Karma & Reincarnation-fact or fable?

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In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
DEDICATED TO
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
AND TO
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
*

                    KARMA & REINCARNATION
If reincarnation is like the soul taking on a new shirt, as Hindus say, from where does the soul gets this new shirt?

As they mark the line between heaven and hell, cardinal doctrines of a religion are to be clearly expressed. No one seems to know the origin of the doctrines of Karma and reincarnation. They are not clearly expressed in the Veda:

“The origin and the development of the belief in the transmigration of souls are very obscure…This doctrine of samsara (reincarnation) is attributed to the sage Uddalaka Aruni, who is said to have learned it from a Ksatriya chief. In the same text, the doctrine of karma (works)…also occurs for the first time, attributed to Yajnavalkya. Both doctrines appear to have been new and strange ones, circulating among small groups of ascetics who were disinclined to make them public.24

   Anoop Chandola states: “Through contact, the Aryans and non -Aryans began to modify and integrate each other’s pathways. In the context of religion, for example, the Austro-Asiatics may have contributed the belief in each life passing to another life. This belief later, in the form of reincarnation, became a major element in the Upanishads.”25 If reincarnation was Divine bequeath26 it could not be speculated to have been “contributed” by the “Austro-Asiatics.” (Ask yourself: "How can I go to heaven by following doctrines God did not reveal?")

   In believing that his suffering is the result of his actions in a past life, man “is thus induced to reconcile himself to social cruelty, exploitation and oppression,” wrote V.M. Tarkunde. (Radical Humanism, p. 69). Also, whereas in earlier times India’s “intellectual inquiry and philosophical development” was “comparable” to the Greeks, as V.M. Tarkunde notes:

“By the 8th century A.D., however, the school of thought which came to prevail in the country was the other-worldly Vedant philosophy. It regarded physical existence to be an illusion, the human body to be the prison-house of the soul, and escape from the cycle of births and deaths to be the highest human ideal. Self-denial, abstinence, celibacy, desirelessness and meditation became the highest virtues. The best spirits being thus pre-occupied in other-worldly pursuits, the rest of the society came easily under the domination of ambitious princes and self-seeking priests. The theory of Karma, which says that our sufferings in the present life are the result of the sins committed by us in our previous lives, reconciled the poor to their miserable lot and consolidated the prevailing caste system and the barbaric custom of untouchability.” (Ibid., pp. 10-11).

   It is incredible that only Africans and Hindus and Bangladeshis seem to have the worst karma, considering that these are the nations/people that suffers the most of famine, flood, and poverty; even though they engage in little or no war or aggression or oppression or exploitation of others; and are probably more reli-gious.

   If suffering is the result of bad karma, no attempt should be made to alleviate the miserable conditions of the sufferers and the poor–those who try to improve the lot of the poor and the suffering would be working against karma. If their conditions can be improved, karma is meaningless–seeing that it can be subverted/defeated. If karma can be annulled, man can change the natural law of God. If man can change the natural law of God, man would be greater than God. But man could never be greater than God. Also the need for higher education would be pointless. (Perhaps lower caste Hindus should be schooled to see how many are poor or illiterate because of karma).

   The Higher Taste (published by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness) states: “killing an animal interrupts its progressive evolution through the species.” (p. 44). 
   It could not be that “killing an animal interrupts its progressive evolution through the species” seeing that karma “operates impartially and unerringly, awarding us exactly what we deserve,” and “and insures that those who cause violence and suffering to other living beings must themselves experience equivalent vio-lence and suffering –immediately or in the future.” (Ibid. p. 38).
   By killing this animal karma was “awarding” it exactly what it deserved –its manner and time of death were dictated by karma.

In his commentary to Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, 16:1-3, Swami Prabhupada states (on p. 745) in explaining Ahimsa:

Ahimsa means not arresting the progressive life of any living entity….If a particular animal is killed, then his progress is checked. If an animal is staying in a particular body for so many days or so many years and is untimely killed, then he has to come back again in that form of life to complete the remaining days in order to be promoted to another species of life.”

   But there could not be “untimely” killings seeing that karma is “awarding us exactly what we deserve.” (The belief that karma “operates impartially and unerringly, awarding us exactly what we deserve,” seems to imply that karma is an entity separate from, and operates independent of, God. Also, such a belief seems to contradict the Veda which teaches forgiveness).

   The Higher Taste states that “karma insures that those who cause violence and suffering to other living beings must themselves experience equivalent violence and suffering–immediately or in the future.” (p.38). 
   According to this teaching the millions of Jews and Gypsies that Hitler killed or caused to suffer were only being repaid for what they had done to him or to other(s) in a past life.

   Since a person at the time of his/her death becomes what he/she remembers, as the Gita (8:6) teaches, then if at the time of his death a mass murderer was stormed by remorse and thought about Krishna he must now be in Krsnaloka. Or he may have thought about Jesus and is now sitting “on the right hand of God”–(Mark 16:19). (This is not cynicism. Based on their beliefs Hindus must be receptive to such a possibility).

   The invaders of India who committed atrocities against Hindus are not to be blamed because they were only fulfilling karma which “insures that those who cause violence and suffering to other living beings must themselves experience equivalent violence and suffering –immediately or in the future.” (It is not reasonable that the thousands of women and young girls that were raped in the “ethnic cleansing” of Bosnia were rapists who were now being repaid for raping others in a past life. Women who are gang-raped must have raped several others on a single occasion, to be gang-raped now).

   Page 70 of The Higher Taste states that those who kill animals “will have to take an animal form and somehow or other be kill-ed by the same type of animal we have killed.” (Italics/ emphasis added). 
   So Rama will have to take an animal form and be killed by the buck and boar he and his brother, Laksmana, killed and ate in the forest, as the Ramayana says. 
   But if a couple of poachers were to kill the last remaining elephant which would make the elephant extinct–much like dinosaurs–they could not be killed by the “same type” of animal (seeing that it would be extinct). Thus, the poachers might live forever.

(If karma (or God) was to make sure that a couple of elephants were in existence to repay these poachers, and if these poachers should leave Africa and live in Alaska, then when they die and take on these animal forms (say as mice) to be killed by the elephants, someone would have to take these mice to Africa or bring the elephants to Alaska so they could kill the mice, and these elephants would have to know which mice to kill. But elephants are scared of mice! 
   If karma should dictate that a soul inhabits a body that becomes extinct soon after the soul inhabits the body, karma would have to reassign the soul to another body or this soul might be left to wander forever without a body. But karma could not reassign this soul because karma “operates impartially and unerringly, awarding us exactly what we deserve,” as THT says).

   The Gita 8:6 says: “Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kunti, that state he will attain without fail.” Swami Prabhupada explains:

“A person who at the end of his life quits his body thinking of Krsna attains the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord…..Maharaja Bharata, although a great personality, thought of a deer at the end of his life, and so in his next life he was transferred into the body of a deer.”                                      

   Thus, a saintly person can attain “the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord” or end up as a scavenger; a wicked person can also attain “the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord”; a person may also end up as a dinosaur, vegetable or a toy; or become a mythical creature, such as Pegasus, or Cyclops, which he has seen in a book or the movies; or may even become extinct animals, depending on what he/she “thought of” “at the end of his life.” One may even become an automobile if it is the last thing “thought of” at the time of an accident, (death).

   This teaching of the Gita (8:6) that one becomes what he “thought” of at the time of his death seems to contradict the doctrine of karma where an individual’s next life is determined by his actions in his present life. (It is interesting to note that the Swami says on Gita 8:6 that Maharaja Bharata “Although as a deer he remembered his past activities,” but in his purport to Gita 4:5 the Swami says, “a living entity forgets everything due to his change of body”).(Emphasis added). 

   To return as humans in the next life one has to have good karma (do good works) in the present life. Since karma “operates impartially and unerringly, awarding us exactly what we deserve,” and “insures that those who cause violence and suffering to other living beings must themselves experience equivalent violence and suffering–immediately or in the future,” as The Higher Taste says; how then are some people born with such defects as blindness, deafness, paralysis, Down’s syndrome–what “violence and suffering” have they committed against others so that karma should operate “impartially and unerringly” against them? (Surely, they had to be pure in their past life to return as humans, and should not have defects –they could not have given defects to anyone for karma to subject them to defects. People who are euthanized must have been practitioners of euthanasia in a past life. A woman who has had multiple abortions must herself have been aborted several times in a past life; and so must be the doctor who performs abortions).

  Page 40 of The Higher Taste says that in animals “their intelligence and emotions are less developed,” the animal is “stringently controlled by his natural instincts,” and are “com-pelled by bodily demands to follow rigid behavioral patterns.” And Hinduism teaches, as Anoop Chandola states that Lord Vishnu’s avatars (incarnates) include “Fish,” “Tortoise,” “Boar,” and “Man-Lion”–(The Way To True Worship, p. 32).
   As the intelligence and emotions of animals are “less developed,” and they are controlled by “natural instincts” and follow “rigid behavioral patterns,” it does not seem reasonable that Lord Vishnu could have accomplished his purpose as these animals; nor would he have been able to return to Godhead status from these animal states; because on incarnating himself as these animals, his intelligence would have been “less developed” and he would have been controlled by “natural instincts” and would have had to follow “rigid behavioral patterns,” as THT says. (If to incarnate Himself as man, God took birth through woman; to incarnate Himself as animals and fish God must take birth through animals and fish, which means that God was in the egg of a “Fish” and a “Tortoise”, and in the wombs of a “Boar” and a woman–“Lion”[?]).

   Hinduism teaches, as Swami Prabhupada notes (in his Purport to Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, 2:17): “This soul is described as one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair point in size.”  
  
As the soul may occupy a form according to its karma, assuming that there is an individual in North America whose karma dictates that his soul must reborn at the bottom and work its way up again to human form, i.e. from tree to bird to fish to rhino to camel to…then

after spending his life as an apple tree in B.C. and waiting for it to die or be hewn; and if karma then dictates that he should be a ghost shark, the soul –this “one ten-thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair point in size” particle– must now chart its way to the Atlantic and navigate down thousands of feet of water to the ocean floor to unite with this fish; then to the forest of South America into the egg of a harpy eagle; then over mountains and oceans, probably battling storms and hurricanes, to Africa to seek out a rhino and inhabit her; then over to Arabia to implant into a camel,…and finally, if it is the will of karma, back to North America or Europe to become a blue-eyed blonde; (or to the Amazon jungle to be an Arawak Indian).   (Since some trees, such as the redwood, live thousands of years then the soul is ‘trapped’ for a longer period as plants than as humans and other creatures). (This is not conducive to reason).

   It is not reasonable that man’s soul is relegated to a lower form of life as a result of bad karma. If the soul does not remember its past life, it would be of no consequence to it what form it is made to inhabit. It would have no regrets, seeing that remorse comes through reflection on the past. But if it is conscious of its past life, it would, in all likelihood, strive not to sin.

   Unless Gods are not subject to karma: regarding the hunter that killed Krishna, Krishna must have killed this hunter in a past life for this hunter to kill him; or Krishna would have to be reincarnated in order to kill this hunter, according to karma. And Rawan must have killed Rama in a past life so that Rama should have killed him; or Rawan would have to reincarnate to kill Rama, according to karma.

   In the case of Cain and Abel, the very first humans in creation, as there was no prior killings for Cain to kill Abel, Abel would need to be reincarnated to kill Cain. He would have to be reincarnated before Cain died or was killed by another. If Cain had killed others, Cain would have to be reborn several times for each of his victims to repay him, according to karma. And depending when and where Cain (or his victims) was reborn they would have to be informed about their duty to kill Cain and track him down. Each would have to be born in the same period that Cain was given birth. As Cain would have been returned as a sub-human for killing Abel, then Abel would have to wait until Cain had gone through the various rung of the karmic ladder –from plant to beast, etc; as Hinduism teaches– till he was reincarnated as man. (Abel may still be trying to find Cain).

   And in the case where a person is a mass murderer, or where one was killed by a gang, one would almost forever be under-going rebirths only to be killed or to kill those who killed him in this past life. 
   If karma returns a person as a human, which must be the result of righteous living in a past life, that person should not die as a babe or youth; but there are thousands who die when yet a baby or a youth. Or are still-born.

   Whereas in earlier times India’s “intellectual inquiry and philosophical development” was “comparable” to the Greeks, as V.M. Tarkunde notes:

“By the 8th century A.D., however, the school of thought which came to prevail in the country was the other-worldly Vedant philosophy. It regarded physical existence to be an illusion, the human body to be the prison-house of the soul, and escape from the cycle of births and deaths to be the highest human ideal. Self-denial, abstinence, celibacy, desirelessness and meditation became the highest virtues. The best spirits being thus pre-occupied in other-worldly pursuits, the rest of the society came easily under the domination of ambitious princes and self-seeking priests. The theory of Karma, which says that our sufferings in the present life are the result of the sins committed by us in our previous lives, reconciled the poor to their miserable lot and consolidated the prevailing caste system and the barbaric custom of untouchability.”  (Radical Humanism, pp. 10-11).

Karma law of action and equal reaction– is for science. Along with his right to retaliate, man is endowed with reason and to be merciful and forgiving. The God Who gives to all human action an equal and opposite reaction is devoid of mercy: there is no room in Him for forgiveness. If karma/reincarnation were Divine truths, trying to improve the conditions of the unfortunate–which is the “reaction” to their bad karma– would be to work against karma; if such works are successful man would have subverted karma.

   Hindus are divided on the state of the reincarnated soul. “The Vedas explain that the soul…may inhabit any of 8,400,000 general species of material bodies…the primitive microbes and amoebas…the aquatic, plant, insect, reptile, bird, and animal species, and culminating in human beings and demi-gods”27; but the sage Uddalaka Aruni taught his son: “Whatever these creatures are here, whether a lion, or a wolf, or a boar, or a worm, or a midge, or a gnat, or a mosquito, that they become again and again28 (they do not reincarnate into other kingdoms). If souls reincarnate the animals, birds, fish, vegetables one eats could be his parents, relative, etc. If karma and reincarnation were Divine expressions, it would be expected that there should be no difference between the various schools of Hinduism, as to the type of creatures into which one is reincarnated.

   That souls do not transmigrate from one creature to another is evident from the fact that man can clone creatures and humans. Karma can not dictate that a soul enter a clone –which is a duplicate of a being– the being would be alive and still has its soul. (And if the soul does go into the clone then two beings will now bear the karma of one person of a past life. This would be a grave injustice).

   Swami Dayananda wrote: (the soul) “Guided by God it enters the body of some living creature with air, water, food, drink or through any one of the openings of the body. Having entered it, it gradually reaches the reproductive element, and thereby establishes itself in the womb, and is thus invested with a body and eventually born. It is clothed with a male or a female body.”29 (Thus, according to the Swami, the souls of Rama and Krishna were in the wombs of their mothers waiting to be fertilized).
   If more than one soul is to be reincarnated as egg-laying creatures these would have many souls nesting in the clusters in their wombs. A woman who has multiple births would have up to eight souls taking residency in her womb. If the soul enters the womb “through any one of the openings of the body,” how does the soul enter a seed when it has to be reincarnated as a tree, and in the case of a seedless (banana) plant? 

   If the soul sits in the woman’s “womb” where does it sit in the man? his testicles? eunuchs have no testicles. If the soul enters a barren or menopausal woman it might sit in her womb till the woman dies).

   The Swami states: “He (God) caused the soul to enter the body and He Himself entered the soul thereafter.”30
   Thus, since the soul is incarnated as dogs, rats, cats, and pigs, God eats all the things these animals eat, and dwells in the same conditions as these animals dwell (?)

We occasionally read of an individual recalling about having had an experience in a distant place and/or of a past time. While this is an extraordinary phenomenon, it is no proof of reincarnation. (Everyone should remember his/her past life if reincarnation was a reality). If a person who recalls event(s) from a past era must be deemed to have lived in that time, then those people who foretell the future must be deemed to have lived in the future. While we read of people claiming to have had an experience of a past life, we do not, however, hear of anyone relating having had an experience of life in the future (i.e. of heaven). There must be many that were in heaven, for as Swami Prabhupada explained the Gita 8:3:

“In the process of sacrifice, the living entity makes specific sacrifices to attain specific heavenly planets and consequently reaches them. When the merit of sacrifice is exhausted, the living entity descends to earth in the form of rain….”

Thus, with the many monsoons and hurricanes plus the regular rainfalls per year there must be hundreds of billions who were on “heavenly planets.” However, we are yet to hear of a report of anyone relating his/ her account of heaven.

   If souls are reincarnated as various creatures they must remember their past lives and be master linguists –in both human and animal speech– having experienced lives as these creatures; and the souls must remember their past lives seeing that God is inside the soul, and God is Omniscient. In fact, every one or nearly everyone should be a master linguist. But there are no such known individuals –in the nearly two billion years since the Veda is said to have been revealed, there should be legions; surely with such talents one would come forth to be known.
   If the soul does not remember its past life then a person who relates an experience of a past time cannot attribute such an experience to reincarnation.
   The souls as animals can be said to be at no disadvantage, nor as a means of punishment for a past life of evil. An animal is suited to its kingdom. A worm, dog, cat, cockroach, etc; must be just as comfortable and happy in its state and surroundings as man (generally) is in his. In fact, the souls, in some cases, are worse off in the form of man than they are in the form of animals if we take into account the miseries man suffers at the hands of his fellow man–enslavement, torture, eviction; discrimination, as in the caste system. Consider how some dogs and cats are treated regally, pampered, well nourished, and may even inherit their master’s will. (These dogs and cats could not have been humans relegated to animals, so as to be pampered in reward for pampering animals in a past life. Because, according to karma, those who do good go to a higher form of life, not to a lower form. In the physical sphere, man, by virtue of his ability to reason, is the highest form of life. If sub-humans had wisdom bees and hornets, by virtue of their size, sting and flight might be ruling the world –forcing man to constantly wear armor. And apes, that have hands as man, would be designing sky-scrapers and bullet trains and powering space-crafts and ocean liners).

   Souls do not come from any external place to join with the fetus. The limbs and soul are latent in the life-germ much like the parts and fragrance of a plant are latent in its seed–(Qur’an 23:12-14). As the fragrance of the flower, though a different medium, manifests from the seed likewise the soul, though a different medium, manifests from the cell according to the laws inscribed by Allāh, God.

   Hindus are divided as to the status of the soul after its emancipation from the cycle of deaths and births. Whereas Swami Dayananda is of the view that “The emancipated soul….is again born into this world;” it is said that “All other writers teach and all the world believes that the Emancipation is that condition from which no soul returns to this world and becomes subject to births and deaths”31.

(As noted, Swami Dayananda quotes the Mundak Upanishad, III, 2, 6, as saying that the soul, after enjoying its emancipation, “is again born into this world.” But this teaching is not of the Vedas. If there was such a teaching in the Vedas (and moreover a clear teaching) it is reasonable that the Swami would have used it for his quote, rather than using the Mundak Upanishad. Also whereas the Mundak says that the soul, after its emancipation “is again born into this world,” it is said that “All other writers teach and all the world believes that the Emancipation is that condition from which no soul returns to this world and becomes subject to births and deaths.” However the Swami disagrees with this view, and gave arguments to support the Mundak Upanishad. But the Swami’s submission is irrelevant. If the Vedas were clear on this issue–and it is expected that cardinal doctrines of a religion be clearly expressed and not left to the function of interpretation–it is hardly likely that there would be an opposing view). (Italics/emphasis added).

Hinduism also teaches the existence of “hell”:

“The friends have sung in unison, the prudent wish
to sacrifice: Down sink the unintelligent.”
(“Down sink: narake, into hell, says Sayana.)”
(Ralph T. H. Griffith, Hymns Of The RgVeda,
Book IX. Hymn LXIV. Verse 21,
note # 21, Vol. 2, pp. 338, 339).

“The demoniac person…they become too strongly attached to sense enjoyment and fall down into hell”–(Bhagavad-Gita, 16: 16). And Arjuna says to Lord Krishna that he heard “that those who destroy family traditions dwell always in hell”–(Ibid. 1:43). 
  
If humans were reincarnated into forms according to their good or bad deeds (karma), it would seem needless to have a “hell.” 
   This hell could not be a rebirth into a lower class of animal.  As noted above, the souls as animals can be said to be at no disadvantage, nor as a means of punishment for a past life of evil. An animal is suited to its kingdom. A worm, dog, cat, cock-roach, etc; must be just as comfortable and happy in its state and surroundings as man (generally) is in his. In fact, the souls, in some cases, are worse off in the form of man than they are in the form of animals if we take into account the miseries man suffers at the hands of his fellow man –enslavement, torture, eviction; discrimination, as in the caste system. Consider how some dogs and cats are treated regally, pampered, well nourished, and may even inherit their master’s will.

   Hindu heaven: As explained by Swami Dayananda one Divine day is 4,320,000,000 years; and the period of the Grand Dissolution of the universe, which is known as the “duration of Emancipation” of the soul, is said to be “3, 11, 040, 000, 000, 000 years;”32 and he quotes the Mundak Upanishad, III, 2, 6, as saying that the soul, after enjoying its emancipation “is again born into this world.”33 And that:

“The emancipated soul roams about in the Infinite All-pervading God as it desires, sees all nature through pure knowledge, meets other emancipated souls, sees all the laws of nature in operation, goes about in all the worlds visible and invisible, sees all objects that it comes across, the more its knowledge increases the happier it feels. Being altogether pure, the soul acquires perfect knowledge of all hidden things in the state of Emancipation. This extreme bliss alone is called Heaven (swarga).34

   Imagine this soul –this “one ten thousandth part of the upper portion of the hair point in size,”35–‘ roaming’ the vast galaxies for some 3.11 trillion years, and meeting other souls. 
   As noted, the length of the soul’s “duration of Emancipation” is “3, 11, 040, 000, 000, 000 years.” So, this eternal soul, being of the same “essence” as God, as the Swami wrote, after spending perhaps one billion years –about quarter the Divine day– dwelling in and feeding on refuse, and other lowly conditions, this soul now “roams about” freely in heaven for more than 3.11 trillion years, where it “acquires perfect knowledge of all hidden things” (only to forget it afterwards), and eventually returns to earth to spend 4.32 billion years, perhaps some as sub-humans, to again ‘roam’ in heaven for another 3.11 trillion years, receiving the same knowledge, and forgetting. Repeating this cycle again and again and…Ad infinitum.36

   In the Gita 10:28, Krishna declares, “among cows I am the surabhi.” And Swami Prabhupada explains: “In Krsnaloka in the spiritual sky there are cows which can be milked at any time, and they give as much milk as one likes. Of course such cows do not exist in this material world, but there is mention of them in Krsnaloka. The Lord keeps many such cows, which are called surabhi. It is stated that the Lord is engaged in herding the surabhi cows.”
   If man should live to be a million years, it is doubtful that he would tire of a life of affluence and would deem it “infinite misery;” when in fact his rat race in this world is, without doubt, driven by his desire for a life of ease and luxury.
   (A survey should be carried out to determine how many individuals would prefer the Hindu heaven –to be with Krishna “herding the surabhi cows;” and to roam the heavens for 3.11 trillion years, gathering knowledge, and forgetting it– and to return to earth, possibly as sub-humans, for some four billion years dwelling in sub-human conditions; and how many Hindus, affluent and destitute, would prefer a life in the Hindu heaven instead of life in the Muslim paradise –of splendorous Gardens, fine garments and fruits, and magnificent companions for eternity). (See also
Hinduism & women).

*

NOTES

24. Ency. Brit; 15th Ed; Vol. 8, p. 911. Underlines added.

25. Chandola, Anoop, The Way To True Worship, p. 8.

26. On Hindus’ inheritance. India is yet to regain her highly coveted Kohinoor –the Taj Mahal of diamondsilluminating Regal heads in Britain. Perhaps now that India has Super-Muscles and commands world allegiance she may yet out-wrestle the not-so-Great Britain in the arena of diplomacy and public conscience –or perhaps Her Majesty would take the grand and noble step into the High Chair of pride and dignity as befits Royal Office and voluntary gift it to the sirdars– and take home to the forbearing Indians their sparkling heritage. The Maharanis will be joyed.

27. The Higher Taste, Pub. International Society for Krishna Consciousness, (1995), pp. 38, 39.

28. Lin Yutang, Wisdom of India, p. 30. (Italics/Emp; added).  

29. Swami D, Saraswati, Light Of Truth, p. 300.

30. Ibid; p. 227.

31. Ibid; p. 285. Italics/emphasis added.

32. Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Light Of Truth, pp. 141, 285,        respectively.

33. Ibid; p. 285.

34. Ibid; p.301.

35. Swami Prabhupada, commentary on Bhagavad-Gita, As It Is, 2:17.

36.As noted under “Soul,”Swami Dayananda quotes the Mundak Upanishad as saying that the soul, after enjoying its emancipation “is again born into this world.” But this teaching is not of the Vedas. If there was such a teaching in the Vedas it is reasonable that the Swami would have used it for his quote, rather than using the Mundak Upanishad. Also whereas the Mundak says that the soul, after its emancipation “is again born into this world,” it is said that “All other writers teach and all the world believes that the Emancipation is that condition from which no soul returns to this world and becomes subject to births and deaths.” However the Swami disagrees with this view, and gave arguments to support the Mundak Upanishad. But the Swami’s submission is irrelevant. If the Vedas were clear on this issue –and it is expected that cardinal doctrines of a religion be clearly expressed and not left to the function of interpretation– it is hardly likely that there would be an opposing view).

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