Brain, mind, and past lives || IIT Bombay (2022)

June 7, 2022 | Acharya Prashant

Questioner (Q): I am a PHD bioscience student, and my question is about the brain and the mind. There are some studies that postulate that we carry memories from our past lives. If that is true, how and where are those memories stored?

Acharya Prashant (AP): No, we don’t carry any memories from our personal past lives. The memories that our bodies, our cells, and our DNA carry is the collective memory of entire humankind, the entire journey of evolution. So it is not as if you, the one who is speaking to me right now, the one who identifies with his name, his body, his face, his age, his place of birth, or his parents—that person does not have any particular past life. You have an infinite number of past lives, and that is not a linear thing; that is like a tree. That is like a large number of waves coalescing together and giving rise to several other small waves: none of the newly formed resultant waves can claim any of the previous and disappeared waves to be their past lives.

Everything is coming from everything else. The individuality that we believe in is a myth. It is because the ego likes to be identified with this particular body, with this particular birth, it seeks to project in the backward direction this particular birth and the consciousness related with it. Do you see what is going on?

We do not live integrated lives. We are not identified with everything; nobody can practically be. We all have strong identifications with this body, with this face, with the memories that you carry currently in this brain. Because you are strongly identified with this body, that is why you want to assume that this body


Acharya Prashant is an emerging champion of socio-spiritual awakening in the world today. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad, and a former Civil Services officer, Acharya Prashant is an acclaimed Speaker, Vedanta Teacher and author of over 50 books. Apart from that he wears various hats: a veganism promoter, an environmental activist, a science activist, a campaigner against superstition, and a champion of essential human freedom. Know More