Ask the Swami: Dharma vs. Darwin?
If you're bad enough, will you be reincarnated as an amoeba? Vedic perspectives on evolution, dinosaurs, Mars, and the Big Bang.
Macrocosmically, sages who have controlled minds and senses inhabit the plane of intellect. They live in samadhi awaiting liberation. Such saints have no desire for sense pleasure because of the knowledge and mystic insight they possess. They have controlled their minds and thus their senses as well, and by doing so they have come closer to the self and to God.
Therefore, we should not be concerned if the Mars probe returns to Earth with no evidence of life, for as amazing as it is to have gone there technologically, those involved have not gone to a higher planet in the sense that the Vedic scriptures speak about doing so. As interesting as the prospect of going to other planets or experiencing higher realms of material enjoyment may be, we should always be more concerned with sadhana. Sadhana and the grace of saints is infinitely more important than going to Mars.