Question: Do all souls have hundreds or thousands of incarnations before realisation?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is only the Avatars who don’t take so many incarnations. But there are some exceptions, even among spiritual Masters. Look at the Buddha. He went through so many incarnations in the animal life and the human life. But other spiritual Masters did not go through so many; they did not want to enjoy this world so many times.
Sri Chinmoy, The Avatars and the Masters, Agni Press, 1979