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Magazine : Matrusri English
Language : English
Volume Number : 2
Month : September
Issue Number : 6
Year : 1967

“What use is it then to think or discuss about

 previous lives or future lives? “

– Mother

THE theory of karma would lave us believe that cur sufferings and happiness are the result of our actions in the past lives. This accumulated, unspent karma- or potential experi ence is named Sanchita. From that potential mass. a small part is made kinetic and we go through that in this life; it is called praarabdhi. That part to be undergone during next life is a gaami, i.e., yet to come. It is belived that man can, by consecration of his life to prayer and meditation, get rid of sanchita and aagaami but not praarabdha. He has necessarily to undergo praarabdha, That was why, it is argued, Christ, Buddha, and Ramakrishna had to suffer from pain before their death, even though they attained to a state of purity earlier. The great variety of wordly experi ences of men is explained as being due to the variation of their praarabdha and this argument is reinforced by assuming infinite number of past lives for an individual before he is born as man!

This theory is at best an extrapolation of the observation that in this world, law over takes a criminal, though a little later than the moment of His crime; and of the observation that even pious men are seen to suffer before dying. A cosmic law, it is assumed, should also be operating to bring crime or injury to its desert. But this big edifice of karma siddhanta proves, on examination, to be only a castle built entirely in the air. It has no basement or foundation! Genarations of men fancied this and shuddered at the thought of its vertical length, but did not try to have a look at what its foundation could be. “If our experiences (and hence our initiatives) of this life are due to those of the previous life, and those again are due to its pre vious one, and so on, what could be the cause of the intiatives of the first life?” queries Mother. They should have been set for us, but could not be any consequences of a previous life, as such a one could not exist for the first life. If that could be the truth about our first life, it could equally be true ab ut this life, and why. then should we assume previous births at all? Al the previous births were postulated in an attempt to explain our experiences of this birth; and the result is a misperable failure! What use is it then to think or discuss about past or future births?

If we know for certain that our acts any life breed potential experience or karma, why don’t we do only good acts now? What is it that prevents us from doing so? After all, it would be to our own advantage to do good always; it would not be for any other’s benefit. Why don’t wa? and why can’t we? Obviously we are not free to do all that we would like to. What could it be that conditions our behaviour? If it is a He, (She or It) then is He not responsible for all our thoughts, words and deeds? Eoould such a conditioned action lead to binding karma. Of what use is it then to think or discuss about the capability of our past lives to shap our present one?

We are of late hearing about individuals telling their present relatives that they lived in a previous life elsewhere, and even identifying their past-life-acquaintances’, when taken there. “But there is no case of one reporting where or how he was during the period between death there and birth here!” (Mo her). How could the continuity of the same individual through the two lives’ be established by these sporadic accounts of the memery of a departed person? And to what present use or advantage do s it lead, this discussion of previous lives? “Are we doing good acts with the fear that we may have to suffer in another life if we do otherwise?” No! Of what use is this belief then? If it can’t explain anything unknown in our present life, and if it cannot inake use more happy, why think about or discuss about previous lives?

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