The process of disintegration which, after disincarnation,
destroys the physical, astral, and mental bodies of the man leaves
the Soul--or, to be more exact, the causal body, for the soul is not
the causal body any more than it is any of the other human
vehicles--intact. Indeed, the causal body is at present the only
vehicle that resists the cyclic dissolution of the human compound;
this it will be subjected to only when the divine spark which
constitutes the Soul--an eternal spark in its essence, since it is a
fragment of God, and immortal as an "ego," once it has attained to
individualisation, the goal of evolution--has formed for itself a new
and superior body with the substance of the finer planes above the
mental; but ages will pass before the masses of mankind reach this
After thus throwing off, one after the other, all its sheaths, the Ego
finds that it has ended a "life-cycle," and is preparing to put on new
bodies, to return to reincarnation on earth. On Reincarnation properly
so called, the Hindu scriptures are so precise and complete, so
generally accepted, than it is unnecessary to quote from them in
detail. A few extracts will suffice.
These we will take from the Bhagavad Gita, that glorious episode in
the mighty civil war which shattered India, and left her defenceless
against the successive invaders who were to complete her fall. This
great epic poem introduces to us Arjuna, a noble prince, about to take
part in the strife. The two armies, arrayed for battle, are on the
point of engaging, arrows have already begun to pierce the air. In the
opposing ranks Arjuna sees cherished relatives, dear friends, and
revered teachers, whom destiny has placed in hostile array, thus
giving to the battle all the horrors of parricide and fratricide.
Overwhelmed with grief and pity, his heart moved to its inmost depths,
Arjuna drops his bow on the ground and thus addresses his Teacher, the
"Seeing these my kinsmen arrayed, O Krishna, eager to fight,
"My limbs fail and my mouth is parched, my body quivers and my hair
stands on end.
"Gandiva (Arjuna's bow) slips from my hand, and my skin burns all
over; I am not able to stand, and my mind is whirling.
"And I see adverse omens, O Keshava (hairy one). Nor do I foresee
advantage by slaying kinsmen in battle.
"For I desire not victory, O Krishna, nor kingship nor pleasures; what
is kingship to us, O Govinda (Thou who knowest all that is done by our
senses and organs), what enjoyment or even life?
"Those for whose sake we desire kingship, enjoyments, and pleasures,
they stand here in battle, abandoning life and riches.
"Teachers, fathers, sons, as well as grandfathers, mothers' brothers,
fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, and other relatives.
"These I do not wish to kill, though (myself) slain, O Madhusudana
(slayer of Madhu, a demon), even for the sake of the kingship of the
three worlds (the habitations of men, gods, and semi-divine beings);
how then for earth?
... "I will not do battle."
The divine Krishna then smiled upon his well-beloved disciple, and
said to him:
"Thou grievest for those that should not be grieved for, and speakest
words of wisdom (words that sound wise but miss the deeper sense of
wisdom). The wise grieve neither for the living nor for the dead.
"Nor at any time verily was I not, nor thou, nor these princes of men,
nor verily shall we ever cease to be hereafter.
"As the Dweller in the body seeketh in the body childhood, youth, and
old age, so passeth he on to another body; the well-balanced grieve
"These bodies of the Embodied One, who is eternal, indestructible, and
boundless, are known as finite. Therefore fight, O Bharata.
"He who regardeth This (the Dweller in the body) as a slayer, and he
who thinketh it is slain, both of them are ignorant. It slayeth not,
nor is it slain....
"Who knoweth It indestructible, perpetual, unborn, undiminishing; how
can that man slay, O Partha, or cause to be slain?
"As a man casting off worn-out garments, taketh new ones, so the
Dweller in the body, casting off worn-out bodies, entereth into others
that are new.
"Weapons cleave It not, nor fire burneth It, nor waters wet It, nor
wind drieth It away....
"Further, looking upon thine own Dharma, thou shouldst not
tremble, for there is nothing more welcome to a Kshattriya than
Here are other extracts of this wonderful teaching:
"Many births have been left behind by Me and by thee, O Arjuna. I know
them all, but thou knowest not thine, Parantapa."
"He who thus knoweth My divine birth and action, in its essence, is
not born again, having abandoned the body, but he cometh unto Me, O
"Having attained to the worlds of the pure-doing, and having dwelt
there for eternal years, he who fell from Yoga is reborn in a pure and
blessed house.... There he obtaineth the complete yogic wisdom
belonging to his former body, and then again laboureth for perfection,
O joy of the Kurus!"
"But the Yogi, verily, labouring with assiduity, purified from sin,
fully perfected through manifold births, he treadeth the supreme
Path.... He who cometh unto Me, O Kaunteya, verily he knoweth birth no
The daily life of Hindu and Buddhist is so entirely based on
Reincarnation and on its foundation, the law of Causality, that this
faith gives them patience in the present and hope for the future; for
it teaches that man, every moment he lives, is subject to the
circumstances he has created, and that, though bound by the past, he
is yet master of the future.
Why cannot we, in this troubled Europe of ours, accept this belief as
the solution of the distressing problem of the inequality of
conditions, for to the weak in rebellion against oppression it would
come as a soothing balm, whilst the strong would find in it a stimulus
to devoted pity such as wealth owes to poverty and happiness to
misfortune? Herein lies the solution of the whole social problem.