  lifetime  are  recorded  in  one account and all of  his negative ones are recorded in the other.
▪ Each time he performs an action, he receives a deposit in one of his accounts depending on the nature of his action. These karmic “deposits” will be returned to him in the forms of opportunities or obstacles that he will encounter in his present and future lifetimes.
▪ Each human being on earth is constantly creating new karma, and unless he is in his first human incarnation, he is also experiencing the results of his actions from his previous lives.
▪ Freedom from activity is never achieved by abstaining from action. Nobody can become perfect by merely ceasing to act. In fact, nobody can ever rest from his activity even for a second. All are mercilessly forced to act.
- Bhagavad Gita
▪ The law of karma explains that many of the so called injustices of our world are not really unjust but only appear to be so because we do not see that karmic justice is at work.
▪ If, for example, we observe a person who is always harming others and doing wrong things and who seems to be succeeding in spite of his wrong actions, it would indicate that in a previous lifetime he performed good actions and is now reaping the reward for those good actions. But in the future, in this lifetime or in a distant lifetime, he must pay the penalty for the bad karma he is now creating.
▪ If, on the other hand, we see a person who performs only good actions, who is always giving of himself and seeking no reward for his actions, but who constantly experiences problems and difficulties in his life in spite of the fact that he is being good, we must understand that although this person is being good in this lifetime, he has committed some wrong actions in a past lifetime and is now paying the penalty.
▪ Once he has worked through his bad karma and learns not to make the same mistakes again, he will not have to experience his bad karma. If from that point onwards he will create only good karma, in the future he will experience only the positive results of his actions.
▪ According to the law of karma, karma is not only created by a person’s physical actions but also by his mental and psychic activities.
▪ If someone is constantly projecting negative or harmful thoughts, others will project negative thoughts toward him. This is the karmic result of his thoughts.
▪ If a person hates, he will in turn be hated. But if he has positive thoughts and emotions, positive thoughts and emotions will be returned to him.
▪ If he loves, love will be returned to him. The karma that an individual reaps on the mental plane need not be returned to him in his present lifetime.
▪ Although he may sincerely love others in this life, he may be greeted with hate. But in a future lifetime the love that has been given to other people will be returned to him.
▪ Mental karma does not have to be returned by another individual. It can also be directly returned to the person who created it in his own mental and emotional state of mind.
▪ If  an  individual  projects  hates,  doubts,  and  jealousies,  his  mental karma can return to him in the forms of frustration, despair and depression. But if someone projects love, peace, and joy then his mental karma can be returned to him in the forms of happiness, inspiration and clarity of mind.
▪ Neither the Hindus nor the Buddhists believe in the conception of sin. Instead they believe that God exists in all things, both the good and the bad.
▪ From the Christian point of view, sin is a result of evil. Christians believe that evil is an absolute force that will always remain such.
▪ In the Judeo-Christian tradition, when a person commits a sin he is punished. If his sin remains unresolved by God, he will be punished eternally.
▪ But the Hindus and Buddhists believe that there is no such thing as evil; there is only Light and less Light. Since God exists in all things, they reason that all things must therefore be good.
▪ According to this view, God exists in different degrees in all things. He exists in both the light of wisdom and the darkness of ignorance.
▪ The purpose of karma is to teach a person to prefer the light of wisdom to the darkness of ignorance, to lead him to perfection by showing him where he has left the path that leads to truth and to encourage him to return to that path.
▪ Another way of looking at the contrasting Eastern and Western points of view is to imagine that there are two different schools in the same town. In one school, children are encouraged to be good. If they are good they are given a reward. But if they fail to be good, they are severely punished or thrown out of school.
▪ In the other school they also encourage the children to be good. But when the children fail to be good, they don’t punish them; instead they give them special lessons that will teach them to do the right thing. When they do something positive they are encouraged; they are given a kind of reward.
▪ If they give someone a present, they will get a present in return. When they hurt someone, they get hurt in return.
▪ The hurt that is inflicted on them is not a punishment; it is a means of showing them what the hurt feels like.
▪ Knowing this, they will not hurt anyone again. In this school the children are never thrown out; they keep coming to classes until they become perfect.
Karmic Remembrances
▪ A large percentage of the people who have had remembrances expressed the idea that their actions in past lives affected their succeeding lives. They observed that when they did positive things in a past lifetime, they later reaped the reward for these actions; and when they performed harmful actions, they later had to pay the penalty.
▪ One of the questions people frequently ask regarding the law of karma is: What determines which actions are considered to be good karma, and what actions are bad karma? As we know, in one culture certain activities are accepted as natural, whereas in another they would be viewed as abnormal.
▪ For example, in one country it may be considered immoral to work on a Sunday, but in another country Sunday is treated like any other working day. Therefore, would it be bad or good karma to work on a Sunday?
▪ According to the Buddhist view, it is not the culture that determines what is good or bad karma; it is the nature of the action and the intent of the person who performs that action.
▪ Any action that harms another individual becomes bad karma. But just as our own legal system recognizes the importance of a person’s intentions when committing  a  crime,  so  too  the  law  of  karma  appears  to  make  similar allowances.
▪ If a person commits a premeditated murder, his punishment in our legal system is much more severe than if he killed someone in a quarrel or in self-defense. Even though in all three cases one person has killed another, a judge would render three different verdicts and prescribe three different sentences. In the same way the law of karma takes into consideration not only the person’s intentions, but also his stage of development. If a child commits a crime we do not punish him so severely as we do an adult who more fully understands the consequences of his action.
▪ In the same sense, the law of karma will not apply the same justice to each individual who commits a particular offense. The more aware a person is of wrongdoing, the greater the karmic penalty will be. The chain of actions and reactions that extends from lifetime to lifetime applies not only to actions that help or hurt others but also to actions that a person performs that help or hurt himself.
▪ According to Far Eastern doctrines, although the law of karma is binding for all people, it is possible, through the grace of God, for a person to skip over much of his bad karma. If God observes that an individual is truly sorry he has done wrong and will not repeat his mistake, He can nullify that person’s bad karma. Since the purpose of karmic retribution is not to make the individual suffer but to teach him, if he has already learned his lesson it would be pointless for him to be subjected to the same experience again. His situation in this instance is analogous to that of an individual who has committed a crime, has been caught and sent to jail, but is released early because he mended his ways and will no longer commit wrong actions.
▪ Within the past few years the word karma has become a part of our own language. Often in a conversation we hear someone refer to something bad that happened to him as his “karma.” When he refers to karma in this way, he is in effect saying that what occurred to him (his karma) was fated and that there was no possible way of avoiding it. But this attitude is not a clear representation of the Far Eastern theory of karma.
▪ According to the Hindu and Buddhist texts, one should never linger over or worry about one’s past karma. This only binds him more firmly to his karma. The Hindus feel that even the worst karma can be negated when a person sincerely tries to lead a higher and better life. All karma can be nullified when an individual sincerely aspires only to Higher Truth.
▪ Edgar Cayce was one of the best-known psychics of the twentieth century. He was one of the first to explore other dimensions of reality of karma. He would go into a hypnotic trance state and describe the past lives of individuals.
▪ The essence of this understanding gained by him can be found in his work entitled ‘Scars of the Soul’. In ‘Born Again and Again’ Cayce deals with  topics  such  as  deep-seated  fears,  physical  ailments,  mental  blocks, vocational  talents,  innate  urges  and  abilities,  marriage  difficulties,  child training, etc. These were examined in the light of what Cayce called the “karmic patterns” resulting from previous incarnations that an individual has had on the earth plane.
▪ Edgar Cayce brought about an increased awareness of past lives by channeling the past life information of people.   Closely akin to the theory of karma, Edgar Cayce’s research work discovers this fact in the light of karma and reincarnation, offering compelling but convincing proof that every soul has been  ordained  not  to  live  once  but  many  times  He  has  given  a  large number of the so - called life reading of people (about 2500) as manifested during  their  previous  existence.
Now follow, for purposes of illustration, a few examples that Edgar Cayce  narrated  by  way  of  past  lives :
1.  Here  is  a  typical  case  of  a  Bank  Manager.  By  temperament and  training  he  was  a  great  lover  of  sports.  During  the  present  life he played basketball regularly. Even on Sundays he never found himself in a mood to go to Church. Well, this was considered a heresy. Hence he was  socially  ostracised  by  the  traditionalists.  It  was  in  this  context  that the  Bank  Manager  approached  Edgar  Cayce  for  consultation.  Now  came up  all  facts  related  to  his  previous  lives:  This  Bank  Manager,  in  his first  birth,  was  a  great  philanthropist.  During  his  second  birth,  he  grew himself famous as an excellent sports-man in Rome. In his third life he lived   prosperously   as   a   merchant   in   Persia.   Coming   to   his   fourth existence, he happened to be the treasurer in Egypt. Now was his fifth birth  as  an  extraordinary  player  of  basketball.  The  accumulated  trends and tendencies anti-traits of all the five lives had combined so well, and as a natural corollary he would rather forgo church prayer than a game of basketball. Besides this,  because  of  earlier  virtues, he loved people, helped  the  poor  and  granted  loans  to  the  needy  ones  as  Bank  Manager.
2. Quite an interesting case of a boy of 11 years of age who was given  to  urinate  in  the  bed  while  asleep!  All  treatment  proved  in  vain. As a last resort the boy’s patients approached Edgar Cayce for consultation. In his trance he could see that this boy had been born  a Puritan in his previous life. And besides, he was a Minister to the King of France. Nothing was so dear to him as torture inflicted on criminals, and he also loved the sight of drowning those criminals alive. The greater their suffering, the merrier he ever turned. It was because of this wicked act and evil thought that he was urinating in the bed while asleep. Then he suggested to the parents a suitable remedy by way of psychological  suggestion.  He  told  them  to  whisper  in  the  boy’s  ears, while  in  bed,  that  he  was  a  refined  being,  very  human  in  his  love  of fellow people. And further that he was extremely sorry for his past cruelty to people, and so on by way of repentance. Needless to say that the parents paid  heed  to  his  advice  and  in  just  a  few  days  the  boy  got  himself completely relieved of his agony.
3.  Another  beautiful  lady ! But  hopelessly  fat !  She  could  not even  move  about  comfortably.  Often  she  thought  to  herself  that  her size  was  quite  repugnant  not  only  in  the  eyes  of  other  people  but in her esteem also. This brought her great misery. Now she approached Edgar Cayce for consultation. in his vision Cayce could see how this lady, in  the  earlier  two  births  was  an  ace  athlete, ever joyous of her getting laurels.  Whenever  others  lagged  behind  she  made  fun  of  them ;  and in particular she was highly sarcastic of those who were fat. There was no end to her jollity whenever such people were in sight ; and she always looked down upon them. Edgar Cayce pointed out how during the present life this lady had to suffer all that agony of ridicule, others suffered, being a fat lady herself now. He told her that she was paying the penalty very dearly  during  the  present  life.
▪ ‘Past life’ can be used as an excuse for many other things. For example, one can always justify the caste system under the excuse that the ‘lower’ castes are born so  as to atone for the sins of their previous births. Those who enjoy all the best things of life at the cost of others can always have the excuse that this is due to the good deeds performed in their past life.
▪ It could also keep the exploited from protesting, under the reassurance that their exploiters will be punished in their next life for what they are doing now! Though it is difficult for us to understand why we should be punished or rewarded for having done something in a past existence that we are not even aware of, one could explain that that awareness could be brought by the right combinations of suggestions.
▪ And where do these come from? Naturally from the past life regression therapist or from some holy scripture which is unquestionable! So, here we have the judge, jury and the prosecutor all rolled into one and whatever they say will be be irrefutable.
▪ I am well aware of how scientific theories come and go and how these theories are accepted by many members of the general public as fact - mostly because that is how educational systems and the media tends to portray them. Science actually knows very little about the nature of the Universe; there is much to learn - a lot is Unknown.
▪ There  are  so-called  'skeptics'  who  pretend  to  be  scientific  in  their dismissal of PLR as bogus. Their idea of the scientific method is to decide what they   want   the   Universe   to   be   like   and   then   decree   that   anything that   contradicts   their   belief   is   unscientific   and   therefore   bogus. Rather like the people who condemned Galileo for saying that, with his telescope,  he  could  see  moons  orbiting  Jupiter,  when  it  was  known that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. Or those people that maintained that the world was flat and you would sail over the edge if you went too far from land. Closing one's mind to evidence that contradicts a belief system is not being scientific, it is just being ignorant.
▪ In any case, science is not restricted to proven facts. It is mostly based on theories, which hold until someone manages to disprove them. For example: The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, The Theory of Relativity, The Big Bang Theory. The general public may regard the above as fact but they are only theory.
Scientists have not proved Darwin's theories. They have not proved relativity or the Big Bang. They have not proved that reincarnation does not happen. Scientists like to guess about things that cannot be proven one way or the other. It's either that or throw up their hands and say they don't have a clue, and people would turn to religion...
▪ Science actually knows very little about the nature of the Universe and our place in it.
▪ That's fair enough, it's a big Universe. But, we don't have to wait for a guy in a white lab coat to rubber stamp reincarnation before we can consider that it may be valid. In order to scientifically prove that some people had immortal souls I daresay scientists would have to dissect a soul and preserve it in a glass jar. I'd sooner scientists steered well clear of this subject. Science and morality don't sit well together.
▪ So, I think we can keep an open mind on the possibility of reincarnation, and not worry about whether it's scientifically possible. In any case, science is often proven wrong when it decrees what is possible eg. bees can't fly, bacteria can't survive at extreme temperatures, life cannot exist deep in the ocean.
▪ These episodes of rebirth, along with the hoopla surrounding them, and the claims of the whole thing being ‘scientific’, require that discussion be had on many specific issues are connected to them, both ethical and scientific. If we take up the biological questions what passes from one to another during reincarnation pops up.
▪ One has to query as to whether it is a molecule, an atom or a cell that travels from one to the other during this process. Or is it something subatomic, like rays or particles? How is it that only some people reincarnate and not all? If reincarnation is only for humans then what can explain the huge population growth? If it is claimed that the reincarnation is across species then at what stage does the capacity to be so arise? Do bacteria and viruses also reincarnate?
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