Why do we reincarnate? (4)

     (Conitued from Why do we reincarnate?)

     The following passage was taken from Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Advaita Ashrama:

     The condition to which the soul arrives when it thus departs from life is supracosmic. The highest heavens of the cosmic plan are subject to a return to rebirth; but there is no rebirth imposed on the soul that departs to the Purushottama. Therefore whatever fruit can be had from the aspiration of knowledge to the indefinable Brahman, is acquired also by this other and comprehensive aspiration through knowledge, works and love to the self-existent Godhead who is the Master of works and the Friend of mankind and of all beings. To know him so and so to seek him does not bind to rebirth or to the chain of Karma; the soul can satisfy its desire to escape permanently from the transient and painful condition of our mortal being. And the Gita here, in order to make more precise to the mind this circling round of births and the escape from it, adopts the ancient theory of the cosmic cycles which became a fixed part of Indian cosmological notions. There is an eternal cycle of alternating periods of cosmic manifestation and non-manifestation, each period called respectively a day and a night of the creator Brahma, each of equal length in Time, the long aeon of his working which endures for a thousand ages, the long aeon of his sleep of another thousand silent ages. At the coming of the Day all manifestations are born into being out of the unmanifest, at the coming of the Night all vanish or are dissolved into it. Thus all these existences alternate helplessly in the cycle of becoming and non-becoming; they come into the becoming again and again, bhutva bhutva, and they go back constantly into the unmanifest. But this unmanifest is not the original divinity of the Being; there is another status of his existence, bhavo’nyah, a supracosmic unmanifest beyond this cosmic non-manifestation, which is eternally self-seated, is not an opposite of this cosmic status of manifestation but far above and unlike it, changeless, eternal, not forced to perish with the perishing of all these existences. ?He is called the unmanifest immutable, him they speak of as the supreme soul and status, and those who attain to him return not; that is my supreme place of being, paramam dhama.? For the soul attaining to it has escaped out of the cycle of cosmic manifestation and non-manifestation.

    So long as a man remains ignorant, in other words, so long as he has not realised God, he will have to be born on earth. But after enlightenment one has no more to return to this world. He has neither to come to this earth nor to go to any other sphere.

    Potters let their wares out in the sun to dry. Haven?t you noticed that they include unbaked as well as baked ones? When cattle or other animals pass over the place, some of the vessels are broken. When they happen to be baked ones, the potter throws them away as useless. But if they are unbaked, he takes them up again and pounds them into a lump which he again puts on the wheel, to make new vessels. Hence I say, so long as one has not realised God, one will have to return to the potter?s hands, that is to, say, to be born again and again in this world.

?Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Advaita Ashrama, 1994