Is a human soul different from an animal or plant soul? Does a human being reincarnate every time in human body, or does he have to go to many species according to the Bhagavad Gita. And please throw some light on what is Krishna consciousness and Christ consciousness? Is Krishna father (God) and Jesus Christ the son of Krishna the God? Please clear my doubt. What name can we give to God since we know who is Krishna, Jesus, Buddha... but what is the name of God?
—Saksham anand, India
Dear Saksham Anand,
There is no essential difference between the soul of a plant, animal or man — they all are expressions of the same, one Consciousness. However, each one is more aware than the other by increasing degrees. Paramhansa Yogananda wrote that, “God is asleep in the rocks, dreaming in the plants, awake in animals, and fully awake in man.” He also said that it takes millions of incarnations to progress through these increasingly aware forms of life until we incarnate, at last, as men.
But our evolution is not done when we become men. Over many incarnations in human form we discover that our deeper nature is spiritual — not material. Eventually we will all achieve Self-realization — oneness with the infinite Lord. Most who achieve this exalted state do not return to the earthly plane when their lives here are through. Some few, however, return as great teachers with special missions to uplift mankind.
Those who do return as Saviors are often honored with titles such as Christ and Krishna. These two titles have the same root meaning — the Anointed One. You might find it easier to understand if you say their names like this: Jesus the Christ, Jadhava the Krishna, Gautama the Buddha.
Yogananda stressed that the spiritual realization of such great saviors is perfect because their identity with God is absolute — no limiting sense of their egos remain. They are each, therefore, pure channels of God consciousness. Yet God’s consciousness is far greater than can be fully manifested through such limited human forms. God exists in all of us, in all of His creation, and beyond His creation.
Puru (Joseph) Selbie