Reincarnation is the progress of a soul through many lives on the earth, as through so many grades in a school, before it "graduates" to the immortal perfection of oneness with God. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.216.
The last portion of life is more important than the first, because what you are at the end of this life is what you will be at the beginning of the next. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.219.
There is a deep reason why God does not usually allow us to recall our previous lives. It is because we would be very clannish with those we knew before, instead of expanding our love to encompass others. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.227.
The idea of rebirth runs parallel with the doctrine of the eternity of the human soul. Nothing that ends at one point can be without a beginning, and nothing that begins at one point can be without an end. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.200.
How is that one man is born of good parents, receives a good education, and becomes a good man, while another comes from besotted parents and ends up on the gallows? How do you explain this inequality without implicating God? Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P. 200.
(Rabbi Isaac Luria to a young scholar): "You should know that the orphan's soul had already been in this world one generation earlier. And your soul likewise lived a generation earlier. The two of you were business partners, and the orphan's soul embezzled two hundred ducats from you. Heaven therefore ordained that your partner's soul should return to this world and do penance for the great sin of theft. And she became your soul mate for a brief time. You got back your two hundred ducats as her dowry, while her soul achieved full salvation, so that she had nothing more to do in this world." No Star Too Beautiful, P.109.
"What is being reborn is our habits. That is the essence of it. Whatever the mind holds onto is reborn: what we love, hate, fear, adore, and have opinions about. Our identification with these aspects of mind has a momentum behind it. Attachment is like a flywheel... What is being reborn from life to life is that in us which identifies with objects blindly" (Gyatso, The Good Heart, 85). Jack Maguire. (2001). Essential Buddhism. P.101.
In Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva repeatedly chooses to be reborn rather than to enter nirvana. It's an act of compassion that he or she continues until all sentient beings are saved. Essential Buddhism. P.103.
Last updated: 2006/08/27
See the related subjects: Death, Karma, Responsibility