Memories – In Gita Verse 4.5 The Personality of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!
Krishna tells Arjuna that I can remember not only my past lives but also yours and our relationship, also. But you cannot remember yours.
As Memories of our past lives have been prevented by nature. There is a reason for it. It is necessary that in the overall system of one’s life, one forgets most of the things that happen to him every day. Similarly, we don’t remember all the memories that we create during our lifetime. However, that which you don’t remember is not erased from your mind. Only the connection between your consciousness and that memory is severed.
For example, if a person lives for fifty years, billions of memories will be formed in his mind. If he were to remember them all he would go mad. So he remembers whatever is meaningful: whatever is worthless he slowly forgets. But your forgetting does not mean the memory is completely wiped out. It merely slips out of your center of consciousness and is stored in some corner of your mind.
Buddha has given a very significant name to this storehouse. He calls it the storehouse of consciousness. It is just like having an attic or a basement where all the unwanted things are stored. Even though the objects are out of your sight, they still remain in the house. Similarly, your memories go out of sight, but remain accumulated in some corners of your mind.
It would become difficult to live if you were to recall all the memories of even this life. In order that the mind stays free to handle the events of the future, the past has to be forgotten. Since you forget what happened yesterday, you become capable of living tomorrow. This way the mind goes on emptying and it is able to look ahead. In order to look ahead, you must forget the past. Without forgetting what has already occurred, you won’t be able to see what is ahead of you.
Every day a part of your mind must become blank so that it can receive new impressions, otherwise how can it work? As the future arrives, the past disappears every day. And as soon as this future becomes the past, it disappears too so that we are free to receive what lies ahead. This is how the mind functions.
We cannot carry the full memory of even one life. You won’t be able to recall anything if I ask you what you did on the first of January ten years ago. You did exist on January 1, 2009, and you must have done something from dawn till dusk, yet you will be unable to remember anything. A small technique of hypnosis can revive the memory of that day. If you are hypnotized and a part of your consciousness is put to sleep, and then you are asked to describe what you did on that day, you will recount everything.
Another thing regarding memories need to be understood – How we can recall our memories from storehouse of consciousness.
To keep the memories in the storehouse does not mean that you will not be able to remember it. It does not mean that all your memories will be dissolved or destroyed. It only means that now you do not live in those memories, you are not identified with those memories. You are freed from them. They will remain but now they will be just a part of your brain, not part of your consciousness.
The brain is a mechanism, just like a tape-recording machine. The brain goes on recording everything. The brain is the physical part. It will go on recording, and your memories cannot be destroyed unless the brain is destroyed. But that is not the problem. The problem is that your consciousness is filled with memories. Your consciousness goes on identifying itself with the brain and the brain is always stirred by your consciousness – and memories go on flooding you.
The memory remains. It is not being destroyed. Through meditation the mind is not destroyed. You simply start transcending it. It remains a storehouse; you need not live in it. If you live in it then you are mad. You need not live in a storehouse. When you need something, you go into the storehouse, bring that something out and use it. But a storehouse is not a living-room.
But you have made it one. Your storehouse of memory has become your living room; you live there. Do not live there, that is the whole meaning. Be in the present and whenever the past is needed use it. But do not allow it to go on continuously overflooding you. That overflooding by the past makes your consciousness dim and dull. Then you cannot see with clear eyes, you cannot feel with a clear heart. Then nothing is clear, everything becomes confused.
Right now Arjuna is flooded with his immediate past memories. So he cannot watch his any past memories. As all the past memories are stored in your consciouness. On the other hand Krishna is not flood with his past memories but he take out the require data which is relevant to the present moment and respond in the present moment.
What is difference between Krishna and us is only one thing we are identified with our memories and he is not. So he can use his memories as resource to act and respond in the present moment.