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GUIDLINES OF JAINISM

Bhadrabahu Vijay

Purvajanma

Transmigration of souls.

The Jain Dharma is essentially spiritualistic (it is related to the soul). It believes that the soul is immortal. Therefore, it firmly believes in Purvajanma (transmigration of souls). The concept of an earlier life and rebirth implies that as long as the soul is bound by Karmas, it has to be assuming various Janmas- births and has to keep wandering through Samsar- the cycle of birth and death which has four directions.

Who taught the new born child to suck milk from its mother's breast ? No one. On account of its memory of its earlier life, it craves for its mother's milk. The child smiles and laughs; it weeps; it experiences fear; what are all these things? These are but manifestations of the memories of an earlier life. Even the happiness and unhappiness that new- born children experience are but the memories of their earlier lives manifesting themselves. Rebirth is but a transformation and transmigration of the soul according to the Karmas that bind it. When a man dies, the death occurs only to the body; his soul or the subtle body (Karman Sharir and Tajjas Sharir) endeavours to take birth in some other form; in some other place.

Any soul does not experience fully the fruits of all its Karmas good or bad, in this Janma - life. Therefore it has to know and experience the fruits in the next Janma and has to live it. The ideas of Paralok the other world and Punarjanma - rebirth have been accepted even by scientists firmly and with solid, valid, proofs and arguments. The modern psychology has a branch called parapsychology which deals with this subject. In India as well as in other countries, a very significant research and enquiry has been carried out on this point; and some famous scientists have accepted these theories openly and without any reservation. The Jain Dharma calls the memories of the past lives by the name Jatismaran Jnan. Even to-day hundreds of records are available regarding the memories of the past lives of people; and some of them are very famous.

George Bernard Shaw, the famous British dramatist, in the course of a conversation with Shri Devadas Gandhi, the son of Mahatma Gandhi, gave expression to his belief in Punarjanma - rebirth and to his desire to be born in a Jain family in his next birth.