Reincarnation Memories


If I was in the astral world before I was born, why don’t I remember anything?

When I die and go to the astral world, will I remember the current "me"?? Or its like a fresh new birth with no memory?

—Siddharth Kumar, India


Dear Siddharth,

There is so much of our current life that we don’t remember even as it is now! For example, as to our childhood most of us have only a few fleeting memories. Even these surface randomly from time to time. A friend of mine celebrated his 21st birthday several days ago. He asked me (now nearly 68 years old) what I could remember from MY 21st birthday. In fact, nothing at all even if at the time it was probably a special day (or so I might have thought).

Inasmuch as our soul is free from identification with the various experiences of the ego, it makes sense that from incarnation to incarnation and from the material world to the astral world, we leave behind the memories and attachments of those experiences. There is an added benefit which is that we get to “start fresh” with each rebirth (whether in physical or astral form). For many people, if we remembered everything (illness, disease, painful deaths, loss of loved ones, emotional hurts, failures, unrequited love, etc. etc.) we would be depressed and burdened with guilt or sadness. It is a benefit and a blessing that we do not begin to recall past lives until we grow spiritually strong and detached from the current life that we inhabit.

A child, up to about age 6, does have memories of the previous astral or material life. A person recently deceased and arriving on the astral plane, may have fleeting memories of life on earth and loved ones but only those who have advanced even a little bit spiritually can retain consciousness in the astral world when deprived of the physical body, brain, senses and nervous system. (It’s a lot like whether a person can survive a high altitude; some have even climbed Mt Everest without oxygen, but very few can do this.)

So, it’s not as if there are NO memories. Rather, we don’t dwell or recognize them. In any case, there is no reality beyond the present moment and the eternal now that resides at the centerpoint of all motion. The lesson in our lack of memory is that these memories are not important. We should live at our center not FOR but IN the present moment.

The real YOU are not those memories or those lives but the Atman: the eternal soul, ever blissful, ever the spark of the Infinite Flame.

Blessings to you,
Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA