So as per most of the Hindu scriptures, a soul never dies with the death of the body. Now a lot of memory, karma, bonding, etc has been accumulated by the body and soul during the tenure as a living person.

Do all these things get wiped out from the soul when a person dies? What actually happens with all the memory and experiences that the soul has felt when part of the living body?

  • When you die you retrieve your memory of all of your past lives.
    – Wikash_
    Sep 28, 2020 at 7:03
  • Related: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/36475/…
    – hanugm
    Sep 28, 2020 at 7:44
  • Yes, soul exists in the domain of space while past lives existed in the domain of time, and space-time together is a non-spatial continuum. The experiences of past lives i.e. Karma already became a person's ambiance, traits and features, while past birth memories are redundant information, as in the end only present exists, neither past nor future while soul is independent of body. People-animals that you perceive as beings in a material body form are existing, because they are not Self-aware.
    – user21800
    Sep 28, 2020 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


The Bhagavad Gita throws some light on this question

श्री भगवानुवाच

बहूनि मे व्यतीतानि जन्मानि तव चार्जुन। तान्यहं वेद सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ परन्तप।।4.5।।

Swami Gambhirananda's English translation -

4.5 The Blessed Lord said O Arjuna, many lives of Mine have passed, and so have yours. I know them all, (but) you know not, O scorcher of enemies!

Shankara's Sanskrit commentary and Swami Gambhirananda's English translation -

।।4.5।। बहूनि मे मम व्यतीतानि अतिक्रान्तानि जन्मानि तव च हे अर्जुन। तानि अहं वेद जाने सर्वाणि न त्वं वेत्थ न जानीषे धर्माधर्मादिप्रतिबद्धज्ञानशक्तित्वात्। अहं पुनः नित्यशुद्धबुद्धमुक्तस्वभावत्वात् अनावरणज्ञानशक्तिरिति वेद अहं हे परंतप।।

4.5 O Arjuna, bahuni, many; janmani, lives; me, of Mine; vyatitani, have passed; tava ca, and so have yours. Aham, I; veda know; tani, them; sarvani, all; (but) tvam, you; va vetta, know not, due to your power of understanding being obstructed by righteousness, unrighteousness, etc. However, parantapa, O scorcher of foes; aham, I know, possessing as I do unobstructed power of knowledge, because by nature I am eternal, pure, enlightened and free.

Thus, assuming we are all similar to Arjuna, we do not remember our past lives due to obstruction in our understanding, where as the Lord knows everything as He/She is enlightened and free. The implication is that memories of experiences of past lives are hidden/obscured, rather than completely wiped out.

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