Question: Does the soul have any choice as to the environment that it will come back to when it reincarnates, and the body that it will take?Sri Chinmoy: Nobody imposes on the soul. The soul itself makes the choice, but it has to be approved by the Supreme. The soul, while sitting at the top of the tree, feels that if it comes down to earth, it will be able to fulfil itself. But, as you know, the world is full of imperfections and limitations. And when the soul touches the foot of the tree, it feels that there are all unlit forces, evil forces, trying to capture and devour it. So after making the choice, sometimes the soul feels that the environment it has chosen is unhealthy, and it may leave the body.
Sri Chinmoy, Death and reincarnation: Eternity's voyage, Agni Press, 1973