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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cycle of rebirth - HT Cycle of rebirth

P. P. Wangchuk

For the Dalai Lama, as Tenzin Gyatso, reincarnation means deliberately taking birth in order to succeed in what was started in a previous life.

Quoting Shantideva, the Indian Buddhist master who composed the Buddhist classic 'Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life', the Dalai Lama says: "As long as space remains, as long as suffering of sentient beings remain, I will remain in order to serve, in order to work for them."

He says he gets from these words inner strength, hope, and a defined purpose of his being.

But he quickly adds that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is a different matter.
A time may come when the institution of the Dalai Lama may no longer be beneficial and there would be no reason for it to continue.

"As far as my own rebirth is concerned, until Buddhahood is reached, I firmly believe my rebirth is always there. Even after Buddhahood, I will continue to be there in different manifestations. I am quite sure I will take rebirth. In what place, in what form, or with what name, I don't know."

About his past life, the Dalai Lama says it's difficult to recall anything at this stage. But when he was a small boy of two or three years, his mother and close friends noticed that he could remember certain things about his past life.

He says this kind of recalling past life's memories is not very unusual. He gives several instances of such cases.

And it is not just among Buddhists. The Dalai Lama recounts his studies regarding three such cases relating to Hindu kids, one in Palampur in Himachal, another in Ambala in Haryana and the third to another place (not mentioned).

He had sent his team to investigate the first two cases, but studied the third case on his own.

(This write-up is based on the dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Rajiv Mehrotra, in the book, 'The Dalai Lama on Happiness, Life, Living and Much More')

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