Thursday, November 24, 2011

Visiting Past Life

I once went for a past life regression exercise, because I have been immensely curious to know what I was in the previous birth. Maybe Jhansi ki Rani, Joan of Arc... someone like that? I drew a complete blank, remembering not even much of my this life except some very light moments. As I was supposed to leave this life and enter the previous, a crow cawed outside and the image that rose in my mind was that of a crow. The lady leading me along realised the futility of letting me continue the exercise and packed me off.

I went to a palm leaf reader, but the first time, I didn't have the guts to ask about my past. The second time, since I was with my husband, the astrologer - not realising I was more curious about my previous births than the present one - said it was enough if we read my hubby's as my life will get included in that. My hubby had had more success with the past life regression, and much of it was confirmed indirectly in the palm leaf reading too. Only I came back empty handed.

So when I read Paulo Coelho's Aleph, it drew me in immediately. Initially I thought it was a spiritual journey... Or rather, to be truthful, didn't really know what it was about. I was almost dismayed when I saw it was autobiographical. But, the journey he took - a physical one - also caused him to travel back on time.

Lucky he... Or is it unlucky? Maybe he could handle what he discovered. But the girl who he travels back in time with is unable to. It is not always good to know. But, reading his work, there were a couple of things that set me thinking.

One - about how he talks of death and compares it to people traveling in different compartments. Years ago, when a cousin of mine died unexpectedly, the thought that kept running through my mind was - how do I know she is not back at home in another city? That was the only way to reconcile to it.

The other thing he talks of is meeting people from past lives. Sometimes, you feel a connect. There is certain bonding that happens. We say "poorva janma bandham"... maybe that is what it is. But if we knew it, probably our present lives and relationships will go haywire.

I am reminded of my conversation once with my daughter, when she wanted to know why she doesn't remember who she was before. And I wisely told her "because then you will want to go back to that mother..."

Remember that, my dear girl, when the next time you want to visit your past... And since there is nothing that bothers or pain in the current birth, why not go along with your thought - that this is your first birth, really?

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