Reincarnation rebirth primarily has its roots in philosophy of life detailed in Bhagavad Gita. As per Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita the journey of life primarily belongs to consciousness, spirit existing in our heart as soul atman. To evolve become purer from within, every soul atman manifests body forms one after another. This chain of manifestation continues unabated until a soul atman reaches cosmic end of life, 8.4 millionth manifestation (last in cosmic life cycle).
The process of soul atman changing various life forms in an unbroken sequence is termed reincarnation, rebirth. The entire lifespan of a soul atman is one single unbroken journey devoid of any breaks. After death of mortals only when matching parents are not available on mother earth, the souls’ atmans hibernated in heaven or hell (swarga or naraka in Hinduism). After death of humans or any living form on mother earth, the released soul atman manifests a new body based on residual balance of karma at the time of death.
If the residual balance of karma at the time of death demands that one shall be born a laborer in next life, it just could not happen that the soul atman manifests form of a prince. In the entire cosmic system law of karma is governing, as we sow so shall we reap nothing less or more.
Based on doctrine of reincarnation and karma if we desire manifesting a better life form in next manifestation after death of present body, it becomes our duty to indulge in good karma positive karma in present life. Only then the resultant Punya karma initiates soul atman fructifying a better life form in next manifestation. As stage of total purity by soul atman could not be reached in a single lifetime limited by 70 to 80 years of earthly life, the onus of improving our cosmic life is squarely on us. Indulgence in good karma all the time is a sign of spiritual maturity.
All successful people in different walks of life always indulged in positivity, positive karma most of time. As has rightly been said at a given moment of time a human being is, sum total of ones thoughts! By maneuvering our thoughts process, invoking positive thoughts most of time we can not only become absolute master of present life but also manifest destiny forever. What is needed was a willpower exhibited by Swami Vivekananda. To understand precepts of spirituality like doctrine of reincarnation, law of karma our indulgence in Hinduism scriptures is necessitated.
No matter how best we tried we just could not understand philosophy of reincarnation in absence of study of sacred texts of Hinduism relating to spirituality not religion.
The principle of reincarnation is best understood by following the example of an institution. A student of class one promotes to class two. Similarly a soul atman after death of mortal body manifests a new body to start a new journey of life on mother earth. The student remaining the same the clothes change and so do the textbooks. Even the teachers change including the classroom. Practically everything changes except the student. In cosmic parlance also excepting the soul everything else changes!
The earlier manifestations by soul atman may be form of a boy located in India. This boy had a longing to go to USA for higher studies but could not make it in his lifetime. The deeply ingrained wish precipitates in next life, next manifestation. The soul atman of the boy after death of mortal body manifests a new form of a girl somewhere in United States of America. This new manifestation by soul atman as a girl is intrinsically connected to the earlier life as a boy but how could one know? As ordained by God, workings of one life were not disclosed in next life.
It was for the basic reason that intelligent human beings do not manipulate laws of karma by backtracking. Prime reason why many human beings world over remembered their past.
Evidence of Reincarnation
In Hinduism, in India belief in doctrine of reincarnation, rebirth was as factual as belief in existence of God. In Hindu faith all believed in existence of God. As all souls’ atmans were integral part of God Almighty, people of Hindu faith never believed that it was human beings who reincarnated. Based on residual balance of karma it was soul atman within that manifest a new form. This belief in doctrine of reincarnation and karma promotes the ideology that Hindus must all the time indulge in good karma positive karma not only to improve their present but also future.
As scriptures say we are presently passing through Kali Yuga, the Dark Age metal age. As the adage accordingly the blind following! Forgetting all about next life most Hindus in present times indulged in karma that was totally detrimental to their future life. On the contrary, people in West though knowing nothing about reincarnation or karma indulged in good most of time. The glow on their faces said it all. The people in West lived life as detailed in Bhagavad Gita. Believing in ideology but not implementing it always proves ghastly and that is what is exactly happening in India today. Wanting to live a spiritual life but most indulged in materialistic pursuits of life.
Reincarnation exists, the doctrine of reincarnation could never be belied especially by a Hindu but to what avail! Day-to-day we hear stories of people remembering their past life. Nothing was made up; everything was based on pure logic as explained in Bhagavad Gita. On mother earth souls atmans manifest a body to work out its karma, scale higher levels of purity within. But human beings dominated by a bloated ego indulged otherwise. Egoism promotes negativity. We lose track of life most of time. It is only few individuals, travelers of spiritual path who keep the flame of spirituality burning. Such human beings, dear sons and daughters of god always keep working within fixed parameters of evolution reincarnation and karma.
Nothing, not even God Almighty could sway them from their path of truthfulness.
For travelling spiritual path successfully our understanding of doctrine of karma reincarnation and evolution was an absolute must. For this we must indulge in sacred teachings of Bhagavad Gita and also Upanishads (independent treatises).
The doctrine of evolution says all souls atmans keep evolving all the time. The first manifestation by a soul atman is form of amoeba (single cell formation). It further evolves into multi-cell formation, insect life, plant life then animal form and finally human form. As per evolution plan of God Almighty, more and more lower forms of life keep evolving to higher levels. Prime reason why the population of mankind keeps increasing day by day! It is a wrong notion that human beings directly evolved from stage of monkeys. Similar as Hitler who owing to horrendous atrocities committed on Jews would again manifest a lower form of life, even birds and sometimes plants could directly evolve into human beings.
This is not only a possibility but an exact truth of life detailed in Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads.
To grow spiritually belief in doctrine of reincarnation is an absolute must. We must understand that as human beings we directly evolved from stage of amoeba, then insect life, plant life… animal form and finally the human manifestation. All the lower forms of life in the evolution hierarchy were our brethren, our younger brothers and sisters. Prime reason why it is advocated in scriptures of Hinduism that we must see God in every single form of life! Even different religions, cultural traditions and faiths accepted and promoted this Hinduism point of view.
This does not mean that a tiger let loose if pouncing on us, we must not retaliate! Lower forms of life are unaware of their inner self. They do what was best for them. Feeling hungry a tiger would surely pounce on a passing cow. The cow simply could not expect the tiger practicing forgiveness.
It is only in human form we truly realize the inner potential. As stated by various enlightened ones like Mahavira, Gautama Buddha even Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed… if we were to kill a duck for our meal then we should not land killing three instead of one. For the extra two killings (we indulged for the sake of pleasure) we would be surely punished by God Almighty. None can escape this cycle of karma, we reap what we sow nothing less or more.
In Hinduism sacred texts there is no dearth of evidence of reincarnation. It is our belief in god that affirms our faith in doctrine of karma evolution and reincarnation.
Transmigration of Souls
Transmigration of soul is differently interpreted by various dictionaries including encyclopedic Wikipedia but Tao of all religions Hinduism not only interprets it differently but proves itself as the religion from which emanated correct and the only definition of transmigration of souls.
As detailed in Hindu scriptures transmigration of a soul occurs when after death of mortal body on mother earth the released soul atman, the consciousness within again manifests a new body to start new journey of life. This cycle of birth and death also called rebirth continues unabated until the cosmic life of a soul atman, the 8.4 millionth manifestation. As the cosmic journey of life truly belongs to a soul atman, the manifest human form was but a medium to purify itself, cleanse self of dross impurities within. The process of transmigration of soul is integral to evolution of life in cosmic system. In absence of transmigration, no life would evolve in cosmic system. Everything would just become stagnant decay and die.
For karma to manifest, for human beings and lower forms of life to evolve the process of transmigration as detailed in Bhagavad Gita was an important aspect of cosmic life. From human point of view transmigration of soul is integrally connected to human life. If we say we are a physical manifest being manifesting consciousness within, we were definitely wrong in our surmise. We are primarily a consciousness, spirit located in our heart that manifested human form to work out its karma, cleanse self of dross impurities within. For human beings to evolve all the three processes, that of karma, transmigration and evolution were integral to our very sustenance on mother earth. No karma, transmigration or evolution… life would just stand still in cosmos.
Furthermore, for human beings to purify themselves as soul atman, our undertaking spiritual journey was mandated by god. And this spiritual journey can be successfully covered when we believed in doctrine of karma, transmigration and evolution. A traveler of spiritual path following doctrines of Hinduism clearly understands the value of indulgence in requisite karma for self to evolve from within. Transmigration of souls is the precept, law of karma the path.
Something that was immortal alone can transmigrate from one manifestation to another and that was our soul atman, consciousness existing in our heart.
To understand doctrine of reincarnation, our belief in existence of souls’ atmans, God was necessitated. Only then we can clearly visualize the underlying principles of spirituality contained in scriptures of Hinduism.
To summarize all, understanding doctrine of reincarnation was necessitated to indulge in spirituality successfully to reach cosmic goal of life, stage of enlightenment and finally moksha salvation.