Since the living entities are never annihilated, they simply transmigrate from one life form to another. Thus there is an evolution of forms according to the degree of developed consciousness

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"Since the living entities are never annihilated, they simply transmigrate from one life form to another. Thus there is an evolution of forms according to the degree of developed consciousness"

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

Since the living entities are never annihilated, they simply transmigrate from one life form to another. Thus there is an evolution of forms according to the degree of developed consciousness.
CC Madhya 19.138, Purport:

The living entities are described as ananta, or unlimited; nonetheless, they are said to belong to 8,400,000 species. As stated in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa:

jala-jā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati
kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ pakṣiṇāṁ daśa-lakṣaṇam
triṁśal-lakṣāṇi paśavaḥ catur-lakṣāṇi mānuṣāḥ

"There are 900,000 species living in the water. There are also 2,000,000 nonmoving living entities (sthāvara), such as trees and plants. There are also 1,100,000 species of insects and reptiles, and there are 1,000,000 species of birds. As far as quadrupeds are concerned, there are 3,000,000 varieties, and there are 400,000 human species." Some of these species may exist on one planet and not on another, but in any case within all the planets of the universe—and even in the sun—there are living entities. This is the verdict of the Vedic literatures. As the Bhagavad-gītā (2.20) confirms:

na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ‘yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre

"For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain."

Since the living entities are never annihilated, they simply transmigrate from one life form to another. Thus there is an evolution of forms according to the degree of developed consciousness. One experiences different degrees of consciousness in different forms. A dog's consciousness is different from a man's. Even within a species we find that a father's consciousness is different from his son's and that a child's consciousness is different from a youth's. Just as we find different forms, we find different states of consciousness. When we see different states of consciousness, we may take it for granted that the bodies are different. In other words, different types of bodies depend on different states of consciousness. This is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (8.6):

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajanty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya sadā tad bhāva-bhāvitaḥ

“One's consciousness at the time of death determines one's type of body in the next life.” This is the process of transmigration of the soul. A variety of bodies is already there; we change from one body to another in terms of our consciousness.