“When a person is utterly vegetarian he can easily remember his past lives. His clarity is such that he can look into his past lives. He is not gross, his energy is not blocked, his energy moves easily. His river of consciousness can penetrate to the ancient most times; he can go backwards as much as he wants.
The consciousness of a non-vegetarian is blocked – in many ways. He has been accumulating gross matter in himself. That gross matter functions as a barrier. That’s why all the three religions that were born outside India, and have remained non-vegetarian, could not come to the idea of reincarnation. They could not experience it.
Pythagoras lived in India, lived the life of a vegetarian, meditated deeply, became aware of the past lives, could see himself moving backwards. He could understand what Buddha means when he says, “Once I was an elephant, once I was a fish, once I was a tree.”
The idea of evolution has been here in the East for ever — and in a far more subtle way than it has been given to Western science by Darwin. Darwin’s idea is very raw: he says monkeys have become man — although Darwinians have not yet been able to prove it, because they are still searching for the link between the monkey and the man. And the problem arises: why did only a few monkeys become men? What happened to other monkeys? And monkeys are basically imitators – if a few monkeys had become men then all the monkeys would have imitated. What happened to the other monkeys? Great imitators they are – why only a few men?
And the monkeys are still there! Thousands and thousands of years have passed and monkeys are still monkeys. And you don’t come across a monkey suddenly becoming a man… one fine morning he wakes up and he is a man. Nobody has ever seen this miracle happen.
The question is: where are the links between monkey and man? – and the difference is great, it is not small.
Just the other day somebody asked, John Lilly has said that man is not the only being on the earth who has consciousness; there are other beings too who have more consciousness than man.” The questioner has asked, “Is it true? Is John Lilly right?”
But those other animals have not discovered man yet – it is John Lilly who discovers those other animals. It is man who goes on discovering. Certainly the discoverer has more consciousness than the discovered. Even if we find some day that some animal has a great, evolved brain, WE are the discoverers. That great brain has not discovered us just.
There was based in vegetarianism – because people started remembering their past lives.
It was a basic technique with both Buddha and Mahavira: whenever a disciple was to be initiated, the first thing that both Buddha and Mahavira required was that he had to go into his past lives. Great methods were developed so that one could move into past lives.
And once you start moving into past lives, this life will be utterly transformed. Why? Because once you see that all the stupid things that you are doing now, or wanting to do, you have been doing for many many lives… you have done those same things many times, and each time nothing was attained.
For example, if you are mad after money and then you remember that in the past life also you were mad after money and then you had succeeded, and you had become a rich man, a very rich man, and then you died… and all that richness and all that wealth was of no use. It was taken away by death, and you died as empty as ever, as poor as ever. And you remember even before that: you were a king and you had a great kingdom. And still you were frustrated, and still you lived in misery, and you died in misery. And again you are doing the same and hankering for more money? It will become impossible. The longing will simply fall flat on the ground. How can you go on repeating the same stupid thing again and again if YOU CAN REMEMBER? YOU can go on repeating the same stupidity again and again if you CANNOT remember.
The idea of reincarnation is not a philosophical idea: it is an experience, it is utterly scientific. People have remembered their lives.
When you have grown a little deeper into meditation… we are going to do all those techniques here too. But those techniques will require that you be absolutely vegetarian, otherwise you will not be able to go beyond THIS life. Your mind cannot move — it has to be so light, featherlight, that it can simply pass from one existence into another. And the lighter it is, the deeper it goes.
It can not only remember that you were a man in the past life – slowly slowly, you will remember that you have been animals. AND, sometimes, when the depth gross, you will remember that you have been trees, rocks. You have lived for millennia in many forms. And if you remember that once you were a fish, it will become difficult for you to eat fish.
Vegetarianism leads you into remembering your past lives. And KNOWING your past lives, you become more and more a vegetarian – because seeing that all are brothers and sisters, the whole existence, you cannot kill animals. It becomes simply impossible! Not that you have to prevent yourself: it simply becomes impossible.”
~ OSHO – Philosophia Perennis Vol 2