Q. Please tell us about past-life experience. Please let us know your experience about your own past life.

Ans. (Swamiji smiles). Why? Don’t you have enough burden from this lifetime’s experiences, that you want to carry the ones from the past lives? 

You know, it’s a fascinating field of study and area of experience to be able to go in your past life, and experience or see what you were up to. Maybe you led quite an ordinary life, or maybe it was an extraordinary life. You won’t know until you see it. 

For that, you really need “Perfection of the Posture”. Without that, I cannot help you. Because, imagine you are travelling through different states of consciousness and in one lifetime, you were, let’s say, a Rabbit. Imagine you are experiencing your life as a Rabbit, munching on carrots, going from one hole into another, hopping around various fields and farms, and so on. At that time, you shift in your existing posture! Now, you will become aware of your human body in this current lifetime, but in the consciousness of that Rabbit. What you are going to be like, nobody can predict then! (You can imagine the visual – having a Rabbit’s brain and tendencies in a human body!!!).

Krishna says : 

शरीरं यदवाप्नोति यच्चाप्युत्क्रामतीश्वर: |
गृहीत्वैतानि संयाति वायुर्गन्धानिवाशयात् ||

As the air carries fragrance from place to place, so does the embodied soul carry the mind and senses with it, when it leaves an old body and enters a new one.

Like air takes scent from flowers, similarly, soul takes with it, tendencies of one’s mind. ‘Tendencies’ does not necessarily mean ‘Memory’! When we talk about past-life experiences, what we want is ‘Memory’ of our past-lives. That’s not necessarily you may get into, unless you “Perfect your Posture” and “Stillness of the Mind”. 

Patanjali says : “Memory is the unmodified collection of our experiences”. To tap into your memory which was beyond this body, “You would have to go into the body that you were in”, at the time that experience happened! Because, even though all experiences are registered in the mind, somewhere, everything we experience is through the body. Whether that’s any kind of touch, taste, smell, sight or sound. It’s all through the body. 

That’s what I could tell you in terms of past-life experience. I read this somewhere : Napoleon captured this person in a battle he won. And this person was a major of an army in Italy. He was originally from Hungary. And Napoleon captured him, and was talking to him. He reminded Napoleon of another battle which happened when Napoleon wasn’t even born! And Napoleon said, “Oh! You have quite a few years under your belt! How old are you?”. The soldier said, “I don’t know. Maybe 60 or 70”. Napoleon said, “60 or 70? Don’t you know how old you are?”. He said, “My Lord, I have kept track of my horses, my troops, my shirts, my money, because somebody can steal them. But I have not kept an account of my years, because who’s going to steal them? They are just passing. They are mine!”.

So, keeping track of your past lives? I may feel that way because out of curiosity, we want to know more, but it not going to help anybody progress in ‘this’ Spiritual life, unless, they are able to determine their Spiritual path by experiencing their past life, which is really the only benefit I see.

As far as my own past life, (Swamiji smiles), well, “I Was, Am, and Will be”. That’s in a nutshell.

 

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