Reincarnation: do you believe in it?
It does sound like an interesting idea.
Shlokas and Vedas definitely support the idea of reincarnation and the epics of the same could be found in Hindu-mythology which provides us, intensively, with stories of someone reincarnating for the sake of humanity and to win over evil powers.
One such Sholka that almost everyone listens to, if not necessarily learn for the Sanskrit class as a child, goes something like this…
Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir-bhavati bharata
Abhythanam-adharmasya tad-atmanam srija-myaham
Paritranaya sadhunaam vinashay cha dush-krutam
Dharma-sansthapan-arthay sambhavami yuge yuge.
That is the English version of the actual Sanskrit verse, but for someone who knows Hindi this verse is an easy one to translate and understand. Yes, Sanskrit is different and very hard as compared to Hindi and no, it is not used anymore. Hence, it is like a foreign language even in its own land. I am just one of those who likes knowing what is ought to be known like this amazing verse from the Bhagavad Gita, which I have never read though.
Oh yeah the verse actually talks of someone, the saviour or the almighty or god, use a noun that suits your fancy but the idea is of it/them reincarnating. And not just reincarnation but a purposeful comeback. As I was told by the elders that, god would come back (reincarnate, I guess) for ‘Dharma-sansthapan-arthay’ meaning to establishe righteousness whenever and as many times there is a “galani to the Dharma” meaning unrighteousness.
And if I am not wrong every religion believes in the very same idea of a saviour and yet there are some who say things like ours is better than yours.
Anyway staying on the topic, so it is not just reincarnation there is more. Another belief is that, one has to do great deeds before being incranated as a human and also that one can be reincarnated as a human after being incarnated as 84 lakh other kinds of living things. I believe this includes plants, animals and microorganisms. Yes our ancestors were way too deep and serious about all this. Not to forget they also talked about the ways how one could get out of this endless cycle of karma – the births and deaths and re-birthing by attaining Moksha* the word literally means liberation.
Get this… In many parts of the country during funerals a heap of flour is evenly spread to from something like a circle in a quiet corner of the house which is then covered with a basket and is left undisturbed for sometime before someone lifts the basket and carefully analyses the flour for any kind of prints, mind you it was undisturbed and covered, and I am telling this from experience, prints appear onto the flour. These prints mean being reincarnated as “someone or something“ Once I saw a flower print in someone’s funeral that I attended when I was very young.
So imagine being brought up being surrounded with all that. I believe my western friends would find it overwhelming, interesting or maybe even funny. And with all this knowledge and information but no proofs though, I am not really able to deny the idea of reincarnation. Come to think of it, it might just be an idea like aliens – too many secrets too less time to unravel them all. Interesting prompt but I will take spirituality over religious beliefs any day.
*I find it funny how I have to add an ‘a’at the end of every Hindi word written in English just because even our consonants end with ‘a’ sound – phonetically speaking.