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Chapter 2: Seeing Life As It Is

The first thing is that if one wishes to enter the process of jati-smaran, wishes to know one’s past life, then one needs to turn one’s mind away from the future. That is the first requirement of the mind. Our mind is future-oriented, not past-oriented. Ordinarily, our mind is centered in the future; it moves toward the future. The stream of our minds is future-oriented, and it is in life’s interests that the mind be future-oriented, not past-oriented. Why be concerned with the past? It is gone, it is finished - so we are interested in that which is yet to come. That’s why we keep asking astrologers what is in store for us in the future. We are interested in finding out what is going to happen in the future. One who wants to remember the past has to completely give up any interest in the future. Because if the flashlight of the mind is focused on the future, if the stream of the mind is flowing toward the future, then it cannot flow toward the past.

So the first thing one needs to do is to break oneself completely away from future-orientation for a few months, for a certain specific period of time. One should decide that he will not think of the future for, say, the next six months. If a thought of the future does occur, he will simply say goodbye to it; he will not become identified and carried away by any feeling of the future. So the first thing is that, for six months, he will not allow any future and will flow only toward the past. And so, as soon as future is dropped, the current of mind turns toward the past.

First you will have to go back in this life; it is not possible to return to a past life all at once. And there are techniques for going back in this life. For example, as I said earlier, you don’t remember now what you did on January 1 twenty years ago.

There is a technique to find out. If you go into the meditation which I have suggested, after ten minutes - when the meditation has gone deeper, the body is relaxed, the breathing is relaxed, the mind has become quiet - then let only one thing remain in your mind: “What took place on January 1 twenty years ago?” Let your entire mind focus on it. If that remains the only note echoing in your mind, in a few days you will all of a sudden find a curtain lifted: the first of January appears and you begin to relive each and every event of that day from dawn to dusk. And you will see the first of January in far more detail than you may have seen it, in actuality, on that very day - because on that day, you may not have been this aware. So, first, you will need to experiment by regressing in this life.

It is very easy to regress up to the age of five; it becomes very difficult to go beyond that age. And so, ordinarily, we cannot recall what happened before the age of five; that is the farthest back we can go. A few people might remember up to the third year, but beyond that it becomes extremely difficult - as if a barrier comes across the entrance and everything becomes blocked. A person who becomes capable of recalling the memories of any day up to the age of five.and this starts happening.. Then he should test it in the following manner..

For instance, note down some of the events of today on a piece of paper and lock it away. Two years later recall this day: open the note and compare your memory with it. You will be amazed to find that you have been able to recall more than what was noted on the paper. The events noted down will, of course, be there in your memory recall.