Paramhansa Yogananda — Is Reincarnation Scientifically Provable?

The scientific validation of reincarnation raises intriguing questions, particularly for skeptics and atheists. Is it possible to present concrete evidence to satisfy their doubts? Can we employ scientific experimentation to not just provide hope but to offer irrefutable proof of reincarnation’s existence?

In the realm of material science, the presence of an unequivocal God or His just law remains elusive, leaving skeptics questioning the concept of reincarnation, especially when confronted with the apparent inequalities and sufferings in life. On the contrary, believers in a just God often rely on faith, unable to furnish scientific evidence to persuade non-believers. This disparity has hindered the appreciation of spiritual principles, relegating them to matters of personal belief rather than the results of rigorous scientific inquiry.

However, there exists a remarkable proposition: the application of scientific experimentation to probe spiritual law, mirroring the methods employed by material scientists. This notion isn’t novel; the ancient Hindu savants contemplated it centuries ago and set out to address it. Their endeavors yielded a scientific framework that anyone can employ to uncover the truth behind cosmic realities, including reincarnation.

With this methodology available, no one can outright deny the operation of spiritual laws such as reincarnation without experiencing this investigative process firsthand. A scientist’s opinion, while valuable, remains subjective until they’ve adhered to the prescribed protocols essential for revealing the truth of a given theory. In the physical sciences, the truth of a theory necessitates specific methodologies, much like using a microscope to detect invisible germs. By refusing to engage in this essential scientific process, one’s opinions hold no weight as they haven’t adhered to the necessary steps to ascertain the theory’s validity.

A parallel can be drawn in spiritual matters. The discovery of an effective method, coupled with established rules, has opened the doors for anyone genuinely interested in experimentation. Regrettably, in the Western world, the absence of this scientific approach to spiritual law has diminished the significance of religion, leading to personal biases rather than informed conclusions based on rigorous investigation.

So, how did the venerable minds of ancient India unveil these timeless cosmic laws? Through meticulous experiments on human life and thought conducted within the sanctuaries of their hermitages. Just as the truth of physical phenomena demands experimentation on physical substances, unraveling the mystery of reincarnation requires exploring the depths of human consciousness. These ancient scientists deduced that the human ego persists, unaltered by the vicissitudes of experience and thought throughout wakefulness, dreams, and deep sleep during a lifetime. Despite changing circumstances, the sense of identity, the core “I,” remains constant from birth to death.

The methodology involved intense concentration on the ego, employing continuous, self-aware introspection to observe the ever-shifting states of life, from wakefulness to dreams to the dreamless “deep sleep.” This heightened awareness could unveil the changeless and eternal nature of the ego, a truth accessible through deliberate practice.

During sleep, there’s a natural relaxation of energy from the motor and sensory nerves. With dedicated effort, this relaxation can be consciously induced while awake. The Big Sleep of Death involves further relaxation—a withdrawal of energy from the heart and the cerebrospinal axis. Yet, by practicing specific techniques, this expanded relaxation can be achieved voluntarily in the waking state. Essentially, every involuntary function can be consciously controlled through practice.

Ancient Hindu scientists discerned that death represents the withdrawal of life’s electrical energy from the body’s “bulb,” containing the sensory and motor nerve “wires.” Just as electricity doesn’t perish when removed from a broken bulb, life energy persists, retreating to Cosmic Energy upon death.

During sleep, the conscious mind momentarily ceases operation—the current is withdrawn from the nerves. Death signifies the permanent cessation of human consciousness’s expression through the body. Even in the seemingly dead state, awareness of personal identity, the “I-ness,” persists, as exemplified by documented cases. One must master the conscious separation of energy and consciousness from the body, honing the ability to observe sleep states and consciously withdraw energy from the heart and spinal regions. This mastery empowers individuals to proactively control functions otherwise left to the unconscious and involuntary forces of death.

Remarkable instances, such as Sadhu Haridas, underscore the potential of conscious control. His conscious separation of energy and consciousness from his body led to the suspension of animation for months, ultimately reuniting with his physical form. By diligently adhering to the practices prescribed by the ancient Hindu savants, he showcased mastery over involuntary bodily functions and the eternal nature of personal identity, providing tangible evidence of the validity of cosmic laws.

Those earnestly seeking the scientific truth behind reincarnation must follow these age-old guidelines: (1) achieve consciousness during sleep, (2) induce dreams at will, (3) consciously disconnect from the five senses, and (4) control heart action to experience conscious death or suspended animation. This is the art of separating the soul from the body.

Adopting these methodologies allows us to follow the ego across all states of existence, conscious through death, traversing space to different bodies or worlds. Those neglecting these practices forfeit a sense of personal identity, unaware during the deep sleep of death or prior life states.

Embracing the methods devised by ancient Hindu scientists, who explored these profound laws, provides a means to uncover the scientific truth behind reincarnation and other timeless verities. In doing so, we can unveil the hidden depths of our existence and align our beliefs with demonstrable insights from spiritual experimentation, enriching our understanding of life’s fundamental mysteries.

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