This is always an interesting topic!
Krishna says: ‘ I show you two paths. Let a yogi choose either when he leaves his body: the path that leads back to birth, the path of no return. There is the path of light, of fire and day, the path of the moon’s bright fortnight and the six months’ journey of the sun to the north: the knower of Brahman who takes this path goes to Brahman: he does not return. There is the path of night and smoke, the path of the moon’s dark fortnight and the six months’ journey of the sun to the south: the yogi who takes this path will reach the lunar light: the path leads back to human birth, at last.’
I’ve always believed in reincarnation. I have had a number of past life experiences. Indeed, my first book is called, ‘Why Am I Here This Time?’
In answer to Arjuna’s severe misgivings, Krishna explains the Yoga of Knowledge. he says: ‘Arjuna, is this hour of battle the time for scruples and fancies? Are they worthy of you who seek enlightenment? Any brave man who merely hopes for fame or heaven would despise them. What is this weakness? It is beneath you. Is it for nothing that men call you the foe-consumer? Shake off this cowardice, Arjuna. Stand up.’
Arjuna continues to debate the rights or wrongs of this war, and the noble people who he must fight and kill. Krishna explains that the soul does not die and he says: ‘Worn-out garments are shed by the body: worn-out bodies are shed by the dweller within the body. new bodies are donned by the dweller, like garments.’
So we meet the eternal spiritual debate. Is there life after death? Do we believe in reincarnation?
Krishna recommends releasing attachment to actions. He recommends steadiness of purpose. he says: ‘Water flows continually into the ocean but the ocean is never disturbed: desire flows into the mind of the seer but he is never disturbed. The seer knows peace: the man who stirs up his own lusts can never know peace. He knows peace who has forgotten desire. He lives without craving: free from ego, free from pride.’
It is said that prayer is talking to God, and meditation is listening to God.
Yogis think of the Supreme Being as Brahman. Each one of us has a little spark of Brahman within us and this is known as Atman. Atman is the True Self or soul. So when we talk about yoga being a journey of self-discovery, it is really Self-discovery.
Our soul continues on from incarnation to incarnation. It never ages or dies. It contains within it all the lessons that we have learnt. When we meet with someone who we recognise as a soul-mate, it is highly likely that we have enacted with that person before, in a previous life.
During meditation, we have an opportunity to quieten the everyday mind and to be open to insights and realisations. The more often we connect with Brahman and Atman, the easier it becomes to live in a soulful way.