By : Dr. Asha Praver
Every individual has a story or a personal experience to make sense of this world. But many things happen beyond our comprehension. Over a period, we imply that we know all the right answers, that everything is under our control; we know that it is not so. We are, as things indicate, in that ‘space between stories’.
But what is this space between stories? Broadly speaking, it is the time when our familiar way of understanding and our experience are no longer applicable. Some scholarly articles have rekindled in me a great truth from Sai Baba’s life: “Without having an association from an earlier life, no one, not just human beings but even animals and birds, come across one another. Therefore, do not rebuff anyone.”(Shri Sai Satcharitra, Chapter 19, Ovi 141). Sai Baba and Shama were together for 72 births. Even Sri Radhakrishna Swamiji has mentioned about his earlier births to his intimate devotees.
My own Guru, Swami Krishnanda of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, filled the blanks in the ‘space between stories’, by declaring that we all have an ‘after life’ and every incarnation is a joint venture, not only between the biological parents, but also with the incoming soul. The ‘karma’ of the incarnating soul is an essential part of the equation. The incoming soul knows the conditions into which it is being born. Master says that at the time of conception, there is a flash of light in the astral world. Souls who are in tune with that light, and ready to reincarnate, respond to the possibility of entering that womb.
Obviously, the biological parents have ‘karma’ with the incoming soul. Otherwise it would not feel drawn to that particular flash. The ‘karma’ for the soul is to obtain a physical body and that the joint ‘karma’ of parents and child ends at that birth. Think how many times the soul incarnates in its long journey to emancipation of births and deaths. Each time there is a mother and father and other siblings. We live through every permutation. Each birth and its association have lessons to teach.
In truth, the ‘child’ is not a child at all, but a soul. The body has age; the soul is ageless. A new incarnation does not mean a clean slate. The conditions of each birth are a perfect reflection of what that soul needs to progress spiritually, based on the accumulated ‘karma’ of all the previous lives.