There are two point of views about human life. One in which we consider ourselves as mortals, limited to this body only and maybe after death in haven or hell. So our ultimate goal of our life will be achive as much as possible, accumulate as much as possible. To give meaning to our lives. But when everyone is trying to do same it will turn world into RANBHOOMI.
There are people who are successful in achieving this goal and others loose. To give reason for their success or failure people start judging and in judgment world is divided among; Good and bad, innocent and guilty, polluted and pure, oppressor and oppressed, privileged and underprivileged, powerful and powerless. And this judgment and division creates raga, hate, anger, pride, jealousy in us.
The world into which we are born is imagined as a stage full of actors but with no script or director. Everybody assumes they are hero, but discover they are not the protagonist of ongoing play. We are forced to play certain roles and speak certain dialogues. But we revolt. We want our script to be performed and our own dialogues to be heard. So negotiate with fellow human beings. Some succeed in getting heard with some people, others fail with most people, no one succeeds with everybody. We cling to our scripts, submit to other people scripts, only to stay relevant and connected to the large narrative, or at least to the subplot. Hero emerges. Villains emerge. Hero of one plot trun out be villains of other plot. Eventually all leave the stage but play continues. Who knows what is actually going on?Vishnu, the Ranga-Natha? All we can decipher are the patterns, as does he.
And the another concept is of rebirth in which we believe in entity atma inside this mortal body. Body dies but self with in it will not. It just passes from one body to another. That’s why their was never a time when we do not exist, and will be never and will be never a time when we will not exist.
The concept of rebirth also help us to better understand, world around us at metaphysical, social and psychological levels. Together they change our view of life.
We always carry our karma from past life, which decides our faith in this life. It can be explain by cause and effect theory, our past life karma become cause and produce it’s effect in this life. It also help us to explain the inexplicable, and replace conflict with peace and acceptance. Why some are rich, some poor, some to loving parents, some to cruel, some are talented and others not.
So if whatever we are getting in this life good or bad is resultant of our past karmas. Then whom we blam for our miseries no one but ourselves. So our lives are more about doing darsana (just watching) and gaining wisdom rather than engaging ourselves into conflict and judgment.
In puranas, stories of past life are continuously used to counter assumptions of another story. It reminds that our story is a part of grand jigsaw puzzle. We are the part of large narrative. Stories of the past impact stories of present and that effect stories of future. We may not remember these stories, but we have played roles in them. Our lives are out come of roles performed in other stories. Even we don’t remember these stories, but we can’t escape their consequences.
At social level idea of rebirth expands the canvas of our lives and brings perspective. It reminds us that world existed before us and world will exist after us. Many people try to change the make it a better place, but world changes only technology, no psychological change ever take place – people are jealous, angry, ambitions, greedy and heartbroken. Gita is focused on individual psychology expansion than social transformation. It speaks of appreciating the world is always changing.
And at psychological level the idea of rebirth is about having multiple opportunities to break the cycle of fear and find meaning without consuming anyone. When we live only once the value of life becomes the some total of its achievements. Hence the need to aling or achieve which are driving force of western thought. And in greek mythology it’s all about becoming a hero by over throwing a oppressor, in either way we are end up in controlling or consuming other, this is entrapment.
But when we live many lives achievements and alignments are rather meaningless, what matter is wisdom, understanding of why we are going marry go round and round, in this cycle of life.
In this way we are engaged in this world but not entrapped.