How does the knowledge of reincarnation benefit us practically?

by Chaitanya Charan dasAugust 9, 2011

Answer: A reincarnation-based worldview helps us to make sense out of life and inspires us to grow to our full potential.

Life presents us blatant inequities: some people are born fabulously rich, some, distressingly poor. To make sense out of these disparities of life, we have three principal worldviews:

  1. Chance: This is the materialist worldview which holds that what we are is the result of the chance interactions of natural forces, that one shot at living is all that we ever get and that we are successes if we mine the maximum material enjoyment out of our lives. With such a worldview, the setting for pursuing life’s material goals like wealth seems blatantly unfair. Given that different people are born into families with widely varying financial capacities, this worldview makes life seem like a 100m sprint in which some competitors start from the 0m point, some, from the 25m point, some, from the 50m point, some, from the 75m point and some, from the 100m point. This worldview implies that we can never make sense out of life for there is no sense to life. By making the have-nots feel helpless and the haves feel insecure, it disempowers everyone.
  2. Divine Caprice: This worldview posits that the problems of life are moral tests arranged by God to impel us to grow spiritually. While this worldview explains why life has problems, it doesn’t explain why some people’s lives are much harder than those of others. If God is like the teacher who sets the questions for the test, then this worldview makes God into a discriminatory teacher who arbitrarily gives easy questions to some students and difficult questions to others. This worldview with its capricious God makes the have-nots feel helpless and the haves feel insecure.
  3. Reincarnation: The reincarnation-based worldview explains that life is like a university which offers graduation into eternal life to those who develop the supreme virtue of selfless love for God and all his children. Those who don’t graduate by the end of their present lives get further chances in their future lives, where their starting point is determined by the deeds of their present life.  Thus the reincarnation-based worldview enables us to see the diversity among people to be the like the diversity among the students who are in different classes in a university. Just as students get exams meant to raise them from their present class to the next, people get problems that are custom-made to raise them from their present moral level to the next. Thus, the reincarnation-based worldview empowers us by showing that we are not victims of mundane chance or divine caprice, but are the products our own choices.
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Chaitanya Charan das

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