I have decided on my choice: it is re-birth. I am not interested in asking of God to grant me nirvaan, mukti or freedom from the cycle of birth & death! Though the sages, scholars, great thinkers, rishis & munis have always prayed to be freed from the cycle of birth and death and sought mukti or nirvaan, blaming this life for all the pain, suffering and sins, I have arrived at a different point of view.
When we blame life for all the pains of life, we tend to denigrate Creation and the Creator. Were his design flawed, the superior than the most advanced branches of science like physics, chemistry, biology, botany, zoology, mathematics etc. that holds this universe together would have collapsed anytime. But it hasn’t. Isn’t it a proof of a perfect Creation? How, then, can the significance of birth and death in the design of the Creation be unworthy of desire? Why should life on earth be painted as painful, sinful or inferior to the life in heaven?
All scriptures vouch for the visit of God on the Earth. Why would He visit the Earth, stay here and bestow on the human beings wisdom of perennial use if life were bad and unworthy of living or even enjoying? As He has granted millions of species of animals, plants, insects etc, so has He granted a multiplicity of brains- a bewildering range of brains from the tiniest to the biggest, engaged in deciphering the nature of things that the animal eye (man being one of them) surveys.
Ancient researchers seem to have employed statistical skills in simplifying some of this nature by arriving at the conclusion that the Nature is imbued with three qualities or guna. They are Satogun, Rajogun & Tamogun. These qualities determine the personality of each individual. These are broad categories, which generate innumerable personal traits in combination with each other in given place or time or circumstances. No person is purely cast in one guna only. These gunas or qualities may be called the chemical composition of an individual. As it had also been laid down by the ancient scholars that the animal body is made of five elements viz. earth, water, fire, air and sky, it can be called a “chemical compound” only, because the same scholars had also defined “death” as the disintegration of the five components of the compound, leading to all the five elements reverting back to their singular element nature. The animal body (it has been termed “jiva” or “praani”, which I will use hereafter) acquires a “life form” when invested of another element called praan. Without praan, the body is only a corpse, with praan inhabiting it, it is a living organism. It is best explained by the words Shiv & Shav, while Shiv is the name of Lord Shiv or Shiva, a shav is a corpse (meaning the body with praan in it is full life form, but without praan it is a dead corpse).It is the God element itself that inhabits a body and that makes it a living being or praani/jiva or jeeva.
Again, there are five emotions that regulate life and life cycle. They are: kaam(carnal desires), krodh(anger), mad(pride/hubris), moh(attachment or longing) and lobh(greed).
In this scenario, the jeeva performs partly pre-determined actions in his life cycle, and partly of his free will. Procreation is one predetermined action in this life cycle, because it is on auto pilot and is actuated at the right time, occurring naturally (that is without external influencing like teaching or training). But there is huge opportunity to exercise free will. For example, either to help a good person in distress or harass him because he happens to be in weak position; to punish a criminal or set him free for some illegal gratification. These examples are apt for any working government in any country. Some rulers serve their people whereas others perpetrate untold miseries on them. The fatal wars of the past 100 years bear testimony to the exercise of free will by individuals. There have been several famous persons in almost every country and equally infamous ones too, depending whether they rose to help the good people in distress or their tormentors.
The question arises: how to decide between nirvana and life cycle? Though the sages I am drawing upon have recommended prayers to attain nirvaan, I look at it differently. The reason for my taking a different view is that God is believed to be visiting the world (I say He is always around and if He visits us after His sojourn to other places in the universe, He only comes home. The Earth is His home and all animals and plants etc are for His Divine pleasure). In His absence, negative forces come to dominate the world, requiring His intervention to restore order, equilibrium and positivity in life. In the Gita, Lord Krishna explains the reason for His repeated visits to the world for these reasons:-1)to provide relief to the good people; 2) to punish the bad people; 3) to restore equilibrium in life; 4) to establish an ethical order in society. Life comprises of the negative energy & positive energy. It is the exercise of one’s own free will which guides a person to do or not do any action, good or bad. It has been said in the Gita by Shri Krishna that no action in human life can be without a flaw. It has been illustrated by the metaphor of fire engulfed in smoke. While human beings perform “karm- also spelt Karma” or action, God performs “Lilaa’ or manifestation or revelation, and hence the Godly acts, called Lilaa is always flawless. Sunlight or moonlight is not enveloped in smoke! This choice can change the guna of a person such as, modification in the rajas guna to moderate it with satogun or modify the tamogun to part satogun or rajogun or make satogun take to the rajogun or tamogun. The dominance of one or more of these gunas develops different chittavrittis or mentality. Vritti is near to tendency/temperament/make. Free will can be exercised to get nivritti (rid of)from one or the other vritti.
As delineated earlier, one of the reasons God visits us regularly is to provide relief to the good people. This is the reason for my choosing the life cycle over nirvaan. I see too much of suffering in life all over the world. Hunger, disease and poverty afflict a majority of the people globally. Most of it is due to bad governance. In India it is a situation that can be best described as in urgent need of succor to the good and punishment to the bad. At the moment only the crooked, corrupt, criminals and violent are perpetrating miseries on the innocent people under the garb of government. For everything, an ordinary person has only one remedy – to seek relief from the court of law! To measure if a government is a failed government, the test is to judge whether it has succeeded in providing relief to the law abiding citizens and punished the crooked ones and established the rule of law. That is the only meaning of “paritraanaaya saadhunaa , vinaashaayacha dushkrataam, dharma sansathapnaarthaaya sambhabami yuge yuge”. Rather than going to the heaven and enjoy without work all the goodies there, I prefer to be the Lord’s servant to carry out His wishes while He is engaged on the work of relieving the miseries of the good people. For this to be possible I pray to Him all the time silently to accept me as His sakha( mate) as He made the Gop and Gopis of Brij. I certainly qualify to be like the ordinary Gops, being from His holy abode of Brij, my birth place Karauli being a part of it which He Graces as Lord Shri Madan Mohan Ji .A life full of that pious life time devoted to the service of the good people as a mate of Shri Krishna is all precious for me. Hence my prayer for the cycle of birth and death on this planet rather than nirvaan or mukti or freedom from the life cycle. There is so much to do here to be helpful in mitigating human misery through a service of total nishkaam karma or work without asking for rewards. Such pious service to mankind helps in attaining a mindset full of the saatvik chittavritti- pure positive state of mind. It converges into chidaanand or perpetual bliss, happiness & Grace!