No. What is important is how we live our present life. Knowing what we were in past lives is only useful if it helps us to generate strong determination to avoid negative actions and definitely to emerge from the cycle of constantly recurring problems. To try to find out who we were in past lives only for curiosity’s sake is not useful. It could even lead us to become proud: “Oh I was a king in my past life. I was so famous and talented. I was Einstein!” So what?! Actually, we have all been and done everything in many past lives in this cycle of existence.
What is important is that now we purify our previously created negative potentials, avoid creating more, and put energy into accumulating positive potential and developing our good qualities. There is a Tibetan saying, “If you want to know about your past life, look at your present body. If you want to know your future life, look at your present mind.” We received the rebirth we now have as a result of our past actions. A human rebirth is a fortunate rebirth and the cause for it was created by our having guarded our morality well in past lives. On the other hand, our future rebirths will be determined by the actions we perform now, and it is the mind which motivates all of our other actions. Thus, by looking at our present attitudes and examining whether they are virtuous or non-virtuous, we can get an idea of the kind of rebirths we will take.
We do not need to go to a fortune teller to ask what will become of us: we simply look at what imprints we are leaving on our mental continuum by the actions we are doing.
Extract from the book titled "I Wonder Why" by Thubten Chodron
Copyrighted & Published by:
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery
Gratefully acknowledges the permission kindly given by the publisher, Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery to share the above on this blog