Adonis Diaries

Archive for November 8th, 2010

Old soul and re-incarnation:  Shrimad Raj Chandra (1867-1901)

Shrimad Raj Chandra was born in Vavania (Gujarat province) in the northwestern region of India.  His mother was a princess and his father a rich merchant and banker.

Young Shrimad is passing by the incineration ceremony of the body of a young, handsome, and brilliant young guy who died of snake bite.

Suddenly, Shrimad is reviewing a series of his re-incarnations for the last 900 years, an accelerated reel of pictures of past lives.  Shrimad had the conviction that his “old soul” is not about to be re-incarnated anymore.

Old soul or knowledge of previous lives is called “Jati-smarana-jnana” in the Jain religion. At this stage, the old soul liberates its spiritual power in condensed and focused intellectual and spiritual faculties.

At the age of 8, Shrimad mastered the four arithmetic operations in one month and then wrote a poem of 5,000 lines describing the 5 vows: Non-violence, sincerity, honesty, chastity, and non-attachment to worldly materials or subject matters not related to development of knowing the spiritual self or the soul. 

Shrimad had the power of prescience:  He could foresee dangerous events and warn the concerned parties and saved many with his potential.

He had this unique faculty of processing and tending simultaneously to many different tasks and challenged the two most famous in the period Shastri Shankarlal and Gatulaji Maharaj.

Currently, Dr. R. Ganesh is famous in India for this prowess.  Shrimad increased the number of simultaneous tasks to one hundred different tasks!  Tasks such as performing arithmetic computations, listening to poems in different languages and repeating them in order, writing poems while doing other tasks, playing chess and cards and recalling every step in order, repeating 100 words from various languages in order, responding to a questionnaire…

Shrimar refused to marry several times at the instigation of his parents claiming that he is too young.  He had to bow to the demand of getting married at the age of 18 because it was the main condition for him to move to Bombay.

He had three kids but was not happy as head of a family though he could afford the upkeep; he once said: “Within two years, I managed to know the spirit of my wife and I can say that we are not unsatisfied but I cannot say with certainty that we are satisfied.  Our relationship is normal and common:  Mostly, because I am indifferent.  The imperfection of this happiness is not related to the wife, but to our own soul.  Once the search for this imperfection in our soul is resolved then, the soul perceives the full-scale of joy.”

Shrimad decided to abstain from intercourse 12 days a month; it is not clear if 12 successive days or just 3 days a week.

( I can empathize with Shrimad for considering that indulging in sexual activities is like performing obscene acts of servitude to the flesh.  I suggest to husbands that your wife will appreciate your kindness if you abstain from sexual intercourse 6 days a week.  A husband should also never forget to indulge reminding his wife that she is beautiful and very sexy; never under-estimate the power of taking her out without pre-conceived intentions for later sexual favors.)

Ghandi returns from London to Bombay in 1891 and wants to practice law.

The day his mother dies, Ghandi meets Shrimad Raj Chandra and he became Shrimad’s disciple. Shrimad is wearing a dhoti, a kind of one piece pajama (no sewing) and explain to Ghandi: “If you are earning enough money to keep hunger away off your family, do not render this day impure by desiring the happiness of a king.

Ghandi would write: “Shrimad was constantly smiling and his voice was so soft .  Language was at his service. The purpuse of Shrimad’s life was to meeting God face to face. He repeated that religions are prisonsWhoever wants to liberate his soul is on his own in the task of discovering his soul, the Atma.”

Shrimar was one of the three personalities that influenced Ghandi; the other two are: the works of Tolstoi and the essay of Ruskin “Unto this Last”

Shrimad dies at the age of 32 at Rajkot, the birthplace of Ghandi; he knew the timing of his death; he was barely a skin covering his skeleton but he suffered from no serious illnesses.

He told his disciples: “Be certain that this soul is eternal and will reach higher and higher levels and will acquire a marvelous future.  I am retiring to the true nature of my soul.” And Shrimad goes into meditation.

My question is:

Does everyone, regardless of religious beliefs, has the grace and privilege of advanced knowledge that his current life is the last incarnation?  That his soul is already “too old” for another tedious experience?

Shrimad is adamant that soul is eternal and every individual conserves his soul.

Many scholars like Averroes, Maimonides, Theard de Chardin and others suggest that there is a collective soul:  After the body dies, the soul is robbed of memory and imagination.

May I offer a compromise?  Old souls that refuse to re-incarnate join the collective soul. As long as the soul is not that old then, individual soul retains memory and imagination of past lives.  What do I lose if I keep everybody relaxed and contended:  I never had the luxury of witnessing any of my past lives.

Consequently, I am in no position of confirming or denying the existence of an eternal soul, or a temporary soul.  It won’t rattle me if I have indeed a soul that would re-incarnate:  I am used to pain and suffering; that is the lot of living species if we are honest enough to admit it.

That our soul is eternal is fine with me, but when we proclaim that our body is just a shell and we can control it then, I revolt.

Claiming that the body is a shell is not just a falsehood, it is a plain lie.  It does not matter how deep in meditation you are, when you have to go (piss or shit) then, you have to go; unless you decided to commit suicide by internal poisoning and die in terrible pain and suffering.

You may be able to practice hunger but excretion is not within your will-power.

The body controls your mind and spirit:  You care for and maintain your body and the body will permit you to liberate your mind and spirit.

The written language has been invented seven thousand years ago in southern Iraq and the kingdoms of Sumer, Babylon, Akkad and Assyria managed to have sophisticated administrative systems, precise calendars, and astronomic knowledge.  The alphabet was discovered five thousand years ago in the City-State of Byblos (Phoenicia, and current Lebanon).  

The Phoenicians instituted a maritime civilization and were the masters of the Mediterranean Sea for over 6 centuries (1300 to 600 BC) in trades, commerce and artisanal skills; they established “democratic” City-States where the City-State inhabitants would elect representatives in the noble and aristocratic classes.  The Phoenicians built trading centers or villages along the coasts and in all the Islands.

The Canaanites, of which the Phoenicians were the maritime branch, had established City-States along the main rivers (Euphrates and Al Assy rivers) such as Marie, Homs, Hama, Jerusalem, Antiochus…The Phoenicians built Thebes in Greece, centuries before Athens existed.  Alexander would completely destroy Thebes before leading his army to current India’s borders.

Pre-Socratic philosophers immigrated from the eastern part of the Mediterranean City-States (current Turkey, Syria, and lebanon) to Athens in order to educate its noble citizens to the art of rhetoric, dialectic, and math in order for the aristocratic class to having an edge for successfully running to political positions. They were paid handsomely as teachers and that is why they flocked to Athens:  Democratic Athens had high demand of the intellectual and administrative skills of the Phoenicians.

In China, Confucius was instituting his moral system for good governance and the raising of the “good man”: “Practice good morality in society before studying sciences and acquiring knowledge.”

Socrates battled with the sophism (wise attitudes) of these teachers who turned philosophy into an art of rhetorical clever communication; Socrates instituted a school of rational dialogue.  Platon, a disciple of Socrates, transcribed the dialogues and instituted his own school of philosophy in Athens.  Aristotle, was a student at Platon’s school for 18 years and he established the experimental method (empiricism) for rational investigations (into cause and effects phenomena and categorized matters and scientific fields of studies, backed by advances in arithmetic and geometry.

Aristotle’s works would have gone into oblivion, as so many manuscripts of famous scholars, if not for the Phoenician scholars who translated, commented, interpreted Aristotle’s works into their Aramaic language (spoken by Jesus), later called Syria.  The newly built city of Alexandria became a lighthouse of knowledge; scholars translated scientific, religious, and philosophical manuscripts and invented new fields of sciences.

In India of the 3rd century BC, the monarch Asoka ruled for 35 years and sent missionaries and delegates to all the known civilized world such as Syria, Egypt, Greece, and Persia and resurrected the Buddhist religion that was verging into oblivion amid the Hindu continent.  Asoka chiselled in 84,000 huge stone columns the principles and laws of Buddhism and his laws (dharma) dispersed thousands upon thousands of these columns at every major road intersections.  The island of Sri Lanka became Buddhist at that period.

Hundreds of Christian sects dominated the landscape of the Near East, from Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece. Every sect had its particular religious books for sources of belief and a style of living.  Mostly, they relied on the Jewish laws and differed on the nature of Jesus.  The Virgin Mary was rarely mentioned as source of devotion or as a saint.  

In Alexandria around 320, a priest known as Arius explained that Jesus is a distinct entity than God and that the Holy Ghost proceeds only from God.  This line of theology is accepted by the Goths, the Ostrogoth, and all the people in Germany and in Eastern and central Europe.

In 325, Emperor Constantine decided that Christianity (barely representing 10% of the population) should be the official religion of the Byzantium Empire, though he remained pagan.  The New Christian Church was modified to include three Gods (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for Virgin Mary) as the pagans were accustomed to worshiping trinity of  Gods.  The pagan symbolism and pageantry were included in Catholicism after the conclave of Nicaea.  

Since this conclave, the Roman/Byzantium Empire was wracked in civil wars among dozens of Christian sects or schisms known as heretics and supported by various monarchs and princes.  Among those sects we have the Homeans, the Anomoean, the Monophysitism, the Nestorians (that would advance with its message into China and translate its version of the New Testaments into Chinese), … One of the schism settled in Mecca (Arabic Peninsula); the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad was the Patriarch of the sect and Muhammad was his closest assistant. The Roman/Byzantium Empire would wage internal religious/political battles ways into the 13th century.  Frequently, two Popes would be elected, backed by a coalition of monarchs.  Then another cycle of internal religious wars would restart in the 16th century with Protestantism, Calvinism, and Huguenot.

In the 6th century AC, the Roman scholar and politician Anicius Boethius (Boece) translated and commented Aristotle’s works into latin.  Aristotle’s works had to wait the Arab/Islamic Empire to settle in Damascus (around 660) before his works are resurrected from oblivion. Why?

Prophet Mohammad had encouraged and demanded that Moslems seek knowledge, even from China. Muhammad said that many verses in his message are confusing and needed the interpretation of scholars.  Muhammad said: “Science is more meritorious than prayer.  A single man of  science has more power over demon than a thousand devotees.  Among the servants of God, only scholars fear God.”  Thus, Moslem scholars undertook to translate available knowledge into the Arabic slang of Mecca from the Syriac manuscripts relying heavily on the “Syrian” scholars and later, on the persian scholars during the Abbassid dynasty.  

There is this anecdote told by Calif Al Maamun: “I met Aristotle in my dream and I ask him “What is considered good?”  Aristotle replied: “What is good to reason.”  I asked: “And after reason?  He replied: “What is shown as good in revelation”  I said: “And after?”  He replied: “Good is what consensus agrees on” I said: “And after?”  Aristotle said: “There is no more of what after.”

The Syrians, Christians and Moslems, endeavored to translating the works of Platon, Aristotle, Galen, Plutarch, and Plotin (the Enneades that summarize Aristotle’s theology).  Geometry of Euclides, astronomy and medicine are taught in freshly built Arabic universities.  In the 7th century, Al Kindi wrote: “Though the Greek scholars fell short in sciences, they opened up the instruments for acceding to multiple types of knowledge.”   Al Farabi insisted on the necessity of separating intellectual speculation from rational reflection.  Ibn Sina (Avicenna) wrote in the 10th century, 300 manuscripts, of which 50 are in scientific fields and 40 in medicine; one particular medical book, the  “Canon of medicine” was taught in western Europe as a fundamental course till the 18th century.  The physician Ibn Zhur (Avenzoar), living in Andalusia, is reputed in all Europe.  The geographer Al Idrissi is considered in Europe as the “geography professor”.  Ibn Bajja made the apology of sciences and learned people; he said: “Ignorant people see the world as if they lived in a cavern and the only light they received was a diffused one:  They could discriminate among colors, and thus, have no coherent knowledge of the real nature.”

In the 12th century, many tribes in Central Asia and the Caucasus converted to Islam and were the backbone of the Islamic army by then.  These new converts believed literally in the Koran and refused any rational interpretations or commentaries.  Islamic civilization started its steady decline since then, except in Iran and Andalusia (Spain).

Papal Rome, backed by rich merchants, galvanized the Christians into a series of crusading campaigns in the Near East.  The official purpose was to liberating Jerusalem from the Moslem “infidels”; the tacit goal was capturing Egypt for direct maritime route for the spice and aroma trade coming from Far Eastern Asia Islands.  The rich merchant families and nobility in Europe got addicted to spices and aromatic products and prices were increasing by frequent wars along the land caravans in Moslem Kingdoms.  Three targeted campaigns to invading Egypt failed and the merchants were reluctant to investing in the established mini Christian Kingdoms in the Near East.  The fourth crusading campaign in 1204 sacked Constantinople and reduced the Byzantine Emperors to figure heads.

Then Ibn Rushd was born in the 12th century in Cordoba (Islamic Andalusia) and wrote: “Have no fear searching for truth in sciences.  Truth cannot contradict truth; sciences is in accord with God’s revelations; God has nothing to fear when you use your rational intelligence to discovering the universe and the causes of phenomenon”:   That is basically what Ibn Rush (known as Averroes) tried to convey to civilization through his abundant writings in medicine, sciences, astronomy, philosophy, jurisprudence, and theology.  Ibn Rush, known as “Al hafid” (the grandson of the famous judge of the city) published abundant books; among them, 88 volumes on Aristotle’s works in 20,000 pages supplied with commentary and interpretation.

Moise ibn Maimuna (Maimonides), 12 years younger than Ibn Rushd and originally from Cordoba, was at the period settled in Cairo and was the official physician of the Caliph.  Maimonides was the direct beneficiary of Ibn Rushd rational and scientific works.  He wrote: “We may dispense of Platon’s works:  Aristotle’s works suffice since they are the foundations and roots of scientific rational methods.  Aristotle’s works cannot be comprehended without the commentaries of Ibn Rushd.”

In 1497, Papal Rome encouraged the institution of a university in Padoua (Italy) to teaching Aristotle’s works and be translated directly from ancient Greek.  It was a strategy of ignoring the influence of Islamic culture that was spreading in Catholic Europe.  The Renaissance scholars dared not communicate the sources and references of their knowledge and learning. Since then, European scholars have continued this custom of deliberately ignoring seven centuries of Islamic civilizations when accounting for western Europe civilization.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

November 2010
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