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The Diary of Ratnavali Devi Das

Thursday, 30 September 2010 / Published in Articles / 9,939 views

By Patita Pavana das Adhikary(Editor)

“Regarding the auto accident, just hold a condolence meeting for Raghava das Brahmachari and pray for his soul to Krishna for giving him a good chance for advancement in Krishna Consciousness. Certainly Krishna will give him a good place to take birth where he can again begin in Krishna Consciousness activities. That is sure.”

(Shrila Prabhupada in a letter to Revatinandana das – 14 Nov. 1973)

INTRODUCTION

I have remembrance of my last past life as a brahmachary named Raghava das. This has come about through a sequence of dreams that were later found to be real of events in the life and death of Raghava, as confirmed by those that knew him. His post mortem injuries and my birth marks, scars and illnesses all correlate.

MY DIARY OF REVELATIONS

I am of Hindu descent and was born on 9th August, 1975 in London. My parents had a small shrine at our home with many photos of demigods and Lord Shri Krishna. One day I opened a drawer and there was a book written by Shrila Prabhupada. I cannot remember the title, but when I looked at the back cover, I was drawn to the picture of Shrila Prabhupada on it. I remember that when I looked at him, his eyes were very deep. I felt like he was asking me to come back home, come back home…

OCTOBER, 1991

I was brutally attacked in my high school field by a drugged up man who was trespassing. He continuously beat me with a fence log with nails on it with full force on my head. I used my hands to protect my head. As he continued hitting me the pain was incredible. Even though he was striking my head and hands, I suddenly realized that he could not hit the real me which was something inside my body. I screamed for help, but no one was around. So I prayed intensely, “Please God help me, please God help me.” A voice from within started guiding me saying, “Pretend you’re dead,” so I pretended to be dead and he stop hitting me. Then the voice said “open your eyes now, he has gone,” I was scared because if he was still there, I would be killed.

Opening my eyes slowly, I was relieved to see that he was no longer there. The voice then guided me, “Now get up and go.” I was exhausted from the beating and did not want to get up. Then the voice mentioned, “What if he comes back again, this is the time for you to escape.” Immediately I got on my feet and saw that my hands and head were covered with blood. After this horrific incident, it took me some time to recover emotionally and physically, but I felt like I owed my life to this voice that saved me.

1992
I met devotee book distributors around the area where I lived and they had many books written by Shrila Prabhupada. I approached them and bought a few to read. The more I read them, the closer I could feel to that voice that had protected me. The main book that answered all my questions was Bhagavad Gita As It Is which explained about the science of the soul and that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now I was convinced that the voice was Krishna who had protected me as Supersoul. I was looking for Krishna. The book distributor mentioned that there was a temple in London with Deities of Radha-Krishna. Immediately I felt a strong desire to see Them. Eventually, when I had darshan of the beautiful Deities of Shri Shri Radha-Londonishwara, I became very emotional. Tears ran down my eyes as I was convinced wholeheartedly that They saved me. Then and there I decided that I wanted to dedicate my life to Them.

Marriage and on to Sankirtan with Tribhuvanath

OCTOBER 1997: I married Krishna Vidhi Prabhu and two years later received initiation from HH Bhakti Charu Swami and became Ratnavali dasi.

JUNE 2000: I was very inspired by Tribhuvanath Prabhu’s Hari Nam sankirtan especially Saturday night in London. I could play a beat on the African drum which connected with his mridanga beat very nicely. I remember when I played the first time on Saturday night Hari Nam, he requested me to stand next to him at the front. I was very shy and did not come to the front, so one devotee pushed me and there I was standing with Tribhuvanath Prabhu. I felt very uncomfortable as I was in a female body next to a brahmachary but he was very normal and encouraging. He preferred all instrument prayers to be together. When all the men surrounded him playing the fast beat, I was also in the circle. I became embarrassed and walked out as I thought this may look unchaste but Tribhuvanath Prabhu stopped the Hari Nam and became a little angry. He pointed at me and asked me to come back in the circle. I put my head down and walked back into the circle and we continued the Hari Nam. From this day, he taught me how to chant Hare Krishna on Hari Nam sankirtan without being attached to the bodily conception of life. I felt very strongly that he treated me like a brahmachary. I joined his festival team, traveling and playing my African drum.

Glimpses of My Past Life

AUGUST 2000: I mentioned to Krishna Kshetra Prabhu (my husband’s spiritual master) in Rathayatra that I had been here in Trafalgar Square during the Rathayatra 1973**. He replied, “Really, so was I.” Afterwards I wondered why I said that because I was born in August of 1975.

OCTOBER 2000: Tribhuvanath Prabhu arranged 24 hour kirtans to collect donations for his festivals in East Africa. I wanted to drum with him for 24 hours. When I mentioned this to him, he replied, “You will drop dead.” I replied, “It’s better to drop dead in kirtan than an accident.” Afterwards I wondered why I had said something so strange.

“Simply Chant Hare Krishna”

JULY 2001: I had a dream which showed many obstacles. As Hari Nams increased, the obstacles decreased. Finally I opened a door and there was Shrila Prabhupada sitting at a table. I started crying on his lap. He looked at me in compassion and said, “Come. Many people want to speak about you but there is nothing left for you to do but simply chant Hare Krishna.” Then the dream ended.

SEPTEMBER 2001: I mentioned to my Guru Maharaj that a brahmachary was not treating me properly and it was difficult to work with him as I felt uncomfortable. He responded that it was my karmic reaction. I was surprised to hear the reply. Then I narrated to him humorously, how my husband mentioned that he had seen me as a brahmacary in his healing regression. My Guru Maharaj replied in a very serious manner that there was no doubt that I was a brahmacary in my past life performing Hari Nam in the past, present and future. Now I was really shocked.

Disappearance of Tribhuvanath Prabhu

OCTOBER 2001: When Tribhuvanath Prabhu was diagnosed with stomach cancer, I began performing Hari Nam sankirtan daily, praying for his welfare. Touched by the gesture, Tribhuvanath Prabhu said he would help me with the Hari Nams when he gets better and he instructed me to become attached to sankirtan yagna and holy names. Regrettably, he left this world so I continue with Hari Nams seeing it as an eternal link to Tribhuvanath Prabhu who was very kind, loving and could relate to different individuals on all levels.

“I Am Still Here”

OCTOBER 2001: I had a dream that I was going to Scotland. In one scene I was in a hospital ward In the other I was looking for my home but it had turned into a pub with distinctive black spiral stairs and an alley at entrance and in the third scene I was chanting japa in the park which I could see from all angles. Two weeks later I had a dream that I was chanting japa in the same park.

OCTOBER 2001: I had seen Krishnadas* Prabhu for the first time at Tribhuvannath Prabhu’s memorial program and was feeling that I had seen him before. He mentioned in a speech that someone left for some unforeseen circumstances. Immediately something within me replied, “No, it is not true, I am here” and I became emotional. Afterwards I wondered why I felt like this as I not met him before.
*Not his real name.

Searching for Raghava Prabhu

NOVEMBER 2001: Rama Nrsingha Prabhu and I asked five different disciples of Shrila Prabhupada if they knew any brahmacharies who had died before 1974, who had loved Hari Nam, who had been connected to Shri Shri Radha-Londonishwara and Tribhuvanath Prabhu. This is what I discovered about Raghava:

SHRIMAN RAGHAVA DAS BRAHMACARI (1954 – 1973): David Hoey was born May 14, 1954 in Glasgow. He was the only son and lived with his mother and father. Around the age of 13, he found his father hanging from a rope, dead from suicide. David began to question life and at the age of 17 he joined the ISKCON Edinburgh temple. David was inspired by Tribhuvanath Prabhu to perform Hari Nam. When Tribhuvanath Prabhu and David met in the temple room, they would jump up and down nearly every day for few minutes chanting Hare Krishna, clapping hands and sometimes playing caratals like mad men. David also visited the Bury Place temple in London many times where Shri Shri Radha-Londonishwara reside. He had also been to see Radha-Gokulananda at Bhaktivedanta Manor. David was initiated by Shrila Prabhupada on 19th October 1973 and named Raghava das Brahmachary. He offered his life savings of 200 pounds to Shrila Prabhupada as guru dakshina.

Tragically his enthusiastic service was cut short by his sudden death the next day in a van accident on the way from Edinburgh to Newcastle. Krishnadas Prabhu fell asleep on the steering wheel, the van crashed and Raghava left his body. Tribhuvannath Prabhu cried as he mentioned to others about Raghava’s departure. Raghava missed his initiation yajna which was to be conducted by Revatinandana Swami the next day on behalf of the spiritual master. Shrila Prabhupada sent a letter to Revatinandana Swami as follows:

“Regarding the auto accident, just hold a condolence meeting for Raghava das Brahmachary and pray for his soul to Krishna for giving him a good chance for advancement in Krishna Consciousness. Certainly Krishna will give him a good place to take birth where he can again begin in Krishna Consciousness activities. That is sure. But we offer our condolences to a departed soul separated from a Vaishnava. Do you know that there must be prasadam distributed? Three days after the demise of a Vaishnava a function should be held for offering the departed soul and all others prasadam. This is the system.” (Shrila Prabhupada in a letter to Revatinandana Maharaj, 14 Nov. 1973)

Past Life Regressions

NOVEMBER 2001: I had accepted HH Tamal Krishna Goswami as my shiksa guru as he was very kind and inspiring me very much especially on Hari Nams and playing the African drum. I decided to speak to my Guru Maharaja and Tamal Krishna Goswami about my strange experiences. They both advised me to do past life regression, and I underwent two of them. Both regressions showed that I was a young brahmachary performing Hari Nams with Tribhuvannath Prabhu. There were some scenes of Shrila Prabhupada which made me very emotional. After both regressions on the following mornings, coincidentally I had exactly the same reoccurring dreams that a man with long hair falls asleep on the steering wheel and I am in the back of the vehicle and the vehicle crashes.

Raghava, Raghava, Raghava!

JANUARY 2002: I had a dream that Krishnadas Prabhu was calling out, “Raghava, Raghava, Raghava!” After few weeks I also had another dream where I was trying to tell him that I was his old friend Raghava but he could not see me.

I had many nightmares of vehicle crashes that seemed to be ongoing and horrific. I also had a few dreams of Edinburgh such as I am going up the stairs of Edinburgh temple for a Shrimad Bhagavatam class.

My husband and I met up with Krishnadas Prabhu to explain what was happening and I was very nervous as I knew that no one would approach him regarding Raghava as it was a very sensitive issue. When I sat in his car, he started driving and the door kept opening on my side. I tried to shut the door many times and still it kept opening on my side. Then I shouted that the door does not shut. Krishnadas Prabhu immediately stopped car, shut door from outside and said in a very confident way, “Do not worry, you are safe with me.” It was an ironic, strange and a humorous way to meet. When we arrived at his home, I mentioned my revelations, he was very kind and open minded. He wanted me to keep him updated as he was very curious.

My husband and I visited the area where ISKCON Edinburgh temple had been at 14 Forrest Rd with the help of a map. As I had ongoing problems with my stomach, I went to the nearby hospital to get a plaster around it. Returning, I noticed a park nearby. I was shocked as it was the same park in my dreams. I did not want to leave as I felt I had been here before. I looked at it from many angles and knew that it was the same as my dream. Then I went to find the location of the old Edinburgh temple which to my amazement had become a pub. When I went inside, it had the same black spiral stairs and an alleyway at the entrance. I ran out as it had taken me time to digest all this. I felt like this was my home and I had been here before. Raghava had been based in the Edinburgh temple and he loved chanting his japa in that same park nearby which was named The Meadows. I was amazed to see in reality all that I had seen in my dream on Oct 2001.

That You Shall Attain

APRIL 2002: I spoke to my Guru Maharaj updating him of my revelations. I asked him if this was a figment of my mind, or a revelation from above. He replied that it was a revelation from above. This was hard to digest because even though I knew in theory that we are not the body but the soul, it still had taken me time to accept in reality. My Guru Maharaj was very supportive and caring and was helping me in dealing with this. On his visit to London, he had also spoken to Krishnadas Prabhu who was already convinced that in my past life I was Raghava. Krishnadas Prabhu was very relieved although it was a lot for him to digest.

Once when my Guru Maharaj had spoken to me, he asked me jokingly, “So who was the girl that you were thinking of at the time of death.” I was shocked as I was embarrassed and I replied “I do not know and better that I not know.” In 8.6 of Bhagavad Gita As It Is, it is stated, “Whatever you think of at the time of death, that state you will attain without fail.”

“I Never Left You”

JUNE 2002: I had the same reoccurring dreams from childhood that I was looking outside my bedroom window and all I could see is hills and greenery.

NOVEMBER 2002: I met Krishnadas Prabhu’s ex-wife Dhenuvati for first time in Edinburgh. She knew Raghava as he did some services with her in Edinburgh temple kitchen. She had two dogs and I was scared of her dogs and started moving my left hand out the way in fear. Then I mentioned that I had a realistic dream that I had been bitten by a dog on the palm of my left hand in the park. Dhenuvati was very amazed and she replied that she remembered the time when Raghava had come running to her and said that he will not go to The Meadows park again as he was bitten by a dog on his left palm.

NOVEMBER 2002: Dhenuvati also mentioned that Krisjnadas Prabhu cried numerous times for Raghava and would say how he would like to bring his old friend back again. I immediately rang Krishnadas Prabhu and mentioned what Dhenuvati said. I told him “I never left you.” Krishnadas Prabhu became very emotional.

Satyavati*

SEPTEMBER 2003: When the spiritual master jokes, there is always a meaning behind it. I started to remember the Indian girl that Raghava liked very much who was also in Edinburgh temple. So I rang Dhenuvati and she confirmed that it was right because she had seen the dealings between Raghava and an Indian girl named Satyavati. He would concentrate more on her than his japa and complained to Dhenuvati about her many times. He was both attracted and averse to her so he could not be normal around her and then would not treat her properly. When she walked in kitchen, he would get shy and walk out. I was embarrassed to hear all this.
*Not her actual name.

MARCH 2004: I had a dream that I was sitting in the back of vehicle and Krishnadas Prabhu was there. Then the dream changed, instead of Krishnadas Prabhu, it was Shrila Prabhupada sitting and he was writing something. After this dream, my dreams of crashes seemed to decrease.

OCTOBER 2004: I attended Tribhuvanath Prabhu’s memorial festival and his two brothers gave me a lift home. We were discussing, but they knew nothing about my past life story. Coincidentally, one of them started speaking about an Indian girl that he worked with, who knew Tribhuvanath Prabhu. He said her name was Satyavati. I was shocked when I realized that he had just spoken of the girl that Raghava had been attracted to.

I asked him for her contact details and met her saying that I was coming to give her mahaprasadam sweets from Dhenuvati. It was amazing and strange as we had similar eyes, shapes and features. I gave her sweets and within myself I apologized to her for all my offenses as I felt in this life I was getting some karmic reaction. I asked her about Raghava many times but she could not remember him. From the meeting I could see that I should have been more conscious of Shrila Prabhupada and Krishna in my past life.

“Thank You, Prabhu”

JANUARY 2005: I had a dream which showed I was staying in 7, Bury Place as a brahmacary where Shri Shri Radha-Londonishwara presided in the 1970’s. Raghava had visited and stayed there a few times.

APRIL 2005: I rang Revatinandana Prabhu in Hawaii. I had sent him my revelations about Raghava a week before. He spoke to me very nicely saying that I was very blessed to have these remembrances. He remembered the accident and how Shrila Prabhupada had asked him to offer prasadam to “my” photo and prayers. It was very strange as I thanked him for offering prayers and the wonderful prasadam to my photo calling the departed soul to come to honor it. I feel indebted to Revatinandana Prabhu’s kindness

MAY 2005: I was curious to know if Raghava’s family was around so I managed to get Raghava’s post mortem, birth and death certificate along with his mother’s death certificate. It was strange to have my previous life’s death certificate and post mortem as it serves as a warning of reality for this life also. I knew that Raghava had no brothers or sisters so there was no one I could get in contact with. It is amazing in one life how we are so attached to our family, relatives and friends. Then in our subsequent lives every relationship has been finished with the termination of the previous body.

All my birth marks, scars and illnesses correlated with Raghava’s death injuries. I also secured some pages of witness statements of the accident.

Scotland’s Hills and Greenery

JUNE 2005: I decided to visit the home of where Raghava lived with his parents in Glasgow. I knocked on the door but no one answered. Then I knocked on “my” neighbours door where the garden was shared and I met one old lady named Mary. From our conversation I found out she had been my neighbour. She had been very good friends with Raghava’s mother Hannah. When I mentioned my revelations, she became convinced. She invited me into her home and was very friendly towards me. She said, “If you go to David’s bedroom window, only from his bedroom window, you can see beautiful hills and greenery.” I was shocked and started crying as this was the answer to my recurring dream. Mary and I have kept in touch. I gave her Shrila Prabhupada’s Coming Back which she has found interesting.

APRIL 2006: Once again I experienced the recurring dream of the hills and greenery. Now in the dream I am going towards the hills and greenery. Behind the hills I find a room. Upon entering I see that there are many Deities of Krishna engaged in different pastimes such as Krishna killing demons, Krishna with Mother Yasodha, Radha and Krishna, etc. I was very attracted to Mother Yasodha and Krishna. This dream revealed to me that the eternal happiness for which we are all searching is only in relationship to Krishna.

APRIL 2006: I was feeling a strong need to build my relationship with Shrila Prabhupada as I had left him untimely. The way now was through following his instructions by reading his books, watching him on videos, DVD’s and via Bhakti Charu Maharaj guidance. I am very fortunate to have Bhakti Charu Maharaj as my Guru Maharaj as he is expertly bringing me closer to the lotus feet of Shrila Prabhupada. I am very indebted to Shrila Prabhupada for his unlimited protection.

MAY 2006: I visited the same area where Raghava left his body in the motorway in Morpeth with the help of the witness statement report. When I was in the same area, I could feel as Raghava. I was not ready to leave my body at the time of death. When I had seen the motorway, one sign was Edinburgh to Morpeth and the other was Morpeth to London.

It was the ending of one life and the beginning another.

Moving On

2010: Krishna Vidhi Prabhu and I became divorced and went in different directions. It was a friendly agreement because both of us agreed that we had never lived as an ordinary couple. We were more like brahmacharies in a grihasta life. He continues performing Hari Nam three times a day and is very dedicated to Krishna’s Holy Names at the Soho St. temple. We are still good friends and keep in touch. I have given myself to Tribhuvanath Prabhu’s ISKCON festival program which is now managed by Giridhari Prabhu. My role is full time service within the festival program. I feel very fortunate somehow to be protected by Tribhuvanath Prabhu life after life and be under his authority somehow.

Medical Records and Realizations

Raghava’s post mortem showed that he had multiple injuries but most of his injuries were caused around his abdomen, intestines and pelvis. My medical reports show that I have inflammation of stomach lining which causes my abdomen to distend and has caused marks around my abdomen. My intestines and pelvis are weak and I am still undergoing various tests to investigate problems around that area. All my birth marks and scars also correlate with Raghava’s injuries as shown in his post mortem. [Others who have experienced past life remembrances also affirm that injuries from the past can be reflected onto the present body. -Ed.]

My devotional mood is similar to my past life. Raghava’s main service was Hari Nam sankirtan. I must have had a strong desire to come back to Tribhuvanath Prabhu again. I especially feel Raghava’s emotions very strongly when I meet devotees that knew him, and also when I visit those places where Raghava had been. I have a fear of driving vehicles. Internally my mood is of a brahmachary. Since my earliest years I have had no desire to have children and have always remained celibate even in my married life.

Krishnadas Prabhu always felt tremendous guilt for falling asleep at the wheel and, because of his sincerity, he was united again with Raghava. Whatever happened was an accident and was destined to happen to me so I do not blame Krishnadas Prabhu in any way. I hope this helps him to overcome his guilt.

In whatever body we find ourselves, we should treat others in the same way that we want to be treated. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This also means respecting the body of animals and not slaughtering them for our food. Otherwise we will suffer same results. It is best to keep Krishna in the center of our relationships, Our relationship with our spiritual master and Krishna are eternal but other relationships will terminate with the body. The ultimate lesson for all of us is to become serious in our devotional practices. The process Shrila Prabhupada has given us, the philosophy that holds us together as a family, is perfect just as it is. ·

Reprinted from The Astrological Newsletter
www.vedicastrologers.org

35 comments

  1. 0

    it confirms to me that we should seriously chant 64 rounds , as Srila Prabhupada tried to introduce in ISKCON many years ago:
    Srila Prabhupada tried to introduce 64 rounds in ISKCON but some devotees where bargaining with Srila Prabhupada so he reduced it to facilitate his neophyte disciples,thus it has become the minimum standard ,Srila Prabhupada encouraged more chanting :
    The Hare Krishna Explosion, p. 63, by Hayagriva dasa, Palace Press 1985.

    “Now that you have beads,” Swamiji says the next morning, “you should chant sixty-four rounds every day.” “Sixty-four rounds?” To pronounce every word of the mantra distinctly, we require five minutes to chant a round. Sixty-four rounds would take over five hours. “Impossible!” we say. “We’ll never have the time.” “All right,” Swamiji says. “Thirty-two rounds.” “Impossible,” we say. “We’ll never be able to do it. It’s way too much.” “All right,” Swamiji says. “Sixteen rounds. No less.”

  2. 0
    Atmavidya Dasa ( User Karma: 5 ) says:

    Past life regression is an extremely dubious and unreliable method of learning one’s past life identity. I fully support the fact that reincarnation exists but completely reject “Past life regression” as a means of finding it out:

    “The technique used during past life regression involves the subject answering a series of questions while hypnotized to reveal identity and events of alleged past lives, a method similar to that used in recovered memory therapy and one that similarly misrepresents memory as a faithful recording of previous events rather than a constructed set of recollections. The use of hypnosis and suggestive questions makes the subject particularly likely to hold distorted or false memories. The source of the memories is more likely cryptomnesia and confabulations that combine past experiences, knowledge, imagination and suggestion or guidance from the hypnotist than recall of a previous existence. Once created, the memories are indistinguishable from memories based on events that occurred during the subject’s life Memories reported during past life regression have been investigated, and revealed historical inaccuracies that are easily explained through a basic knowledge of history, elements of popular culture or books that discuss historical events. Experiments with subjects undergoing past life regression indicate that a belief in reincarnation and suggestions by the hypnotist are the two most important factors regarding the contents of memories reported.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Past_life_regression

  3. 0
    jeevanmukta13 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I would like to say that this kind of articles should not appear on a serious Vaishnava site for it sends out the wrong signals.

    The fact is, the shastras frown upon such sensationalized crystal-ball rebirth ideologies. Although it is true we are reborn, the chances of a person finding out who he or she was in a previous life is 1 in a trillion.

    The above story is full of holes.

    Dandavat does itself a disservice by subscribing to such nonsense. And if it wants to then it should also post comments like this one.

    Vaishnavas do not die; they are not so cheaply reborn either. Shame on you dandavat.

  4. 0
    scooty.ram says:

    I too believe in reincarnation.

    However Sastric references (like Garuda Purana etc) shows

    1. it takes a min of 1 year of earth time to reach the Yamaloka to receive a judgment. Once it is received then the soul is given a new body.
    Every soul MUST goto Yamaloka before they get a new body!

    2. It will take 6 months for grains harvest which would be eaten by the husband before actual conception

    3.It will take 10 months for birth of a human child.

    This comes to a minimum of 28 months.

    However the time between Sri Raghava’s passing away and birth of Srimati Ratnavali mataji is only 22 months.

    I could be totally wrong .
    Dasan

  5. 0

    Atmavidyas comment does not give any credit to Mother Ratnavali,so I disaprove of it,though these past life regressions can mostly not be reliabel, her account is amazing.I remeber in 1987 or so a book circulated in ISKCON that I read with great interest, by Ian Stevenson http://www.near-death.com/experiences/reincarnation01.html, 20 Cases of reincarnation, actually Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation.I liek to share something in my own experience that I normally do not mention to anyone.While on Padayatra in South India in 1985 we came to Madhurai, and while visiting the famous Minaksi devi temple that Lord Caitanya visited there , one famous palmist called me over, he said can I read your palm, I did not have any faith charge a in this.He said do not worry about money I will not charge you any thing:He read both palms,then he smiled brightly:”How do you like South India” ,he asked me.”I feel at home here”, I said.He said according to your palms in your last life you was born here in South India, this is why you like the culture , the worship of Lord Visnu here etc.I was amazed later 2 astrologers confirmed the same independently, without prior knowledge.Of course where ever I was in my last life is not so important, now I am Srila Prabhupadas dog,waiting for a scrap of his mercy and my collar is my 3 stranded tulsi neckbeads.
    In Bhagavad Gita Krsna says:
    BG 4.5: The Personality of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!
    In Narasimha Purana we read how Lord Narasimha told Prahlada Maharaja about his previous life as a brahmin Vasudeva ,that accidentely fasted full Nirjala on Narasimha Caturdasi and became promoted to be the exalted devotee Prahlada Maharaja

  6. 0
    Atmavidya Dasa ( User Karma: 5 ) says:

    Ref #5
    Dr. Ian Stevenson was a critic of past life regression he wrote Concerns about Hypnotic Regression:

    Hypnotic Regression to Previous Lives

    A Short Statement by Ian Stevenson, M.D.

    The following remarks have been written in an effort to reply most effectively to the large number of letters and inquiries that I receive from persons who wish to apply to me for hypnotic regression to previous lives, wish me to recommend a hypnotist to them, or wish me to investigate some material that has emerged from such an experience.

    Many persons who attach no importance whatever to their dreams–realizing that most of them are merely images of the dreamer’s subconscious mind without correspondence to any other reality–nevertheless believe that whatever emerges during hypnosis can invariably be taken at face value. In fact, the state of a person during hypnosis resembles in many ways–although not in all–that of a person dreaming. The subconscious parts of the mind are released from ordinary inhibitions and they may then present in dramatic form a new “personality.” If the subject has been instructed by the hypnotist–explicitly or implicitly–to “go back to another place and time” or given some similar guidance, the new “personality” may appear to be one of another period of history. Such evoked “previous personalities” may be extremely plausible both to the person having the experience and to other persons watching him or her. Experiments by Baker1and by Nicholas Spanos and his colleagues2 have shown how easily different suggestions given by a hypnotist can influence the features of the “previous personality” in conformity with suggestions.

    In fact, however, nearly all such hypnotically evoked “previous personalities” are entirely imaginary just as are the contents of most dreams. They may include some accurate historical details, but these are usually derived from information the subject has acquired normally through reading, radio and television programs, or other sources. The subject may not remember where he obtained the information included, but sometimes this can be brought out in other sessions with hypnosis designed to search for the sources of the information used in making up the “previous personality.” Experiments by E. Zolik3 and by R. Kampman and R. Hirvenoja4 have demonstrated this phenomenon.

    cont..

  7. 0
    Atmavidya Dasa ( User Karma: 5 ) says:

    part 2

    A marked emotional experience during the hypnotic regression provides no assurance that memories of a real previous life were recovered. The subjective experience of reliving a previous life may be impressive to the person having the experience, and yet the “previous life” may be a fantasy, like most of our dreams. Also, benefit (even dramatic improvement) in some physical or psychological symptom does not provide evidence that a real previous life has been remembered. Persons with psychosomatic symptoms and psychoneuroses recover following a wide variety of psychotherapeutic measures. There are many general effects of any psychotherapeutic measure. Improvement may be due exclusively to these and have nothing to do with the special technique, whether hypnotic regression, psychoanalysis, or whatever, of the psychotherapist.

    It is worth emphasizing that very young children who remember verified previous lives often have phobias, such as of water, even though they remember the event that seems to have generated the phobia, such as a death from drowning. Thus remembering the cause of a phobia or some other symptom does not necessarily remove it.

    Persons considering hypnotic regression experiments should ask themselves: What benefit would there be for me in coping with my present difficulties if I did remember something that seemed somehow connected with them from a previous life? Would such a memory, even if it were real, remove the difficulties?

    This being a brief statement, it cannot do justice to all the complex aspects of the subject, but I will mention that very rarely something of value may emerge during experiments with hypnotic regression to “previous lives.” Examples occur in instances where the subject proves able to speak a foreign language not normally learned.

    The procedure of hypnotic regression to “previous lives” is not without some hazards. Instances have occurred in which the “previous personality” has not “gone away” when instructed to do so and the subject in such cases has been left in an altered state of personality for several days or more before restoration of his normal personality.

    cont…

  8. 0
    Atmavidya Dasa ( User Karma: 5 ) says:

    part 3

    I am not now engaging in experiments with hypnotic regression to “previous lives.” I do not recommend hypnotists to persons who wish to have this experience. I do not approve of any hypnotist who makes promises to clients that suggest they will certainly return to a real previous life under his direction. I do not approve of anyone who charges fees for acting as a hypnotist in such experiments.

    I do not undertake verifications of details that may emerge from such experiments except in the extremely rare instances that seem to me to show strong evidence of some paranormal process. Instances of responsive xenoglossy (speaking a foreign language not normally learned) may be included in this small group that I am interested in investigating.

    Although opposed to commercial exploitation of unwarranted claims for hypnotic regression, I am in favor of serious research with hypnotic regression.

    The above remarks apply with some modifications to amateur experiments with ouija boards, planchettes, and automatic writing. In most such experiments the persons concerned tap into nothing more than the subconscious layers of the minds of one or more of the participants. The dangers of deception and self-deception are perhaps greater than in experiments with hypnosis, especially when the persons experimenting become convinced that they are being guided by discarnate personalities. Here again, in rare instances some paranormal process may be involved in the results of such experiments and very rarely they have produced evidence suggestive of actual contact with a discarnate personality. But in the majority of instances such evidence is totally lacking.

    For further information and references to articles and books based on scientific investigations which provide the support for my position on this matter, I refer correspondents to my book Children Who Remember Previous Lives (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2001). I have also published “A Case of the Psychotherapist’s Fallacy: Hypnotic Regression to ‘Previous Lives'” (American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. Volume 36, pages 188-193, 1994). Reprints of this article are available; see Publications. It is article #STE40 on the “Reincarnation” list.

    cont..

  9. 0
    Atmavidya Dasa ( User Karma: 5 ) says:

    conclusion

    If this statement does not answer adequately a viewer’s questions we will be glad to receive and answer letters requesting further information. Please make questions as specific as possible. See Contacting Us.

    _____________________________

    Notes

    1 Baker, R.A. “The effect of suggestion on past-lives regression.” American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 25(1), 71-76, July 1982. [return to text]

    2 Spanos, N.P., Menary, E., Gabora, N.J., DuBreuil, S.C., Dewhirst, B. “Secondary identity enactments during hypnotic past-life regression: A sociocognitive perspective.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61(2), 308-320, 1991. [return to text]

    3 Zolik, E. “‘Reincarnation’ phenomena in hypnotic states.” International Journal of Parapsychology, 4(3), 66-78, 1962. [return to text]

    4 Kampman, R. and Hirvenoja, R. “Dynamic relation of the secondary personality induced by hypnosis to the present personality” in Hypnosis at Its Bicentennial, edited by F.H. Frankel & H.S. Zamansky. New York: Plenum Press. 1978 [return to text]

    Original text can be found at

    http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/psychiatry/sections/cspp/dops/regression-page

  10. 0
    vibhavakrsna das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thank you Patit Pavan Prabhu….for your wonderful article. It has given people conviction about life after death (sometimes even devotees don’t have full faith in this matter). This really shoudl make sadhakas a bit more serious as whatever you will think at the time of death you will achieve.

    This article of yours very beautifully proves the words of Krsna beyond doubt. wonderful.

    @ Dasan Pr – Your calculation seems to be well done and technically should be alright but the thing is that all this may not be applicable to a sincere Vaishnava. There was one disciple of Prabhupada, HH Danavir Goswami mentions in his book – HIS DIVINE GRACE, a Muslim who left his body after the Janamastami festival. Later Prabhupada remarked that when someone is sincere but due to conditional or so called temporary situations he may not be able to do his devotional service nicely…. KRSNA as a favour takes away that body and gives him a birth immediately in a pious family.

    Even in Barat Maharaj pastime although he didnt achieve perfection where does Bhagavatam state that he was taken to Yamaraj and then given a body of a deer or when deer left he was taken to Yamaraj. That means even if he was taken (which is debatable) the Bhagavatam goes to the essence and that what we need to see in this article by Patit Pavan Prabhu…who is an authority in this subject matter and moreover a true follower of Srila Prabhupada.
    ===========================================

    I think it should be seen in a way that one needs to have a one point focus and execute his devotional service with great faith and thus at the time of his death one can remember Krsna and go back home back to Godhead.

    Pls forgive for any offenses. My language can be a bit harsh at times.

    your servant,
    vibhava krsna das

  11. 0
    Patita Pavana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Many thanks Vibhava Krishna das Prabhu for your kind words about the article. Of course it is not my article, although I did edit it for print from the diary. The article is Ratnavali’s and it is our fortune that she has shared it with us. I recall that when I first went to India in the early 70’s many Indians would have nothing to do with us mlecchas. Times have changed drastically. Today Prabhupada’s point of view, that devotees are caste-less, holds sway all over India. Ironically, Ratnavali reveals her past life as a British gentleman. Now this is good preaching and the Hindus are listening!

    Regarding the commentator who cried “Shame on Dandavats,” let me say that I did have to arm wrestle with Praghosh Prabhu over why I felt her diary should be published. Naturally, he had his concerns that the story should be taken in the correct light. Those fears are justifiable, as Krishna consciousness cannot be allowed to degrade into a debate over the realm of supra-natural phenomenon. But Ratnavali is an experienced preacher, and–like all other sold-out devotees–only shares her experiences to inspire Krishna consciousness into others.

    His Grace Sureshwara das calls it a “How I came to Krishna Consciousness” episode with a twist. In the early days, that was how Prabhupada got the devotees to write as a perusal of old BTG’s will verify. Prabhupada loved those stories. I am sure that His Divine Grace , while cautioning us not to become absorbed in the past, would also enjoy this episode. After all, he did predict it in his letter quoted in the article. In fact Ratnavali dasi has toured Russia with no less of a devotee than Uttama Shloka das, and has spoken to assemblies and the print media about her experiences, sharing Krishna consciousness and the holy name with the story as a mere ploy.

    Shriman Sureshwara Prabhu, who has been using the episode in his classes on reincarnation wrote to her,

    “As you know from my correspondence with Patita Pavana Prabhu, my main concern… (is) that we see your past life through Krishna’s eyes in the Gita. Fascination over your dreams, the medical and police records, and how your personal research corroborates the details of your present and previous life as Raghava Brahmachary is human and natural. It is when we shine Prabhupada and Krishna’s light on your story that the drama lifts us to transcendence, to the Lord’s lotus feet.”

    Continued…

  12. 0
    Patita Pavana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Regarding those who object to past life regression, this element is hardly a tiny fragment of the story. It this were removed, the narration would lose nothing for its value. However, the fact that some “regressers”are inventive and imaginative does not counter the genuine experiences others have felt. Many have been historically verified.

    I was first told of Ratnavali by one of today’s ISKCON’s inspiring leaders, an initiating guru and preacher whose feet dust remains my eternal shelter. I had shared with him my own story of a devotee I knew who died in the sankirtan van wreck with me, 1970, and who I feel has now returned as a famous devotee. . When the Maharaja narrated the story, I was intrigued. It was only after I met Ratnavali on the internet that I could proclaim, “Yes, I knew you. I knew you in your past life!”

    Even Shrila Prabhupada used to discuss his previous appearance as you can see on the Memories DVD series, as spoken by Hari Das Prabhu. Get our your set and have a listen to DVD #30. It’s intriguing. When I was the age of most Dandavats readers, reincarnation was considered strange and unbelievable. Today 25% of Americans, probably largely due to devotee preachers, believe in reincarnation. ISKCON has grown up, way, way up. But one founding principle Prabhupada taught us from the beginning remains the same. And that is: “Everything for Krishna!”

    I hope Shrimati Ratnavali will deign to take part in this discussion for our own benefit. After all, it is her story.

    Patita Pavana das Adhikary,
    Editor The Astrological Newsletter

  13. 0
    Tungavidya dd ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Although I have appreciation for Ratnavali devi dasi, I would like to suggest that Ratnavali dd should focus on her present life and people that Sri Krsna sent to her in this lifetime. Personally I have got an impression (from knowing her) that she still lives her past life in this lifetime. Sri Krsna gave her this female form of body in this lifetime, and it is not really proper that she tries to be a brahmacari…Otherwise she may miss her duties in this lifetime e.g. to serve her husband, it is tapasya, and many would opt to leave when it gets tough; why trying to be artificially a brahmacari, if she got female form, and everything that goes with it?.

    Rather then to associate with a neighbor from previous life, she may try to help those around her. I think now when she knows all about her previous life, she can sleep peacefully, thanking to Sri Krsna and kind devotees, and her husband who all helped her to go through that difficult and confusing period, and focus all her energy on people from this very lifetime. And this is not meant to offend Ratnavali dd but to remind her to focus on this life.

    All of us also had past lives. And some of our devotees were most probably highly exalted souls in previous lives. And we may live next to someone who is a great soul, but become blind and not seeing what is in front of us because we are dreaming of somebody else, or some other lives.

    It is said that one should not live in the past what to speak of the past life, and a past life that is not even certain—it is not very convincing. We recall the words of Bhaktivinode Thakura: “Forget the past that sleeps and ne’re the future dream at all but act in times that are with you and progress yee shall call.”

    Your servant,
    Tdd

  14. 0
    scooty.ram says:

    Dear Vibhava Krishna Prabhu,

    I noted your response.

    I too agree that the devotees get a special handling.

    Infact my calculation is based on those special handling scenarios.

    1. I didnt not include the number of years Raghava should have lived .He passed away due to an accident and technically a soul will have to wait for its destined time of birth

    2.I didnt include the number of years this soul should have spent in heaven or hell as part of the karmas.

    I would think it is too much of wishful thinking to expect a devotee will get all exceptional treatments.
    If it is so, why should it take 10 months for a soul to be born from womb.

    Hence when it comes to natural laws there are certain rules which cant be by passed.

    Dasan

  15. 0
    Patita Pavana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    For :Dasan
    From: Uttama Shloka das Brahmachari

    Here is a very important quote from Prabhupada’s Bhagavatam which proves
    that the opinion expressed in one of the previous comments that “Every soul
    MUST go to Yamaloka before they get a new body!” is speculative since it
    does not apply to the Vaishnavas.

    SB 6.3.27

    te deva-siddha-parigita-pavitra-gatha
    ye sadhavah samadrso bhagavat-prapannah
    tan nopasidata harer gadayabhiguptan
    naisam vayam na ca vayah prabhavama dande

    TRANSLATION
    My dear servants, please do not approach such devotees, for they have fully
    surrendered to the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They
    are equal to everyone, and their narrations are sung by the demigods and the
    inhabitants of Siddhaloka. Please do not even go near them. They are always
    protected by the club of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore
    Lord Brahma and I and even the time factor are not competent to chastise
    them.

    BHAKTIVEDANTA PURPORT
    In effect, Yamaraja warned his servants, “My dear servants, despite what you
    may have done previously to disturb the devotees, henceforward you should
    stop. The actions of devotees who have surrendered unto the lotus feet of
    the Lord and who constantly chant the holy name of the Lord are praised by
    the demigods and the residents of Siddhaloka. Those devotees are so
    respectable and exalted that Lord Visnu personally protects them with the
    club in His hand. Therefore, regardless of what you have done this time,
    henceforward you should not approach such devotees; otherwise you will be
    killed by the club of Lord Visnu. This is my warning. Lord Visnu has a club
    and cakra to punish nondevotees. Do not risk punishment by attempting to
    disturb the devotees. Not to speak of you, if even Lord Brahma or I were to
    punish them, Lord Visnu would punish us. Therefore do not disturb the
    devotees any further.”

    So it seems like Dasan is uninformed about these simple truths. Shrila
    Prabhupada’s books should be the first and foremost reference point for us,
    before other Vedic literatures, such as Garuda Purana etc.

    The wonderful case of Ratnavali devi dasi is in complete harmony with Shrila
    Prabhupada’s teachings, and it is strange that the article received some
    negative comments of a speculative nature. We should feel rather happy to
    get a live confirmation of our philosophy.

    Uttama Shloka das Brahmachary

  16. 0
    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part I.

    In the Fourth Canto of Srimad-Bhgavatam, it is clearly explained by Srila Prabhupada that the mind is filled with past experiences and in dreams they sometimes show up. So this is sufficient evidence that dreams can reveal one’s past experiences. In SB 9.8.15-16 there is —amongst other examples elsewhere in SB— one instance of one who is jati-smara, or one who can remember one’s previous birth. Usually the majority of conditioned souls are not allowed to remember their previous life. And this has been explained by Srila Prabhupada in one lecture why it is so. Because if one could remember, “it would be impossible to live.”

    In our present case as far as the article of Patita Pavana is concerned what is really important? The approach made by Patita Pavana to publish some of the descriptions of dreams of mataji Ratnavali from her diary. This is very personal approach and the purpose is to illustrate how reincarnation works. Superficially, it appears to take courage so to say on part of the author and editor to do that. But actually, their approach is simply a demonstration of two devotees (Ratnavali and Patita Pavana) being oblivious to mundane social considerations in terms of acceptance or non acceptance on the basis of common limited popular understandings on a subject matter as important as the science of the transmigration of the soul.

    I applaud such project. This article is meant to be read with open mind and respect. It should not become an opportunity for anything else where individuals are questioning the correctness or not of the article because of some of its possible subjective nature. Nobody has any right to criticize anybody’s dreams and what they they want to do with them afterwards. This is simply being respectful. And to fancy oneself that it should be interpreted or corrected in any other way than the original sincere description and intention of the original person who shared her dreams, what is the point? Personal matters are not meant to be stripped down to become mere objects for one’s fancy evaluation not to say fault-finding habit.

  17. 0
    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part II.

    When will that day be ours, when as devotees we will know the art of appreciating one another’s slightest endeavors to preach? What is the point of publishing through Dandavats if the purpose and mood is not in appreciation of one another’s attempt at preaching? As far as I know, Dandavats is a public forum. Should Dandavats become a nice place for idle armchair philosophers picking at each other or should it be a source of inspiration by exemplary vaishnava writings attempting putting things in the right perspective, tone and mood? Sometimes, an unwanted urge to find a mayic perfection has no more any touch with what Krishna Consciousness is all about. Then, sooner or later, at the end of the day, one knows that the Paramatma has pulled the plug on the usual blissful current of KC. Any arguing at this point is only bitterly null and dry.

    Let’s not become like the smarta brahmanas in Krishna lila, who when asked by the cowherd boys to give food to Krishna and Balarama, they missed such opportunity because of being overly “in the rituals” and actually not into “Krishna”. The wifes of the brahmanas however understood the essence of rituals: surrender and loving service to Krishna by totally accepting whatever He requests through His representatives. Srila Prabhupada has convinced us to accept his preaching mission all over the world. This is what unites all ISKCON devotees: when they cooperate at all levels for preaching. This is the essence of the KC movement. And it is a very blissful endeavor altogether. In such attempts, there is true comradery, complicity, the opposite of enviousness: appreciation of others doing better than ourselves, and the blissfulness of being pleasing to the pure devotee of the Lord. And this has no price at all. It is simply wonderful.

  18. 0
    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part III.

    Please find below excerpts from Srimad-Bhagavatam by Srila Prabhupada on the subject matter of dreams. It can help the reader to balance out the object of the present discussion.

    SB 4.29.67
    Sometimes in a dream we see something never experienced or heard of in this life, but all these incidents have been experienced at different times, in different places and in different conditions.

    PURPORT

    In the previous verse it was explained that in dreams we see that which was experienced during the day. But why is it that we sometimes in our dreams see what we have never heard of or seen at any time during this life? Here it is stated that even though such events may not be experienced in this life, they were experienced in previous lives. According to time and circumstance, they combine so that in dreams we see something wonderful that we have never experienced. For instance, we may see an ocean on the peak of a mountain. Or we may see that the ocean has dried up. These are simply combinations of different experiences in time and space. Sometimes we may see a golden mountain, and this is due to our having experienced gold and mountains separately. In the dream, under illusion, we combine these separate factors. In this way we are able to see golden mountains, or stars during the day. The conclusion is that these are all mental concoctions, although they have actually been experienced in different circumstances. They have simply combined together in a dream. This fact is further explained in the following verse.

  19. 0
    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Part IV.

    SB 4.29.68
    The mind of the living entity continues to exist in various gross bodies, and according to one’s desires for sense gratification, the mind records different thoughts. In the mind these appear together in different combinations; therefore these images sometimes appear as things never seen or never heard before.

    PURPORT

    The activities of the living entity in the body of a dog may be experienced in the mind of a different body; therefore those activities appear never to have been heard or seen. The mind continues, although the body changes. Even in this life-span we can sometimes experience dreams of our childhood. Although such incidents now appear strange, it is to be understood that they are recorded in the mind. Because of this, they become visible in dreams. The transmigration of the soul is caused by the subtle body, which is the storehouse of all kinds of material desires. Unless one is fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, material desires will come and go. That is the nature of the mind — thinking, feeling and willing. As long as the mind is not engaged in meditation on the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, the mind will desire so many material enjoyments. Sensual images are recorded in the mind in chronological order, and they become manifest one after another; therefore the living entity has to accept one body after another. The mind plans material enjoyment, and the gross body serves as the instrument to realize such desires and plans. The mind is the platform onto which all desires come and go. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura therefore sings:

    guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete kariya aikya,
    ara na kariha mane asa **

    Narottama dasa Thakura advises everyone to stick to the principle of carrying out the orders of the spiritual master. One should not desire anything else. If the regulative principles ordered by the spiritual master are followed rigidly, the mind will gradually be trained to desire nothing but the service of Krsna. Such training is the perfection of life.

  20. 0

    it takes a lot for a devotee to come out and share such things and they are important lessons
    to not be taken lightly, yes though it is rare someone knows I have no doubt in my mind and I am sure most readers will be fascinated by these accounts, the solution to reinacarnation lies in taking serious shelter of Krsnas holy name..and it starts with understanding 16 rounds is a bare minimum

  21. 0
    Trilocana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I really enjoyed reading Mother Ratnavali’s diary and the astrological perspective. It was very sensational. Well done to Patita Pavana Prabhu and Abhaya Mudhra Mataji.

    These kind of articles are very inspiring for those that are serious in becoming Krsna consciousness. It is a real life example of what we read in Srila Prabhupada books.

    Very interesting how different kind of evidences proved that this is the same soul in two bodies.

    Past life regression was a small part of the technique used but most evidences where shown from different sources that lead her to reveal her past life as Raghava. Even her dream chronologically shows that what she dreamt before was proven later from those that knew Raghava to have happened to him, backed up by her previous life post mortem injuries and this life birthmarks, scars, illnesses including the astrological perspective.

    The comment from Jeevan mukta was very offensive. One should think twice before they send such comments on a great website like this.

    Your servant
    Trilocana das

  22. 0
    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    SB 4.29.67
    Sometimes in a dream we see something never experienced or heard of in this life, but all these incidents have been experienced at different times, in different places and in different conditions.

    PURPORT

    In the previous verse it was explained that in dreams we see that which was experienced during the day. But why is it that we sometimes in our dreams see what we have never heard of or seen at any time during this life? Here it is stated that even though such events may not be experienced in this life, they were experienced in previous lives. According to time and circumstance, they combine so that in dreams we see something wonderful that we have never experienced. For instance, we may see an ocean on the peak of a mountain. Or we may see that the ocean has dried up. These are simply combinations of different experiences in time and space. Sometimes we may see a golden mountain, and this is due to our having experienced gold and mountains separately. In the dream, under illusion, we combine these separate factors. In this way we are able to see golden mountains, or stars during the day. The conclusion is that these are all mental concoctions, although they have actually been experienced in different circumstances. They have simply combined together in a dream. This fact is further explained in the following verse.

  23. 0
    Prabhava Vigraha das ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    SB 4.29.68
    The mind of the living entity continues to exist in various gross bodies, and according to one’s desires for sense gratification, the mind records different thoughts. In the mind these appear together in different combinations; therefore these images sometimes appear as things never seen or never heard before.

    PURPORT

    The activities of the living entity in the body of a dog may be experienced in the mind of a different body; therefore those activities appear never to have been heard or seen. The mind continues, although the body changes. Even in this life-span we can sometimes experience dreams of our childhood. Although such incidents now appear strange, it is to be understood that they are recorded in the mind. Because of this, they become visible in dreams. The transmigration of the soul is caused by the subtle body, which is the storehouse of all kinds of material desires. Unless one is fully absorbed in Krsna consciousness, material desires will come and go. That is the nature of the mind — thinking, feeling and willing. As long as the mind is not engaged in meditation on the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, the mind will desire so many material enjoyments. Sensual images are recorded in the mind in chronological order, and they become manifest one after another; therefore the living entity has to accept one body after another. The mind plans material enjoyment, and the gross body serves as the instrument to realize such desires and plans. The mind is the platform onto which all desires come and go. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura therefore sings:

    guru-mukha-padma-vakya, cittete kariya aikya,
    ara na kariha mane asa **

    Narottama dasa Thakura advises everyone to stick to the principle of carrying out the orders of the spiritual master. One should not desire anything else. If the regulative principles ordered by the spiritual master are followed rigidly, the mind will gradually be trained to desire nothing but the service of Krsna. Such training is the perfection of life.

  24. 0
    Trilocana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In response to Tungavidya mataji’s comments. I feel it is completely up to Ratnavali mataji if she wants to live a life of a brahmacarini now. If Tungavidya read the article properly, she would have read that Ratnavali is not with her husband anymore and it was a friendly agreement between them.

    We cant expect everyone to be how we want them to be and we should respect how others want to live their lives. Many of us are stuck in our material present life anyway with the least understanding of spiritual life. I feel that Ratnavali’s past life has helped her to take spiritual life more seriously. She has the balance understanding of both lives and is now using it to help others and herself come to the understanding of spiritual life.

    I do not see any harm as she is in the right path of Krsna consciousness. Raghava died untimely as a brahmacari so let him live on in the body as Ratnavali in her way without us being judgemental in this matter.

    Tungavidya needs to understand more of what Ratnavali is experiencing on a subtle level of consciousness. How a person is in this life comes naturally as a continuation from their past life.

    your servant
    Trilocana das

  25. 0
    Urmila says:

    Obeisances. glories to Prabhupada!

    It takes a LOT of courage to come forward and discuss something publicly like this–so much criticism results. The main result of Ratnavali’s realizations is that she is extremely serious about attaining spiritual perfection in this life. We applaud whatever brings us closer to Krishna.

    Thanks, Ratnavali, for sharing your wonderful story that is inspiring so many and bringing these topics to public discussion.

    Your servant, Urmila devi dasi

  26. 0
    Balakrsna das ( User Karma: 5 ) says:

    One of the best comments on this topic was #13 by Tungavidya Mataji who pointed out that even if it were true it is not healthy to live so much in the past what to speak of a past life.

    It is amazing how much controversy this story had generated.

  27. 0
    Patita Pavana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    From Patita Pavana das:

    And what good has come out of this? Well, for one, the ever astute Shriman Sureshwara das Prabhu did a Skype class on Ratnavali and that class is accessible through a link provided at the top (the moving Ads) of this site. As a result of that class, Ratnavali has begun speaking in Universities, and has been invited abroad as well. as seen from her following letter.

    Dear Sureshvar Prabhu

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    My university presentation went very well. It consisted of Krsna consciousness /reincarnation through the lens of Bhagavad Gita As it Is. Brijesh had spoken about this using powerpoint. Then I was introduced as the case study. I spoken my story and connected it to Bhagavad Gita As it is and quoted few verses. Next a very powerful reincarnation documentary was shown (similiar to my case). Then it was questions and answers followed by prasadam.

    I felt very confident and I got a lot of postitve feedback. Brijesh and Priya who expertly organised the university program, said that all the students that participated had accepted my reincarnation case based on the evidences. One of the students mentioned that he was very skeptical with reincarnation but after hearing my case study, it made him accept that it does exisit. Also another student happened to be very much into astrology. I will send her the astrological perspective by Abhaya Mudhra. Some devotees from the festival team came such as Giri, and Vaughn and led a very sweet kirtan.

    Also I had two special guests that I happened to meet coincidentally on the same day before my university program at a shopping centre. That was Kishor Prabhu (Srila Prabhupada disciple) & his wife Sri Kama. They were very enthusiastic in coming to the university program.

    continued…

  28. 0
    Patita Pavana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    continued…

    Ratnavali’s letter continues:

    Actually the devotee driver that fell asleep on the steering wheel when I left my Raghava body was named as Krishnadas Prabhu but we also stated that was not the real name to protect that devotee’s privacy in the article. Kishor Prabhu was the driver who fell asleep accidently on the steering wheel. Imagine how exciting the program was to have him there and he participated with me in answering many intelligent deep questions by the public. That has inspired him more to give joint classes with me on my past life when he is available as he could also see how it help many others to develop their faith in Krsna consciousness via reincarnation. Kishor Prabhu conveys his obeisances to you and Patita Pavana Prabhu.

    I am very grateful to all of you for giving me the confidence I lacked and I am very happy that I can become somehow instrumental in preaching by using my own past life experiences. I have another university prog on 2nd November. Also I have decided to take up the offer of Uttama Sloka Prabhu (Indradyumna Maharaj disciple) to share my story in America as there has been an interest by many there. Uttama Sloka Prabhu also managed to get Chris Irvins (special effects man of Avatar Movie) interested in helping to make a documentary video in relation to my past life. I can also meet Siddhanta Prabu there who wanted to meet me as Patita Pavana Prabhu mentioned.

    Thanks to Patita Pavana Prabhu’s articles, I am getting these wonderful opportunities to preach. I will try my best to help others and myself make their way back home back to Godhead. Please continue to bless and guide me.

    your servant (& niece)
    ratnavali dasi

    So apparently this episode, despite its few naysayers, has had a tremendous healing experience for all those who were involved in the accident. Such things happen. Samsara davanala lidha loka. Let us work as a transcendental family to remain ever sheltered under the soothing Moon-like rays of Shrila Prabhupada’s lotus feet that we may all, as Ratnavali suggests, go back to home back to Godhead by the grace of Shri Krishna and His holy names.

    Patita Pavana das Adhikary

  29. 0
    Puskaraksa das says:

    Dear Ratnavali Mataji, dear Patita Pavana and Sureshvar Prabhus, dear devotees

    Please accept my humble obeissances.
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Sri Guru & Sri Gauranga.

    First of all I would like to thank Ratnavali devi dasi for having had the courage to come in the limelight and narrate her story. This is obviously a bit difficult, as one may not only be a bit shy, but also humble enough not to be canvassing to be on the front stage.

    However, considering the benefit the mass of people may draw from coming to know about this story of reincarnation, it has to be considered as a service, and the pleasant and at times more unpleasant aspects related to that service, have to be accepted with an open heart.

    Besides, the soul who incarnated both as Raghava das brahmacari and Ratnavali devi dasi in successive lifetimes, is no doubt a devotee, and a very sincere one, as one may observe in relation to his/her attachment to serving the Holy Name.

    Moreover, as Ramananda Raya expressed it in answer to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s query, the devotee of Krishna is the most famous… So, what would be the use of shying away, if one’s testimony could help so many people build up some faith in the survival of the soul that they are (and not that they have) beyond the destruction of the material body.

    The understanding of reincarnation is not only an essential aspect for one’s own spiritual journey towards self-realization as an eternal servant of God – jivera svarupa haya, Krishnera nitya das – but it can also drastically improve the condition of society, as people will develop a greater sense of responsibility, thanks to the understanding of the law of karma.

    This sincere and honest testimony, supported by the adequate sastric presentation will also have the privilege of introducing people to Bhagavad-gita and other valuable Vedic scriptures.

    It may also turn into a means to bridge the gap with many a tradition (as in the example of John Baptist, who was said to be the prophet Elie who had come back) and become a via media by which we may make friend with many a supporter of reincarnation and/or knower of NDE (Near Death Experiences), as in the example of the many cases documented by Dr Moody (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Moody).

  30. 0
    Puskaraksa das says:

    So, I would humbly suggest skeptics to kindly step back and not put hindrance to Ratnavali’s seva and not turn into critics, which would be a disservice to Srila Prabhupada and the great truth expressed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna Himself, in Bhagavad-gita, in regards to the transmigration of the soul.

    Nevertheless, one may also expect some criticism, not only because we are in Kali-yuga and because envy is rampant, but also because people’s intelligence has been polluted by modern science and so called jnana in different fields… As goes the saying: “little knowledge is dangerous”!

    I will end by mentioning a movie titled “Manika, one life later”, released about 20 years back, which depicted the true story of a young Indian girl born in South India, who could remember her past life, in north India.
    To illustrate this aspect of defiance, at times, from parties one may the least expect it, authorization for shooting the movie was refused in India; so it had to be shot both in Sri Lanka and in Nepal!

    This story was however a true story which was released in the Indian newspapers in the nineteen thirties. But in an age, when India is having the atomic bomb and launching satellites, some high rank officers may have thought that this was part of mythology and could give India a not too modern image!

    So, we can see how this preaching and testimonies are needed to defeat the atheists who do damage not only their own lives, but also to the environment, for lack of knowledge of the law of karma, for In that line, if the living entity doesn’t survive, who could be there to bear the consequences of one’s actions?

    So, Manika in her past life had made a vow, along with her husband that as she was dying, they would unite again in her next birth and that she would become his wife again. This special commitment may explain why such strong remembrance of her past life came about so strongly to her, to the extent that a catholic priest (as she was living in South India in her new birth) became puzzled and gave enough credit to her story to decide to accompany her to the sites of her said past life.

    There, she could locate the shop they had and mentioned that one door didn’t exist at the time, she could recognize her past clothes, etc. She knew so many things that were known only to the late wife of her husband in that past life.

  31. 0
    Puskaraksa das says:

    But to her great disappointment, her former husband had not placed his full faith in the promise she had made before passing away, and had remarried. So, Manika understood that the young girl she was at the time of her visit (around 8 years old) was not really welcome anymore… He husband was embarrassed and was torn apart because of his present wife’s hostile reaction. So, Manika had to go back to South India and finally went back to the life of the young girl she was and gradually the souvenirs of her past life faded away…

    Hoping this may help, I send again my affectionate respects to the servants of Truth, some of whom I was happy to listen to, on Skype…

    May Sri-Sri Radha-Govinda bless you all…

    Yours in service
    Puskaraksa das

    PS: some other sources of inspiration:

    “Fear not”, “don’t be afraid” is mentioned 365 times in the Bible (one time for each day of the year).

    – “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightening about shrinking so other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some; it’s in all, everyone. And as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

    by Marianne Williamson, often quoted by Nelson Mandela

  32. 0
    Patita Pavana ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My dear Pushkaraksha das,

    Once in a great while we stumble onto a piece that can be described as “powerful writing.” I would certainly attach that description to what you have written here. It is inspiring. It warms the heart and gives us strength. You have thought deeply over the subject matter and executed the feelings of your soul.

    Thank you, Prabhu,
    Patita Pavana das Adhikary

  33. 0
    Puskaraksa das says:

    Thank you very much Patita Pavana Prabhu for your kind and encouraging words.

    Remaining at your service in the service of Srila Prabhupada
    Hare Krishna

    Das dasanudasa
    Puskaraksa das

  34. 0
    Bhakta Manoj ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hare Krishna,
    My respects to one and all in this forum. Personally, I found the article and the experience of the devotee very interesting and credible. And the rest of my devotee friends also felt the same way. I wish the mentioned devotee all the very best in her pursuit of Krishna Consciousness.

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