Why does God use second-hand souls?
Question: The Vedic idea that, when a new life is born, a pre-existing soul enters into the newly formed body, implies that God can’t create a new soul whenever he creates a new body and so needs to use a second-hand soul. Isn’t this idea an insult to God’s creative potency?
Answer: No. God can do anything that he wants, but whatever is done is motivated exclusively by love. That’s why in his dealings with us, he is concerned not with proving his creative potency, but with extending his redemptive potency. So, it’s an insult to God’s love to propose that he treats living, loving persons like use-and-throw commodities and discards them after one lifetime, as if they have become untouchable due to being second-hand.
Let’s understand the love of God, the supreme parent, by comparing it with the love of worldly parents.
1. Even ordinary parents give their children more than one chance; if a child fails at school, will the parents give no more educational opportunities for him? Obviously not. Will they be so obsessed with their own prestige as to consider that their child has now become second-hand, and so should be forsaken and substituted by a newly begotten child? Obviously not. If they did, most sensitive and caring humans would find such prestige-obsessed parents revolting. No wonder then that most spiritually evolved devotees find it revolting to impute such a trait of prestige-obsession on the supreme parent, God.
2. Most parents would be appalled at the thought that their child mistakes their love for him to be so meager as to cause them to abandon him just because on one failure. Then, how much more appalling will God find the idea that we humans imagine his love for us, his own children, to be so miserly as to cause him to discard us forever just because of failure in one lifetime?
3. In fact, God is so benevolent and proficient a parent that he does for us what most worldly parents can’t do: converting our failures into stepping stones for success. If we fail to assimilate the wisdom of eternity in one lifetime, he ensures that we don’t have to start the next lifetime from scratch, thereby being faced in every lifetime with the unenviable task of assimilating the wisdom of eternity within one lifetime. He ensures that whatever wisdom we have assimilated in one lifetime sinks deep into our subconscious as seeds of wisdom and is accessible in our next lives to gently subconsciously prompt us toward better choices. Gradually, over the course of multiple chances offered across manifold lifetimes, our progressive assimilation of wisdom cumulates and inspires us to love God and reclaim our right to a life of eternal love in his service.
That’s why, only a world order that incorporates reincarnation into its progressive plan is compatible with a God of love; it is in the fitness of the glory of his love that he doesn’t discard us as second-hand, but rather extends us a second hand, a third hand, a fourth hand, indeed, as many hands as we need to return back to him.