Question: If somebody lives a good life and reaches Nirvana, does this mean he will not reincarnate again?

Sri Chinmoy: Reincarnation does not mean that if somebody does good things, divine things, he will not come back, and if somebody does bad things, wrong things, he will come back. No, everyone will come back into the world, but one who does good things will naturally have a better life in his next incarnation than the one who does bad things.

Nirvana is the path of negation. Those who follow the path of Nirvana want to remain in ultimate Bliss, or you can call it extinction. But we should not use the term “extinction”; it is the ultimate Bliss. These people do not want to reincarnate. When they enter into Nirvana, there the journey ends for them. The soul feels that it will not walk or run further. It does not want to involve itself with earthly activities. Nobody can compel the soul to reincarnate except the Supreme. But although the Supreme has the power to compel the soul, He does not do it. The Supreme does not compel anybody to do anything.

But there are some souls that want to take a conscious part in God’s Lila or divine Play. They know that reincarnation is absolutely necessary for those who want to serve God here on earth. One has to realise God on earth; on no other planet or plane can there be any realisation. Then after realisation, one makes the promise that one shall come back, like Swami Vivekananda and Sri Ramakrishna who both said that if a single unrealised person remained on earth, then they would be ready to come back. In my case also, I will come and go if I can be of any service to the Supreme in humanity.