Question: There are many books on reincarnation on the market that you can buy, but I was wondering whether reincarnation is something that can be understood by the intellect?

Sri Chinmoy: After one has realised God, the laws of reincarnation can be felt and fully understood. By studying books one can never understand the laws of reincarnation. Even if one studies millions of books, he cannot fully and integrally understand reincarnation. One has to enter into his soul and enter into his past incarnations.

One has to be very careful when one deals with one's past lives. There are some spiritual Masters who have the capacity to tell you about your past, but in most cases they will not do so. But again, suppose somebody tells you that in your past incarnation you were a thief. What will be your immediate reaction? "I was a thief? Then it is useless for me to think of God in this life." Suppose somebody says that in your past incarnation you were the president of the United States. Now, in this incarnation you are nowhere near being president of the United States. So immediately you will be disappointed. You will say, "Oh God, I was such a great person then, and in this life I am nothing, nothing, nothing." But if somebody tells you that in your past incarnation you cried for God and meditated, but did not complete your journey, then you will get true inspiration. You will say, "I have already started my journey. In this life let me walk fast, faster, fastest and reach my Goal." Here knowledge of the past is of some value. However, I always say that one should not pay attention to his past incarnations. What you have eaten yesterday may have been sweet, but it cannot fulfil you today. Your past incarnations have not given you your realisation. If you really want God, then start walking from where you are now.