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Hare krishna dear devotees. When we remember our past lives we will have a lot of experience and this experience will not allow us to make huge mistakes which we generally make in our lives due to lack of experience. Experience of life is both good and bad. Both experiences are valuable and teach us all a lot about life. So we should not say that lord made us forget because we might get scared of what sins we did in past lives. Also if we remember what sins we committed in the past birth we will surely be not repeating those mistakes and finally we can return back to godhead. Why do we need to start everything from the beginning again?
Hare krishna prabhuji,
If a child is born with the memory of his/her past life, then he/she is no longer a child metally. He/she knows what they did in their past lives, the mistakes they committed and how can one fix them in the new birth. So a child will never get scared because of his/her past birth memory. If my past memory is erased, chances are that I may commit the same sin again in my new life which was responsible for me not going to goloka. Also if we rely on the experience of this birth only, then our experience is limited and we may become careless again in this birth. For example: A person who consumed alcohol a lot in previous birth knew that consuming alcohol may kill him but he was careless and drank it like there is no tomorrow and unfortunately he died. And now the same person does the same mistake by becoming careless and ignorant and he dies again because of the same reason. It's like we keep doing the same mistake unknowingly and keep returning back to earth. We can make mistakes unknowingly even when we are doing pious activities. Who knows maybe those mistakes performed without knowledge might be a road block for us to go to goloka? So experience does play a very important role.
Hare krishna Parul Matjai,
The answer provided by you is really good and in a way teaches me a lot. However I do not see any issues even if one remembers his/her past birth. If one can remember their past birth, they have a lot of experience and the human being will not repeat the same mistakes again in new birth. If one does not remember their past birth chances are that they might repeat the same mistake again in the next birth which might be acting as a roadblock for them to reach goloka. Even when we learn and know from experience of this birth, we tend to become careless and do the same mistake. for example: Someone drinking alcohol knows that it's bad for their health and they may one day lose their life. But someone who is addicted to drinking will not leave it. If they could remember that in the past life they consumed alcohol and lost their life, they will not commit the same mistake again and will not become careless in new birth. So one can change himself/herself for good. We people learn from our mistakes but if we don't remember the mistakes we committed, then it will be difficult to correct those sins which we did in past life. If one really remembers what sins he/she committed they can correct themselves in next birth so that they can neutralise the total net sins = positive sins - negative sins and can finally return back to godhead. Not remembering the past life is like making the same mistake again and again in new births which were not allowing us to go back to godhead.
The material body is given to a conditioned living entity for these purposes
These purposes will not be fulfilled if conditioned living entity remembers past life. Remembering past life is like a privilege given to those who are very advanced in devotional service like Bharata Maharaj, or to someone who is to be punished with severe mental agony. Most people are neither.
if we remember what sins we committed in the past birth we will surely be not repeating those mistakes
While this could be true, but not always. People make mistakes despite experience. Srila prabhupada says this in NOI
For instance, a thief may know perfectly well that he may be arrested for his stealing, and he may actually even see a thief arrested by the police, yet he continues to steal.However, a rascal, a foolish man, may have the experience of both hearing and seeing and may even be punished, but still he continues to steal. (NOI Verse 1 Purport)
So experience cannot guarantee that mistake isn't repeated. There is plenty of evidence for this. Most criminals convicted in courts are repeated offenders. People who commit offences only once, get punished and never repeat are a minority. Every drunkard knows that drinking is bad for all aspects of his life - professional, health, relationship, financial etc. Yet do all drunkards stop at knowing this ? They don't. Some do, but most don't.
Why do we need to start everything from the beginning again?
We don't. That's the best part.
The key is learning - Srila Prabhuapda in NOI verse 1 says
1. When an intelligent person hears from the lawbooks and śāstras, or scriptures, that stealing is not good and hears that a thief is punished when arrested, he refrains from theft.
2. A less intelligent person may ﬁrst have to be arrested and punished for stealing to learn to stop stealing.
3. However, a rascal, a foolish man, may have the experience of both hearing and seeing and may even be punished, but still he continues to steal.
Example : - Sukadeva goswami was a perfect person in this kali yuga from birth till departure. He heard Srimad Bhagavatam from his father Srila Vyasa dev and never made any mistake, he went back home back to godhead. In fact he recited Bhagavatam for parikshit Maharaj and all of us.
If we simply hear from Guru, sadhu and shastra, live a Krsna conscious life as far as possible, then we don't need to suffer anything bad. Avoid all bad things, chant Hare Krsna and go Back home Back to Godhead in one lifetime.
I read is shastra that birth is so difficult that the soul forgets....
Hare Krishna panda prabhuji,
Well it is a true fact. It is said that when a child is present in mother's womb he/she remembers everything but once they come out they get attacked by maya and they forget everything. It is said that Lord krishna remembers all his past birth. Probably when the lord entered the universe, maya was not able to attack him and maybe this might be the reason why lord remembers all of his past births!
Hare krishna Bharat prabhuji,
Wonderful reply given. It was simply awesome. I really loved and it and finally i realised I am on the path of being an intelligent person! Jokes apart but to be honest you have given a perfect reply to my question. Simply by reading this answer,I realised that it is not easy to write such a wonderful answer with ease. I could understand that it took a lot of effort and time but the style and simplicity with which you wrote the answer made it look so simple. But in reality it is not. I truly respect your hard work and honest efforts. I am pretty sure that the others apart from me who read this answer in future will benefit a lot. Thank you for guiding me in the correct direction and taking out time from your busy life to help me out and thank you for putting in the hard work which goes for researching the information related to the answer. Truly appreciate it.
I am glad you found it useful. Srila Prabhupada time and again would say - Simply chant Hare Krsna & be Happy. This is very very true. But problem is we have become very entangled in a complex manner. But as we continue on the path of KC, we will realize that KC is simpler than anything provided we are sincere, honest and beg for mercy.
Srila Prabhupada tried his best in giving us a society where being simple at heart we can practice KC. We just need to take advantage of the books written by Srila Prabhupada and association of devotees. Then Srila Prabhupada and Krsna will be more than eager assist us at every step of our journey. There will be obstacles, but there will mercy also. We just need to keep faith on Krsna's and guru's mercy and follow the path of KC, even if we fail at one step, we again recover and continue. No matter ..what we do not leave path of KC. Srila Prabhupada will be very very happy to see his followers continuing and shower mercy of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Hare Krsna Prabhuji,
Sorry for late reply.
The reason the soul forgets the previous birth after getting into a new body is it is the design of the lord. Why is it so? Frequently people comment that they should have got memory of the previous birth, so that they do not commit the same mistakes again. The fact is, that memory is present, in the form of conditioning, in the form of likes and dislikes. For instance, if we were burnt to death in previous birth, this birth we will be scared of fire. It will be like a phobia.
The soul is supposed to evolve with each experience. When the soul evolves, then the lesson is learnt and there is no need to remember the experience anymore. For instance, a small child gets beaten up by mother for lying, he will remember his entire birth that lying is not good. He may forget the beating, but will always remember the lesson.
Another thought, have you seen how bitter old people are? With the memory of one birth's experiences, old people are rigid and bitter about a lot of things. Imagine if we remembered all our births, then how much more difficult it would be to let go.
Radha Rasamayi DD
Hare krishna Radha mataji,
Thank you very much for such a wonderful reply. Really this reply changed my perspective. Thank you for guiding me in the correct direction and helping me out to move one step further in Krishna consciousness. Kindly excuse me as well if i make some mistake in asking a question since i am pretty young and i have a lot of questions generally in my mind related to KC.
To start with Lord said in BG.
I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas. ( CHAPTER 15. Verse 15).
The living entity forgets everything of his past life, but he has to act according to the direction of the Supreme Lord, who is witness to all his work. Therefore he begins his work according to his past deeds. Required knowledge is supplied to him, and remembrance is given to him, and he forgets, also, about his past life.
The living entity forgets as soon as he quits his present body, but he begins his work again, initiated by the Supreme Lord. Although he forgets, the Lord gives him the intelligence to renew his work where he ended his last life. So not only does a living entity enjoy or suffer in this world according to the dictation from the Supreme Lord situated locally in the heart, but he receives the opportunity to understand Vedas from Him. If one is serious to understand the Vedic knowledge, then Krsna gives the required intelligence.
Some very great Sages.. Who did lots of tapasya have attained siddhis like seeing the past, present and future. It is the mercy of lord.
SB 11.15.8-9 — The power to know past, present and future; tolerance of heat, cold and other dualities; knowing the minds of others; checking the influence of fire, sun, water, poison, and so on; and remaining unconquered by others — these constitute five perfections of the mystic process of yoga and meditation. I am simply listing these here according to their names and characteristics. Now please learn from Me how specific mystic perfections arise from specific meditations and also of the particular processes involved.
Power to know past, present and future is a yoga siddhi.. prakriya.. got as a result of meditation on Lord.. becoz of HIS MERCY. This siddhi is called..tri-kala-jnatvam.
In Some Ekadashi stories we hear that some fallen devotees approach a saint and they ask for relief from the present bad conditions. The saints who has this siddhi of Tri- kala -jnatvam .. told them their past like bad karmas and even gave them the way to remove that sins incurred.
Example.:- look at this ekadashi vrat katha below.
"Then Parvata Muni, the best of all sages, closed his eyes and meditated on the king's past, present and future.
After a few moments he opened his eyes and said, 'Your father is suffering the results of committing a great sin, and I have discovered what it is.
In his previous life he quarrelled with his wife and forcibly enjoyed her sexually during her menstrual period.
She tried to protest and resist his advances and even yelled out, "Someone please save me! Please, O husband, do not interrupt my monthly period in this way!"
Still he did not stop or leave her alone. It is on account of this grievous sin that your father now has fallen into such a hellish condition of suffering.'
"King Vaikhaanasa then said, 'O greatest among sages, by what process of fasting or charity may I liberate my dear father from such a condition?
Please tell me how I can relieve and remove the burden of his sinful reactions, which are a great obstacle to his progress toward ultimate release (salvation - liberation - going back home).'
"Parvata Muni replied, 'During the light fortnight of the month of Margashirsha there occurs an Ekadasi called Mokshadaa.
If you observe this sacred Ekadasi strictly, with a full fast, and give directly to your suffering father the merit you thus attain/obtain, he will be freed from his pain and instantly liberated'.
"Hearing this, Maharaj Vaikhaanasa profusely thanked the great sage and then returned to his palace to perform his vrata (austere rite)."
>> NOW AT THIS PRESENT KALIYUGA THERE ARE NO SUCH SIDDHAS THERE WHO REALLY CAN SEE YOUR PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE TO GIVE U CORRECT INFORMATION . Don't fool urself to all these nonsense things who claim that they can take u to past life this is all a scam money making thing.. Past life regression and all is not possible so easily.
Hanuman ji is called Ashta siddhi nava nidhi ke data..
Ashta siddhi's are described by Lord in Srimad Bhagwatam..You can got thru them. Not all can have a sneak peak of their past or future.
We come to this world becoz we have desired to enjoy this life separately from Lord. SO, Lord has given us full facility to enjoy making us forget our past. It is his mercy.. If u remember ur past you may not like to even live a second also.
But ya He keeps all your accounts.
Depending upon the bad sins committed in the past we lose that much memory of Lord. If we have done many sins all done in tamo guna ( ignorance mode) you will lose completely memory of lord or past life.
Aghasura past life.
In his previous life Aghasura was known as Agha and was the son on Sankhacura.
- He was extremely strong and his bodily beauty was so striking that he exactly
-One time Agha was in the Malaya mountains and he happened upon Astavakra
muni who was performing austerities there.
- At the time Astavakra’s body was uniquely bent in eight places and on beholding
this peculiar deformity Agha laughed: who is the ugly person?
-Becoming deeply displeased by this arrogant conduct the muni addressed him
gravely: “O fool! You will become a snake
- You will become the ugliest snake on earth.
our actions only determine our present life and memory. The snake aghasura had completely forgotten his past life and was lying there...until Lord's feet crushed his head. He couldn't remember.
Similarly Nala Kubera and Manigreeva.. sons of Kubera demigods forgot their position as the insulted Narad muni and got cursed to become Arjuna trees in Brindavan.
When we acquire Mercy of Lord we are given the chance to recite HIS NAME ALSO. TODAY YOU ARE ABLE TO TAKE KRISHNA'S name becoz of his Mercy and becoz u are accumulated sufficient merits to atleast take HIS NAME.
WHEN YOU WERE IN A ANIMAL BODY OR A BODY OF FISH YOU DIDN't Have this oppurtunity to remember HIS NAME OR TAKE HIS NAME ALSO. YOU ARE THROWN BACK TO SUCH LOW LIFE OF ANIMAL BODIES WHERE U CANNOT REMEMBER ANYTHING....ONLY BECOZ OF THE BAD KARMA YOU DID.
you urself cannot correct by going to past and change or erase it. You need to be a siddha yogi for that..a TRI-ikaljyani...
for that also you need to have LORD's Mercy.
Hare krishna Gayatri Mataji,
I must say this answer given by you is very well researched and I truly appreciate the effort and time you put in for finding the solution. I have learnt a lot from your answer and I would like to thank you for writing such a beautiful answer with such ease. You made it appear that it is very easy to write but the reality is it is very difficult to write a correct solution of this kind of question. If we have lord's mercy then he will make us do such events in this birth only so that all our bad sins get erased automatically and without us knowing about our painful and sinful past birth . I sincerely hope the lord does that with all of us. We need not go through the pain of seeing or knowing about our past birth and all our sins get erased unknowlingly due to lord's mercy. I guess i need to meet a genuine person who has the siddhi called tri-kala-jnatvam or maybe I need to acquire this siddhi because unless I do not know the root cause of the problem, I cannot correct it just as the king was able to correct the sin of his father by doing ekadashi vrat and for that the king went to the saint. Unfortunately it is very very difficult to find such person here in kalyug and no one really knows who is saying the truth or not because they can truly make up any story on their own. May the lord have enough mercy on all of us so that he guide us all in the correct direction and we are automatically able to clear all our past sins in this birth only. Thank you Gayatri mataji for writing such a wonderful answer which will teach the one reading it a lot in future as well.