Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner: Acharya Ji, do you believe in past life?
Acharya Prashant: That is irrelevant. Will I find you after your death? Will even you find yourself after your death?
Q: I may be in a different body.
AP: In a different body, will you have the same psyche, the same identity? You are a ‘person’, and a person is driven by identities. Forget about having a new life after death, even in this life if I give you the option that your personality will be totally wiped out, your memory will be totally wiped out, your body will be totally changed, and you will be taken to a different place, a different planet, will you still say that you are ‘you’? Will you still say that you are ‘you’?
Even in this life, if your memory gets wiped out, do you remain what you are?
Q: Then why do you talk of ‘past life’, and ‘future life’?
AP: Even in this life, if somebody strokes your head with a hammer and your memory is totally gone, which means your identities are totally gone, you are as good as dead. You are no use to anybody then. You do not remain.
You have disappeared, because you are a man of identities, because you are a personality. You live in a personality, and once the personality is gone, once the ‘person’ is gone, you are no more.
‘Eternity’, and ‘Continuity’, is a word for those who do not live in the personality.
If you live in the personality, you need not wait even for your physical death, you are dying continuously. Even tomorrow you will not be who you are today, then how will you continue to be the same in your next birth?
Even today you are not what you were fifteen years back. Are you? Then how will you continue to remain two hundred years from today? But it is such a stupid thought, still very common. Do you feel one, or identified with the self that you were when you were ten years of age?
Go into this!
You, as you see yourself, were once ten years of age, right? Today do you find much in common with that ten year old kid? Today in fact, ninety percent is not…