Varun: Pranam guruji, I wanted to know if plants are living or not I mean if they have souls or not?
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you. Every plant has its soul. In this connection, I paste my article below-
Rebirth and different yonis
Idea of Yajurveda mantra 39/6 is that after leaving the human body, the soul goes to several matters in the space etc., and then according to good or bad deeds takes next birth. Yajurved mantra 39/7 states that those souls who do sins they take birth with violent nature like wolves, bear and those who give fear to others in human body, they take birth in body with dangerous nature like crocodiles, poisonous snakes, tigers, lions, wild boars etc., those who give fear to others, they will be of timid nature also like rabbits, deer etc. Those who give justice and make others fearless, they will take next birth in a fearless nature. Those who are indulged in illusion, they will take birth in a place where the atmosphere will be full of illusion (Yajurveda mantra 40/3 also refers).
Those who are learned Yogis but are not yet attained salvation, they will take next birth in a place where there will not be any illusion but divine enlightenment. Those who have not controlled their five senses, five perceptions and mind then in the next birth they will be of restless nature. But those who have controlled their senses etc., will be of calm, peaceful nature. Those who have followed eternal knowledge, they will also be of peaceful nature in the next birth.
Atharvaveda mantra 9/10/16 states that those who are not learned in this birth, they will get the birth as “sthavar” rooted plants etc., as birds and as animals etc., and those who are learned they take next birth as rishi-munis. So the soul based on his sins or pious deeds takes birth in upper class or lower class. The above said Atharvaveda mantra also states that the soul in the human body knows each and everything that is each outer matter of the world but due to involvement in illusion, soul does not know himself.
As Manusmriti states in shlok 1/43-46 the soul according to deeds takes birth as animal, non-violent deer etc., carnivores like tiger, leopards etc., devils, human beings. The said are of “jarayuj” type i.e., those who take birth from their skin i.e., tissue. Soul takes birth as “undaj” type i.e., those who hatch from eggs like birds, snakes, crocodiles, fish, tortoise, etc. Soul takes birth in “Swedaj” type i.e., those who take birth from sweat, humidity, moisture, for-example, lice, mosquitoes, flies, bed-bugs, etc.
Soul also takes birth in Udbhij i.e., who takes birth from within the earth like plants who emerge from seeds etc., and are stable at one place like trees etc. So there are four above quoted main origin (yonis) of which the total number comes as 84 lakhs.
PLANTS HAVE SOUL
Plants have soul. You see, when a lion kills deer, buffalo, cow etc., in the jungle and eats it, God does not punish him because it is the nature of lion and other carnivorous animals to eat flesh.
Similarly God has allowed us to take vegetarian food, not the lion. So, we are not punished yet there is difference between flesh and vegetarian food. All vegetarian food should be taken when it is ripened. Secondly, you see, when the crops are ripened, only then are they cut and at that time soul has already left the crop before it is cut. That is why; it is told that vegetarian food should not be cut till it is ripened.
So we are allowed to take vegetarian food and not non-vegetarian food. Non-vegetarian is allowed by Almighty God to be consumed by carnivorous animals.
GP: Pranam Swamiji, I would like to know, where can I buy all four Vedas with hindi translation?
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you. You are advised to make contact at following address giving my reference please. M/s Vijay Kumar Govindram Hasanand, Nai Sadak, Delhi.