I just listened to a wonderful lecture of Śrīla Prabhupāda wherein he explains how our present body is decided. It is our own creation, our own painting. Done with the colors of the three modes that we associated with in our previous lives. By associating with the nature of ignorance one is granted birth among the animal species. By association with the nature of passion, material progress, one is granted birth in among humans, and by associated with the nature of purity, goodness, and clarity one can take birth among the demigods. Higher than that is one’s very own Godly spiritual form which one attains by association with the nature of God. The consciousness we are absorbed in at death will be the paint that designs our new life. Our society functions mainly on the platform of passion and ignorance (rajas & tamas) and it is rare to find someone attracted to goodness, what to speak of being situated in it. However the bright side is that one’s Godly nature is easily revived by Krishna Kirtan. It is fun, easy to do, and a person can directly perceive its benefits.
Here is the quote:
Śrīla Prabhupāda: That we have explained that you have to accept another body. And there are 8,400,000 different forms of body. And you will be awarded one of the bodies out of the 8,400,000.
The body is awarded according to your karma or action. We are acting in three modes of material nature. Some of them are acting in goodness, some of them are acting in passion, and some of them are acting in ignorance. So there are three different modes of activities. Now, when you mix up three, three into three, it becomes nine. And again if you multiply nine by nine, it becomes eighty-one. So it increases in so subtle division of the mixture of the three qualities.
Just like the painter. He knows how to mix the three original color, namely blue, yellow and red. The red color represents passion, and the yellow color represents ignorance, and the blue color represents goodness. So as the color painter, er, painter knows how to mix and make varieties of colors, similarly, the three modes of material nature being mixed up, they are represented in so many different forms of body.
So at the present moment, in your human form of body, you are also mixing the same qualities in your different desires. That means you are creating your next body. So at the time of death the thoughts and the activities which will be prominent within your mind, you will get a similar body in next life.
Therefore the intelligent man should be very cautious to get the next body. We can get the body like God; we can get the body like the dog. Therefore the best intelligent person should try to endeavor to get the next body like God. That is Krsna consciousness movement, that you endeavor in this life so long you are alive to get a body like God. That will solve your all problems, namely birth, death, old age and disease. 75/02/16 Mexico City, Bhagavad-gita 2.16