One has always wondered whether rebirth does actually take place.To me it is a reality,though many doubt that it does,specially in the West.There have been many anecdotal evidences to prove it and lots of books have also been written on this subject.As far as I am concerned I know it to be true from personal experience.
Why does it occur?According to our mythology,when the human soul is about to leave the human body at the time of death,whatever form it wishes to take,it comes back again in that form.The human birth is supposed to be the highest form of creation in which God has bestowed upon us “free will”whereby we have choices to experience virtually whatever we wish to. Therefore the soul,in order to experience a particular type of life,reincarnates in that particular body to experience what it wishes to and evolves further(we are always evolving).This is of course,based on one’s karmas.
By the time one gets a physical birth,one has forgotten that one is a part and parcel of the Almighty,to which one should strive to return.If the soul wishes to experience God it gets born in situations or circumstances where it comes in contact with people who sort of act as “catalysts” to help it evolve further towards God.It is quite likely that at this juncture it meets a Being who teaches and shows the soul the path to God.This Being could well be a Guru/Prophet/Master,whatever one wishes to address him by(like Gautam Budha/Guru Nanak/Sant Kabir/Jesus Christ/Prophet Mohammed or a modern day guru who has actually traversed the path to Self Realisation).If,however,the soul has wished to experience something else,it takes the form of a of a human being with different charectaristics or traits and experiences something entirely different,but always keeps evolving.Sooner or later,(though it may take many births),it will heed the message being constantly communicated to it through intuition/instinct/sixth sense etc to follow the path of Truth,which the soul ultimately starts to seek.
The reality is that many of us are aware of our earlier births and perhaps feel excited about it and start seeing or meeting many of our friends/relatives/well wishers/enemies of an earlier birth and try to reestablish the same connection but one should remember that now the same person who may have been a brother/sister/friend or whatever had that specific role to play as THAT person in THAT particular birth but in the present incarnation the role may not be the same as before!Therefore one should not get too excited about it.The reality possibly is that this is just to pay back our karmic debt to each other and we assume different forms to do so.To give you an example.You find that your boss is overbearing and singles you out for “special” treatment.Perhaps you may not even be aware that this is happening to you only to balance out the way you treated him in an earlier birth, where perhaps you were bossing over him!Similarly,you suddenly find that you are stranded somewhere in dire need of help with no one in sight and you think you are” finished” but miraculously someone appears from nowhere and bails you out.Again a karmic debt is being paid.
The fact that most of the time we do not remember anything about our previous births is actually a blessing.You can imagine what would happen if you started recognizing all your earlier relatives/friends/enemies/well wishers/associates/bosses/subordinates etc and tried to maintain contact with all of them.You could have all types of feelings….. of love/hate/stress/fear with which it would be impossible to cope.In addition present relationships could also get affected.
Learning or knowing about your past life/lives can very well be a part and parcel of your spiritual growth and is often a by product of progress on your path to God Realisation,but here also,Gurus try to dissuade you from trying to unravel earlier mysteries for the simple reason that solving them or remembering your past serves no useful purpose at all as each birth and each relationship has a different purpose than the earlier one and could very well complicate your present life.
Often,some Psychiatrists can get a patient to remember his/her past life but here the purpose is often therapeutic as very often past mishaps could be causes of fear/phobias and a trained psychiatrist could help the patient get over the phobia by making him/her aware of the reason for it.
It is very common for reincarnation to take place in “clusters”,which means that many people you may have known in an earlier birth,may be born again around the time you are and may actually be ‘around you “!There is so much truth in the saying that “The world is a stage”!It actually is as we are all playing our role life after life,in one birth one could be a father, while in the next one might be born as the son to the person one fathered earlier!
If one were to realize this one would take a lot of things in one’s stride.This is one of the reasons why God Realised souls discourage you from saying bad or foul things about anyone(of course,the main reason is that since our Atma is actually a part of the Parmatma,when one says something bad about anyone, one is actually maligning God).
Very often one wonders why one takes a strong liking to someone one meets for the first time and gets a feeling that one has met that person before!But despite one’s best attempts neither can figure out when and where.It is quite likely that one has met someone one knew earlier in a past life.For no apparent rhyme or reason this relationship grows.Again,one must remember that though there is so much of familiarity the purpose of the present meeting may be entirely different from the one in the previous birth.
By the same token,one may come across some one to whom one takes an instant dislike even though one has never met that person before.This again might be a case where paths may have been crossed earlier in an earlier birth.As so often happens,such a person one seems to keep meeting over and over again,one may get irritated,angry or upset but this might just be a situation where both are actually meeting to balance things out.As you progress on the true path you realise that the purpose of such meetings is to reach a state of the highest good for both the concerned parties and you understand that your duty is to even things out,therefore,act in a manner whereby confrontation is avoided and an action done whereby reconciliation can take place and if posible real forgiveness and love.One,however,may fail once,twice or many times(meaning thereby that one has not acted in the manner commensurate with the highest good of both) but such events will continue to take place till the issue is resolved for the good of both(by such repeated events,one is being given a chance to correct oneself)!
Sooner or later one evolves to a stage when one starts “seeking the truth” and with the help of a God Realised soul starts traversing the path towards God and becomes One with Him.Once that happens this cycle of birth and death is broken and one does not come back again as one becomes a part of Him.It does,however,happen that a few chosen few(like Budha/Guru Nanak/Jesus Christ/Kabir/Prophet Mohammed) take birth to guide people and help them towards the path to God.