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Ramana Maharshi => General topics => Topic started by: Nagaraj on March 04, 2009, 02:31:27 PM

Title: Birth, Death and Rebirth
Post by: Nagaraj on March 04, 2009, 02:31:27 PM
What is Birth and Death? This question haunted me for a long time. Then one day I understood thus:

What is called as Birth? We know what is birth by seeing a child being born, if a child is born, then we know it to be birth, we say a child is born. Similarly, we know what is death when we see some person die. We see a person lie flat as know im to be dead. We call this as death! Both the above points i.e. birth and death is known to us by seeing what is birth and by seeing what is dead. So we have only seen what is birth and what is death.

Do 'I' or 'you' know what birth are death is? Do you remember your birth? How much so ever you try to recollect where from, when you were born, you cannot recollect your own birth! The truth is 'You' 'I' are birth less. You know your your birth day, time of your birth only by what others have told you, for example, your parents have recorded your birth date and so on, but do you really know your own birth? you have been believing that you were born on this date this time etc...

The fact is, 'You' can never know your birth date at all by yourself, for you are actually birth less. Similarly, 'You' can never know your death at all because you can never know when you die? do you? So long what we know about death is only what we saw, but we have never experienced death or birth. The fact is you can never experience Death because you are Deathless.

So now what is Rebirth?

Is there a Rebirth? You are born every moment, and when every moment that passed by you died. to make it more simple, every new thought is
your rebirth and every thought that just passed by is your past life. You are born and dead innumerable number of times - countless.

This moment when you know this truth, now you can remember all your past life's. What you were and what you are now. What is called prarabdha is this. It because of your past actions you are now thus. You can recollect your past life. It is said Buddha recollected all his previous life's -  It is this truth!

The Vedas, Upanishads say, you have now been born as a human being after ountless births and you have this rare opportunity to be born as a human. What is its essence? Does it mean you were something else in your past life and all? Just think about this. Let me take an example of a Terrorist, Does he know he is a human being? He does not, He has all animal instinct in him, He kills, destroys and all etc.. later at some point in his life, he then realizes his folly, he realizes how he has been so long like an animal, now when he realizes this truth, that moment he is born as a Human Being. He was animal in his past life as a terrorist. Now when he realized his folly he became a human being. This is the Truth!

I would like to illustrate this further with the srory of Jadabharatha.

As the story goes just when all his austerities were going to give him their fruits i.e. when he was just about to attain liberation, One day while offering prayers to the Sun God on the river bank, he saw a lone and heavily pregnant doe coming to quench its thirst in the river. Hardly had it touched the water when the forest echoed with the roar of a lion. The doe became terror-stricken and it just leaped into the water without even quenching its thirst and tried to ford it in a bid to escape to the other side of the river. Shocked by fear and overcome by the effort to negotiate the current, the doe gave birth to a young deer midstream. Without even being aware of it, the doe reached the other bank where it died of exhaustion. The royal sage who saw it all, was moved by compassion at the sight of the motherless infant deer being carried away by the river. He picked the young deer, took it to his ashrama and fed it with tender grass and protected it from wild beasts. Soon he grew very fond of it. In course of time the sage became so attached to it that he could not part from it even for a short while. He feared all sorts of harms to his pet and prayed for their removal. He forgot that he was a sage and behaved like a foolish householder doting over his child. In the end he died with thoughts of the deer in his mind.

The Vedic scriptures say that a man will be born in his next birth as that thing about which he was thinking most at the time of his death. So in this case, Jadabharatha thinking about the motherless deer, for the love for the deer, and hence he was born as a deer (He decided to be its caretaker, Mother deer), the essence is that he is not born again as a deer but in that love, he forgot himself and himself lost in the love of the deer became a (caretaker like a mother) deer to take care the motherless infant deer. He became a mother deer. Like How sometimes, young people are mesmarised on terror and become terrorist. Similarly, Jadabharatha became a deer. Then like the example being discussed how the terrorist realizes his folly and becomes human being, Jadabharatha realized - "regretted: "How foolish of me to have forgotten my tapas and become attached to an animal? And now I suffer for it, being born an animal. I shall not repeat the mistake." Saying this the deer left its mother and began living in the vicinity of a Rishi's ashrama spending all its time thinking of God. When death approached, the deer entered the water of a river and standing there, gave up its body. So the last thought at death was he realized his mistake and did not want to commit the same mistake (Note he dint die, his thought dies).

In the next birth the deer was born as the son of a pious Brahmana. The past tapas and mistakes lingered in the child's mind and so he did not want to commit the same mistake. As a child Bharata in his third birth did not show any attachment to his family. He did not even speak. People therefore called him Jada or a dunce. Hence the name Jada Bharata.

I have seen some people saying that they have wasted their life so far and they cannot do anything in this life and hope for the best in the next birth! The question is do they even have this birth like how they think? or is there another birth like they think? The truth is there is no "Next Birth" like how it sounds. Rebirth is now. Death is now. You dont die or take birth at all. So there is No Birth, no Rebirth, or Death at all as it is normally understood. The real essence of Birth, Rebirth and death is only your thoughts and not you.

Title: Re: Birth, Death and Rebirth
Post by: Nagaraj on March 07, 2009, 12:02:35 PM
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Krishna said to Uddhava thus about death:

The mind combined with 5 indriyas and tendencies derived from Karma which constitute the linga sharira (Subtle Body) transmigrates from one body to another. The Atman though different from the Linga Sharira, also seems to follow it because of the absolute superimposition between them.

The mind of the dying man, swayed by his own actions and their impressions, thinks intensely on experiences he had in life, on what he had seen, heard and passed through. Consequently he feels that he has entered a new body that has manifested by its intense thought, and left the old one. With the coming of the consciousness of the new body, there is complete oblivion of the old body, its history in the world.

On account of the intensity of attraction felt for the new body for whatever reason, the memory of the of one is completely effaced.

Death means this complete forgetfulness of the old body and its affairs by the Jiva.

The acceptance of the new body by the Jiva and his complete identification with it is called birth. How this happens is found in the examples of dreams and reveries. As in these states, the Jiva becomes completely oblivious of the old body and gets identified with the new one. The Identification is absolute that the Jiva forgets its pre-existence and comes to believe that he has come into being with a new body.

When Jada Bharatha saw the infant deer without its mother, he became its caretaker by becoming its mother. then when he realized his mistake, he left the old body as a mother - caretaker and also the infant deer and was born again as a pios Brahmana and attained the lord.