Is there a single jiva (life) associated with a single body or is it that many jivas are associated with a single body?

Hinduism tells us that there is only one jiva to each body. If that really is the case, then observation tells us when a branch of a Rose, or a Banyan, or a Pipal tree is cut and planted elsewhere, another plant/tree of the same kind grows up there.

We see a similar observation with Earthworms. When it is cut across, the head part re-grows to form a full body. So is that another jiva or is it the same jiva appearing in a regenerative body?

In the case of Earthworms, the tail part does not re-generate its head part and so it dies.

There is another kind of worm called the Planarian Flatworm which when cut across re-generates into two different worms, each part has the capacity to re-generate the missing parts of the body.

Are these two different worms having the same jiva or different jiva?

What is really happening here? Did a single jiva get dissected into two, or did another jiva enter the new tree or plant or worm? Or is the body really associated with multiple souls.

If Hindus tell us that there is only a single jiva associated with each birth and therefore body, then how did the jiva, which is whole and indivisible, be cut and become many?


1 Answer 1


The same question was asked by Nityanand Swami and answered by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. These spiritual discourses are recorded and complied into the Vachanamrut.

In one of the discourses in the section Gadhadã I-13 titled as Planting the Branch of a Banyan or Pipal Tree Elsewhere, Bhagwan Swaminarayan explains how God gives body to the jivas and following that he answers the question:

In addition, God makes the body of that jiva give birth to another body – again, according to its own karmas. Just as God created the various life forms from the bodies of Kashyap and the other prajãpatis, similarly, that same God, while residing in all jivas as antaryãmi, creates other bodies from one body by methods appropriate to that particular body. However, the jiva, through which other bodies are created, does not itself multiply into many forms. So, in reality, God grants birth to a jiva, through an appropriate body of another jiva, according to the relation of the karmas between the two jivas.”

  • I don't know much about BAPS, but I have great respect for Bhagwan Swaminarayan. So I don't want to question His statements, just curious about what actually happens to the rose plant? The new one that grows from a branch gets a new soul or the soul from the original plant gets divided? I know the answer as per the scriptures, but want to know your view.
    – Be Happy
    Jun 28, 2014 at 6:49
  • I'd wait for AksharRoop to add those details in the answer for next couple of days. If not, i will edit @AksharRoop's answer and add the details myself and mark it as an answer. Either way.
    – Kapil Vyas
    Jun 29, 2014 at 2:06
  • @BeHappy if I am correctly understanding your question: what you are trying to say is what happen to a new branch of the plant. new jiva come or the java got divided. The thing which happens here is the same when your skin cuts and the new skin layer comes. Oct 12, 2015 at 20:11
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    @BeHappy Jivas are everywhere, even inside your body as well as in plant and all the surrounding. But then why when you plant a seed it is not converted into the plant all the time. because in the seed there is no Jiva which have Karma of having the body. same applies to the humans, animal and the plant. Oct 12, 2015 at 20:18

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