If you follow Hinduism or even any other major Asian religions like the Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and others, you will be well aware of reincarnation. Your body gets birth and after it dies, your soul finds another body and there is rebirth. How and why does all this happen and why cannot we remember our previous births, is a separate topic and I’ll hopefully write on that some time in the future. Now that you know you are being born again and again, without knowing how many times you have been reincarnated in the past, you might wonder what’s in store for your next rebirth. This is all happening because you wished for it. Each birth of yours is a planned and chosen life. If you presently do not like your life or this current birth altogether, do not blame God, the creator for it. You have knowingly or unknowingly chosen for this exact life and that is why you are here today. Wouldn’t it be very very cruel on the part of the creator to pick a random body, life and circumstances for your rebirth? After all, can you go to teenagers of rich parents and ask them to visualise their next birth as a poor orphan who become child labourers? How would they feel? If we were meant to be thrown around into all kinds of bodies under various circumstances randomly without any reasoning or logic, why then must we worship God? Why must we even be good to ourselves or the others during this life? We might as well just enjoy with what we have got because its going to be a gamble of a process to pick our next birth on this Earth. Wouldn’t then all of us become even more selfish than how we are already? Imagine such an Earth filled with the most possible selfish people. Will you be able to find any goodness, peace or respect? Definitely not. So for all those who always believed that you have not chosen this birth or this life, think again by considering the above factors.
Now you might have a question in mind, why then do we not realise or recognise that we have chosen this birth. The problem begins when you feel that you would have chosen much better and not this life. Well, let's try to understand with an example. Imagine a student who has passed 12th grade and will now enter into a college / university for his graduation. He is given plenty of options to choose from. After making a calculative decision and after considering several aspects such as, planning his long term goal, choosing a relevant course for that goal, seeing which college / university most of his good friends are planning to join, judging the pros and cons of joining a particular college / university with respect to education, entertainment, lifestyle during the college years, and other factors. Now the student is ready and begins his college life as per his choice. He has chosen his college life and feels very happy about it for as long as all things happen as per his calculations and expectations. But things are always unpredictable, even the best short term plans can be met with surprises and a college life is for 3 to 4 years, quite a time for many surprises. Slowly his good old friends are splitting up the closeness after finding new friends. His favourite teacher no longer takes his class. To keep up with his lifestyle, he has compromised on studies and is scoring less than his family’s expectations. It is during these times that this same student will begin to feel that maybe he made a wrong choice. At least 85% of the students go through this feeling at some point of time before they successfully graduate. Some experience it on a mild level and for a very brief period of time, while some may feel it heavily and for a prolonged time period, but they all do. He has chosen this life. Even though it is only for the next 3 to 4 years, he still has chosen this life. Where then is the problem? Why then is this student not happy with his own decision, even though it might be a temporary feeling? Apply this to any stage of your life and analyse it for yourself. Be it education, job, health, financial planning, socialising or anything else. All of us can find several factors which we have chosen and at some time gone to the point of feeling not so happy about such a decision even though it may be a temporary feeling. This simply shows that we are not good decision makers. We do not consider all the aspects required before making the decisions and hence such a feeling arises. In our above example, the student considered what course he needs to study, how many friends from his past would join the same college and how his lifestyle would shape up for the next 3 to 4 years. But the student did not consider whether there can be change of teaching staff, exam methods, the course syllabus itself, and definitely did not consider how he’ll deal with things if he doesn’t perform upto the satisfaction of his family. If you now ask him again whether he made all these choices, he wouldn’t feel so. His choice was limited, a very basic one, just like a movie trailer, but came along a lot more for which he was simply not prepared.
When a person has decided with certain things in the mind, he keeps going in the direction with all the priority to only those things. The entire attention, focus and hard work is only on the things that were considered and included during choosing something. Any other thing that might come up, it will be ignored till the point it gets really huge and noticeable to not just him but also to everybody around him. He is so highly skilled that he can even make his mind to push aside a warning of a very major upcoming disaster for much later or even erase it off the list. All of this erasing or delaying can be done very simply, only in theory. But what’s supposed to happen, will happen. Now is when people wake up and find an excuse that they might not have chosen all of this after all. Same goes for our birth, ask a teenager who is living a lavish and luxurious life and he’ll be super happy and proud to say that he chose his birth. But a very hardworking, sincere and disciplined person in his early 40s who is trying to make ends meet might not agree that he chose such a life for himself. Of course both of them have chosen their own birth and life. Accepting favourable things and crediting ourselves for all the positives is what today’s world has taught each one of us very well. It is only when we unlearn everything that we think we know and look for the knowledge known only to a rare few, we will truly be able to recognise that we indeed chose this birth. Why then would somebody choose to become a beggar you may ask. If you read about any Hindu sage, saint or a reasonably spiritual person from the past, you’ll see that all of them have gone from door to door, begging for food for several years of their life. If you look at any big, famous or reputed sales people, they literally beg their prospects to buy their product. The movie stars are begging us to see them entertain us, the politicians beg for us to give them power over us. So, begging has enabled the sages or saints to focus on spirituality without worrying about food as it comes on its own with some effort and begging has enabled the sales people earn a lot of name, fame, respect and wealth in the society even though they have to beg in front of only a few, when movie stars beg, they get loved by many and when politicians beg, they can rule over you, that is the power begging has. All these scenarios shows a life of a happy beggar. If someone is choosing to be born as a beggar for food or money, that alone cannot be it all. There must be some other circumstance attached to it. The beggar of money must first gain enough knowledge so that he can beg effectively and intelligently. The beggar of food must give up everything else and dedicate all the time to practise spirituality, the beggar of love must become worthy enough to be loved and the beggar of power must be able to manipulate others, that is when their chosen life as a beggar will become satisfactory.
This chosen life of ours gives us lots of signs, secrets and directions. If we fail to identify them at the right times, we cannot make much from our chosen birth and we’ll end up blaming God for giving us such a life. Learn from life, believe that you chose this life and more than being happy about it or regretting it, give importance to understand why you chose this life. What do you wish to accomplish during this chosen birth? Are you on the right path, because if you are not, then you’ll really end up making an even more difficult decision during your next opportunity when you choose your next life for your rebirth. If you cannot understand things on your own, seek help from the divine. Start a regular spiritual practice to attract guidance, or go to a good astrologer for an astrological guidance. But whatever you choose to do, do it soon. Do not wait till you become old and only to realise that you’ve lost all the time and energy doing the opposite of what you were supposed to do during this lifetime. Remember, you have chosen this birth. You have chosen your life.