Q: What is reincarnation?
A: The soul is eternal; it is neither born nor dies. We call death reincarnation, where the soul transmigrates to another body to continue its journey.
Q: Since we have not seen the past or future lives, how can we be sure that the concept of rebirth is correct?
A: Accepting the concept of rebirth is necessary to explain the apparent disparity between human beings. For example, how do you justify a person who has been blind from birth? If there is no previous life, you cannot state that it resulted from his past karmas. How else can you explain the phenomenon of child prodigies like Mozart, etc.? These are mental impressions from past lives, stored in the subconscious, manifest forth as interests, preferences, and choices in the present life.
Q: Does it matter whether we believe or not in reincarnation?
A: Interestingly, this is one of the most important beliefs that dictate our life. It becomes a game-changer regarding our values and, consequently, our daily big and small choices. For example, if we do not believe in an afterlife, then we will also not believe in the deep consequences of the actions of our present life. We would naturally be self-indulgent in eating, drinking, and making merry. On the other hand, a believer will strive for pure actions and intent since he is aware of the long-term effects.
Q: Why do we forget our past life?
A: Both death and birth are such painful experiences for the soul that they wipe out memories of the previous life from the conscious mind.
Q: There have been cases where some children remembered their previous life. How do we explain such exceptions?
A: Some residual memories do remain, but usually only for a short time. As the child grows up, the impressions of the present life are so strong that they erase lingering memories of the past life. Nevertheless, such exceptions are another reason to believe that the world and life are not illogical. Whatever we do stays with us. We can build our destiny and grow to perfection from lifetime to lifetime.
Q: Wouldn't it have been God's better design of human beings if we had our past lives in our memories?
A: That would have just resulted in an abnormal life in the present. If a child can remember that he was his mother's grandfather in his previous life, how can he behave like her child in the present life?
Q: Like the body, does the mind change after a rebirth?
A: No. Like the wind carries the flowers' aroma, the soul will carry the mind and intellect to the next birth. Only when we become God-realized, i.e., our mind is purified, will God's energy, Yogmāyā, intervene and make the mind divine.