Question: Please tell me about the basic principle which I understand you yogis follow very consistently about the respect for life. You see life in insects and in every animal and you respect such life. Is that a principle in yoga?

Sri Chinmoy: We should have respect for life in everything, in grass, in insects, in animals. This is the supreme knowledge: God is inside everything. But what is God? God is eternal Light, all-pervading Life. So we must have respect for all life. But in the field of manifestation we have to accept the fact that there are certain things we utilise for our own existence. Suppose when we are walking on grass, we know that the grass is being hurt. But can we fly above the ground? In the field of manifestation we have to adjust ourselves. Some animals eat grass; it is their only food. Some persons eat meat; it is their only food. The Eskimo, if they do not eat meat, they die; they cannot exist. And if the animals do not eat grass, they die. Now, what is the secret?

We know there is life; even then we are killing and destroying it at every moment. The secret is that the life that is being killed is not killed. We see the insect, just press it and it dies. But inside that life there is eternal life We believe in reincarnation. This insect is not dead. It is dead in our physical eyes, but the eternal life that the insect possess will immediately spread all over the cosmos. Then after some time, the insect’s soul will enter into some other animal and progress gradually until it comes into human life. No life is destroyed because there is an Eternal Life. And this Eternal Life existed before the creation; it is in birth, it is between birth and death, then it goes beyond death. Eternal life started before existence. It is in birth, it is in death, it is between birth and death. This Eternal Life animates the things that we are using in our day-to-day life for our own existence and maintenance, but we have to see that there is no other way. But that does not mean that we have to go and fight and kill someone. That is not so. When it is unavoidable for our own existence, we have to use what we need. I need food; I personally do not eat meat or fish. But there are some persons who eat meat and fish. What are they going to do? They have to eat. An animal has to be caught. An animal itself has to eat grass. But we have to go beyond the ordinary life to the Eternal Life and then there is all peace. Who is destroying whom? Life the Eternal can never be destroyed.