Transmigration of the soul through 8,400,000 different forms

If you think you’re in this world for the first time and that God gives you just one lifetime ‘away’ from Him, I’ve got some very bad news for you… Take courage, keep on reading and know your sad destiny…soul
 
What is the ‘regular’ destiny of each and every individual soul who left God? The destiny is – Transmigration of the soul through 8,400,000 different forms (species) through countless time and space continuums. And that’s not all. We probably have more than one such cycle behind us! There is even more: we don’t remember anything from those cycles; barely one can remember something from his/her past lives, but none us can ever remember all our past lives. That is impossible for ‘ordinary’ soul who is in the cycle of transmigration. This is the subject of special mercy of God, and such mercy can’t get one who don’t give a damn about God, who is Person, not some impersonal energy or concept in our head.
 
So one may think about this fact in the following way: “I’ve passed through millions and millions of life-forms before I was given a chance to obtain human body again and I still don’t know nor understand WHY I’m in this world, HOW I got here, and WHERE will I go after my body drops dead… And I still do what I always did, still chasing rainbows and happiness in this world, from these people, from this or that… I pass my days just like everybody does….”
 
Sincerely, I don’t understand how can one go to sleep without finding out the answers to those basic existential questions posed above? How can one go to sleep without knowing the Truth, the Absolute Truth, that which is eternal and all-pervading?
Moreover, if in this human body one is given the extremely rare chance to get to know the Lord through Vedas and/or from those who personally know Him…. -> how can one throw one more life again? That’s scary… way too scary.
 

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“Having gone through all the miserable, hellish conditions and having passed in a regular order through the lowest forms of animal life prior to human birth, and having thus been purged of his sins, one is reborn again as a human being on this earth.” Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.30.34 

“In this universe there are limitless living entities in 8,400,000 species, and all are wandering within this universe.” Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 19.138

PURPORT

This is a challenge to so-called scientists and philosophers who presume that there are living entities on this planet only. So-called scientists are going to the moon, and they say that there is no life there. This does not tally with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu‘s version. He says that everywhere within the universe there are unlimited numbers of living entities in 8,400,000 different forms. In the Bhagavad-gita (2.24) we find that the living entities are sarvagata, which means that they can go anywhere. This indicates that there are living entities everywhere. They exist on land, in water, in air, in fire and in ether. Thus there are living entities in all types of material elements. Since the entire material universe is composed of five elements — earth, water, fire, air and ether — why should there be living entities on one planet and not others? Such a foolish version can never be accepted by Vedic students.

From the Vedic literatures we understand that there are living entities on each and every planet, regardless of whether the planet is composed of earth, water, fire or air. These living entities may not have the same forms that are found on this planet earth, but they have different forms composed of different elements. Even on this earth we can see that the forms of land animals are different from the forms of aquatics. According to the circumstance, living conditions differ, but undoubtedly there are living entities everywhere. Why should we deny the existence of living entities on this or that planet? Those who have claimed to have gone to the moon have not gone there, or else with their imperfect vision they cannot actually perceive the particular type of living entities there.

The living entities are described as ananta, or unlimited; nonetheless, they are said to belong to 8,400,000 species. As stated in the Vishnu Purana:

jala-ja nava-lakshani sthavara laksha-vimsati
krimayo rudra-sankhyakah pakshinam dasa-lakshanam
trimsal-lakshani pasavah catur-lakshani manushah
 

There are 900,000 species living in the water. There are also 2,000,000 nonmoving living entities (sthavara), such as trees and plants. There are also 1,100,000 species of insects and reptiles, and there are 1,000,000 species of birds. As far as quadrupeds are concerned, there are 3,000,000 varieties, andthere are 400,000 human species.” Some of these species may exist on one planet and not on another, but in any case within all the planets of the universe — and even in the sun — there are living entities. This is the verdict of the Vedic literatures. As theBhagavad-gita (2.20) confirms:

na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah sasvato ‘yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sarire
 

“For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.”

Since the living entities are never annihilated, they simply transmigrate from one life form to another. Thus there is an evolution of forms according to the degree of developed consciousness. One experiences different degrees of consciousness in different forms. A dog’s consciousness is different from a man’s. Even within a species we find that a father’s consciousness is different from his son’s and that a child’s consciousness is different from a youth’s. Just as we find different forms, we find different states of consciousness. When we see different states of consciousness, we may take it for granted that the bodies are different. In other words, different types of bodies depend on different states of consciousness. This is also confirmed in theBhagavad-gita (8.6):

yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajanty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya sada tad bhava-bhavitah
 

“One’s consciousness at the time of death determines one’s type of body in the next life.” This is the process of transmigration of the soul. A variety of bodies is already there; we change from one body to another in terms of our consciousness.

 

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The Size of this Universe

The The Size of this Universe – from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.11.40-42 

SB 3.11.40This phenomenal material world is expanded to a diameter of four billion miles, as a combination of eight material elements transformed into sixteen further categories, within and without, as follows.

The analytical studies of the material world are the subject matter of Sāṅkhya philosophy. The first sixteen diversities are the eleven senses and five sense objects, and the eight elements are the gross and subtle matter, namely earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence and ego. All these combined together are distributed throughout the entire universe, which extends diametrically to four billion miles. Besides this universe of our experience, there are innumerable other universes. Some of them are bigger than the present one, and all of them are clustered together under similar material elements as described below.

SB 3.11.41The layers or elements covering the universes are each ten times thicker than the one before, and all the universes clustered together appear like atoms in a huge combination.

The coverings of the universes are also constituted of the elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether, and each is ten times thicker than the one before. The first covering of the universe is earth, and it is ten times thicker than the universe itself. If the universe is four billion miles in size, then the size of the earthly covering of the universe is four billion times ten. The covering of water is ten times greater than the earthly covering, the covering of fire is ten times greater than the watery covering, the covering of air is ten times greater than that of the fire, the covering of ether is ten times greater still than that of air, and so on. The universe within the coverings of matter appears to be like an atom in comparison to the coverings, and the number of universes is unknown even to those who can estimate the coverings of the universes.

SB 3.11.42The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is therefore said to be the original cause of all causes. Thus the spiritual abode of Viṣṇu is eternal without a doubt, and it is also the abode of Mahā-Viṣṇu, the origin of all manifestations.

Lord Mahā-Viṣṇu, who is resting in yoga-nidrā on the Causal Ocean and creating innumerable universes by His breathing process, only temporarily appears in the mahat-tattva for the temporary manifestation of the material worlds. He is a plenary portion of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and thus although He is nondifferent from Lord Kṛṣṇa, His formal appearance in the material world as an incarnation is temporary. The original form of the Personality of Godhead is actually the svarūpa, or real form, and He eternally resides in the Vaikuṇṭha world (Viṣṇuloka). The word mahātmanaḥ is used here to indicate Mahā-Viṣṇu, and His real manifestation is Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is called parama, as confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā:

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam

“The Supreme Lord is Kṛṣṇa, the original Personality of Godhead, known as Govinda. His form is eternal, full of bliss and knowledge, and He is the original cause of all causes

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