Chaitanya Charan is a mentor, life coach, and monk. Building on his engineering degree from the Government College of Engineering, Pune, he complement his scientific training with a keen spiritual sensitively For over two decades, he has researched ancient wisdom texts and practiced their reaching in a livening yoga tradition.
Author of over twenty books, he writes the world’s only Gita daily feature, wherein he has penned over two thousands daily meditations on the Bhagavad-Gita. Known for his systematic talks and incisive question answer sessions, he has spoken on spiritual topics at universities and companies worldwide from Australia to America.
Since my childhood, I have been fascinated by science and its potential to uncover the truths of life in a logical and verifiable manner. I remember spending hours at night looking up at the vast sky through my telescope, wondering at the mysteries that the sky held and marveling at the magical way the telescope made the distant close, the hazy clear, and the invisible visible.
Over the years, I found myself wondering whether there existed a telescope that I could turn on myself to look within for understanding that I actually was and the purpose of my existence.
In my youth, while pursuing my engineering studies, I discovered that telescope in the wisdom of the Bhagavad-Gita. I found its teachings of yoga enormously empowering for myself and for those with whom I shared them; empowering in providing coherent answers and in effecting self-improvement. Yet, the Gita telescope left me uncomfortable, for it was not the kind I had been looking for—it was metaphysical, not physical. At that time, I was apprehensive whether I would have to choose between science and spirituality. But surprisingly and thankfully, in my studies, I found that a significant body of scientific research supported many of the Gita's fundamental tenets. The most important among such areas of the intersection of science and spirituality is consciousness and its possible origin in a non-material source like the soul, which, in turn, leads to the possibility of reincarnation.
As I studied both science and spirituality for over a decade and a half, I pored over scores of books that offered arguments and evidences supporting reincarnation. However, I realised that a book that systematically and coherently integrated all those around a reincarnation-centred worldview was acutely missing. This book is my attempt to fill that gap. To help orient your reading of the book, here is a brief overview of its contents.
1. Past-life Memories-1 The chapter starts with hypnotically induced past-life memories, highlighting cases in which the subjects exhibit xenoglossy, the ability to speak and write in foreign languages—especially languages that have been extinct for centuries. Then, it focuses on spontaneous past-life memories among children, using specific cases to evaluate whether the children's normal knowledge might have given rise to their past-life memories.
2. Past-life Memories-2 the chapter explores more cases of past-life memories, investigating whether they are a result of the children's imagination, or their parents' exaggeration. The imagination hypothesis is challenged by the extent of detail and accuracy in the children's memories. The exaggeration hypothesis is challenged by the existence of written records of those memories, the occurrence of birthmarks that correlate with past-life wounds, and the presence of neutral third parties during the meeting between the children's present-life and past-life families.
3. Past-life Memories-3 the chapter investigates the possibility that the past-life memories may have originated in fraud, by either the parents or the investigators. The parental fraud hypothesis is questioned by the absence of any religious, financial, or reputational incentive for the parents in attempting a fraud, the difficulty in executing a fraud involving many people and, perhaps most significantly, by cases in which the children's memories and behaviours distress their parents. The investigator fraud hypothesis is questioned by the similarity in the pattern of past-life memories all over the world and the researchers' objective, methodical, and rigorous documentation of their findings.
4. Near-death Experiences (NDEs) many people who have had NDEs report empirically accurate perceptions during their NDEs. Through the careful, critical study of various cases, this chapter evaluates whether these perceptions can be accounted for by various normal explanations such as hallucinations, educated guesses, partial consciousness, and fraud.
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