According to Hinduism, Reincarnation (Rebirth) does occur, but it is somewhat related to Karma. Also, I felt that Human is ultimate species in Hinduism, so now the question arises that does god create new souls anymore?

If we see, the population of humans is increasing day by day, so either the souls are new or they are reincarnations of some other species.

Also, if god does create new souls, then does those new souls take birth as humans or some other species? How is that decided? As there is nothing called karma for new souls so he cannot take avatar of any species.

  • It's a possible duplicate of this question: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/3568/36 See my answer, where I discuss the fact that souls are never created, and they don't have a first birth. Commented Nov 15, 2014 at 7:12
  • There are no new souls creation is only in the world of relative. Just as different characters come into a dream and disappear the moment we wake up the apparent creation of new bodies is merely an illusion. The moment one realizes ones true Self as Infinite Existence all the creation is identified as a gigantic illusions show. The only reality is the Supreme Being or the Satchidananda. This is advaitist thought. For deeper information about the great illusive movie show of life Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahamsa Yogananda saint can be read
    – Sai
    Commented Nov 15, 2014 at 22:06
  • "Human is 'ultimate' species..." ONLY ON EARTH. BTW This is a good question for Christianity.SE or Islam.SE because there is NO rebirth concept in Abrahamic religions.
    – Hindu
    Commented Nov 16, 2014 at 10:07

2 Answers 2


Souls are never actually created; here is what Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita:

Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.... For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval.

As to your question regarding what determines the experiences of a soul's first birth, Adi Shankaracharya provides an answer to this in his Brahma Sutra Bhashya: the issue never arises, because there is never a first birth for the soul. The number of births of the soul is infinite, so the karma of each birth is determined by the actions of the soul in its previous birth, going infinitely far back in time:

[F]or although the activity of the soul is not independent, yet the soul does act. The Lord indeed causes it to act, but it acts itself. Moreover, the Lord in causing it to act now has regard to its former efforts, and he caused it to act in a former existence, having regard to its efforts previous to that existence; a regressus against which, considering the eternity of the samsâra, no objections can be raised.

So to sum up, there is never a time where the soul starts out with a "blank slate" and is put in circumstances it did not deserve. The soul doesn't have a starting point, any more than Vishnu has a starting point.

  • I'm having some difficulties in understanding what you mean--if Brahman causes the jiva to act, wouldn't that mean Ishwara would be ultimately responsible for any wrongdoing? And how could the jiva be free to act despite its action being ultimately caused by Brahman?
    – AdityaS
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 19:00
  • 1
    @Aditya Well, the thing is that Brahman causes the jivatma to act, but Brahman is not being capricious in how he causes it to act - Brahman chooses what actions the jivatma should do based on the actions it did in a previous birth. In any case, the question of whether the jivatma is "free" to act is a difficult question. The jivatma is not free in the sense of acting independent of Brahman, but it is free to act in the sense that the way Brahman makes the jivatma act is determined by the jivatma. Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 19:12
  • @Aditya By the way, I hope I didn't give the impression in my answer that this is a doctrine unique to Adi Shankaracharya; Madhvacharya says the same thing in his commentary on the Brahma Sutras: gdurl.com/RPUK Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 19:32
  • @Aditya In any case, the key point is the beginninglessness of the process. If there was a first birth for the Jivatma, then your objection would be valid, because Brahman would be arbitrarily choosing what the Jivatma does in its first birth, and then would be making it do actions in subsequent births based on what Brahman made it do in the first birth. If that were the case then yes Brahman would be responsible for any wrongdoing done by the Jivatma. But the actual situation is that there is no first birth for the Jivatma, so its chain of behavior is in some sense "uncaused" and thus "free". Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 19:50
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    Don't know why sane people like Swami & you subscribe to Shankara's commentary as genuine instead of someone's interpolation. Though we have discussed before in chat, here putting for reference reason for coverting my upvote to downvote. Almost everyone in Indian spirituality accepts "Moksha" exists (for whatever time). "Infinite" never finishes. If something finishes then it's not "infinite". By saying "Jiva has infinite (past) births", the possibility of Moksha is refuted. Our life is lived sequentially. To finish infinite births, it takes forever to attain Moksha.
    – iammilind
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 14:17

Yes, as outlined by the other answers the souls is not created, but it is eternal. This is agreed upon by all the schools of Vedanta and has been commented on by Sankara, Bhaskara, Ramanuja, Madhva, and Vallabha.

Madhava says that the Vedanta Sutras (II. iii. 11-50) that refer to its birth are in reference to its Upadhis, the body, etc.

Ramanuja says that souls have existed from all eternity as a mode (prakara) of Brahman. Sutra texts (II. iii. 17) that speak of their creation only mean the expansion of intelligence.

Bhaskara interprets the same verse as meaning differentiation due to Upadhis.

Sankara says the jiva is simply the appearance of Brahman in the individual but in reality they are one.

The Upanishads deny any birth to the soul. See Katha (I. ii. 18) and Brhadaranyaka (IV. iv. 25)

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