August 2012

There is a sense of justice and logic about reincarnation, the soul’s re-entry into material creation. God is not unfair.  Our present life is like a frame in a filmstrip of many lifetimes.  This is not our first material body.  It is the most recent and it is connected to our activities in previous lifetimes.  This principle of present actions affecting future lives is called karma.  Plato describes this in Republic: ‘God is blameless: man has chosen his own fate and this by his actions.  Reincarnation is a manifestation of God’s compassion.  It is an opportunity for us to improve ourselves and to learn the science of love of God.

What is life?  A newborn child displays the symptoms of life.  You can hear the sound of it and feel its warmth.  Sometimes a newborn baby is awake and sometimes alseep.  The child will grow, then die.  Where did its life force go?  What did its short stay in this world mean?  Do we have no choice in this world?

‘I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence’ – Socrates.

‘The soul comes from without into the human body, as into a temporary abode, and it goes out o it anew…it passes into other habitations, for the soul is immortal’ – Emerson

[From Steven Rosen, The Reincarnation Controversy]



Rupa Goswami’s Laghu-Bhagavatamrita, 1.23:


kvacic caturbhujatve ‘pi na tyajet krsna-rupatam/ atah prakasa eva syat tasyasau dvibhujasya ca


‘Sometimes even in a four-armed form, Krsna does not give up His nature as Krsna, the son of Yasoda.  That form should be considered a prakasa of the two-armed form’


‘But should not the four-handed form that Krsna showed to Rukmini when she fainted in fear that he would leave her be considered vilasa, since the shape is different?  This verse answers.  According to Medini-kosarupa means ‘nature’ and ‘beauty’.  Thus krsna-rupatam [quoted in the original Sanskrit verse translated above] means ‘He does not give up his nature of Krsna as the son of mother Yasoda.  Because His nature remains he same, he should be considered the same, prakasa, instead of vilasa.’  The two-armed form is the basic form in that situation.  Thus in the smrti it says yatravatirnam krsnakhyam param brahma narakrti:  amongst the Yadhu, the supreme brahman called Krsna appeared in a human form (Visnu Purana 4.11.4).  There is no disturbance of the two-handed form if sometimes for joking there is a prakasa of four hands, because even then Krsna’s nature remains that of the two-handed form.  The same explanation can be given for Krsna’s four-handed appearance when He was born in the prison house, where it is said babhuva prakrtah sisuh:  he then appeared in His original baby form (SB 10.3.46)’

English: Rupa Goswami

English: Rupa Goswami (Photo credit: Wikipedia)