Tag Archives: rebirth

Quote

Is this the end of all that we have been,
And all we did or dreamed, –
A name unremembered and a form undone, –
Is this the end?

A body rotting under a slab of stone
Or turned to ash in fire,
A mind dissolved, lost its forgotten thoughts, –
Is this the end?

Our little hours that were and are no more,
Our passions once so high
Being mocked by the still earth and calm sunshine, –
Is this the end?

Our yearnings for the human Godward climb
Passing to other hearts
Deceived, while smiles towards death and hell the world, –
Is this the end?

Fallen is the harp; shattered it lies and mute;
Is the unseen player dead?
Because the tree is felled where the bird sang,
Must the song too hush?

One in the mind who planned and willed and thought,
Worked to reshape earth’s fate,
One in the heart who loved and yearned and hoped,
Does he too end?

The Immortal in the mortal is his Name;
An artist Godhead here
Ever remoulds himself in diviner shapes,
Unwilling to cease

Till all is done for which the stars were made,
Till the heart discovers God
And the soul knows itself. And even then
There is no end.

— Sri Aurobindo – Is This the End?

Is This the End?

Quote

Do you think that the flame on the candle is going down only in a vertical direction? If you think so, then you are following the flame in time. You may also think in this way about your own life span: that it is going in a linear direction and that one day it will end. You may think that you were born on a point on a vertical line, a point you may call 1960. You may think that you will die on a point somewhere farther down on that line, which you may call 2040. All you can see is yourself moving in time like the candle. But you are not just moving in a linear direction.

You might think that the flame is just going down. You might think that the candle will die. In fact the flame is going out in many other directions. It is giving out light all around itself to the north, south, east and west. If you had a very sensitive scientific instrument, you would be able to measure the heat and light that the candle is sending out into the universe. The candle is going into you as an image, as light and as heat.

You are like a candle. Imagine you are sending light out around you. All your words, thoughts and actions are going in many directions. If you say something kind, your kind words go in many directions, and you yourself go with them. We are transforming and continuing in a different form at every moment.

— Thich Nhat Hanh – No Death, No Fear – Pages 121 and 122


This text is illustrated by this example following the text above on page 122:
This morning you said something unkind to your child. With those unkind words you went into her heart. Now you are regretting what you said. It does not mean that you cannot transform what you have said by admitting your mistake to your child, but if you fail to do so, those unkind words may stay with your child for a long time.

You are like a candle

Quote

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it’s age old pain,
It’s ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star, piercing the darkness of time.
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers,
Shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting,
the distressful tears of farewell,
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

— Rabindranath Tagore

Unending Love

Aside

As we observe nature, we become aware of a cyclic order of existence in the whole universe. One season follows upon the previous season, and night follows day in rhythmic sequence. Could you imagine a night that does not return to day, or a winter that does not become another spring? That would be a horrible thought. The phases of the moon, the cycles of growing plants and trees, the wheeling dance of the stars, all these are clear indications of a universal pattern of cyclic existence in the evolutionary progress of life.

We can observe similar cyclic pattern in our own lives, in the twenty-four hours of each day, periods of rest alternate with periods of activity. The science of medicine tells us that the body has its cycles — the beating of the heart, the growth and renewal of cell life. The brain also functions in rhythms. Psychology tells about cycles of depression followed by periods of exhilaration, cycles of mental activity followed by times of quiet contemplation. Historians and sociologists trace cyclic patterns in world events.

We can reduce this to the question of life and death. Death is always a beginning. The death of the present moment is the birth of the next moment. Isn’t it like this that we perceive time? But in reality the present is the whole of time; in the seed of the present are the past and the future. The present is the eternal, the timeless. So, if we meditate about cyclic existence, rebirth, reincarnation and samsara, the wheel of existences, shouldn’t we first reflect on what is that incarnates, or what is reborn? Shouldn’t we try to understand the essence of what IS, here and now, before trying to understand mere concepts of reincarnation or rebirth and what is being reborn, although always keeping in mind that the moment of death is uncertain and we do not have time to lose? Once we have deeply understood that the present is not a passage to a past that is merely memory or a mirage like future, the present isn’t anymore a becoming, there will be no life and death anymore and we will have a deep understanding of what is that incarnates and of cyclic existence.

About cyclic existence