Remembering Past Lives
(Vinod Anand)

If you remember two or three lives, you will be in the same state as the centipede that had been living perfectly well and was going for a morning walk, when a little rabbit asked him, “Uncle, I have to ask a question:

How do you manage your hundred legs: which one should come first, which one second, and which one third...? How do you manage one hundred legs together?” He said, “I have never thought about that.

I am not a philosophical type. But I will try and find out.” He tried and fell immediately over his legs. He was very angry with the rabbit: He said, “Keep your philosophy to yourself. Never ask any centipede... Everything is being managed on its own, and I have never thought about it.

You are a dangerous fellow..!” If you know three or four lives, you will be in the same position. You will not be able to move, because these same people were related to you in your past lives in different relationships.

Somebody was your child, now he is your father; somebody was your mother, now she is somebody else’s wife... you cannot go to her. Perhaps the neighbour’s wife was your wife. Your mind will be so bombarded.

That’s why nature absolutely closes the doors, completely seals them so you don’t know anything about where you are coming from. But those doors can be opened. In India we have a special science for it jaati smaran, remembrance of the past. A certain meditation, certain preparations and you can enter into past lives. But remember that you have to have the stamina and the guts not to get lost.

Only in the East has reincarnation been considered. And the three religions which have been born in India are the only religions which have an absolute agreement on the point of reincarnation. The problem to understand is, Hyakujo says: the knower of birth is the unborn witness.

If you have not died with absolute consciousness, you cannot talk about the unborn and the undying. Confucius was not a religious man. His concern was more civilization, culture morality, etiquette, and ethics.

One day a young follower asked him, “You talk about life, how to style it, refine it, make it honest, truthful, but you never say anything about what will happen after death.” Confucius said, “There is no need to talk about it.

It is certain that you will die. Then, lying in your grave for eternity, you can think whatever you want to think. Why bother me? I will be thinking in my grave; you will be thinking in your grave.” He simply laughed about the question, because to get entangled in a question like death or birth, immediately brings you to the point that these things are beyond thinking.

The English word ‘ignorance’ to me simply means ignoring your Buddha, ignoring your own nature. This nature is absolutely clear, transparent. You can see the whole world reflected in it, just like in a mirror, but you have to be utterly silent, centered. That’s what we are trying to do here.

All that you perceive, name, know is contained in your mind. From all your five senses you go on collecting knowledge. Those five senses are really extensions of your mind. Birth and death have no influence on the no-mind. It simply floats away above birth and death. I would like to call this witnessing the Buddha.

Author's Bio: 


Born in 1939, and holding Master’s Degree both in Mathematics (1959) and Economics (1961), and Doctorate Degree in Economics (1970), Dr. Vinod K.Anand has about forty five years of teaching, research, and project work experience in Economic Theory (both micro and macro), Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, New Political Economy, and Development Economics with a special focus on economic and social provisions revolving around poverty, inequality, and unemployment issues, and also on informal sector studies. His last assignment was at the National University of Lesotho (Southern Africa) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that he was placed as Professor and Head of the Department of Economics at the University of North-West in the Republic of South Africa, and University of Allahabad in India, Professor at the National University of Lesotho, Associate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone in Botswana, and at Gezira University in Wad Medani, Sudan, Head, Department of Arts and Social Sciences, Yola in Nigeria, Principal Lecturer in Economics at Maiduguri University in Nigeria, and as Lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Nigeria. Professor Anand has by now published more than 80 research papers in standard academic journals, authored 11 books, supervised a number of doctoral theses, was examiner for more than twenty Ph.D. theses, and has wide consultancy experience both in India and abroad, essentially in the African continent. This includes holding the position of Primary Researcher, Principal Consultant etc. in a number of Research Projects sponsored and funded by Universities, Governments, and International Bodies like, USAID, IDRC, and AERC. His publications include a variety of themes revolving around Economic Theory, New Political Economy, Quantitative Economics, Development Economics, and Informal Sector Studies. His consultancy assignments in India, Nigeria, Sudan, Botswana, and the Republic of South Africa include Non-Directory Enterprises in Allahabad, India, Small Scale Enterprises in the Northern States of Nigeria, The Absolute Poverty Line in Sudan, The Small Scale Enterprises in Wad Medani, Sudan, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises in Botswana, The Place of Non-Formal Micro-Enterprises in Botswana, Resettlement of a Squatter Community in the Vryburg District of North West Province in the Republic of South Africa, Trade and Investment Development Programme for Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises: Support for NTSIKA in the Republic of South Africa, and Development of the Manufacturing Sector in the Republic of South Africa’s North West Province: An Approach Based on Firm Level Surveys. Professor Anand has also extensively participated in a number of conferences, offered many seminars, participated in a number of workshops, and delivered a variety of Refresher Lectures at different venues both in India and abroad. Dr. Anand was placed at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla in the State Himachal Pradesh, India as a Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and had completed a theoretical and qualitative research project/monograph on the Employment Profile of Micro Enterprises in the State of Himachal Pradseh, India.