(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 03 January 2018, New Govardhana, Australia, SB 1.2.15)
As soon as we enter into the material body, the body begins to dictate many strong needs which are not possible to be denied. At the time of death however, when the living entity finally exits the material body, all of that falls away, leaving behind one’s immediate identification. Despite this, the previous reactions all remain stored within the consciousness. Therefore, at the time of death, it is not only the soul that exits the body but it is also the subtle body that goes along with this soul. And that means, that the same mind is accompanying us on our entire journey through the material realm, life after life. Since it is the same mind, all kinds of impressions from the unlimited previous lifetimes are stored within and are still acting upon us, day after day. So this means that even certain animal lives that we may have lived in previous births may influence our thoughts and actions today.
One can take the human form of life after being various species of animals. It is said that there is an evolution of consciousness when one reincarnates through these species. It is after three animal forms that one can finally come to the human form. Those who are influenced by ignorance come from the monkey form to the human form, those influenced by passion come through the form of the tiger and those who are influenced by goodness come through the form of a cow to the human form. So this is interesting how one develops in this life, originally from an animalistic mentality. One becomes completely concerned with their own feelings, where there is no sense of sacrificing for others. Generally speaking, we usually see this behaviour in many animals, except for when they are sacrificing for their young ones.
But animal life is very different from human life, in the sense that during an animal life, one is not making new karma. In animal life, one is only getting karma from previous lives. So the animal can do whatever it wants and there are no reactions. Human life, however, is of a different nature, because in the human form of life, we are responsible for our actions. Therefore, there are karmic reactions for everything we do. So there is an interesting mechanism available for a person who wants to be free from all moral limitations, and be freed from being chained by all these social impositions. However, all of that will lead us to the animalistic platform only. When we experience it, we realise that this path of freedom is not the path to liberation. It does not elevate us, and we reach that point of understanding that, “This is never going to work. This is never going to cut it for me!”