Pets and reincarnation


Is it right to cure pets in order to prolong their life? Or is it better to let them go and evolve in next life?

Thank you!

—Dm,, Europe


You’re right to be asking this question. Swami Kriyananda has said that pets evolve more quickly than undomesticated animals, due to their contact with their (presumably loving) human caretakers. For this reason, it can be good to prolong their lives.

On the other hand, excessive human attachment can hold an animal back in its evolution of soul awareness, delaying its passing into a more-evolved state. In Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda told of a time when he did that exact thing, and it wasn’t until the animal (a deer, in this case) came to Yoganandaji in vision to ask for release that the master realized what he was doing. To read the full story, click here.

So, what to do in any particular situation? It’s impossible give a specific answer that applies in all cases, but here are a few more considerations.

To begin with, ask yourself whether you would be undertaking extreme measures to save the animal. Even human beings nowadays are refusing such extreme measures — and human beings are usually much more attached to their bodies than are animals!

And of course, there can be financial issues as well. There are now many very expensive procedures available for animals. They might or might not save the animal, but it might put you in a position of being less able to care for the animal afterward. And if the pet loves you — as many do — the pet wouldn’t want you to be put in dire straits. It’s probably safe to say that human beings are more attached to their pets’ lives than are the pets.

Overall, you’ll have to pray about it, of course. Meditate on the soul of your pet and ask, What do you want? Find the highest solution you can, take that course of action, and do your best to avoid feeling guilty.

Good luck with your decision.