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Reincarnation

Humans, the most intelligent of all creations, has always been intrigued by the wondrous phenomena of this universe. The intense desire to seek the truth has constantly driven the great scientists and researchers for centuries to find the answers to some of the questions which lies even beyond the purview of one’s material senses. Reincarnation or rebirth as is commonly known has always appeared to have remained under the stratum of mystery, orthodox religious beliefs, and superstition perhaps because most of the scientists and even philosophers, if not all, have resorted to methodologies through which the subject matter of reincarnation can never be comprehended in truth. Reincarnation or rebirth is that process through which the cause of consciousness or life in simple terms passes to another body when the present body diminishes after death. It is not a product of some superstitious belief or the imagination of some pre-historic under-developed civilization as most of the early Europeans concocted it to be. It is a well-established phenomenon which is backed by profound scientific realizations described in the Vedas.

Nearly everyone at some point in their lives, irrespective of the native or faith they belong to, have questioned about death and what happens after it. However, the present exploitive society which has shoved in the concept of, “One lifetime, just enjoy it!” has dimed that fire of inquisitiveness from the hearts of the common mass. It has all boiled down to one’s enjoyment without any care of one’s actions being incorrect or correct and the reactions that one has to face.

This is a humble attempt to enlighten the readers about the scientific process of reincarnation. The readers shall observe every aspect of this scientific phenomenon through the knowledge of the Vedas.

Background and Authenticity of the Vedas

Just as a student endeavouring to understand the intricacies and principles of chemistry would have to rely upon standard chemistry books, reincarnation which is categorically positioned under the science of metaphysics and anti-matter has to be understood and studied through the books that explain the particular subject matter. The Vedas are the most scientific, logical and well-established books of knowledge that emphatically establishes its authority over subject matters which are beyond the periphery of methodologies and principles of material sciences. “Vedas” comes from the Sanskrit root word “vid” which means knowledge. Vedas typically means All-knowledge and it contains subject matters of both material and spiritual sciences. Vedas are neither sectarian nor limited to a particular religious faith. Knowledge or Vedas are for the entire human race irrespective of nationality, religious faith, caste, creed or gender. Any human who is desirous to know about the Absolute Truth can find all answers in the Vedas. In this aspect, one might question the authenticity of the Vedas and its accuracy to enlighten about the various subject matters that it deals with. There can be two sources of knowledge namely:

  1. “Paurashya”– Knowledge that comes from mortals.
  2. “Apaurashya”– Knowledge that comes from the transcendental or the divine platform; From the Supreme Being.

One might question the accuracy of the knowledge that emanates from the intelligence and senses of a common man because our senses are prone to making mistakes and are limited in so many ways. We do find so many scientific principles being modified and altered every decade which portrays the imperfectness of our intelligence and the senses through which we try to gain knowledge. For instance, Dalton was the first to introduce the atomic structure. It was accepted for over a century but later it got replaced by Thompson’s plump-pudding model.

This was again disproved and Rutherford’s nuclear model was accepted as the authoritative atomic structure. Later on, Neil’s Bohr modified the so called authoritative atomic structure of Rutherford. When subject matters that can be perceived by our senses are prone to imperfectness, what to speak about the subject matters which are beyond our senses?

However, there is another source which is transcendental to the shortcomings of mortal beings. It is known as “Apaurashya”, or that which is not written or created by human beings. Vedas are “Apaurashya”. They have emanated from the Supreme Being Himself and thus are free from all kinds of mistakes. The profoundness of the Vedas can be understood from the facts that the discoveries of eminent scientists like Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, Newton’s theory of gravitation, the description of DNA strands and many others can be found in the eternal knowledge of the Vedas. Hence to understand the subject of reincarnation from a scientific perspective, one has to take shelter of the Vedas, the essence of which is the greatest philosophical book that has blessed the human race- Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.

Having thus established the importance and necessity of the Vedas to understand the science of reincarnation, let’s unfurl its mystery by the first verse of the Vedanta sutra- conclusion of the Vedas.

“Athāto Brahma jijñāsā”

Knowledge always begins with an inquiry and this particular verse states that now that you have this human form, enquire about the divine. The main point here is to enquire. Whenever one hears the word reincarnation or rebirth, one’s mind is flooded with different types of inquiries like:

  • “Is reincarnation true and can it be proven scientifically?”
  • “Is death the end of everything?”
  • “If not, then what is it that reincarnates?”
  • “What will the living entity be in the next life?”
  • “Does the living entity have a choice in this matter?”
  • “Can a human being reincarnate as an animal and vice-versa?”
  • “Is there an end to reincarnation?”
  • “What happens then?”

The path towards the understanding of the mystery of reincarnation will certainly appear to be more enlightened with the answers to these profound questions.

Is reincarnation true and can it be proven scientifically?

The answer to this very common question is certainly affirmative, but then the general notion behind this particular question is to provide empirical proofs- that can be perceived by the material senses. This has been an archaic trend in the science fraternity that all that can be perceived through our senses including the mind and intelligence, can and should be considered to be true while others that are beyond the scope of human comprehension is considered to be false. This merely shows the imperfectness of material scientists. It is similar to asking someone to prove the principles of mathematics by methodologies used in the science of cooking. Is it possible? Certainly not, mathematics and cooking are two different subjects having their own sets of rules, abbreviations, assumptions, and limitations. Therefore, should mathematics be rejected all together just based on such a foolish approach?

The science of reincarnation states that it is the transcendental spiritual spark known as the soul, that leaves the current body upon death and again enters another body. The soul is not material. It is divine, transcendental to the laws of the material world. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:

avyakto ’yam acintyo ’yam
avikāryo ’yam ucyate
tasmādevaṁviditvainaṁ
nānuśocitumarhasi

“It is said that the soul is invisible, inconceivable and immutable. Knowing this, you should not grieve for the body.” (2.25)

Here the Supreme Personality of Godhead, addressing anti-material subject matters to Arjuna, describes the nature of the soul. The soul is described as invisible and inconceivable. This means the soul cannot be perceived either through our material senses or through the material methodologies that are incorporated in laboratories to understand the material processes of this world. The soul which is eternal and spiritual can never be understood by material and empirical means. One who desires to understand the soul and reincarnation must resort to the science of spirituality as delineated in the Bhagavad Gita and follow the principles and instructions under the guidance of a bonafide spiritual teacher. Then one is sure to realize the soul and how it reincarnates from one life to another. One can understand the presence of the sun through the bright sunlight even when the sun might not be visible to us. Similarly, despite being invisible, the soul can be perceived in the form of consciousness that dwells not only in humans but in all living entities. In addition to this, there have been many modern-day scientists who have endeavoured to find the truth about the soul and its transmigration after death. One among them is Late Dr. Ian Stevenson.

Late Dr. Ian Stevenson, the Head of the Psychiatry department in West Virginia has revolutionized the whole western world by his outbreaking researches in the field of reincarnation wherein he had found numerous outstanding instances of young ones giving vivid details of their previous lives which turned out to be true on proper verifications.

Being an eminent member of the present scientific fraternity, he did not simply reject these visible pieces of evidence simply because they appeared to be opposing the common notion of modern science. He presented his research in front of the whole world so that the truth ab