Reincarnation and the Temple of the Sun


Kamalla Rose Kaur

“There is enough blue sky to make a Dutchman’s britches!” I exclaimed as we tumbled from our house into the chilly morning. We climbed into our truck and headed out of town, driving south to visit Ken’s family.

“Dutchman’s britches? What do you mean by that anyway?” Ken asked.

“It means it might be sunny today and not rain!” I informed him.

“A Dutchmen’s britches take only a small amount of fabric because they are
thrifty, is that it?” Ken asked, gazing skeptically at the patch of blue sky
surrounded by dark clouds above us.

“I don’t know if that is it or not,” I answered “but my pseudo Uncle Arthur
used to tell me that if there is enough blue sky to make a Dutchman’s britches, then the day will turn sunny, instead of rain again.”

Ken continued to look doubtful and then shrugged and turned the conversation, “Who was this Uncle Arthur?” he inquired. “He dead?”

“No, I called him recently and Aunt Helen, but Aunt Helen was in the hospital when I called. It was hard for me because Uncle Arthur didn’t recognize me when I talked to him. All he said was ‘I have lots of good memories’.”

Ken nodded and sighed, and kept silent and drove.

I sent Uncle Arthur and Aunt Helen a prayer, as I pondered Arthur’s words and as the years and years of good memories of times spent with these family friends played in my mind’s private theater.


I remembered being out on the boat, traveling through the San Juan Islands. Uncle Arthur was pretending to depend on me to help him navigate through the dark green-forested isles to where their magical, hand built, dream house was waiting for us. It was a rambling wood structure with wonderful fireplaces in every room and several lofts and nooks with window seats, and lots of decks for looking out to sea.

Uncle Arthur had been an upper manager for Sear’s Roebuck. He retired early, a wealthy man, and then he enjoyed his 2nd career, which was working for the United Nations. He and Helen would travel to countries around the world and help the indigenous people create the business savy and the connections they needed to market their arts and crafts and wares to Western consumers.

Thus superimposed on my many wonderful memories of visiting Uncle Arthur and Aunt Helen in the San Juan Islands, were the rarefied and softly lit, mystical scenes of being with them in the Andes of Peru, during the summer of 1966 when I was eleven years old.

My soul was unlocked on that trip; something important was set free in mewhile in the Andes. The high elevation may have helped my fantasy and imaginative abilities. Or, maybe it was the music of the people, but everywhere I went that summer I started having paranormal experiences.

Especially at the ruins of Machu Picchu, where we stayed for two of the most glorious weeks of my life. I would look at the ruins and I saw the whole marvelous city the way it was in the past. I saw people bustling around. I knew how the water system worked before the guide told me, I knew which house had been my house and when I climbed the stairs to the Temple of the Sun, I thought I might faint with awe; past and present awe.

Uncle Arthur and Aunt Helen were not alarmed by my rich fantasy life. They even mentioned that many people in the world believe in reincarnation. Maybe I was having a past life memory?

This was something my parents would never have suggested in a million years and it was the very first time this life that I ever heard about the idea of reincarnation.

Yes, that strange new thought, the possibility of something called reincarnation, this totally new cognitive leap, happened for me at age 11 upin the Andes, at Machu Picchu. The idea completely altered me, changed me forever. This notion of reincarnation, which Helen and Arthur may not have taken particularly seriously, was for me a gift of Grace. After all I was having full-blown hallucinations, seeing a past era superimposed on my every waking moment while in the ruins of Machu Picchu. This was scary stuff for a secular, USA, eleven year old raised by intellectual, atheist parents.

“Reincarnation is believed by more people in the world than not,” Uncle
Arthur assured me casually, making me feel safe and sane in the midst of my
raging peak experience.

“I have always found it more sensible and exciting a possibility to
contemplate than heaven and hell.” Aunt Helen added.

Suddenly Ken interrupted my memories, “What have you been thinking about all this time?”

But I couldn’t bear to tell him yet another set of stories about my amazingly
enriched childhood, not while driving south to visit his family. Life for Ken
as a child was hard and feudal. Ken had been as much surrounded by ignorant people as I had been surrounded by brilliant, enlightened, gifted and unusual people.

“I was just thinking about how Uncle Arthur said he had good memories and how I do too,” I compromised.

“I still don’t get that Dutchman’s britches bit,” Ken grumbled. “What is that
supposed to mean anyway? And where is the predicted sunshine?”

I peered through the window. We were driving through forested mountains and it was dark and wet all around us; though it was not actually raining. I shrugged and kept my silence and I soon let myself fall back into the dreamy memories of awe, climbing the hundreds of stairs to the tiptop peak of the Temple at Machu Picchu.

Suddenly, we drove around the backside of the mountain and a huge vista
opened up. The lovely rural valley of Ken’s birth stretched out below us.
Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands were off to the West and the Cascade
Mountains, stunning, absolutely breathtaking, sparkled in the East and
somewhere, down in the bright green and golden valley below, Ken’s family
were waiting for us to visit them.


“Well, look at that!” Ken howled, pulling off the road immediately and
climbing out of the truck. “It is SUNNY!”

Sure enough it was sunny in the Pacific NW.

This rarely happens here, so it is always a surprise. It feels like you have
just discovered Shangri-La when the weather clears up around here.

But I was experiencing two realities at once again. I was right there, with
Ken, soaking in the vista of his homeland but, at the same time, I had also
reached the very top of the Temple of the Sun and I was looking out over the
Urubamba Valley below, like I had long ago in a former life or two.


“See!” I confronted Ken after simply gazing at the beauty of our earth for a
long spell, past and present. I was suddenly feeling the tremendous power of
all good memories everywhere; my own memories, Uncle Arthur’s and Aunt
Helen’s memories, ancient Machu Picchu memories combined with the good
memories of all beings, through all ages. And I knew that that very moment
was yet another very good memory and it made me suddenly grateful to the
Great Majestic Mystery, the EkOnKaar (Creation/Creator).

“Uncle Arthur was right! There WAS enough blue sky earlier to make a
Dutchman’s britches!”

“Yeah, maybe,” Ken conceded as he grinned and pulled me close, “but what does that mean anyway?”


1 Comment

Filed under Kamalla Rose Kaur's Writings, Multicultural, Sikhi

One response to “Reincarnation and the Temple of the Sun

  1. Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki Fateh
    On a beautiful day in May of ’94 she worked, setting tile on the veranda of a Mediterranean style 3 story mansion. Eager to show the quality of her work, she had gratefully started in the servant’s quarter’s shower room, located in basement of a 3 story villa. She had managed to work her way up, to the first and second story level baths. She had also been given about 3,ooo feet of outside patio decking to do.

    Intent on making special custom cuts, her mind wandered while turning the tile at just the right angle. She had never really understood her motivation to do this heavy, dirty type of work except for the reward of being beautiful when finished, and it lasted, much longer than housework. Since she worked in a family business, she never had been paid directly before. In fact this happened to be the first time she would receive wages by working for a close family friend. Over the years though, she tried to perfect her craft into an art, for her personal satisfaction, as well as to please the clientele. And at last, her pay off had begun.

    All day the workers had been laying bricks for the back patio, using her tile saw to cut them to size until it had filled with yellow, brown brick dust. She could hear the waves gently lapping across the winding road, where the Pacific ocean came to shore in an incredible color of blue. Pale wraiths of Spanish moss hung from deep green cypress trees whose branches reached towards the Sea. The veranda that she tiled stood gracefully silhouetted enclosed with thickset imported European baluster railing. She bent over concentrating fixedly on shaping the curve of the cut, a technique she had developed on her own, reddish brown water running off the tile staining her hands, when suddenly… defying description, the field of her vision changed.

    Like light bending in a camera lens, she found herself at the Nile, 2000 years earlier. She could see the edge of the river, soft muddy brown, flowing gently by, and could hear and feel it lapping gently at her knees, where surrounded by thick green rushes, she bent to grind the edge of a clay tile with a stone beneath the water under an incredibly deep blue sky.

    Suddenly it all made sense. She thought to herself, I just keep coming back and doing this, I’ve been doing this for lifetimes. I could probably go to Egypt right now and fine some of my work that has lasted through the ages.

    Just then, a white sports car came charging up the driveway. An incredibly tan couple stepped out and began to inspect the villa (prospective buyers). *IT* happened again. She could see through the disguise of the soul. This couple had been the owners of that dwelling she had worked on 2,000 years ago. She had seen them often enough, their white filmy robes catching the breeze, their shapely pointed head caps nodding while strolling in the cool evening on the tiled walk and discussing her work. Then everything fell into place, the Singh who had hired her had been there too, as a fellow worker. The woman financing the project, who did daily inspections, had been their overseer. They had all been together before. She looked up and saw the couple, standing at the balcony, the woman’s long blonde hair billowing out in the breeze, over looking the ocean. Did they remember too? Last time they had driven a chariot with white chargers.

    Ok, admittedly she had watched x-files the night before… Something had triggered this memory… She rushed off to tell everyone about it. On her way home, that evening as she left the gated community, *IT* happened once more, She saw herself in a woman, with long brown hair just like hers, driving by in a yellow compact station wagon. There i go, she thought to herself, as she *felt* herself pass by. 20 years before she had been pressured by a friend to buy that car from her, well one that style, and that exact, uncommon, shade of yellow, quite possibly the same. What a flash, living in a parallel existence of a different choice made!

    She had always had a vague feeling that in a previous life, she had been Egyptian. Of course something much more exotic, than a lowly tile setter, she had imagined more along the lines of high priestess, capable of KA – soul travel… After all, she had been born in a place called NILES. She’d been given jewelry 2,000 years old, some 20 years earlier which had come from a tomb (hers?) … a scarab ring, a bracelet of ancient rare double fluted, jade and wheat, colored beads and …an Anubis jackal. But, to see herself in another existence in the present gave her something a much different scale to think about.

    She reached the conclusion that time instead of being linear, as we seem to experience it, is like a circle (much like a roulette wheel). Our former lives are not necessarily in the past, or even in continuum, but our past may be from the future. We may be reborn into the past, and like in the Michael j. Fox movie “Back to the Future,” we just might bump into ourself, right in the here and now.

    What does this have to do with naAM? You might be wondering. naAM is the only way out of the circle.

    Now if this lowly person, who is capable only of making mistakes (check my typos), can experience this sort of realization, it’s easy to accept a sister discovering her former dwelling amid the Inca Ruins of Machu Picchu high in the Andes of Peru in the Temple of The Sun. Even so, surely a Sant who has incarnated 5 times as a Sant, can see through the souls disguise and recognize himself in a photograph. Just as surely we can respect his word. And if one makes mistake in the telling, surely we can forgive and try to understand this illustrative purpose in trying to get us to jap naAM. Waheguru ji whaeguru waheguru waheguru waheguru don’t think about it, that is a waste, this human life is precious, use it to jap naAM. it is the only way out. waheguru waheguru waheguru waheguru

    waheguru ji

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