Krishna- Reincarnation - Bhagavad Gita

Nov 2015
149
Canada
I know I don't really post here anymore, but I posted to this thread when it came out and reincarnation is extremely interesting to me as I have come to a lot of realizations that Venu has actually mentioned here, like reincarnation in Judaism among other religions. While I did look over the additional pages added to this thread it was a lot to read and so I'm sorry if this isn't actually that on topic (Er, I guess the topic itself stopped being a reincarnation thread so much as a Hinduism thread, so I'm getting it back on topic?)

For the past 3 years, I have deeply immersed myself in studying various schools of Hinduism (along with a couple Buddhist schools) because when I became Baha'i, and heard of this unity among religions, I wanted to see it for myself and began studying the world religions out of love and passion, studying them through a Baha'i lense. I'm aware that the authenticity of Hindu scriptures is 'uncertain' according to the Baha'i faith, and honestly, I do see why. I question a lot of things and am generally a skeptical person, and there are a few Hindu texts I would definitely say have suffered significant distortion. However, in these years of reading and taking stories to heart and even memorizing a lot of the stories that stuck with me (I personally love the story of Vamana), I experienced something profound. It was as though a torrent of truth flowed its way deep into my soul, and really made me think on my origins as a human, where humanity came from, how we changed over time. I have found so much truth in my studies of Hinduism that it has probably influenced my life more than any other religion, because there's nothing quite like it I find. I do think that other religious folk (sadly including some Baha'i's) like to completely discredit Hinduism because of some of those differences. I've even had a Baha'i in my own community question my years of Hindu studies, since in their perspective Hindu scriptures are uncertain so I should not waste my time with them. Honestly, there is so much truth you can find not just in one Hindu school but among so many. There is a unity because Hinduism comes from God just as the Baha'i faith did, even if for whatever reason people struggle to recognize that unity. I really think not just Baha'i's but the world at large would greatly benefit from embracing Hinduism instead of rejecting it. It's good to be skeptical, but open mindedness is also important. I'm skeptical and don't take things at face value, and so through embracing Hinduism with an open mind but also continuing to question it has led me down a most wonderful path where I've learned and grown like no other time in my life. Hinduism and the Baha'i Faith are one and the same, different steps of the same staircase. Different boards of wood knit into the same floor. I think that people really need to stop being so dismissive about Hinduism in general especially in the west. I really can't explain how often say Christian people in my city will bash Hinduism without a care when really without it, their church probably would be unrecognizably different because Hinduism is very much a cornerstone of ancient religions that has influenced much more than just India. Be you Baha'i, Muslim, Christian, etc, I urge everyone to try and embrace such a wonderful faith full of truth instead of reject it because of uncertainties.

I've posted before about reincarnation, actually earlier in this thread. With complete confidence I say I believe in reincarnation as a Baha'i. My studies of various schools (Primarily Vedanta and Samkhya, but also the schools of Saura, Shaktism and a form of Vaishnava called Vaikhanasa) have personally proved to me quite thoroughly that reincarnation is the truth and I have not a single doubt in my mind.

What surprises a lot of people, is that I also agree with Abdu'l-Baha's treatise against reincarnation. I don't think you will reincarnate as the same person with the same appearance, nor that you reincarnate as an animal of some sort (metaphors man), for example. Nor do I believe in material reincarnation (gaining material reward/punishment with heaven and hell being strictly in this world with no mention of an afterlife, as he opens Some Answered Questions 81 with) or that somehow the matter that makes up myself will be purified by repeatedly returning (" in that condition matter becomes a clear mirror, the light of the spirit will shine upon it with its full power, and essential perfection will be acquired. "). I also would argue that this belief against reincarnation is not binding, as Abdu'l-Baha was the unerring interpreter of Baha'u'llah's words, and Baha'u'llah did not speak on reincarnation, therefore this writing of Abdu'l-Baha is something that is fallible (though extremely informative and well thought out!). In the text I'm referring to he flat out pretty much says "Hey, this is just one side of it, people should bring pro-reincarnation proof to the table too, but you asked specifically about stuff against reincarnation so here's my points on that" with the lines "Proofs must be asked for from the believers in reincarnation, and not conjectures, suppositions and imaginations. But you have asked for arguments of the impossibility of reincarnation. This is what we must now explain." With this in mind I would argue that the case for reincarnation is much less open and shut than people tend to think. This, paired with my studies of Hinduism and Buddhism have led me to conclude that reincarnation is indeed true. While I don't have any quotes off hand to show the nature of reincarnation from a Hindu perspective, Venu might (Sorry if I'm putting you on the spot friend) as he seems to be quite the knowledgeable fellow with a deep understanding of things which I admire a lot.

This thread is starting to feel like it's pulling at the strings of unity. I urge you all to try and embrace each other with open hearts and minds and not resort to personal attacks. That is very irreligious and has no place here or anywhere. I love you all and I don't want to see my family fight.
 
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ams

Nov 2019
88
Thailand
Additional to @Saveyist posting :yes: - which personaly i agree - i would also mention

that there are also scientific explorations ot reincarnation.

At least as scientific as possible... because reincarnation - of course - is crossing the border between the material and spiritual level.

The result of those researches (over decades) is: YES, all is pointing that reincarnation is real.

One of the most public known researcher was (but not the only one):
Ian Stevenson - Wikipedia

He does not belong to a specified religion... so there is no religious agenda... or dogmas... he had to care.
Also he did not make intepretations of the spiritual meaning of reincarnation...

He just was exploring (over decades) - as much as possible with scientific methodics - the possibility of reincarnation...

Especially with children (worldwide)... who could remember a past life and could give very accurate information about... which he verified then.
 
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Oct 2014
1,822
Stockholm
For those who believe in reincarnation. Just consider the number of people on Earth. Then, consider the number of insects. Finally, give a thought to how few cats there are. The conclusion is that most of us don't deserve the distinction of returning to Earth in the shape of a human. Most have to accept leading our next life as an ant, a worm or - a gnat. Then there are the lucky few, who have earned the reward of coming back as cats:
 

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Nov 2015
149
Canada
I don't know why you'd think humans are not deserving to be human but I adore the comic strip. And as well Abdu'l-Baha's (though technically older than that) number 36 in Some Answered Questions would explain why one would not become a gnat. We possess souls of a more advanced form than that of the soul of a gnat, in short. Though I really would like to be a cat, haha.
 
Oct 2014
1,822
Stockholm
Anyway, Abdu'l-Bahá was unequivocal on the subject of reincarnation:

"When thou lookest about thee with a perceptive eye, thou wilt note that on this dusty earth all humankind are suffering. Here no man is at rest as a reward for what he hath performed in former lives; nor is there anyone so blissful as seemingly to pluck the fruit of bygone anguish. And if a human life, with its spiritual being, were limited to this earthly span, then what would be the harvest of creation? Indeed, what would be the effects and the outcomes of Divinity Itself? Were such a notion true, then all created things, all contingent realities, and this whole world of being—all would be meaningless. God forbid that one should hold to such a fiction and gross error.

For just as the effects and the fruitage of the uterine life are not to be found in that dark and narrow place, and only when the child is transferred to this wide earth do the benefits and uses of growth and development in that previous world become revealed—so likewise reward and punishment, heaven and hell, requital and retribution for actions done in this present life, will stand revealed in that other world beyond. And just as, if human life in the womb were limited to that uterine world, existence there would be nonsensical, irrelevant—so too if the life of this world, the deeds here done and their fruitage, did not come forth in the world beyond, the whole process would be irrational and foolish."


Best,

from

gnat
 
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Sep 2010
4,602
Normanton, Far North West Queensland
I don't know why you'd think humans are not deserving to be human but I adore the comic strip. And as well Abdu'l-Baha's (though technically older than that) number 36 in Some Answered Questions would explain why one would not become a gnat. We possess souls of a more advanced form than that of the soul of a gnat, in short. Though I really would like to be a cat, haha.
With all things it is up to each of us to sort out what may be Truth in this life.

In the Kitab-i-Iqan, Baha'u'llah explains what it is that returns to this world from ages past. It is the attributes, be them good or bad.

It is our own self, our choice in our use of soul and mind that either embrace the attributes or neglect that action and portray the darkness found in this life.

The more we read of what Baha'u'llah has offered, the more we see that every thought and action has a consequence that is universal in scope and definitely has consequences in this world.

I read this last night while reading Baha'u'llah and the New Era by J. E. Esselmont

"... According to the teaching of the Prophets, disease and all other forms of calamity are due to disobedience to the Divine Commands. Even disasters due to floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes are attributed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá indirectly to this cause. (Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era)
www.bahai.org/r/772423317

Regards Tony
 
Oct 2019
57
Vrindavan
I'm aware that the authenticity of Hindu scriptures is 'uncertain' according to the Baha'i faith, and honestly, I do see why.
I think it's due to a misunderstanding. The Baha'i religion is in the line of the Abrahamic religions and thus its origin lies in Judaism and Christianity, with which the Baha'i religion, strictly speaking, has the same uncertain origin based on oral traditions. Even the Qur'an already had different levels of interpretation in its origin, which were opened up and passed on through the respective oral traditions.
Now comes the Baha'i argument that there is, however, a current prophet who vouches for the authenticity of the teaching and who becomes the interpretation key. But then Baha'i would also have to recognize the Hindu avatars of the current time, which also confirm and renew.
Here I do not find the teachings of the Baha'i conclusive or too self-centered.

I have found so much truth in my studies of Hinduism that it has probably influenced my life more than any other religion, because there's nothing quite like it I find. I do think that other religious folk (sadly including some Baha'i's) like to completely discredit Hinduism because of some of those differences. I've even had a Baha'i in my own community question my years of Hindu studies, since in their perspective Hindu scriptures are uncertain so I should not waste my time with them. Honestly, there is so much truth you can find not just in one Hindu school but among so many. There is a unity because Hinduism comes from God just as the Baha'i faith did, even if for whatever reason people struggle to recognize that unity.
Hinduism is a very difficult concept. Had Christians and Baha'i on the Indus been found by Muslim immigrants at that time, Christians and Baha'i would also have been Hindus. For the same reason, some people say that Buddhism belongs to Hinduism because Buddha was Hindu.
It is a purely geographical term.
Hinduism, however, is based on the Vedas from which Hinduism originated. One could also say: from which the multitude of religious currents grew. Since there is some evidence that the Vedas were the origin of most of the polytheistic religions in Europe from which the Abrahamic religions originated, the Vedas could also be called the cradle of religion in general.
But I do not want to claim now that all western religions were a result of the Vedas. That would be too far-reaching and inappropriate.
Baha'i might, however, help to understand that Hinduism does not see itself as Hinduism, but sees itself as the result of a common revelation which, however, has no origin, but reveals itself again and again through the cycles of time. Here, Baha'i should have no difficulty whatsoever in dealing with "Hinduism".
 

ams

Nov 2019
88
Thailand
Hi Siddhanta
The Baha'i religion is in the line of the Abrahamic religions and thus its origin lies in Judaism and Christianity, with which the Baha'i religion, strictly speaking, has the same uncertain origin based on oral traditions.
Here... i would disagree.

On the scripture level:

The Baha'i scriptures are even the only ones in the Abrahamic religions...
which was written by the Prophet... sorry... by the Manifestation of God... himself.

So they are not based on a "uncertain origin... based on oral traditions".

This... we - in Christianity - can not fully say about the holy Gospels... also not of the whole Bible.
Neither Muslims nor Jews can say this about their scriptures.

So yes, there is - for the outer mind - some "uncertainty... based on oral traditions" in affect in the scriptures...
But in the case of the Baha'i Scriptures it is imho not.

About the Gita ... im not tooo much familar of the history... but imho the Gita was written also down by "unkowns?... based on oral traditions".

Please note: All that doesn't really matter.

Because we must recognize the spirit of Truth... "wherever the wind is whistling".

If for example one is strictly unable or even unwilling to recognize the spirit of Truth... then also not in the Baha'i or Hindu or the Bible scriptures.

But if he is, then everywhere, where truth appears.

...

On the spirtual level:

Also the origin of the Revelations via Lord Bahāʾullāh was not the Quran... not the Bible... also not the Tora.
Nor the Tradition.

The origin was the Sun of Heaven itself.

As it also was the case with the Revelation via:
Lord Jesus, Mohammed, the OT-Prophets, Buddha and of course Lord Krishna... back that times.

Sure... Bahāʾullāh was quoting the Quran and the Bible.
As Mohammed quotes the Bible. As Jesus quotes the scriptures of the OT-Prophets.

And sure they all were very familar with the Tradition and the scriptures.

But neither the books nor the Traditions were their origin of the Revelations trought them ... but it was Heaven itself.

They all quoted the scirptures just to show that the current brandnew Revelations...
were not in contradiction but in alignment with the Revelations before them.

Some were able to recognize and thus could accept the fresh Revelations ... and some or even many were not able.

...

There is a saying in Buddhism that Buddha could appear to you as a beggar and is willing to give you the key of Enlightenment... and then you have to recognize it in this case also. But if not... then you would also not really recognize it, if a holy monk are willing to give you the key.

At least, it is the same meaning in Baha'i with the Rose and the Ground. Or the Sun and the Lamps.

To much dependence to the Lamp is not the same as having Love for the Sun.
 
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Oct 2019
57
Vrindavan
The Baha'i scriptures are even the only ones in the Abrahamic religions...
which was written by the Prophet... sorry... by the Manifestation of God... himself.
As I wrote:

Now comes the Baha'i argument that there is, however, a current prophet who vouches for the authenticity of the teaching and who becomes the interpretation key.

About the Gita ... im not tooo much familar of the history... but imho the Gita was written also down by "unkowns?... based on oral traditions".
I don't spoke about the Bhagavad-gita, but about the Hindu avatars of the current time.

But then Baha'i would also have to recognize the Hindu avatars of the current time, which also confirm and renew.
Regarding the Bhagavad-gita: As I wrote to you, the origins of the Baha'i religion are also to be found in the oral traditions of the ancient religion. However, these were confirmed by Baha'u'llah, or some, which makes them authentic.

The Bhagavad-gita also has its origin in the oral tradition, but was confirmed by current avatars. You must be so serious in your own religion that you apply the principles identically.

But neither the books nor the Traditions were their origin of the Revelations trought them ... but it was Heaven itself.
As I wrote:

Baha'i might, however, help to understand that Hinduism does not see itself as Hinduism, but sees itself as the result of a common revelation which, however, has no origin, but reveals itself again and again through the cycles of time.
Sometimes it might help us to really read the contributions of other participants and not just use them to deliver our text modules.
 

ams

Nov 2019
88
Thailand
Sometimes it might help us to really read the contributions of other participants and not just use them to deliver our text modules.
Oh... then please sorry @Siddhanta, if i misunderstood your posting.Sure it was not my intention but only by accident.

The Bhagavad-gita also has its origin in the oral tradition, but was confirmed by current avatars. You must be so serious in your own religion that you apply the principles identically.
Definitely.

Let me also mention that even i'm not able to interpret the Bhagavad-gita because i'm not much familar with i.e. the symbolics..
but i know that those who are... with a spiritual and enlightenment consciousness....

there are always shines a deep and universal Truth out of the interpretations and teachings.


So for me it is clear (and always was) that the words of the Bhagavad-gita can have only a divine origin.

Whoever... or whenever... the words was written down to the scriptures of the Bhagavad-gita .