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Vedanta Teachings on Reincarnation – Universal Toleration - Sin

Vedanta Teachings on Reincarnation – Universal Toleration - Sin is an excerpt from an article published in 1905 in The New York Daily Tribune – it was published by Prabuddha Bharata Magazine in December 1905.

What, then, is the message which these native Hindu teachers bring to the Vedanta Society? They bring, first, the lesson of universal toleration that there is truth in all religions. Vedanta points out that all are true for their day and generation. No other position, they say, will stand logical analysis. For, if what we believed yesterday be false because we think differently today, then our today’s belief is equally false because we shall certainly advance from it to another belief here after…

The Vedantists say that each successive modified belief is part of a main stairway of progress toward the ideal, of which each particular stair is as necessary as every other. Each individual step, from the lowest to the highest, is necessary and important and true.

One of the most striking and essential features of the Vedanta philosophy is what they call the law of Karma, or the law of causation. There can be no cause whatever without an effect, nor effect without cause. Thus, every thought of our mind, every act of our body, has its cause and will in turn be a cause. And what one is today is nothing other than the sum of the thoughts, desires and aspirations of one’s past.

And this leads into that other broad doctrine of reincarnation.

Cause and effect are equal. Both terms of an equation must be equal. There is no escape.

The law is absolute. If man is immortal and is to continue for an infinite time to come, he must have been in existence for an infinite past time, else there is an equation that does not balance. .some human beings live one hundred years, others only a few days. Vedanta says it is a violation of all knowledge of the law to assume that such an ephemeral existence, such a fleeting evanescent cause, could produce an infinite effect. Ex nihilo nihil fit (nothing comes from nothing).

Vedanta teaches that reincarnation is the most logical explanation of the riddle of life.

Vedantists do not ask one to believe it blindly. They have no dogmas. They suggest merely that it be studied.

Understanding these great basic facts of Karma and reincarnation as understood by them, one can better appreciate the great teachings of Vedanta.

That each man has a soul, which is potentially divine.

That his soul had no beginning and will have no ending.

That it is now and always has been a part of the infinite Spirit of the universe.

That the destiny of man is to manifest this infinite nature which is within him, and that is what all are struggling to do, whether they are conscious of it or not.

That there is no such thing as sin, so-called. One makes mistakes, they say, but only through ignorance, and even these are often valuable and beneficent. Adversity is accounted a better teacher than prosperity.

That all these petty doings of men are only part of the diversified curriculum which all must learn before coming closer and closer to that eternal verity, which is one’s self.