Q: Sadhguru, I have a question about birth, rebirth and karma. If the total energy in the universe is constant, is the number of souls in the universe also a constant thing?

Sadhguru: You are asking about the arithmetic? This is a very ancient question that people have asked a million times over. The calculation is, today there are seven billion people. Let us say one thousand years ago there were only a billion people. If people are reincarnated and born, where did they come? “Did all the monkeys become...?” Maybe! There aren’t as many monkeys in the world as there used to be a thousand years ago. Does that not explain it to you?

The Boundless Emptiness

But that is not how it is. The basis of creation is a boundless space of emptiness. Because there is so much emptiness, creation can happen in any scale. If there was no emptiness, there would be no possibility of creation. Without nothingness to accommodate something, where would something sit? Nothingness is the basis of all this “something.”


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Arithmetic is only for numbers – one, two, three, four belong to arithmetic. Zero does not, nor does the infinite belong to arithmetic.

There is no arithmetic for nothingness. Arithmetic is only for numbers – one, two, three, four belong to arithmetic. Zero does not, nor does the infinite belong to arithmetic. Suppose we formed a thousand bubbles that were floating around. If we wanted to form ten thousand bubbles, would we run out of air? It is still there, because it is not material – it is non-material. If it was material, you could count it and then wonder how these seven billion happened. “Okay, only two billion monkeys died, but there are one billion extra. Did the insects become this?” Even if you look at it that way, it still works because of the huge number of other creatures in the planet we have killed. Maybe all of them have crept themselves up into human form.

“Okay, but where does the karma come for these people. They are just empty bubbles.” You can gather in a day the karma you need for ten lifetimes. In terms of the material world, can you not do something today that will buy you ten years of trouble? You are capable of that.

So, even if we reproduce and make these seven billion into twenty billion a hundred years from now, there will be no dearth for that substance which is the basis of life. There will never be a shortage. You create bodies, it will fill itself up. If you create a bubble, air fills up. Similarly, if you create a body, it fills up. Wherever there is a suitable body, a crucible for life to go, it will go. There will be no such problem that, if there are too many pregnancies this year, there will not be enough life to get into all these new bodies!

Editor’s Note: Find more of Sadhguru’s insights in the ebook “From Creation to Creator”, available at Isha Downloads. Pay what you wish and download it. Enter “0” or click “Claim for free” for a free download.