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Traditionally, Indians do not celebrate birthdays. Pious people go to
the temple and conduct a special archana on their birthdays, not
according to the English calendar, but according to the star of their

Celebration of birthdays has now become a universal practice as part of
the several new-fangled Western habits that are becoming popular. What
was common in Indian households was the celebration of the first birth
anniversary of the child and the sixtieth birthday, which would be a
mini wedding festival. These are the celebrations of the birth of the

The birthday I speak of is the birth of the SOUL at a higher level than
this embodiment will permit. In our tradition, the Soul is not born,
except when it leaves the body to be reborn elsewhere. For one who takes
to spiritual initiation, initiation is considered as the second birth,
the first being the physical birth. Even this second birth will set the
man on his search for the soul.

Initiation as well as realisation is supposed to give one a further
lease of life equal to what one has so far lived. In a conscious person,
conscious of his soul, on the birthday the Soul seeks a rebirth, a birth
into higher consciousness. Celebration of one's birthday is the
celebration of this higher birth. It does not necessarily occur once in
twelve months. It may occur earlier depending upon his own awakening in
the Soul.

For those who do yoga, it is a yogic possibility that they can be reborn
everyday. Others find such men wiser than their years. One Muni who saw
Sri Aurobindo called Him Puradhana Purusha and explained that in Him he
found the wisdom of 500 years. Maybe He was reborn in His Soul 500 times
in this birth.


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