4. The four Kinds of Life

Dharam Das asked this, folding his hands:

Oh Satguru, please tell me this: tell me about the existence of the creation of four different kinds and explain it to me. How are the eighty-four lakhs bodies divided? What is their span?

Kabir replied:

Listen, Dharam Das: I will describe the births to you. I will explain everything to you, one by one; I won’t hide anything from you. Listen to me attentively, and don’t bring any doubt in your mind.

The Distribution of eighty-four lakhs Births between the four Kinds of Creation

There are nine lakhs kinds of water creatures; fourteen lakhs kinds of birds. I will describe them: insects are of twenty-seven lakhs kinds; thirty lakhs of trees and plants exist. There are four lakhs kinds of rational beings among which the human body is supreme. In other species of life the Jiva cannot know God; tied by karma, she comes and goes.

Why is human Life the best?

Dharam Das bowed his head to His feet and requested the Lord to explain to him:

In all kinds of birth the Jiva is similar. Then why don’t they have equal knowledge? Tell me why there is this difference, so that the doubt of my mind may go away.

The Satguru said:

Listen, Dharam Das, you are my ornament; I will explain to you this shortcoming. In all four kinds of creation the Jivas are similar; but listen to what I am telling you now. In the seed-born, there is one element. The moisture-born contains two elements, whereas the egg-born contains three. In the womb-born are four elements, and in the human body five elements are present.

Because of the human body, a Jiva holds the right to understand knowledge. The human body is made for the devotion of God.

What Elements are present in which Kind of Creation?

Dharam Das said to Kabir:

Oh Lord, explain to me, which elements they contain. What elements are in the egg-born and womb-born, and what are in moisture-born and seed-born? Describe them all to me. Shower Grace on me; don’t hide anything from me.

The Satguru explicated:

Listen, Dharam Das, about the elements contained by the different kinds of creation: I will tell you which contains what. In the egg-born are three elements: water, air, and fire. In the seed-born is only one: the element of water is present there. The moisture-born has two elements in it; they are air and fire. The womb-born contains four elements: earth, fire, water and air. Among the womb-born, the human body is supreme, which contains five elements. Kabir says this truly, Dharam Das: you can test it. The body of man is created from the womb-born, but in it five elements are developed: that is why he has more knowledge and goes to Sach Khand after catching Naam.

Why don’t all the Human Beings have equal Amount of Intellect?

Dharam Das said:

Listen, oh reliever of prisoners, please clear up my one illusion: all men and women have similar elements, but they don’t have similar intellect. Some have compassion, chastity, contentment and forgiveness in them, whereas some are devoid of these qualities. Some are criminals, some are cool-hearted, and some are as cruel as Kal. Some kill others and eat them, whereas some are very gracious.

Some become happy by listening to the knowledge of God, but some like to sing the praises of Kal. My Lord, explain to me why there are different attributes in different human beings.

Kabir said to Dharam Das:

Dharam Das, listen to me attentively; I will tell you the attributes of men and women. I will make you understand the reason man becomes intelligent or foolish. The Souls who come into the human body from the body of the lion, snake, dog, jackal, crow, vulture, pig, cat, and bodies like that, eat inedible things. Know them as persons with bad attributes. The nature of their past doesn’t leave them because of their karmas; only great virtue can liberate them. That is why even though they are manifested as human beings, still they behave as beasts. 

From whatever body the Soul has come, she has her nature accordingly: they come as sinners, violent ones and killers, and worship poison. Whatever attribute they have cannot be changed.

How the Effect caused by the past Life’s Body can be removed

When one meets the Satguru and He gives him knowledge, he forgets his beastliness; brother, when the sandpaper of Naam is applied, only then is the rust of the Soul removed.

When the washerman washes the clothes, he uses soap: the clothes which have little dirt in them need little labour to remove the dirt. The clothes which are very dirty need more labour. The nature of man is like the clothes and dirt. Some Souls get knowledge with only a little explanation and labour.

Dharam Das said:

This was the description of a few bodies. But now please tell me about every kind of creation. When the Souls come into the human body from all four different types of creation, what attributes do they have? Tell me, explaining them one by one. Oh, my Lord, have Grace on me so that learning this I may get some awareness.



Eighty-four lakhs Births: Lakh is an Indian numeral; see the illustration 'Lakh' in the subchapter 'How Vishnu turned black.' Nine lakhs of water creatures equal 900,000; fourteen lakhs of birds equal 1,400,000; twenty-seven lakhs of insects equal 2,700,000; thirty lakhs of trees and plants equal 3,000,000 and four lakhs of rational beings equal 400,000. All these proportions accumulate the 8,400,000 kinds of species in which a Soul can incarnate. (See the illustration 'Eighty-four lakhs of species' in the subchapter 'Adhya orders her three Sons to create the Universe.')

Rational beings: Includes mammals as well as non-physical entities – ghosts, angels, gods, etc.

The gods have their own realm. Contrary to men, they are, however, not able to catch the Sound Current and to realise the Truth.

The angels were demanded to bow before man. When they believe to have served mankind enough, they themselves ask for the human birth. Since only in human birth it is possible
to know God.

Angels? Angels worship Whom? He Who has appointed them as angels: God. Then if you worship God, where is the fear of the angels? You need no help from the angels when you look to the King.

Spiritual Gems –
Questions and Answers,
by Kirpal Singh, 1894–1974

Therefore, for all human beings it is an absurdity to busy themselves with angels or even to want to contact them and to call on them for help. Unfortunately, this has escalated more and more during recent years. By now it is even propagated on websites and by formations.

A downright branch of trade has developed from this: figures are produced and fee required rituals and 'inaugurations' are offered.

Egg-born: Andaj – those born from eggs, like birds, snakes, fish, etc.

Seed-born: Utbhuj – those that sprout from seeds, like trees, shrubs and vegetables.

Moisture-born: Setaj – those that grow out of sweat, filth, etc., like lice and worms, etc.

Womb-born: Jeraj – those born from the foetus, like men and animals.

Body of man: Man biologically belongs to the mammals; the difference between him and the other Jeraj – the Spiritual Dimension – is due to the presence of the fifth element, akash – usually translated as 'aether' – which is non-physical.