What is rebirth? What takes rebirth?

Acharya Prashant
5 min readJul 4, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): What is re-birth? What is the transmigration of the soul? What travels after death? What carries forward?

Acharya Prashant (AP): A few things must be clearly understood. ‘You’ do not carry anything.

You as a ‘person’, are not a very important carrier. That which carries is the total stream of mankind’s consciousness.

(Referring to the people sitting in the audience) Her mind, her mind, his mind, your mind, his mind, her mind, the mind of the kid, the mind of the old man — we all are carrying remnants, carryforwards from our collective past. That is what is carried forward.

See, it is like this.

There are waves in the ocean. One particular wave is carrying a little sugar, a lump of sugar. Now the wave rises and falls. What happens to the lump of sugar? It gets distributed throughout the ocean. Now it belongs to everyone. That is how things are carried forward.

What you do in your lifetime, has gone to many, many, many. Through every single action of yours, you are impacting the entire mankind.

In other ways, you are responsible for forming the mind of entire mankind. In turn, your own mind is being formed by the entire mankind, because you are an active recipient as well.

The subtle becomes the gross. The more the mind is impacted at some point, many many years later, that also changes your body. Have you seen that when you are angry, your face changes? When you are in love, your eyes change. So, the subtle has a way of changing the gross.

If you are impacting the mind of mankind, always you are also impacting even the form of mankind. That’s how it happens.

Otherwise, all that is ‘personal’ about you, gets burnt down in a funeral pyre. There is no way, something can get carried forward from there. All is reduced to smoke and ashes; nothing remains. But what you have done in your lifetime, that remains. And that is going to affect all future generations.

Take it this way.

Suppose you are a teacher, and you have taught hundreds and thousands of students. And you…

Acharya Prashant