Reincarnation “A journey of our Ego”

મે 20, 2008 at 8:37 પી એમ(pm) 5 comments


                                       “A journey of our Ego”


  Every creature seeks comfort and happiness during its lifetime but only our human soul never satiates just with creature comforts  and so it always longs for freedom from the cycle of birth and death or for a permanent place in heaven. This is its ultimate goal. It seems that, this longing, drives every human being towards one religion or the other.[1] Every religion proclaims that they have found a way to Salvation,( Nirvan, or Mukti.) Every religion preaches that by living a righteous and ethical life a man can surely reach his goal. By living thus he steps closer to his goal and by living an evil and unethical life he steps further away. Hindus call this process “ Law of Karma.” Even though all religions put utmost emphasis on righteous living the law of karma stipulates one very essential factor for righteous living. It suggests that just righteous living alone is not enough to reach the goal of salvation, because all karmas good or bad will fetch a reward and to claim that reward one must be present in a physical form. ( i.e. reincarnate in some physical form.) But if he does all his karmas without putting a claim as the doer of the karma ( i.e without involving personal Ego) he or she does not have to come back to accept the reward, hence no rebirth. This type of work is called Nishkama Karma and only via such karma one can reach the goal. This doctrine is accepted by all eastern religions. However the western religions promulgate a different doctrine called resurrection. They state that after death every one needs to wait till the day of resurrection or ‘Kyamat ka Din’. On that day all the souls wake up to hear the judgment from God. Till then all souls, meritorious or sinners, must reside in a place called purgatory.(Then, is not our world that purgatory ?) After the judgment is passed they go either to heaven or to hell. None of them gets a second chance to correct his or her follies. Can God ever be so cruel, so unjust? I don’t think so.Why would he keep the pious ones in limbo with the sinners? Why would the  merciful God not give another chance to amend our follies?

These two different doctrines accepted by two different groups of religions are just a surmise. But unlike the western religious group the eastern religious group, instead of relying on blind faith, puts forth a sincere effort to provide following logical explanation to justify their doctrine.

According to theologies of eastern religions reincarnation is just a way of evolution of the Ego (Jivatma) traveling through time. Birth is the time for soul to evolve and Death is the time for it to rest during this long journey thru time. This belief in reincarnation or rebirth is deeply engraved in psyche of Hindus, Jains and Buddhists because the societies that believe in the doctrine of karma had no other option but to acccept rebirth, a second chance, given by a truly just God.[2] Otherwise how can one justify good fortune of a dishonest evil minded person ? They justify his good fortune (Prarbadha) by citing to his good karmas (Purusharth) of some previous life. Every Hindu, every Jain and every Buddhist believe that doing meritorious karmas is just a first step for a soul to proceed toward the final goal, called Moksh or Nirvan  (freedom from the shackles of cycles of birth and death) and only by doing selfless Karmas (Nishkam Karma) the final goal can be reached. Thus it is up to each individual to choose his or her path. From this it should be clear that Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism do not promote a fatalistic (prarbadhvada) view of life but, to the contrary, the emphasis is on a very goal oriented (purusharthvad) approach to life.

According to Hindu theology all beings are a confluence of three Gunas,[3] And their preponderance and potencies keep varying with individuals and even in the same individual they vary with time. Also according to this theology human being is considered to be a package of following three entities. 


1. An entity which is invisible and beyond clear perception of human senses called

                  The causal body.: Paramatma  (karan shareer)


               2. A visible and perceptible entity called

 The gross body. : The Physical form              ( karya shareer)


               3. And an invisible yet perceptible entity called

               The subtle body. : Jivatma, Ego, Personality  (karta shareer )


                   Now let us briefly delve into each of these entities separately to apprehend their viability for reincarnation.   

1 The Causal body (karan shareer) otherwise also referred to by other names such as God, Brahman, Paramatma, Ishwar, Bhagvan, Allah etc.

This entity is the primordial cause for everything that exists in the universe. It is the one and the only most essential ingredient of everything that exists.  Without its support nothing can exist. It is just like a colorful painting drawn on a transparent screen. Even though the screen is invisible, without it, a painting can not exist and without a painting there is no painter.

Gita describes this entity as follows

     “It is that which is neither born nor will it die, and it is never that it did not exist in the past or that it will not exist in the future or it does not exist in the present.

( i.e. it is beyond shackles of time) This unborn causal body is permanent, eternal, immutable, and even older than time and is indestructible. Only the physical body succumbs to destruction.” Gita 2-20 [4]                 

From this description even a slightest notion for its viability of rebirth should not arise. The one who does not die how can it be reborn? 


2 The physical body (karya shareer) Generally referred by various other names such as Body, Shareer, Tanu, Deha, etc.

According to sankhya philosophy every object, including our physical body, is an inert object composed of one or all of the five elements. viz, Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Space.(Panch Mahabhoot) And only after a specific and proper combination of these elements it acquires a specific physical form and becomes manifest to our senses. This manifestation is called Birth. 

The first three of these elements represent the existence of inert matter in solid, liquid and gaseous states. Fire represents heat and light energy via which the inert matter is preserved and perceived. And space represents the domain of force of Gravity via which the whole universe is held together. 

According to Gita. 

 “Just as a person discards his old worn out clothes and puts on new ones, in the same way (Jivtma, Ego, the subtle body within this physical body ) discards this worn out old body and accepts a new body.” Gita 2-22[5]

Thus when the corpus, or any physical object, is distroyed it totally disintegrates and reverts back to its original elements ( Law of conservation of mass and energy) And after their release these elements can reunit to form a new body, new object, of different type and form. After decomposition every object eventually disappears i.e. it remains unmenifest[6] (Gita 2-28) This is known as Death. Thus what we know as birth and death is nothing but a process of distruction-the unmenifest state and reconstruction –the menifest state of these five elements. i.e


3        Subtle body (karta shareer) also referred  to as Jivatma, Anthakaran, Ahankar, Vyaktitva, Ego, Personality, Character etc.

This body is said to be composed of four elements. Which are Mana(Mind), Buddhi (Intellect), Chit (Sub conscious) and Ahamkar (Ego). Instead of treating them as separate elements it will be easy to comprehend them as four different phases of the same faculty for acquiring knowledge. The word Antahkaran literally means the process of internalizing all our experiences we go through in the present life. In other words it is a process of developing our character, our Ego, our personality, our personal Identity.

We all know that there are four major factors involved in learning about any subject. 

1) Acquiring data

2) Analyzing and classifying this data

3) Storing or saving these classified data and

4) Labeling it properly to retrieve it easily for future use.

Now let us consider how this is achieved thru the use of these four phases of one faculty called Antahkaran.

Thru the use of our senses of actions and perceptions our mind (Mana) experiences the world around us, thus acquiring data. And then it hands it over to Our Intellect (Buddhi) 

Our Buddhi  analyses and classifies this data to decide whether it is good or bad, whether it is pleasurable or painful. And feeds this information to Sub conscious (Chit) where it is stored.

From there on our ego (Ahamkar) takes it over and neatly arranges this data and labels it as “This is what I am, this belongs to me”. And it is this ‘I’ that we keep projecting from our personal world  (personality) within to the physical world without. Thus Jivatma is nothing but our Ego, our character that we build during the process of internalization, done during our entire life time under the influence of three Gunas.

After death this ‘I’ is transported to some new physical body. In Gita an explanation is given about the way this transportation occurs.

 ‘Just as the wind carries the fragrance of a flower from one place to the other so does our ego ( Jivtma) carries all the impressions gathered during the present life to the one to be acquired. And after establishing itself in the mind and physical senses of the new body it enjoys new life. The new body that the jivatma acquires is always appropriate and conducive for gratifying unfulfilled desires of his previous life.’ Gita[7] 8,6

At the time of death Jivatma carries along with it two types of impressions. The ones with the highest priority are considered potent and exhibit themselves as vasanas  (desires) in his new life, while the ones with lower priority exhibit themselves as samskar (his innate nature). After the death Jivatma abandons the cadaver which decomposes and Jivatma goes his own chosen way. In his new life jivatma, according to his samskar, performs new karmas to exhaust his vasanas, but in doing so it accumulates new impressions which are stored and utilized in evolving and advancing one step further in the cycle of birth and death. Thus the chain continues until it is broken by the chisel of Nishkam karma.

To comprehend this process of transportation of impressions from one life to the next let us compare it with the current day wireless technology. Just as the audio and video information from a transmitter is broadcasted in space and picked up by a properly tuned receiver so are the impressions ( thought waves) gathered during the present life and picked up by a properly tuned (i.e. physically and mentally most conducive to receive and act on it ) new body.

This idea, of course, is a wild conjecture of human mind but why should one under estimate the power of human brain which helped us to progress this far! I hope in future some one will be able to verify this type of Thaught wave transmission. Gita 15- 8,9


 Shareerm yt avapnoti yt cha api utkramti ishvar  

 Gruhitva etani smyaati vayuhu gandhan ev Aashayaat .      Gita 15- 8


 Shrotram chakshuhu Spashranm cha rasanm ghraanam ev cha

 Adhishthaay manah cha ayam vishayan upasevate.              Gita 15- 9



                 Girish Desai

1         Three major eastern religions are Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Three western religions are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.


[2] However unlike Hindus, Jains and Buddhists do not directly promote a belief in God, but yet indirectly they suggest that any human being can attain Nirvan, i.e. a state of Godhood, by his own efforts. That is why  Buddha  and Mahavir  earned appellations of Bhavan -Buddha  an  Bhavan  Mahavir.



3 Tamo-Guna: represents inactivity and ignorance. It is more prominent                                                in lifeless physical objects and in very primitive life.

Rajo-Guna: represents activity and growth and prominently seen in plant and all animal life.

Sattwa-Guna : represents a longing for and knowledge and progress. Prominent in humans.

   As mentioned earlier every human being possesses these three Gunas in varying proportions at varying times. And every individual is classified as either Tamasick, Rajasick or Sattwick according to the prominence of the respective Guna he displays for most of the time.


            4        Na jaayate mriyate va kadaachin, na bhootvaa bhavitaa va na bhooya

                      Ajo nityah shaashvato ym purano, n hanyate hanyamaane shareere    Gita 2-20






             5         Vaasamsi jeernani yathaa vihaaya, navaani grhinaati naroparaani

                           Tathaa shareeraani vihaaya jirnaan, anyaani samyaati navani dehee.   Gita  2-22


              6                         Avyaktadini bhootaani, vyakta madyaani bhaarata

                                           Avyakta nidhanaanyeva, tatra kaa paridevanaa                      Gita  2-28


              7                Ym ym vaapi smaran bhaavm, tyajayante kalevarm

                              Tm tamevaiti kaunteya, sadaa tad bhaava bhaavith                 Gita  8-6








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“ચિતા નો અગ્નિ” ” The Shadow and The Screen.”

5 ટિપ્પણીઓ Add your own

  • 1. pragnaju  |  મે 22, 2008 પર 6:53 પી એમ(pm)

    ખૂબ સુંદર.
    મારુ માનવું છે કે આ સરળ ભાષામાં કહેવાય તો વધુ સારું.જેમકે –
    દાદાશ્રીએ આવી વાત સરળ રીતે કરી છે.વિરાટ કોને કહેવાય કે જે આપણા અહંકારને પણ ખાઈ જાય.આપણા અહંકારનેય ભક્ષણ કરી જાય,એનું નામ વિરાટ!અને તેનું ફળ શું આવે? આપણને વિરાટ બનાવે!લખ્યું છેને, શેક્યો પાપડ ભાંગવાની શક્તિ નથી ને અમારો અહમ્ લઈ લે છે.ત્યારે એક જણ મને કહે છે, તે તો સાચી વાત. જે આપણો અહમ્ લઈ લે, એ વિરાટ પુરુષ!લાખો અવતારેય અહમ્ જાય એવી વસ્તુ નથી. આ એકલી વસ્તુ નથી. પણ જ્યાં વિરાટ સ્વરૂપ હોય, તે આપણો અહંકાર લઈ લે. વિરાટ સ્વરૂપ કોનું નામ કહેવાય કે જેનામાં સહેજ પણ બુધ્ધિ ના હોય, છાંટોય બુધ્ધિ ના હોય. આમ ગોદા મારી મારીને અહંકાર જ કાઢી નાખે એટલે જેનો અહંકાર સંપૂર્ણ ગયેલો હોય તે જ લઈ શકે.એ વિરાટ પુરુષ કહેવાય.પોતાનો અહંકાર ખલાસ કરે એ જ્ઞાની, બીજાનો અહંકાર લઈ લે એ વિરાટ પુરુષ !

    જવાબ આપો
  • 2. Janardhana  |  જાન્યુઆરી 6, 2010 પર 12:22 પી એમ(pm)

    Very beautiful explanation. I had been searching for a confirmity that Jivatma himself is Ego. With this one understanding we can somehow correlate between dwaitha and adwaitha to certain extent. Because adwaitha says that nothing exists other than Brahman. Self is Brahman. Upanishads say there are two birds in the body. Now it is clear that if we shed ‘ego’ i.e jivatma what remains is only Brahman…perfect non-duality..merging with Brahman. Thank you very much for this article.

    જવાબ આપો
  • 3. gdesai  |  જાન્યુઆરી 7, 2010 પર 1:12 પી એમ(pm)

    Shree Janardhanabhai,

    Thanks for such a nice comment about my article.
    Please do visit my blog as time permits and reflect on my other
    Thank you very much.


    જવાબ આપો
  • 4. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi  |  ફેબ્રુવારી 21, 2010 પર 12:51 પી એમ(pm)

    According to His Holiness Maharaj Sahab (1861-1907), the 3rd Spiritual Head of Radha Soami Faith, “during satyayuga,……… consequence of their greater spirituality and of the high purity of their heart, had no difficulty in getting access at times into the astral planes and holding communion with the departed spirits.” (Source: Discourses on Radhasoami Faith). Greater Spirituality as mentioned above is linked to the size of pineal gland. In Satyauga pineal gland was highly developed but in Kaliyuga the pineal gland is a rudimentary (undeveloped) organ. This is downward evolution of humankind. We should ascertain the period taken from highly developed pineal gland to undeveloped pineal gland. This will determine the Age of Human Existence on this Earth Planet. Other arguments, as I think, will not help much.
    In Bhagavad-Gita Lord SriKrishna says to Arjuna:
    “I taught this immortal Yoga to Vivasvan (sun-god), Vivasvan conveyed it to Manu(his son), and Manu imparted it to (his son) Iksvaku. Thus transmitted to succession from father to son, Arjuna, this Yoga remained known to the Rajarisis (royal sages). It has however long since disappeared from this earth. The same ancient Yoga has this day been imparted to you by Me, because you are My devotee and friend, and also because this is a supreme secret”.
    At this Arjuna said: You are of recent origin while the birth of Vivasvan dates back to remote antiquity. How, then, I am to believe that you taught this Yoga at the beginning of creation? Lord SriKrishna said: Arjuna, you and I have passed through many births. I remember them all, you do not remember.
    1. Radha Soami Faith was founded by His Holiness Param Purush Puran Dhani Huzur Soamiji Maharaj on the prayer of His Holiness Huzur Maharaj who later on became second Spiritual Head of Radha Soami Faith. The prime object of the Radha Soami Faith is the emancipation of all Jeevas (Souls) i.e. to take the entire force of consciousness to its original abode. There is a tradition of succession of Gurus or Spiritual Adepts in Radha Soami Faith. I am one of them as is evident from the following facts or ….
    “My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state.
    HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab. Sarkar Sahab later on became Fourth Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith.
    Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ (Agam Geet yeh gawan chahoon tumhri mauj nihara, mauj hoi to satguru soami karoon supanth vichara) but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.”

    જવાબ આપો
    • 5. gdesai  |  ફેબ્રુવારી 21, 2010 પર 2:23 પી એમ(pm)

      Thank you so much for responding to my article

      જવાબ આપો

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