Reincarnation (Talks)

A District Official, a Muslim: What is the necessity for reincarnation?

M.: Let us first see if there is incarnation before we speak of reincarnation.

D.: How?

M.: Are you now incarnated that you speak of reincarnation?

D.: Yes. Certainly. An amoeba developed into higher organisms until the human being has been evolved. This is now the perfection in development. Why should there be further reincarnation?

M.: Who is to set limits to this theory of evolution?

D.: Physically it is perfect. But for the soul, further development may be required which will happen after the death of the man.

M.: Who is the man? Is he the body or the soul?

D.: Both put together.

M.: Do you not exist in the absence of the body?

D.: How do you mean? It is impossible.

M.: What was your state in deep sleep?

D.: Sleep is temporary death. I was unconscious and therefore I cannot say what the state was.

M.: But you existed in sleep. Did you not?

D.: In sleep the soul leaves the body and goes out somewhere. Then it returns to the body before waking. It is therefore temporary death.

M.: A man who is dead never returns to say that he died, whereas the man who had slept says that he slept.

D.: Because this is temporary death.

M.: If death is temporary and life is temporary, what is it that is real?

D.: What is meant by the question?

M.: If life and death be temporary, there must be something which is not temporary. Reality is that which is not temporary.

D.: There is nothing real. Everything is temporary. Everything is maya.

M.: On what does maya appear?

D.: Now I see you; it is all maya.

M.: If everything is maya, how does any question arise.

D.: Why should there be reincarnation?

M.: For whom?

D.: For the perfect human being.

M.: If you are perfect, why do you fear to be reborn? It indicates imperfection.

D.: Not that I fear. But you say that I must be reborn.

M.: Who says it? You are asking the question.

D.: What I mean is this. You are a Perfect Being; I am a sinner. You tell me that I being a sinner must be reborn in order to perfect myself?

M.: No, I do not say so. On the other hand I say that you have no birth and therefore no death.

D.: Do you mean to say that I was not born?

M.: Yes, you are now thinking that you are the body and therefore confuse yourself with its birth and death. But you are not the body and you have no birth and death.

D.: Do you not uphold the theory of rebirth?

M.: No. On the other hand, I want to remove your confusion that you will be reborn. It is you who think that you will be reborn. See for whom this question arises. Unless the questioner is found, the questions can never be set at rest.

D.: This is no answer to my question.

M.: On the other hand, this is the answer to elucidate the point and all other doubts as well.

D.: This will not satisfy all others.

M.: Leave others alone. If you take care of yourself others can take care of themselves.

Extract from Talks with Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talk 644

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