What Is a Soul?


Are all souls the same whether in an ant or in a human-being? Is it possible for the soul in an ant to be born as a human being and vice-versa? Is God also a soul? Is the number of souls in the universe a constant or do God keep on creating new souls?

—Dilip Shankar, Qatar


Dear Dilip,

Thank you for your questions. I think some of these questions we can pretend to answer, but we will not truly understand until we are on a much higher level of consciousness.

The soul is a part of God. Yogananda used the analogy of an empty bottle put in the ocean. The ocean water fills the bottle.God is the ocean and we are the empty bottle made of the same substance as the ocean.

My understanding is that a soul is a soul, whether an ant or a human being, but it is not at all simple. What about a worm cut in two pieces, which becomes two worms – is that the same soul?

I vote for the idea of God creating new souls all the time, but I haven’t heard of anything Yogananda has written on the subject.

Truly, philosophy can sometimes be helpful, but only if our philosophy keeps us moving toward greater love for God, greater desire to meditate on God, to feel Him in our lives, and to serve others. I hope you will consider this.

In divine friendship,