5. Who Are You, Human? Part 5.


Designing Our Future

Reincarnation2-700x511

(Artwork copyright Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International – www.krishna.com. Used with permission)

The Vedas say  that our future incarnation is determined by the state of consciousness, in which the soul leaves the body at the moment of death.

 For example, if consciousness at the time of death is in the mode of goodness, the soul goes to the higher worlds, to continue the path of spiritual progress.

If a person dies in the mode of passion, he regains the human body to continue fulfilling his materialistic plans. If, however, a consciousness of a person is immersed in the mode of ignorance at the time of death, it opens the way to the lower worlds, or lower forms of life.

In this sense, reincarnation is a perfect tool which gives the soul a chance to live in a variety of bodies and go through a varied experience, which allows the soul to gradually get rid of his material desires and seek spiritual quest.

The Vedas mention 8,400,000 forms of life that exist in this universe, which represent different combinations of three modes of material nature.

Out of these, 400,000 – are humanlike forms from snowmen to people of higher humanoid planets or, angels in the biblical language.

 The Mechanism Of External Reincarnation

What is the mechanism of external reincarnation?

How can the soul in the human body go into the animal’s body?

(Artwork copyright Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International – www.krishna.com. Used with permission)

It begins with the fact that a person in this life can degrade to the level of animal consciousness, and a new body will consolidate this state of consciousness corresponding to the physical body, for the time being.

For example, if a person in this life, manifests the quality of the predator, uses violence and eats the products of violence, it creates an appropriate mindset and God in the heart, or Super consciousness, gives him the appropriate form in which violence is natural.

For an animal such behaviour is normal, but for a human is not.

If a person is completely indiscriminative in the diet, he can get a form of life, for which this kind of food is more typical than for humans.

Those who love to sleep longer than is necessary will be able to fulfil their wish in the bodies of sloths, bears, or cats, which sleep 70% of the time. Lovers of scuba diving can get fish bodies, and fans of flying can get the body of birds.

The person who commits violence in his life, later becomes a victim of violence.

For example, the word “meat” in Sanskrit sounds like Mom- sah.

“Mom” – means “me” and “Sah” – “you”. It carries the idea of cause and effect – now you’re killing me, then I’ll kill you.

For Meat lovers it is better to switch to soy meat, or at least give up the meat of cows, which are the most useful animal for humans, and the Vedas regard cow killing as murder.

Being in the cycle of cause and effect relationships, we are entangled in the traps of karma, which we have created.  Exhausting his old karma, a person, immediately creates a new one, which forces him to get more and more new material bodies.

The animals are almost devoid of free will and thus they only experience the old karma, gradually rising again to the human form of life, to regain the freedom of choice. The soul in the animal body does not create a new karma, otherwise it would be forever deprived of the chance to rise above.

Thus, the Vedas say that the objective purpose of human life is to achieve the 4th state of consciousness above the three modes of nature. It is pure spiritual consciousness, which allows to fulfil three requirements of a soul – eternity, knowledge and happiness.

This level is achieved due to the fact that, having risen to the mode of goodness, a person does not stop at the proper philosophical understanding of life, but begins to engage in practical spiritual activities – meditation and service to God.

If a person lives in the mode of goodness, he gets maximum benefit from the material life, since among all material qualities, the mode of goodness is the highest, as well as an accurate perspective of spiritual development. Therefore this way of life can be called the path of progress.

If a person chooses the standard of living in the mode of passion or ignorance, then he wouldn’t be able to experience a higher quality of material life, and the prospect of spiritual development  is closed for him. Since in ignorance and passion a person cannot understand a profound spiritual philosophy and consistently engage in spiritual practice, therefore, it is a path of degradation.

 Path Of Spiritual Evolution

In order to help a soul to rise above matter, there are different evolutionary systems in a human society.

The Vedas call these universal practices by the term Yoga which means “relationship with God.” In the west, this concept is represented by the term “religion.”

Yoga has several stages.

The first stage is Karma Yoga, which means that a person is connected with God through his activity – karma, or through his physical body.

The second stage – Jnana yoga or Sankhya yoga means that the connection is through spiritual knowledge or our subtle body.

The third stage is  Ashtanga Yoga (eightfold Yoga) – a relationship with God through meditation and breath control.

The first four stages of this practice are known as Hatha Yoga, and four higher levels are referred to as Raja Yoga.

Bhagavad Gita proclaims Bhakti yoga as the highest form of Yoga – relationship with God through love and devotion of the soul.

This practice includes elements of all previous systems, but surpasses them all because it involves our most profound essence – the soul. The rest of the yoga practices involve only the shell of the soul – the physical and subtle body.

 Seven Energy Centres of a Human

Thus, the human body is like a power plant, which is designed to elevate consciousness.

The consciousness of the soul circulates through subtle energy centres of the body – the chakras, which are responsible for specific functions.

chakra-names

 

The lowest chakra – Muladhara – is responsible for the accumulation of vital energy in its unrefined form. Its influence in our lives is seen as a hoarding instinct.

The second chakra – Swadisthana is linked to human sexual function.

The third chakra – Manipura is in the area of the solar plexus or stomach and is responsible for digestion.

These three lower chakras are related to human physiology.

The fourth chakra in the heart area is called Anahata, and it is responsible for emotions, love, compassion and mercy.

The fifth chakra Vishuddha is located in the throat at the base of the tongue and is associated with the communicative function of a human ability to speak and articulate thoughts.

Sixth Chakra – Ajna or Agya is in between the eyebrows, and sometimes called the third eye.

The highest seventh chakra near the fontanelle at the junction of the three cranial bones is called Sahasrara – thousand-petal lotus, which symbolizes the full potential of consciousness, while the lower chakra symbolizes the consciousness in the seed stage.

So, a human in his development must go from a complete egoist and a consumer, to a giving person, able to devote himself to spiritual service, and to surrender himself to God.

According to the Vedas, the best form of the harmonious development of the chakras is Bhakti Yoga – a relationship with God through love and devotion. This practice affects the heart chakra, the habitat of the soul.

Such is the path of harmonization of the chakras, from the centre to the periphery.

The heart chakra is the centre and acts as a bridge between the three lower and three higher chakras.

Thanks to the spiritual opening of the heart the lower centres get spiritualized and this is reflected in the fact that demand for food, sex and the accumulation naturally diminish.

The diet tends to become vegetarian, and sexual love begins to transform itself into a higher form. As for the higher chakras, – the human speech, depending on the condition of the fifth chakra is cleared of dirty language and becomes more spiritualized.

The sixth chakra begins to provide a person with a correct understanding of life. At this level, he is able to not only understand God, but to love Him, because his Intelligence becomes emotionally charged due to the opening of the heart.

And that’s why, a person decides to devote himself to a spiritual practice in which there is a direct contact with God, and all three requirements of a soul – eternity, knowledge and happiness are fully realized.

To be continued…

 

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