Question: The population of the earth is constantly increasing in number. Are they new souls that are coming to the earth? Do they come from other worlds?

Sri Chinmoy: No, the souls do not come from other worlds. They come down from the soul's world proper. They are souls that have been on earth before. After they have left the body, the ordinary souls usually take between six and twenty years to come back. The souls that take the Nirvanic Path, the path of blissful extinction, do not come back at all. But the souls that are progressive and want to fulfil the Divine here on earth, will naturally come back to achieve their own realisation and to participate in God's full and complete manifestation.

Now you are asking about the new souls coming to earth. Certainly the Divine is constantly creating new souls who come to earth for the first time along with the older souls that have been here time and time again. Souls that have left the body for a rest in the soul's world are coming back and new souls are also coming to earth.

Many of the new souls are not developed at all. They have just left the animal level and they are most undeveloped. I have seen many people in New York who are in their very first human incarnation. The other day I saw the photograph of a model who was in her very first human incarnation. I even have a few disciples, among my hundreds, who are in their first two or three incarnations. These young souls, if they are fortunate enough to become connected with a spiritual Master at the very beginning of their journey, can make very fast progress and be spared many lives of unconsciousness. Normally, however, it takes hundreds of lives before the human being consciously aspires for the life of divine realisation.