Note: A guest article. Author has requested anonymity, hence reader's discretion advised.
Once a sadhak is on the path the third eye starts opening. It becomes very easy to have glimpses of the past life. Especially people who are initiated into prati prasav sadhana can easily start getting glimpses of the past lives. Glimpses can be in the form of vision, hearing something, or recollecting some memories or emotions coming up on the surface. Babaji says that we should just have a drishta bhaav (witness) of what we see in our meditation. This means we should just witness what comes as views without applying our logic minds, judgements and emotions. I give you some examples how we apply emotions, judgements in such things. If in your meditation you have a glimpse and you start judging that this is nice or this bad, or getting exited that something is coming up and you want to get into each and every detail of what you are seeing, or lets say some emotions are coming up on the surface to be released and you interfere with them. If an emotion of anger is coming up and you try to suppress thinking I’m meditating and from where is this anger coming? And you leave meditation in between thinking it’s better not to meditate with such emotions. Meditation is a process of cleaning yourself. Babaji gave an example: if there is a carpet which is lying on the floor, the whole day dust is settling on the carpet. One has to clean the dust. Once you pick up the carpet to clean the dust particles will come out and disperse and the carpet will be clean, then no dust will come out. The carpet is you, dust is your karmas in the form of thoughts. Cleaning the carpet is meditating. In the beginning a lot of thoughts might come. Just watch those thoughts and let them pass by. Don’t get worried thinking I wanted to meditate and what I’m doing is thinking so many things. One needs to stay away from all the emotions, all judgements and analysis of whatever is coming up. One needs to separate oneself from these things and simply watch what comes and not interfere. I read this example in some article: there is a road and traffic is passing by. There is person who is sitting on the side and just watching the traffic pass by and not interfering with the traffic. Not judging whether its a car, a big car, or a small car, a nice car or not so nice car or a truck or a bicycle. Just watching sitting on the side even if an accident happens and not doing anything. The person sitting and watching is the real you (atman), road is the chidakaash and traffic is your thoughts, past live glimpses, emotions, etc, etc. As Babaji says – “Main ye shareer nahi hoon, Main ye mann nahi hoon, main atma hoon.” Try and listen to the guiding voice and follow that inner voice. If one gets involved in those thoughts it delays the release process. If one develops this habit of staying away, each meditation will become even more powerful.
Past life glimpses might create a temptation to analyse them. This is one of the pitfalls on the path. We all have had 1000s of past lives and what comes up in the sadhana is only a very small glimpse of the one of them or few of them. It does help in knowing the pattern of behaviour or incidences in one’s present life but one should refrain from deriving conclusions from that. Let me give some examples – lets say a person in meditation sees some negative view of the past life. Some people get scared that something bad is going to happen. In such a situation try and forget what you saw and a have faith in guru that he is with you and nothing shall harm you. Whatever glimpses come don’t jump to any conclusions. Putting in shivyog language it is being released. If one keeps on thinking about it one can fall into the trap by recreating it. In one of the discourses Babaji said if you see something negative then also just witness and if you see something really divine (let say images of God) then also just witness. A sadhak has the temptation of discussing these things either positive or negative. Both in an indirect ways are the ways to boost ones spiritual ego. If one sees something positive then one wants to share to indirectly show that he or she is so spiritual. If one sees something negative, he or she might have a temptation to share to indirectly tell that I can see my past lives. All these are ego trips. One should just witness these temptations and not fall into taking steps to discuss it with fellow sadhaks. In art of dying (2008-09), Babaji said we have the habit of getting in to stories. In this materialistic world we are so much interested in stories (of our own life and others) and when we meditate we get into the past life stories. Come out of it. All this is an illusion. Whatever we deeply think about becomes a sanchit karma and gets stored in our memory whether it has been a physical reality or not. It may later manifest in a physical reality. So even if you see something that might not have been the physical reality of that life. It might just be your very deep imagination or hallucinations. Eventually, one stage comes when one can bring all the past and present happenings in the present moment and release them from there. The siddhas have this gyaan and this how they attained Sidhhatva.
On very common thing that happens is when you start seeing some people in your present life in the past life and then start predicting now this is going to happen. What one sees is getting released and on the other hand on the basis of the limited glimpses one starts drawing conclusions and in the process creating things again. Let me give you another example. Let say a person has an infatuation towards somebody and sees that these two people were husband and wife in their past lives. (it might just be your hallucination that you were sharing such relationship in some past life). The one who is infatuated might start drawing conclusions that in this life too we have to marry, thereby, strengthening the infatuation. I reiterate whatever glimpses come are just a small view of the 1000s of past lives. You would have shared a brother sister relationship with the same soul or a mother son relation or a master servant relation, etc in some past life of which one is not aware. All people who enter into your life must have shared some kind of relationship in the past lives. Therefore, its not necessary that one will share the same relation in this life too.
Babaji in Chandigarh shivir told that when guruma got clairvoyance, she used to look at people and start guiding them, she used to tell them do this, this will save you, etc ,etc. Babaji used to stop her. But she thought that this way she is helping people. Babaji jokingly said that she became more famous than him. People used to come to meet her. One day she told Babaji that dhyaan mein guruji aaye and told her not to do it. Ye shakti isliye nahi di. Then she stopped doing it. Though it was difficult to stop as people came with such expectations. Babaji said that what we start seeing is not the whole story and we don’t know what all is there. So one should refrain from doing this. This reminds me of another story from Mahabharata. The blind king, Dhritrashtra once asked Lord Krishna why am I blind in this birth, I remember all my past lives and I can’t see any reason why I have to go through this. To this Lord Krishna replied – you have forgotten one life, when you took away the sight of many insects.
Once the sadhak gets such powers then the spiritual ego gets boosted and one might go into an illusion that one knows everything and knows what to do. The best way to handle this is as said by Babaji “Drishta bhaav” (just witness whatever you see and LET GO!!!!). Invoke your Guru and with complete surrender and seek his guidance. He will definitely guide you on the right path as Guru knows it all and knows what will lead to your ultimate good. Ending with the song – Listen to the pouring rain, listen to rain fall. With every drop of rain I love you more, call my name little aloud and I’ll be there to sing for you NAMAH SHIVAY!!!!!
Disclaimer: This article has been written from what I have heard Babaji saying in various discourses and personal experience.