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Jatismaran Gyan (knowledge of previous births)


Shrimad Rajchandra possessed the knowledge of his previous births. It is called Jati Smarana Gnan.Shrimad Rajchandra possessed the knowledge of his previous births. It is called Jati Smarana Gnan.

In reply to a question from Padamshibhai, his friend in Bombay as to, whether Shrimadji possessed the mysterious knowledge of his past lives, he replied: "Yes" and then he explained as to when and how he obtained it. It is a picturesque description. Shrimadji said:

"When I was seven years old, an elderly man named Amichand, well-built, stout and sturdy, a neighbor in my village, suddenly expired of a serpent bite.

I did not know what was death. I asked my grandfather as to what was the meaning of death. He tried to evade the reply and advised me to finish my meals. I insisted on a reply. At last he said: "To die means the separation of the soul from the body. A dead body has no movement, it contaminates and decays. Such a dead body will be burnt to ashes near a river-bank as it has ceased to function."

Thereupon I went stealthily to the cremation ground and climbing a Babul tree I saw the whole process of burning of the dead man's body and I felt that those who burnt him were cruel.

A train of thoughts started on the nature of the death and as a result I could recollect my previous lives."

Such knowledge of one's previous lives is called Jati Smarana Gyan.

It is but natural that death and disease are the great humanizing forces in individual and social life of thinking men. It is by being conscious of them that we develop modesty and humility in our behavior and we reduce our attachment to worldly life.

By meditation on death we realize the supreme and sole importance of knowing and experiencing the Atma. Therefore Jati Smarana Gnan is very helpful in developing detachment from the world, and a spiritual affection for eternal imperishable ever-living soul.

Shrimadji obtained this exceptional knowledge of his previous lives at very young age of seven, a rare phenomenon. In 1897 A.D. at the age of 30 years, he wrote his famous poem in which he thanked the day when he realized unique peace. He has described in the poem the order of his spiritual development as under:

"In 1874 A.D. I obtained the Jati Smarana Gnan. In 1875 A.D. I began to advance on the spiritual path from the point I had already reached in my previous life. In 1886 A.D. I developed a spirit of complete resignation and detachment to the mortal body and the rest of the world."

In 1889 A.D. at the age of 22 years, he wrote in a poem that the only friend of unqualified happiness is lonely indifference which in turn is the mother of spirituality.

He also says therein: "In my very young age I knew the nature of the final reality and this suggested to me that henceforth I had no future birth nor will I have to fall back from what I had already gained in spiritual life. I easily reached the state of the soul which would require long study and spiritual practice for others."

His capabilities

In a letter he says: "I realized that when in infinite stretch of time in the series of my past lives I felt that I could not live without my dearest and nearest; but I could live without them in those lives too. This proves that my affections and attachments were based on ignorance."

He pithily declares that without the right insight, the scriptures are of no help; that without the true spiritual contact, even meditation degenerates into wild imagination; without the active guidance of a Self-realized Guru, the final truth cannot be realized; that by following the normal path of the worldly people, one cannot be their leader and savior; that without resigning the world and its myopic calculations, a life of extreme non-attachment is very difficult to be obtained.

He salutes the great Tirthankara who realized his soul and described it for the benefit of the world. It is only by the teachings of the Tirthankaras that one can easily know his soul.

In later stage of his life, when Shrimad was visiting mount Edar, he told the king of Idar that on this mountain, he could see and recall clearly the instances where Lord Mahavira and other Tirthankaras were present here. He further stated: Gautam Swami and other disciples of Lord Mahavira attained Moxa at that time, and one of Lord's disciple has taken birth in this time as Shjrimad Rajchandra.