Why have major world
religions hidden and discouraged followers from learning
jagbir singh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:49 am
Subject: Why have major world religions hidden and
discouraged followers from learning about reincarnation?
> Dear Danny,
> In the meantime, I hope you don't mind but there are some
> things to ask you about.
> The recent posting about reincarnation was interesting,
and it is
> the first time that I have ever thought about this
> reason for this is as mentioned in the same post; 'the
> custodians of dogma ignore or deny the concepts of
> Why has this been so? Why have major world religions
> discouraged followers from learning about reincarnation?
> quotes from the Christian faith do reveal that Jesus
> not deny reincarnation; instead He gives specific examples
> existance? Why is it that such an important concept hasn't
> investigated and expanded by religious scholars and
> instead has been frowned upon and considered of no
> do these scholars then explain the significance of what
> meant in this instance, if they do not accept the concept
The following information on reincarnation has been taken
http://reluctant-messenger.com/origen2.html. (You may
click on the icons and reach Amazon.com to purchase the
period from A.D. 250 to 553 controversy raged, at least
intermittently, around the name of Origen, and from this
controversy emerged the major objections that orthodox
Christianity raises against reincarnation. Origen of
Alexandria, one of Christianity's greatest systematic
theologians, was a believer in reincarnation.
a person devoted to scriptural authority, a scourge to the
enemies of the church, and a martyr for the faith. He was
the spiritual teacher of a large and grateful posterity and
yet his teachings were declared heresy in 553. The debates
and controversies that flared up around his teachings are in
fact the record of reincarnation in the church.
against Origen grew by fits and starts from about A.D. 300
(fifty years after his death) until 553. There were writers
of great eminence among his critics as well as some rather
obscure ecclesiasts. They included Methodius of Olympus,
Eppiphanius of Salamis, Theophilus, Bishop of Jerusalem,
Jerome, and the Emperor Justinian. The first of these,
Methodius of Olympus, was a bishop in Greece and died a
martyr's death in the year 311. He and Peter of Alexandria,
whose works are almost entirely lost, represent the first
wave of anti-Origenism. They were concerned chiefly with
the preexistence of souls and Origen's notions about the
resurrection of the dead. Another more powerful current
against Origenism arose about a century later. The
principals were Ephiphanius of Salamis, Theophilus of
Alexandria, and Jerome.
395 to 403 Origen became the subject of heated debate
throughout Christendom. These three ecclesiats applied much
energy and thought in search of questionable doctrine in
Origen. Again the controversy flared up around 535, and in
the wake of this the Emperor Justinian composed a tract
against Origen in 543, proposing nine anathemas against "On
First Principles", Origen's chief theological work. Origen
was finally officially condemned in the Second Council of
Constantinople in 553, when fifteen anathemas were charged
of Origen attacked him on individual points, and thus did
not create a systematic theology to oppose him.
Nonetheless, one can glean from their writings five major
points that Christianity has raised against reincarnation:
(1) It seems to minimize Christian salvation.
(2) It is in conflict with the
resurrection of the body.
(3) It creates an unnatural separation
between body and soul.
(4) It is built on a much too speculative
use of Christian scriptures.
(5) There is no recollection of previous
discussion of these points will be greatly clarified by a
preliminary look at Origen's system. Although it is of
course impossible to do justice in a few pages to a thinker
as subtle and profound as Origen, some of the distinctive
aspects of his thought can be summarized.
The controversy erupts
The doctrine of reincarnation
Scriptural support for reincarnation
More scriptural support for reincarnation
The mystery of God in humanity
The Arian controversy
The Council of Nicea
The Fifth General Council
Proof of reincarnation?
been noted historically that the rejection of reincarnation
was personally motivated by Justinian, the Emperor of the
Eastern Empire, and his wife, Theodora. Although the vote at
the Council relied on bishops from both the Eastern and
Western Empire, only two bishops from Rome came to
Constantinople to vote. As two previous popes had been
murdered after they denounced the dropping of the belief of
reincarnation of the Bible, many of the Roman bishops were
afraid to vote against the wishes of Justinian. After the
vote, all Bibles were confiscated throughout both empires,
burned and rewritten."
The doctrine of reincarnation states that
individual soul can return to earth in different bodies,
many times in order to achieve perfection and ultimate union
very easy to understand how this idea would be in conflict
with a State linked Church that used religion as a tool for
the control of the masses. The concept of a divine link
with the monarch, encompassing the Divine Right of Kings,
gave the state a very powerful tool with which to control
and governs the people. That tool combined with the
ultimate control of the Church over the destiny of the
immortal soul of the individual was perhaps the most
powerful instrument of government in use over the centuries.
power wielded over not only individual people but also
states as well by the sentence of excommunication for
individuals, or interdict for states by which whole nations
were cut off from the benefit of Holy Mother Church!
Consider the trauma in England at the time of King John when
not only he but also the entire nation was excluded from the
benefit of the church. So feared was this sentence that
King John actually gave England to the Pope in return for
release from it. Hence his nickname 'Lackland'. However he
received it back again as a Papal Fief!
just a small illustration of the power that the Church can
exercise over the masses and specifically individuals. An
incorporation of the doctrine of reincarnation into the
scheme of things would have very greatly diminished the
power and control over not only the ordinary people but also
Princes and their entire states.
the Pope was given the Keys of Heaven as successor of St.
Peter and named Supreme Pontiff, the great bridge between
Heaven and Earth. No one entered Heaven except through the
portals he opened!
the concept of reincarnation not only has much physical
evidence to support it, through remembered past lives but
also through the teachings and experience of other great
religions such as the Hindu and Buddhist faiths. The
majority of Spiritualists are utterly convinced that
reincarnation is not just a probability, but also a fact.
It is for so many of them as much a certainty as was the
afterlife for the Ancient Egyptians.
Reincarnation makes so much sense when the entire spectrum
of existence is perceived as a great arch between
materialism and spirituality. The base line of that
spectrum is life on Earth and the furthest extent for it is
the life of sublime bliss with the creator, the ultimate
goal of the Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and indeed probably
Reincarnation is also a reasonable explanation for so many
little things that we experience on Earth. Our links with
other people are not really by accident. How often have you
encountered someone for the first time and experienced an
'at oneness' with them.
explanation for that is a common link in a past life.
People may try to explain it away as 'chemistry' between two
people and to a certain extent that is true because we are
beings of flesh and blood that is the substance of
chemistry. However, the deeper, spiritual links are eternal
and each one of us has roots in past lives that weave a rich
and complex pattern within our current life. This is the
means by which we have the opportunity to learn a lesson
essential for our spiritual advancement.
has not experienced the same number of incarnations on this
Earth Plain. Some souls are 'older' and consequently have
much to teach the rest of humanity. Such old souls are to
be found in the greatest of the worlds teachers and
philosophers, they are those who have made their mark on
humanity and hope to lead it in the direction of Light."
is the reason Christianity cannot accept reincarnation? i
have taken a fundamentalist anti-reincarnation Christian
quote to provide the best reason why it cannot be accepted
despite a number of rebirth verses and Jesus' admission of
his own reincarnation on Earth, "Before Abraham was I am"
idea of reincarnation was never accepted by Christianity
because it undermines its basic tenets. First, it renders
futile God's sovereignty over creation, transforming Him
into a helpless spectator of the human tragedy. Because He
is sovereign and omnipotent over creation, God can punish
evil and will do it perfectly well at the end of history
(see Matthew 25,31-46; Revelation 20,10-15).
There is no need for impersonal karma and reincarnation to
play this role.
believing in reincarnation may affect one's understanding of
morality and motivation for moral living. An extreme
application of reincarnationist convictions could lead to
adopting a detached stand to crime, theft, lying and other
such social plagues. They could be considered nothing else
but normal debts to be paid by their victims, originated in
their previous lives. Following this reasoning, social
injustice should not be punished at all in order to not
complicate even more someone's karmic debt. Therefore it is
hard to believe that accepting reincarnation would transform
us into better people, pursuing moral values with more
conviction, as reincarnationists usually claim. The
amorality proposed by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita,
the demand to act totally detached from what results, is the
highest moral status that can be reached as the result of
accepting karma and reincarnation.
reincarnation represents a threat to the very essence of
Christianity: the need for Christ's redemptive sacrifice for
our sins. If we are to pay for the consequences of our sins
ourselves in further lives and attain salvation through our
own efforts, the sacrifice of Christ becomes useless and
absurd. It wouldn't be the only way back to God, but only a
stupid accident of history. In this case Christianity would
be a mere form of Hindu Bhakti-Yoga.
result, no matter how many attempts are made today to find
texts in the Bible or in the history of the Church that
would allegedly teach reincarnation, they are all doomed to
remain pure speculations." (Ernest Valea)
So Jimmy there you have it - No matter what evidence of
reincarnation is presented all is doomed to remain pure
speculation. The founding fathers of the Church who enforced
this doctrine over the centuries also believed the Earth was
flat, among a number of infallible beliefs that were proven
But let another Christian group (www.askjesus.com) explain
why it was necessary for the Church to ban reincarnation:
"Let me illustrate this by asking you to consider a
historical example. When Christianity started spreading
throughout Europe, Europe had a very old culture centered
around the ownership of land. The owner of a piece of land
would pass that land on to his children in order to ensure
their survival. When the Roman Catholic church began to
spread its influence throughout Europe, the church did not
own much land. Yet, after only a few centuries, the Catholic
church had become the largest single landowner in Europe.
The church did not buy land, and it did not (in general) use
military power to take that land by force. How did the
church come to be the largest landowner in Europe?
Imagine that you are a large landowner who has lived the
good life and therefore obviously committed a number of acts
that the church has labeled as sinful. During your youth,
you were not particularly concerned about these acts.
However, you are now old and you are lying on your deathbed.
In that situation, most people naturally begin to worry
about what might happen to them after death. Therefore, you
send for the Catholic priest, who comes to your side.
You have been brought up with the idea of hell and eternal
damnation, and you have a natural desire to avoid this. The
priest asks you to confess your sins, and after having done
so, you clearly realize that things don't look good.
However, the priest offers you a way out. If you will donate
a portion of your land to the church, the church will
absolve you of your sins so that you can escape eternal
damnation. Suddenly, the immediate need to avoid eternal
punishment can outweigh your sense of responsibility towards
On the other hand, if you believed that you had many more
lifetimes to work out your salvation, you had no need to buy
that salvation from the church.
Most people are aware that the medieval church did indeed
sell letters of absolvency. Such letters allowed a person to
buy forgiveness for sins that the person had not yet
I am not saying that this example is the only explanation
for the fact that the Catholic church became the largest
landowner in Europe. I am saying it is part of the reason,
but what I truly desire to illustrate is that a power elite,
who wants absolute control, simply cannot allow people to
believe in the concept of reincarnation. This concept places
the question of punishment in the hands of God, an authority
that is above and beyond human beings.
The power elite wants the concept of punishment to be
controlled by themselves. In other words, to attain absolute
control over the people, the power elite must eradicate the
concept of reincarnation. They must make you believe that
they hold the key to your salvation, and that it is now or
never. If you don't do what they say, then you will go to
hell right now, and there is no possibility of escape."
The Secret Teachings of Jesus
According to Kevin Williams (Reincarnation and the Early
Christians) an "important Christian Gnostic teaching was
which in Greek is translated as "the image of the Word." It
is an important concept found in the gospel of John:
the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)
Logos is the part of God that acts in the world. It is the
perfect unity of the human and the divine. This is affirmed
by John when he wrote that "the Word was made flesh and
dwelt among us." When John stated that Jesus is the Logos,
he is stating that Jesus became the Logos, the Christ. The
Logos is the divine "spark" of God within humans that needs
to awakened. Everyone has the "image of the Word (Logos)"
within them and it is for this reason that Genesis describes
humanity as created "in the image and likeness of God." The
Logos is the divine Spirit in humanity. By using the
Christian Gnostic idea of the Logos, John is not only
affirming the preexistence and divinity of Jesus, but he is
affirming that all sons of God created in the "image of the
Word" as Jesus was, preexisted in spirit before being born.
In other words, every human is an incarnation of the Logos
and every human has to potential of becoming like Jesus, a
manifestation of the human-divine unity. Every human can be
a "Christ" and because of this, every soul will eventually
be drawn back to God.
The Roman Church misunderstood what the Logos was in John
and incorrectly concluded from this that only Jesus is
divine - the Word made flesh. The orthodox Church either
rejected or ignored this Christian Gnostic concept found in
John. This may have been a factor when the gospel of John
was almost rejected from New Testament canon when it was
being put together. This was during a time when Christian
Gnosticism became an enemy of the organized Church.
Nevertheless, it was the idea of the preexistence of the
soul and its corresponding doctrine of reincarnation that
the Roman Church had great difficulty with.
The Christian Gnostics emphasized spiritual knowledge rather
blind faith as the road to salvation. They indicated that
(i.e., "gnosis" in Greek) concerning the hidden meaning of
the "resurrection." This was a part of the secret teachings
of Jesus handed down to them by the apostles. This special
knowledge was restricted to people who were given the public
teachings of Christianity before qualifying to be initiated
and receive the secret teachings. In contrast, the very term
"Catholic" means "universal", implying that anyone could
become a member of the Church by adhering to the public
teachings of faith and rituals. The Christian Gnostics were
harsh critics of the orthodox Church. The Christian Gnostics
accused the Church of watering down the gospel in order to
popularize it for the masses. The orthodox Church stressed
salvation through faith alone and by the rituals of the
This secret gnosis emphasized spiritual "resurrection" (i.e,.
spiritual rebirth) and physical "resurrection" (i.e.,
reincarnation) as opposed to a resurrection defined as
sleeping in their graves
until it is time their corpses to crawl out of their graves
at the last day. Christian Gnostics held the view that if
spiritual resurrection was not attained in one lifetime,
then the soul would be subjected to as many reincarnations
as it takes until spiritual rebirth is attained.
One of the great Church leaders was
Clement of Alexandria
in Egypt (150-211 A.D.) who indicated that he possessed the
secret teaching handed down from the apostles.
In the Gnostic text entitled
The Secret Gospel of Mark,
one of the Christian Gnostic texts discovered in 1945,
describes Jesus performing secret initiation rituals. Before
the discovery of this secret gospel, our only knowledge of
it came from a letter written by Clement. Clement quotes
from this secret gospel and refers to it as, "a more
spiritual gospel for the use of those who were being
perfected." He also states, "It even yet is most carefully
guarded [by the church at Alexandria], being read only to
those who are being initiated into the great mysteries."
Clement mentions elsewhere that Jesus revealed a secret
teaching to those who were "capable of receiving it and
being molded by it" He also affirmed that, "The gnosis
(secret knowledge) itself is that which has descended by
transmission to a few, having been imparted unwritten by the
Christians and Muslims bury their dead because they believe
during the Last Judgment the deceased will come alive. Shri
Mataji says that is physically impossible. Her revelation is
that all souls will be born again to take part in that Great
Event ordained for all humanity. This is reincarnation,
plain and simple.
My question to all: Has Shri Mataji for the last three
decades not only glorified Lord Jesus and revealed His
secret teachings i.e., a more spiritual gospel for the use
of those who are being perfected during the Great Event
ordained for humanity?
course there are some absurd things which grew with
misinterpretation and interference from unholy people, which
are common in these religions. For example, Jews, Christian
and Muslims believe that when they die their bodies will come
out of their graves and they will all be resurrected at the
Time of Resurrection, at the Time of Last Judgment, at
the Time of Qiyamah. It is illogical to think what will
remain inside those graves after five hundred years. Nobody
wants to think and understand that it is not the body but the
soul that will come out of these bodies, be born again as
human beings and be saved through Qiyamah and
Mataji Nirmala Devi