Life on Other Planets


Hello, This question has always bothered me lot...All the great masters claim that there are innumerable planets where one can incarnate or re-incarnate. If so, then why don't they ever talk about someones re-birth or a past life in a planet say in the 'Andromeda Galaxy' or in the virgo constellation etc..?? They only talk abt past life's on the earth! why is that? this has made me become disillusioned with all gurus! I think its because they don't know themselves..can you offer some insight?

—A devotee, India


Paramhansa Yogananda once commented to a disciple that there are, indeed, many worlds in this universe where one can incarnate.

Souls do not necessarily return to this planet again and again because, he wryly noted, otherwise we would “learn too quickly.” I imagine him chuckling within when he said that.

Why then do we not hear about past incarnations on those planets? I think one reason is that we have a limited view of the time spans involved in our soul’s evolution. We have a myriad of karmic tendencies in need of expression, portending lifetimes and lifetimes of effort.

We’ve incarnated at a particular time on this earth under planetary conditions that allow for those tendencies to express best. I suspect many repeated “visits” to this world will be in order so long as our general karma is in harmony with conditions here.

As the earth continues to steadily advance (or decline) through its yuga cycle, souls may become “out of tune” with the general vibration of this world and be drawn to other worlds more in harmony with their particular vibration.

We must think of these things in much longer rhythms than we are accustomed. From what Yogananda said, I can imagine souls inhabiting this earthly world for scores or lifetimes until conditions become incompatible.

A disciple once asked him about incarnating on this earth during Satya Yuga and he replied that people shouldn’t expect to be on this world at that time if they did not possess the appropriate consciousness.

There are many other “opportunities” for us. In other words, our souls find the level which is appropriate and in accordance with its karma. Let me ask about something you mention in your letter. Did you really mean that a failure by spiritual teachers to address this question has disillusioned you with all gurus? Surely that must be an exaggeration.

Is the worthiness of a teacher or a teaching best judged by whether it/he/she conforms to your existing knowledge? If it is beyond your present understanding, will your faith be so easily shaken?

I think you realize that this is hardly the best approach to seeking spiritual truth. I am not suggesting you accept unquestioned all statements of a spiritual master, but rather to keep an open mind and not make your present lack of understanding the measure of a guru’s sanctity.

Some gurus have no interest in these types of questions and would consider them as irrelevant, yet in their presence you will feel joy and your spirit uplifted.

You might feel sincerity and a touch of divinity. I think that is a better measuring stick to use.

My best wishes to you.