Cycle of Birth


In classical times, men's ideas concerning ethics and morality centered on the concept of karma. This denoted the totality of actions, good or bad, which were able to affect the individual's future destiny. The belief in samsara or rebirth, provided the framework within which this idea was worked out in each instance. Good karma would ensure a favorable rebirth, and bad karma an unfavorable one. In rebirth, man could be born either as a human being or as an animal. Man perceived reality as two separate entities: jiva or living substance, and ajiva or non living substance. This applied to both men and animals and there was no distinction between them. The process of karma and samsara was mechanical and no interference by God was admitted.

This early Indian philosophy affected religion in various ways. Some came to the conclusion that cessation from doing either evil or good would release them from the bondage of Karma and starved themselves to death. Others seeking self gain, devised the varnashrama dhrama (the law of the caste system, also called Manu Dharma) under the guise of religion and used this philosophy to deceive and control others. They taught that if one submitted to the caste system and did as they were told, they could also be born in a higher caste in their next birth!

Some even believed that it was right to oppress those in the lower castes since it was appropriate to make them suffer for the sins of their previous birth and it would redeem them in their next! Mr Swabodh who is a teacher in the Chinmaya Mission stated that,

"When there is Adharma, physical violence is okay at the body level but not at the mind level"

Of course when Mr. Swabodh refers to Dharma or law, he is talking about the law of brahminism, Manu Dharma (or Varnashrama Dharma). The classic example of this in Indian society today is the story of Idris & Maimon. Similarly the statements of the VHP when nuns were raped in Madhya Pradesh is also from this perspective since Christians are in Adharma when we carry out the Great Commission.

However, in most people it developed an apathy for spiritual truth. Today many classify themselves as agnostics.

The fundamental error in this philosophy is that it does not differentiate between humans and animals. However, man is triune consisting of spirit, soul, and body, but, animals consist of only spirit and body. The soul is that part of man that gives him the ability to reason, be creative, and freedom to choose, while, this is absent in animals. Since man did not understand the soul there was no room for God in his thinking, and this philosophy offered man little hope. He then helplessly resorted to ways such as self-starvation, or, opened the door for manipulation by others. Before Jesus Christ, there was no clear understand of the soul and the path to attain moksa or salvation. God appointed unto men to die once, and after death came the judgment. Jesus Christ came into this world to offer moksa for all mankind. All of us have sinned and our sin separates us from God who is holy. Some dismiss sin and evil very lightly by calling it maya or illusion ,and hold on to the philosophy of monism.

Monism leads many to think that all the religious paths lead to the same ultimate end. This philosophy is called pantheism, and , they reason that these paths are like rivers that finally lead to the same ocean. This is error since all paths are not the same, and , when two paths contradict each another, both cannot be right. Christianity entered India from the 1st century AD and made a major impact on our nation. However, through syncretism it was corrupted and strayed from the truth into monism and panthesim. Jesus Christ said, "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Jesus Christ is the ONLY PATH to moksa for your soul, will you put your bakthi on Him? You have only one birth to choose.

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