Divine Incarnations


4.4 Arjuna inquired from the Blessed One: “But you were born long after Vivasvat. How could it be possible that you taught this Yoga in the very beginning?”

Arjuna is judging Krishna only by his present incarnation. The Blessed One expounds in the next verse the nature of his Omnipresent Consciousness that is timeless and boundless.

4.5 You need to Recollect, that we both have passed through innumerable reincarnations. You have forgotten yours, Arjuna; but I remember them all.

For most sentient beings, memories of past lives do not rise to the surface of their consciousness. In some fashion, due to the overwhelming burden of having to bear vast consecutive memories, some just too horrible to imagine, the inconceivable compassion of the Divine Absolute extends a vast veil of endless forgetfulness—a compassionate anesthesia—over the ordinary mind. On the other hand, for the Divine Avatars such as Krishna and even Gautama Buddha’s spirit, as soon as the moment of Liberation (Enlightenment) occurs, vast memories of past lives and associations can flood to the surface of consciousness—witness the Buddha beneath the Bodhi tree being able to recall all of his former lives. Not only this, but the Blessed One reassures Arjuna that together they have shared other past lives together.

As a side note, have you ever wondered that you, too, in some fashion are now re-experiencing some past form of spiritual encounters? I seem to recollect Tozen sharing many years ago in his school that we (students) could very well be re-experiencing some past association. Good food for thought.

4.6 The Truth is I am Unborn, Uncreate, and Undying; my Omniscient-Spirit is the Lord of all creation, yet through my natural-outflows I am also able to manifest in sundry fashion.

This is the Divine Absolute Spirit speaking Ex-Spiritus (in the name of the Immortal Spirit). Even though now in the form of Krishna, the Unborn One is revealing a profound truth—that even before Arjuna ever was (regardless of the number of his incarnations) the Unborn Mind Itself is prior-to all manner of formal manifestations.

4.7 Whenever the Sacred Dharma is in decline and the inevitable Dark Chaos prevails, I will then once again send-forth my Self to intervene.

Truly a prophetic voice, one in which is presently manifested through the form of Krishna. Tozen, in his Dharmakaya Sutra, has Maitrya descending from the Tushita Heaven to engage the vast assembly in the hall of Sambhogakaya. His role was to herald a “final revelation in the Dharma-Ending-Age”—to help awaken the Undivided and Nirvanic Union of Mind within the Dharmakayic-Self.

4.8 In such fashion, my Noble Spirit takes rebirth in sentient-form in order to protect those who are devoted to the Dharmatic-Truth, to discredit the evil-one, and to raise the Banner of Noble Wisdom as a sign that the Nirvanic Kingdom is at hand.

In this vein, the Absolute-Spirit-Self returns again and again to reignite the Flame of Noble Wisdom that enlightens the way home for the lost wayfarers of Nirvanic Truth.

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15 Responses to Divine Incarnations

  1. n. yeti says:

    I think liberation requires to some degree the playing out of all interconnnected karmas. For me it seems simple enough that not precisely relationships but complex dynamics of habit energy take shape in different ways over different lifetimes perhaps, but in a connected, unified way until the karma can be extinguished.

    It makes sense to me that such things can be intuited through awareness, through recognition of patterns or recurrences, for example, certain phobias, or extreme positive or negative factors which characterize a person’s life, perhaps might reflect themselves many times — even “descending” through different incarnations. What person does not have sharp, vivid memories of encounters with certain persons or circumstances?

    This is very difficult (if not rationally impossible) to recall because the shock of entering the womb erases the previous life from conscious awareness — but what is perfectly rational (or at least empirical) is that we can become attune to certain manifestations of these energies, which then transcend normal modes of conscious thought. So these intuitive peak moments might be understood as intuition, insight, lucid understanding, dhyanas, siddhis or what have you, and they might also be imagination, delusion, confusion, false understanding, malingering, or any number of other explanations but there are far too many accounts through too many millenia to ignore what mysticism explores.

    “Remembering” is probably not accurate at all, but sensing, perceiving, becoming aware of transcendent realities is not at all outside the scope of possibility. In fact, I would think such psychic reverberations are more common than not in daily life, though we may not be — and many apparently are — aware.

    Did not the blind flatworm at some moment of the primordial past of life on Earth _spontaneously_ develop an eyespot one fine day, perceiving at last the light that had bathed it forever, sculpting its evolution? Are we as humans less than this flatworm? Why not then new forms of perceptions, senses hitherto unknown, and perhaps an entire dimension of existence beyond our very senses, as we are bathed in a spiritual light through eons.

  2. n. yeti says:

    For good documentation on this topic arising from Western understanding of mysticism — in direct contradiction to prevailing “scientific” (materialist) views — over the past 150 years, these texts provide context:

    Myers (Human Personality); Sidgwick’s collection of afterlife case studies including evidence by Myers, (Phantasms of the Living); and Fox (Astral Projection), the latter being a book which apart from its Theosophical influences remains an extremely original text on mysticism.

    There are quite a few other works after a brief surge of interest in the early 1960s, but I think these are some of the most convincing studies — at least from the point of view of the doubting Western materialist.

  3. n. yeti says:

    Only tangentially. I include him because he built on the work of western “occultists”, and in his research referred to what might be considered bardos, explored heavily the dream and trance states, and the creation of mental bodies which are earthly in nature and seem to account for certain forms of apparition which might otherwise be confused with spiritual entities. They could simply be projection of will, and I think people create these manifestations of mind. Ekhart tolle wrote similarly of such things (he called it a “pain body”) but in a context more consistent with buddhism (or taoism). I think what I’m pointing to is there are creations of mind which may appear to be divine but are simply a kind of repackaging of intense passions or will, and not necessarily of any but a skandhic nature and without a self. I think Fox is a good example of someone who is psychically aware but lacks a good understanding of the nature of mind.

  4. n. yeti says:

    There are other spiritists from the west (Alan kardec, rhys-david, etc) who have explored this topic extensively, and even highly credible contemporary “past life” researchers such as Brian Weiss md, who I think provide very fruitful perspective and context on the ancient teachings. The point is there is a great deal of evidence about reincarnation.

    • Vajragoni says:

      The Zennist, too, has posted many times on reincarnation. I think the Gita is unique because it fine-tunes reincarnation in sync with Yoga.

      I’ve always strongly had a leaning in favor of reincarnation–something that Christianity has called into question since it believes, by and large, that this present-life is where it’s at and one had better make the best use of it, or else suffer the consequences. I think this draws Christians in general into a great sense of spiritual complacency–in particular Fundamentalists who believe that they are automatically “saved” in Jesus through the baptism of the Holy Spirit–kind of a spiritual-insurance-policy that can be oftentimes recklessly abused.

  5. n. yeti says:

    Jesus referred to John the Baptist as the reincarnation of prophet isaiah, so if we want to find reincarnation in the Christian wisdom cycle, there it is. It appears that the Roman phase of the church drove out Hellenistic and persian reincarnation doctrine from orthodoxy, in rejection of what was interpreted as reanimation of dead beings. It is very likely Jesus had some contact with buddhism via the silk road, but that is an altogether separate can of worms.

    • Vajragoni says:

      Actually his reference was to Elijah. If we look at this question in terms of later wisdom-teachings, one would primarily have to be drawn to Gnostic references.

  6. n. yeti says:

    My bad. Thanks for the correction.

    It does seem however that one of the main obstacles to understanding reincarnation is the skandhic manifestation of time…humanity perceives linear time but this is a total illusion, like the sense of being still on a train while the platform moves. With this in mind, parallel lives, even simultaneous incarnation becomes intelligible. I think there is a danger of looking first to earth for answers when this is but a shadow. Earthly consciousness leads us to question what it is which reincarnates. I don’t think there is a single, neat little answer about it because it approaches the absolute, unknowable in its entirety. Yes, it is easy to see why humanity is so confused.

    • Vajragoni says:

      I like your reference to “parallel” lives. I’ve always been most interested in the concept of parallel worlds. Buddhist Sutras, in particular the Vimalakirti and the Avatamsaka Sutras, portray many such dimensions. Imagine for a moment being reincarnated in a parallel dimension with the same characteristics you have now, although experiencing a different environment. Another fascinating concept is that of Parallel Time—a replica dimension of the one we experience, although its inhabitants have chosen different life-paths.

  7. Methexis says:

    The answer is that the self, from the beginning, is free from birth-and-death. It has never been born. Thus it is “unborn”. It abides in detachment. The deluded consciousness we usually call “a self” is merely its shadow – which is wandering in a labyrinth of mirrors, tossed from one life to the next – like water cliff to cliff falling into the unknown … yet what is marvelous is that there is a light, a solitary light, calling us with its eternal voice, calling us back home. Even though we stubbornly resist it, it shines, tirelessly, into the darkness of our deluded consciousness-system. “Even before it brightens, darkness is already bright” the verses coming from the golden mouth of the formless compassionate light that has been described as patient endurance of the unborn. In this humble realization that has been given to me I reverently pay homage to this infinite light & life. How can there be doubt that it will accomplish the great work of saving all sentient beings, even those of us who stumble upon every obstacle?

  8. n. yeti says:

    What methexis expresses is both transcendent and liberational, verily supple.

  9. Benjamin says:


    Loving the posts on your website. I would just like to express an observation I have which is also really a question. It’s in regards to the Bhagavad Gita quote below:

    4.4 Arjuna inquired from the Blessed One: “But you were born long after Vivasvat. How could it be possible that you taught this Yoga in the very beginning?”

    This brings to my mind the episode in the Lotus Sutra, where the question was raised as to how Shakyamuni Buddha was able to teach the primordial bodhisattvas of earth who appeared to predate his earthly form by uncountable millennia. Is it possible that in places the Lotus Sutra is a reincarnation of The Gita? I would love to hear what you think. If you’ve already covered this elsewhere then I apologise for having brought it up again 🙂

    Best wishes

    • Vajragoni says:

      A key factor is the element of consciousness that is like a thread interwoven throughout all these associations; it is what predates it all and reappears at appropriate intervals. Hence the same primordial consciousness in the Gita as in the Lotus Sutra.

      Thanks for the post

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