Theory of Rebirth by Swami Rajarshi Muni

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Theory of Rebirth by Swami Rajarshi Muni

Aug 23, 2016

This is an excerpt from Yoga: The Path to Eternity by Swami Rajarshi Muni available in our online store. 

Theory of Rebirth

Yogic philosophy, like the ancient Gnostic form of Christianity, maintains that the soul is immortal and transmigrates from life to life in an endless succession. Yoga addresses not only life in the hear and now, but also after the death of the physical body. This means that although a person's earthly body will sooner or later decay and die, the soul remains forever unborn and undying. Accordingly, the immortal soul lis reborn after each physical death in an unending series of lifetimes, one after another. In Sanskrit, this ceaseless passage of the soul through cycles of birth and death is called Ava-gaman, meaning "coming and going".

Although the soul is immortal, as an embodied soul, or "Jeevatma", it appears to be dying and reincarnating when tied to the endlessly revolving wheel of mundane existence (Samsar). According to the philosophy of Yoga, the purpose of life is to find release from the wheel of births and deaths by securing liberation, called Moksh. While a soul lives on after death of the body, this survival after death is merely a temporary respite from life on the earthly plane and not real liberation. After the death of the physical body, the soul retains subconscious impressions of merits and demerits acquired during previous lifetimes. When a soul is reborn in a new body, the impressions, or innate tendencies, remain within the psyche, completely delineating an individual's personality.

Thus, one's thoughts, attitudes, words, and deeds --- whatever enters the subconscious---are etched upon the psyche as impressions and are carried into the next lifetime. The theory of transmigration, or rebirth, is based on the metaphysical process of action and reaction known as the Law of Karma. Whether a future rebirth will be for better or worse compared to one's current lifetime, will depend upon the nature and quantity of the rewards and punishments that are due to one on account of one's past Karmas or actions. The Law of Karma not only makes one personally responsible for what one does, but also explains individual differences in birth, heredity, environment, and circumstances.

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