What is Reincarnation or Rebirth?

What is Reincarnation or Rebirth?

Cycle of Creation – Annihilation and Rebirth
पुनर्मनः पुनरायुर्म ‘आगन्पुनः प्राणः पुनरात्मा म् ‘आगनपुनश्चक्षुः।
पुनः श्रोत्रं म् ‘आगन।
वैश्वानरो ‘अदब्धस्तनूपा अग्निर्नः पातु दुरितादवद्यात ।।YV-4.15
Meaning : After sleep, after death, after Pralaya (annihilation), we get back the mind, we get back the Life, we get back the vital pranic energy, we get back the spirit. we get back the eye, the ear, and all other senses. May Agni, immanent life and lord of the earth, irresistible and indomitable. save and protect us from despicable evil and sin.

God’s Justice System
अभित्वा देव सवितरीशानं वार्याणाम्।
सदावन् भागर्मीमहे।। RV-1.24.3
Meaning : Of all the immortals, we worship you alone, Savita, glorious God of light and life, ruler of the regions and favorite things of our choice, eternal protector and adorable dispenser of universal justice. Because of the justice system everyone gets its allocated share of blessings.

You Get What You Deserve
आपो अदयान्वचारिषं रसेन समगस्महि।
पयस्वानग्र आ गहितं मा सं स्रीज वर्चसा।। RV-1.23.23
Meaning : Let us to-day taste of the holy waters mixed with vital juices. And whatever I have drunk, whatever I have performed in action as my Karma, Agni (God), come to me and recreate me with the power and splendor I deserve.

Transformation of Atma
The soul keeps on changing the body one after the other. The soul in a human body is free to act. It gets the next body after death according to its actions done when in a human body. While in a human body it end es the fruits of some of its past actions as destiny. Current actions also bear fruit.
Soul in non-human bodies does not act independently. It acts either under the direction of a human being or by instinct. Because its actions are controlled by others or by instinct. its actions are neither rewarded nor punished. For example, a gun is not punished for killing; rather the person who used it is punished.
When leaving (dying) a human body, if tlle total sum of good deeds done are equal to the bad deeds done, the soul gets next life of an ordinary human being. If the good actions are more than the bad actions, it gets the body of a philosopher or a sage. If the bad deeds are more than the good deeds,it gets the next body of a non man e.g. of an animal, a bird, an insect, etc. based on the severity of the bad deeds. The above examples are only to gi” an idea of how the justice system works. In reality, each category can be divided into billions of different ways e.g. currently there are 7 billion people on just this plane and they are all different and no two are exactly alike. Therefore, they all will face a different fate.
Actions are done by thought, speech and physical action. Each type of action bears fruit accordingly. If a person does something good or bad physically, he bears the fruit of that act on his body. If he/she does something good or bad using his/her tongue or speech, he/she bears its fruit with the tongue. If he/she acts with the mind he/she bears it with the mind. For example: for crimes committed with the tongue such as harsh speech, telling lies, back-biting one gets a next life of a person unable to speak or of an animal.
The soul adjusts itself according to the body it gets; the body may be of a human, an animal, a bird or an insect. Soul is like water. Water has no color of its own. Whatever color is added to it, water is said to be of that color.
The migration of the soul is done by God according to the knowledge and deeds of the soul. Soul is migrated after the death of one living being to another. There may be some time gap between the death and the conception.
The soul is in a continuous cycle of birth and death from one body to another. A man’s soul can go to a cow’s body and then again to a man’s body, then to an insect’s body and then to a bird’s body. The migration of soul happens only after death. Soul does not migrate from one body to another while a person is still living.
Just as a human discards his old worn out clothes and wears new ones, similarly, soul discards after death old body and adopts a new body.

Gunas or Qualities
Everything in nature has three qualifies. Some have more good qualities and others have more medium or bad qualities. Depending upon the quality of a thing, its use is determined. In humans at one time one may have good quality prominent and the bad quality prominent at another time. However, character, nobility and wisdom of a person is determined by the dominant trait. For example, a tamsik person can be charitable and satvik at times. Following are the three qualities called gunas:
1. Tamsik (bad)
2. Rajsik (medium)
3.Satvik (good)

Examples of Gunas in Humans
1.Tamsik (bad)
-Lust, temper, uncleanliness, dullness. negligence, irrationality, incompetence,impatiene, cruelty, atheism and intoxication.
2. Rajsik (medium)- Jealousy, arrogance, restlessness, pursuit for sensual objects, irritation, greed and selfishness.
3. Satvik (good)- Truthful, cheerful, calm, patience control of senses, purity, gaining Vedic knowledge, thoughtful, content, tranquil, righteous, honest, peaceful, helpful and divine.
Note: Rajsik qualities are better than tamsik qualities, and satvik qualities are better than rajsik qualities. When one is having conditions from one of the above groups, the person is said to be having that quality. For example when one has a temper, he/she is tamsik; when one is cheerful, heshe is satvik.
Not only humans have these gunas, animals also have these gunas. We see this in animals such as dogs, some are friendlier, smarter, nicer, calmer and even extra ordinary. The same is true with all living beings. These qualities are acquired by a soul when in human life.
Decisions are made and actions are taken all the time in life. Therefore knowing right and wrong, good and bad, useful and useless is most important. E.g. if one does not know the true God, he/she may be lost in the idea of a false god. Obviously, if one is not doing right then heshe is doing wrong. This is true with all actions. Wrong actions have bad consequences and right actions have good consequences.

Rebirth Based on Gunas
Rebirth depends upon the type of accumulated over each human life. Each guna has numerous variations, as no two living beings are alike. In a very broad sense just to give an idea, a person who has mostly one kind of guna is born as:

1.Tamsik (bad) : Immobiles beings (such as plants) and animals.
2. Rajsik (medium) : Ordinary humans.
3.Satvik (good) : Intellectuals, philosophers and sages.

For Rebirth Atma is Assigned Three Things
All souls are individual beings. No two souls are alike. Even identical twins differ in many ways. Same is true with animals. Each soul is what one has made of it. Therefore, although one migrates to the deserving specie, the personality, intelligence etc. stays with it throughout. After the death of a body soul moves on and gets the folloWing at rebirth:

1. Specie ( जाति) –As discussed, atma can take birth as a human or a non-human.
2. Longevity ( आयु) – When Atma assumes a particular body, it is also assigned how long it will be in that body. For example – humans normally get 70-100 years, a dog is given about 15 years. This is not a hard and fast assignment. This life span can be increased or decreased because of health issues or accidents. If a person takes good care of their health, they may live 20 years more than people who do not take care of themselves. Also if one is involved in an accident, it can cut the life span short.
3. Environmentdestiny (भोग)-All species have various environments e.g. family, place, situation etc. Each and every human being has hisher own separate environment and circumstances. All non- humans have their own separate environment and circumstances as well.

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