Question: Scientists say that the physical universe is expanding all the time. Some of them say that it is going to keep expanding forever and others say that it is going to contract again. What is your view?

Sri Chinmoy: Anything that expands is not going to contract. The only thing is, after expansion you can play a different type of game. Expansion itself is a game. Once this game ends, another game takes place. It is like the manifestation of a spiritual mission, let us say. A mission is expanding and expanding. But a time may come when people are no longer inspired by it; they are not doing anything. So naturally there will no longer be expansion. But that doesn't mean that the mission will come back to the state it was in before it started expanding. No! Only it is dead, lifeless. The river was flowing, flowing, but now all of a sudden there is no impetus, no energy, no life. The river is no longer flowing. But we cannot say that it has come back to the same state. Once we leave our starting point, we can't come back. We may not run, we may walk or stumble but the starting point is gone. Once evolution starts on any plane, we don't come back to the initial stage.

Only on very rare occasions in human life, when people have not satisfied their lowest vital desires, do they go back to the animal world. The soul actually enters into the animal life there, but that is only for a few months. Otherwise, once we leave the starting point, we don't go back there. So nobody here is going back to stone-life or plant-life or animal-life. Once something has happened, it is done, it is finished. It will not again become the starting point, because evolution is always taking place.