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REBIRTH OR CYCLES OF BIRTH
By Mohan Shenoy

Dr. Mohan Shenoy's Views about Rebirth

Dear Mr. Kamath,

I do not believe in rebirth or cycles of birth which is the basic contention of this article. Many Hindu Shastras try to tell us how to escape from the cycles of birth so that we do not come back again and again to go through the problems in life.

Also, I do not think life is something to be avoided, or a curse that makes us go through the travails we face. Life is beautiful and anyone would like to live a healthy life for even one hundred years.

No one would like to live in a drab and monotonous 'mukthi' place where there is no end to happiness. Pleasures all the time might bore us to death.  But we can not even die in 'nirvana' to put an end to such boring pleasures.

There is no such thing as a 'free soul' outside the body.  Soul exists only in relation to a healthy body.  Our soul dies along with the body when we die.

Our soul is the life that is transferred from our mother to us as we grow inside her womb. This life is transferred from the mother to the offspring as a continuous action to sustain life on earth. It happens in all the living forms. It is part of the property of nature.

All the heavenly bodies have their individual properties. There is no need for another Almighty power to run these properties of the heavenly bodies. All of them collectively form the Almighty if any. These heavenly bodies that together form an Almighty power do not respond to what we say or do apart from their natural processes.

They do not answer our prayers, for example. There is no account kept of various bad deeds and good deeds for us to either enjoy or suffer.

A man or a woman can not be truly happy since he or she is basically glued to nature. Nature is imperfect and unpredictable, irregular and unclean.

By avoiding roads that lead to ill-health and hunger a man can make himself as near to happiness as nature can provide. Man can enjoy happiness through his body and mind by steering clear of dangers encountered in nature.

 In the social set-up that we have in the world today, we are better placed to enjoy our life more fully than in the set-up we had about 60 years ago. Childhood diseases have been all but eliminated, and epidemics of small-pox, plague, cholera are contained or very infrequent. Or none at all.

We have harnessed the earth's resources as if we are its quarter-masters (masters of our quarters) and got ourselves comforts and easiness like never before.

There is no need for us to imagine that we are suffering this life; quite the contrary everyone is enjoying this life to the extent he can utilize the resources towards that end.

Many young minds are being mislead by the kind of stories that are printed in Shastra books. No young person with reasonable modern education in science will agree with the contentions placed in the Shastra books for the general public to read.

Of the goal of life the Shastra books say, 'the problem before us is not to find out a solution of our present life but for all lives that we may henceforth have. In the wider sense it covers the entire existence of soul in various forms, gross or subtle at different times till the time of Mahapralaya (final extinction).'

The authors of Shastra books presume that there is 'mahapralaya' which is the end of all life. These imaginations are unscientific and superstitious. They instill fear in the person who reads these books that describe hell as a house of torture.

There is no such thing as heaven or hell in which the soul will either be happy or suffer torture, and all happiness and sufferings will come during one's life itself, here on earth.

We are fooling ourselves by these tall talks about soul, rebirth, nirvana, mukthi, total freedom from pain etc.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Mohan Shenoy

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