Chapter 29: Belief - Just a Blind Man’s Bluff
There are three religions - Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism - which have taken a negative stand on the theory of reincarnation. They say it is not true. This is a negative belief Remember that belief can be either negative or positive, but it does not change its nature. This is a negative belief. These three religions are under the influence of a negative belief that there is no reincarnation.
Parallel to these three there are three religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism - which have taken a positive attitude. They say yes, reincarnation is a reality. But that is also a belief a positive belief.
My approach is a third one which has not been tried up to now, and which I say is the right approach. I say to you: accept the theory as hypothetical, neither saying yes nor saying no. Accepting it as hypothetical means, “I am ready to inquire into it with no prejudice, positive or negative. I am ready to go into it without any preconceived idea, to see what is the truth.”
Religions have not used the word hypothesis at all. Either you are a believer or you are a non-believer. The non-believer is also a believer, only negatively. They are not qualitatively different, they are the same type of people. And what happens when you take a negative belief or a positive belief is that your mind has already decided; before knowing, before experiencing, you have already decided what the truth is. This I call insincere, dishonest. And once you accept something negatively or positively, it is a capacity of the mind to create the hallucination of your belief.
You can see it. In Mohammedans, in Christians, in Jews, you will not find children born who remember their past lives. But in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism you will always find, almost every day, somewhere, some child who remembers his past lives. People have tried to see whether his remembrance has any facts behind it or if it is just imagination. And so many cases have been found in which the facts were clearly in support of it.
For example, I myself was deeply involved with such a case. A girl born in Katni - a small city eighty miles away from Jabalpur - remembered that she had been the wife of a certain man who lived in Jabalpur who owned a garage: his name, his age, where his house was, and where his garage was. Now this man, Ramakant Parekh was his name, lived just four or five houses away from me. That’s how I became involved in the whole thing.
One day he came running to me. He said, “A phone call has come from Katni that a girl remembers that she was my wife. My wife has certainly died, and the dates coincide exactly with the date the girl was born. In the evening she was born, and in the morning my wife had died. She remembers my name, she remembers my job, my house, my work. What do you think? What should I do?”
I said, “Just come along with me. We will go to Katni. It is not far away, it is just a two-hour drive, and it is better to go without announcing ourselves. You are not to say that you are Ramakant Parekh; I will say I am Ramakant Parekh, and that I own the garage.”