10C: Reincarnation

7. Reincarnation

We have discussed this subject in another chapter. Here we pick up some relevant verses from Samkhya.

[SK, 39]
The subtle bodies, bodies born of parents, together with gross elements are the three kinds of the specific. Of these, the subtle bodies are everlasting and those born of the parents are perishable.

Bodies born of parents: consists of six sheaths. Among these six hair, blood, flesh come from mother. Arteries, bones, and marrow come from father. Specific: Subtle body, bodies from parents, and gross elements are three specific objects.

Subtle body always remains, and it incarnates again and again. Therefore there is no escape from the cycles of life. This is consistent with the Gita verse [G.2.27] which says a soul that takes birth will die, and who dies will always be born again.

[SK, 40]
The mergent subtle body, produced primordially, unconfined, constant, composed of Tattvas beginning with Mahat and ending with tanmatras, transmigrates, free from experience, and tinged with dispositions.

Subtle body is composed of Intelligence, I-Principle, Mind, 5 sense organs, 5 action organs, and 5 primary elements. Subtle body is created by soul using root materials from nature. Unconfined: moves everywhere. The subtle body is unobstructed and can pass through mountains. Primordially: When universe is uncreated the subtle body is created first.

It is constant, because it continues to exist forever. Only subtle body incarnates, gross body perishes. Experience: Subtle body cannot acquire any experience without the gross body. That is why it migrates and acquires new gross body to acquire more experience.

 

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Tinged: Subtle body is tinged with dispositions, just like a cloth becomes tinged with perfume. The dispositions are: Virtue and vice, knowledge and ignorance, passion and dispassion, power and weakness. These dispositions are with the intelligence and since subtle body contains intelligence it gets tinged.

[SK, 62]
Thus, verily, Purusa is never bound, nor is he released nor does he migrate. (It is the) Prakriti, being the support of manifold creation, that migrates, is bound and released.

It is not the spirit that is migrating. It is the subtle body that is attached to the spirit remains bound, migrates. This verse 62 also confirms that nature has to perform its acts in a long sequence with its manifold creations, life after life.

Thus reincarnation is necessary to acquire experiences, for improvement of soul, to enjoy life, suffer pain, and to learn the truth that soul is not same as material world made of root material, and thus emancipate.

 

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