Sri Chinmoy: There are religions which accept the belief in reincarnation whereas there are other religions which do not. The Hindu religion, Hinduism, believes in reincarnation. But reincarnation in itself has very little to do with Hinduism or any other religion. Now what is reincarnation?
It means that the soul comes into the world with a new garment. Now we are wearing clothes, garments. At any moment we can throw them off. They are at our disposal. Similarly, when the soul finds the body to be no longer capable of receiving the highest Truth or when the soul finds that the body needs rest or when the soul feels that God wants it to leave the body, it leaves; and again, when God wants the soul to enter into a new human body, the soul enters. And I wish to add that this concept of reincarnation is not only the Hindu idea or the Hindu philosophy or the Hindu way of approaching life, but it is a truth to which many, many people in the West adhere.
In the Gita, one of our most sacred books, and sometimes called the Bible of India, we find a beautiful verse on reincarnation. I wish to cite it.
(Sri Chinmoy chanted Verse 22, Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad-Gita in Sanskrit.)
“As a man discards his old and worn-out clothes and takes on new ones, so does the embodied soul discard this body and migrate from body to body.”
This is what we call reincarnation from the Hindu spiritual point of view.