We have information that there are 8,400,000 species of life. Out of these, 400,000 species are considered human life

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"We have information that there are 8,400,000 species of life. Out of these, 400,000 species are considered human life"

Correspondence

1971 Correspondence

We have information that there are 8,400,000 species of life. Out of these, 400,000 species are considered human life. Of these 400,000, how many species do we find in our experience? Not many, probably less than 1,000, so we must conclude that there are hundreds of thousands of higher and lower types of human forms.
Letter to Upendra -- Delhi 8 December, 1971:

You say that you have met people who claim that by evolution we are approaching a higher stage of existence. That is true in one sense, that anyone who takes to Krishna Consciousness may elevate himself to the highest status of life. Krishna mentions many types of higher beings in Bhagavad-gita, such as demigods and those who dwell on higher planets. We have information that there are 8,400,000 species of life. Out of these, 400,000 species are considered human life. Of these 400,000, how many species do we find in our experience? Not many, probably less than 1,000, so we must conclude that there are hundreds of thousands of higher and lower types of human forms. But this does not mean that automatically one body evolves into a higher body. No. It is described by Krishna how the soul becomes embodied according to his desire. So there are 8,400,000 types of bodies eternally existing. Not that the appearance of a new form in this world means that form has never existed previously. No, as conditions change on this earth planet, the living entities here desire to enjoy in a different way, so they take a different type of body. Even that body may be new here, it has always existed also somewhere else. So if a man qualifies for that body, he may be rewarded the body of superman, as he desires. So if someone wants such body, he must learn the process for acquiring it, that is Bhagavad-gita.