Debashish Banerji, PhD, is former Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles as well as an adjunct faculty member at Pasadena City College and the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is also the former director of the East West Cultural Center in Los Angeles. He is author of Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo and also The Alternate Nation of Abanindranath Tagore, a book about his great grandfather. He edited an anthology about his great uncle, Rabindranath Tagore in the Twenty-First Century.
Here he points out that the idea of reincarnation virtually saturated all of the ancient traditions of India, particularly Buddhism and Vedanta – although it is not explicitly mentioned in the most ancient texts, the Vedas. Reincarnation is an important concept in the Upanishads. The Buddha, himself, told many teaching stories involving his own recollection of past lifetimes. These are called the Jataka Tales. They include many past lives in animal form. They also describe a sense of the progression from lifetime to lifetime. Banerji also describes some personal experiences that have a bearing on his understanding of reincarnation. He emphasizes, however, that one ought not to jump to conclusions from such experiences. He also describes the Vedantic teaching regarding the nature of the soul, itself, and how some aspects of the soul will decompose while the soul essence will reincarnate.
(Recorded on December 20, 2015)
Published on December 31, 2015