Life Cycles and Rebirths. Simplified (?)

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11/02/2013 by Siddiqui Fayesal

Life after birth and stuff.

Life after death, actually. Aren’t them the same thing anyway? The entire cosmic phenomenon revolves around the omnipotent question that has never been answered, satisfactorily at least, even after 1000s of years of questioning and cross questioning. Some times it gives me this morbidly funny image that while scientists the world over are looking for answers to these questions the High and Mighty Lord looks at them, peeking over from behind the fluffy nimbus, and sniggers in delight.

How naive one might say.

Or, may be not!

There are scores of religions, beliefs and studies around the world that broach the subject. Some do it up front and blatantly, while some trim the hedges to refine a grainy picture; Some do it with surety, while some simply hazard a guess; Some accept their holy books, while some completely trash it. The question, finally after breaking down arguments one question at a time, remains is this: Is it actually just a personal choice. Is it nothing more, or less as a matter of fact, than accepting what your calculating brain tells you?

If you’re expecting answers then I will be disappointing you big time. This is not an exercise of futility or a contact point for arguments. It’s just ramblings of an idle mind.

Hindus believe  in the theory of Karma, basically translated into “What you sow, so shall you reap”. It sounds right. But then, again, today proofs are wanted. A living and breathing man of 30 is dead as long as he doesn’t possess them “Birth Certificates”. He never was born. In the eye of the law of land you’re just a ghost, an in-between or whatever name you’d like to be called.

Karma, any act that bears fruit is Karma. There is good Karma. There is bad Karma. One good turn deserves another? Some times it’s not so easy to have a direct relationship between causes and effects. Ignorant folks or atheists who will not believe will also ask such questions. It is difficult to explain the “logic” of a belief. It’s like Love. Some people get it. Some people don’t. I’m not going to get into the whole love-hate relationship puhleez.

Coming back to the theories of re-incarnation, it is easier to talk about only the major religions and faiths of the world. For if I get into the intricate detailing i’ll never finish. Under Hinduism comes a large number of faiths. The skeleton and the structure being the same they adhere to a sort of a different ritualistic faith. While they’re normally known as Hindus but integrally they’re better known as Jains or Buddhist or any other religion they come under. Their basic ideas remaining the same they have their own gods and paths and criteria.

The Jains, for instance, say that until you don’t break the cycle of birth and re-birth you will never attain Moksha, the eternal freedom. They say that one has to let go off any kind of Karma. The good or the bad. Only then will they attain Moksha. The freedom from the cycle of Re-birth. They say that no matter how comfortable your life is the fact that you’re living is an ample proof towards the fact that you’re no way close to Moksha. The truly divine are not part of this world. They’re in another world as such. They look upon us. To let go, they mean it in the strictest sense, means to absolutely let go every thing that gives you pleasure. Jain monks and sadhus have been known to live in the nude, to walk barefoot for life, to never eating tubers and roots and to live only and only on bhiksha, That’s the Indian word for “gift” or “charity”. It’s really not charity actually. They say that nothing in this world belongs to us humans. What once is might never be again…

Personally speaking, I find Jainism the most extreme faith. It really is difficult to follow it. It’s perhaps the more austre and more extreme version of Buddhism. Buddhism speaks of the 8 fold path or the middle path to attain salvation. It’s theory are based upon the same facts as Jainism, only easier to follow. Relatively. It’s philosophy regarding Nirvana is the same as Jainism.

The Christians and the Muslims are of a very similar opinion about the concept of after life, of Heaven and Hell, of deeds and mis-deeds, of Life and Death. They believe in the after life which is separate and distinct from the concept of rebirth and life cycles. We muslims believe that Allah sent us down to Earth so that we could spend our time in the righteous things and praise Him for the life he has granted. This was the entire reason why we’re here. We’re not here to live, we’re here to pray and go to Heaven. If we spend our time doing the lesser important things we get Hell instead. But this is where Islam differs from the other religions. Even Christianity. While Jainism and Buddhism and the entire Umbrella of Hinduism claim that life as such is an impediment to attaining Mokhsa, Muslims, on the other hand, know that Life is the means to Heaven and the hereafter.

So by that claim, we live life normally. Mind you, extravagance is not “normal”.  So anything more that you need for basic sustenance and a comfortable life is over the top and not needed…and THAT would be an impediment, no doubt.

Even after such clear cut instructions from the Holy Books of the world there is not one single opinion. We have separate discussions and arguments for every faith and still draw a blank when it comes to answering the questions that still remain unanswered. My personal take is that it does not need answering. I’m not against science! But that doesn’t mean that there is a cause and effect for every relationship, for every equation. The Hand that wrote the world works in mysterious ways.

The Atheists say that Man gave birth to God. To that, I say Allah-hu-Akbar, God is Great. And I leave it at that…

Siddiqui F.
(09.02.2013)

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