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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

past lives

Of past lives & present dilemmas
11 Jul 2007, 0000 hrs IST,VINITA CHATURVEDI ,TNN
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Rat race, mayhem and complete chaos of mind and soul-- for survival. In this scenario, many people are seeking respite in the concept of Past Life Regression, a phenomenon, which is catching up with the elite class.
Yoga , aromatherapy, meditation are all about the mind, body and soul connect, to retain the remnants of sanity in these troubled times. Then there are some, who claim to take a cue from the ancient sages and help others to understand their past lives-- to solve their present dilemmas . Is Past Life Regression really a fact, or a mere figment of one's imagination? NT tries to delve deep into the matter.

'The answer to my spiritual quest'

Those who have been meditating for a while, find it easy to break the shackles of time and reach out to their past lives, says Jharna Dey, the senior instructor teaching Art of Living courses. She adds, "I have always wondered about my obsession with Lord Vitthal since childhood. Being a Bengali, He was not a part of our daily routine, but I always dreamt of Him. Then I did my Eternity Process, the advanced course in meditation and saw my past lives and found that back then too, I was a devotee of Lord Vitthal and this has continued."

Vandana Sawant, an upper crust housewife , who's associated with Oneness University says, "Till now, I have not been able to see my past, but when I did the course in Yog Nidra, there was a woman right next to me, who had a severe migraine. During the mediation , she started crying and that went on for over an hour. Later, she described that she was a psychopath in one of her previous lives, who smashed the heads of the infants with a stone. And as advised by the instructors , she begged forgiveness to all those she had hurt and her migraine vanished."

The converts

It is really difficult for any educated and rational person to believe in the concept of past lives. But there are instances where medicos have taken to this concept, to heal their patients better.

Dr Kondaveti Newton, who's considered an expert on the PLR, is a medico who has done his post-graduation from a reputed medical institute.

How can a doctor believe in such things, you wonder aloud? "Earlier , I was skeptical about the whole thing, but later through many validations, I started believing in the concept. I have seen that it has many therapeutic benefits and helps those, who suffer from phobias and fears," says Dr Newton. He adds, "Today , when all over the world experts talk of the mind, body and soul connect, PLR helps people with chronic illnesses and relationship conflicts."

Well known psychiatrist Dr Rajendra Barve is another medico, who has experienced the PLR, first hand. How did he get into this? "Being a psychiatrist, I was always fascinated with the working of the mind. Usually science makes people cynical, but I wasn't . The mind is ever-evolving so there's no scope for cynicism there. Being a Buddhist , the reincarnation concept of Jataka Tales was a part of my life. Then, after experiencing it myself and delving into the mysterious and the occult, I learnt that the theme of my life is to help people."

Celeb talk

Actor Ravi Kishan shares his past life experiences with NT. He says, "Through meditation, I have traversed through several past lives of mine. I was a prince, a theatre actor and even a hunter, romancing two classical Indian beauties--one extremely fair, the other dark and sultry. But I always see myself in lush, green jungles, searching for something. I don't know what I am looking for, but there's a definite quest for something, which continues in this life as well. Pata nahin kya dhoondh raha hoon? Strangely , every time I see my past, I go off to sleep and then find myself again in the hills of Manali, very close to a Shiva temple. In fact, I recently saw that temple in Himachal, after having seen it in my dreams for years."

Actor Kiran Kumar is reticent to talk about the past life. He merely says, "These past life experiences are very personal moments. I would not like to narrate them. But I would certainly like to say that they have made me a better person. I can understand people's pain and empathise with them in a more humane way, after those experiences."

Psychologist speak

There are certain experts who refuse to believe in the concept. As the President of the Clinical Psychologists of India, Dr SS Nathawat says, "It could be the imagination of the mind. We try to find the answers to our problems in occult and then mind creates these colourful tales, which we happily associate with our present problems."

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This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K (http://www.jyotirlinga.com) on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress. Not finding the time (yep, bad excuse!), this blog suits me fine in quickly adding content... my spiritual forays and thoughts - helps log them too. My spiritual journey started with Hinduism and it's simple stories/ teachings as far back as when I was a 2nd grader, with Lord Shiva and has now found convergence with Advaitism / Duality. The Advaitism gurus like Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj; they have provided that spiritual boost of energy in many lagging moments and have tremendously influenced me ... little baby steps at a time... that will hopefully all lead upto a final crescendo. The merits of satsangh are many!

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