Room Conversation with Graham Hill , London , 1973-07-26

Prabhupāda: But death is compelling me to die. There is no science, no philosophy, no hero to conquer over this death. This is our philosophy = how to conquer over the race between life and death.

[aside:] Now you find out that verse,

janma karma me divyam
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti kaunteya

This is Sanskrit language.

Śyāmasundara: "One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world..."

Prabhupāda: "Does not take his birth again."

Śyāmasundara: "...but attains My eternal abode."

Prabhupāda: Yes, this is the winning over death. What is that process?

Śyāmasundara: Ah, "One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities."

Prabhupāda: Simply if you know what is Kṛṣṇa, why He comes, what are His activities, these things, if you try to understand, then you conquer over death.

Graham Hill: And anyone who..., I mean, do you know this answer, and you are telling your followers?

Prabhupāda: Yes, this is our philosophy. We are spreading this philosophy, that conquer over death and go back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore our name of the paper is Back to Godhead. Winning over the race between life and death and get your eternal life and go back to home, back to Godhead. This is our philosophy.

Graham Hill: You don't believe, then, in that we come back, rebirth again in another form?

Prabhupāda: Yes, transmigration. Just like you also were a boy like him, but where is that body? There is no... That body, that is finished. But you exist; you remember that you were a boy like him. You remember that boy's childhood body. So that body is finished, but you are not finished. So therefore you, the soul, is eternal. You are simply changing body. This is called death. Death means changing the body. As soon as the body becomes old enough, no more youthful, then you die.

Die means to change the body just like you change your garment. When the garment is no more useless..., no more useful, then you change to another garment. That is stated = vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya [Bg. 2.22].

[aside:] You come here.

Just like jīrṇāni, when old garment, no more useful, you change it to a new garment.

[aside:] Come here, find out vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya.

Śyāmasundara: He's our Sanskrit scholar.


vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro 'parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī

"As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones."

Graham Hill: And you go back to the Godhead. You go back to home.

Prabhupāda: That is ultimate goal. So long we do not go back to home, back to Godhead, we have to, in our material existence, we have to change from one body to another. That is going on. And there are 8,400,000 forms of bodies. The cats and dogs, they are also living entities, but they have got a different type of body. Every one of us, different type body. Even they are children, their body is different from your body. Even the features. Although their body is obtained... There are some similarities. But if you analyze very scrutinizingly, there will be some difference from your body, from your daughter's body, from your boy's body.

So every body..., every living entity is getting a certain type of body according to his desire. According to his desire. So that desire means material enjoyment. Just like you have got certain desires to become champion in racing. Another body has got desire to become something else. Another body has got desire for something else. So we have got this freedom by the grace of God, or Kṛṣṇa, because we are children. He has given freedom = "All right. If you want this, take it." In this way our life is going on. This is called birth and death. One chapter you are finishing in one life, next chapter begins another life, next chapter begins another life.

So the problem is birth and death. But nobody wants birth and death. Nobody wants. But it is there on account of our material life. So in the material life there are four problems = birth, death, old age and disease. So long one has to accept a material body, he has to accept these miseries also. Birth is also misery. When the child remains within the womb, in a compact bag... Very precarious condition. We have forgotten, but it is very precarious condition. And for ten months, because he is unconscious at least for seven months, he cannot understand. But after seven months, when the child becomes conscious, it is very intolerable.

He always prays, "Oh, how to get out? How to get out?" Then he gets, come out, comes out. Then another life begins. That is also accompanied with so many miserable conditions from the birth. Just like---don't mind---when you drive your car, it is not a very good position. [laughter] Yes. But you are doing, taking that risk for winning over. But the position is not very good. At any moment there can be accident.

So similarly, we are trying to achieve some goal of life, every one of us---there are so many varieties of living entities---with the risk of life and death, old age and disease. But if we know what is our actual aim of life... The actual aim of life should be back to home, back to Godhead. Then this human form of life is successful. Just like your son, if he goes out independent... Now he is under father's protection, he is very happy. But if he declares his independence... Just like Śyāmasundara. He is very rich man's son. His father, I met him. His father is a big lawyer, big businessman.

But he declared independence. And I know his life history, how much he had to go through so many serious things. Similarly, we are also sons of God. We have declared independence, and we are going through so many chapters of life and death in different... Now we have got... Suppose you have got now a nice Englishman's body, but next body you do not know what kind of body you are going to get. That will depend on your karma and desire.

Graham Hill: Do we know what sort of body we have been in..., in the past?

Prabhupāda: Yes, in the past. We forgot. But in the past we had life. Just like in the past I was young man. That's a fact. Similarly... But that young body is no more existing. Similarly, I had a past life, but I have forgotten. That is the difficulty. Because forgetfulness is our nature. Death means forgetting what was your first..., past life. That is by nature we become forgetful, because if we remember our past life and compare with this life... Suppose one was very rich man, and if he becomes a poor..., a cat and dog, then if he remembers, then it is very unbearable for him. Therefore nature helps him to forget. Forget. Otherwise he cannot do it.

But the real problem is that we are eternal soul, we are changing our bodies one after another, birth and death. Apart from worldly happiness and distress, this birth and death, that is not very good process. At death time we have to suffer so much that we give up this body, and then again we enter into the womb of a mother. That is not very good situation. Then when come out there are so many tribulations, disease, then again old age. So people do not understand that he is passing... Especially when we are in other than human life. There are 8,400,000 species of life = aquatics, then birds, trees, plants, insects, then beasts. In this way we come to human form of life. This is evolution. So in this human form of life there is chance of understanding the problems of life. In other forms of life it is not possible.

Graham Hill: [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is consciousness. Full consciousness. But if that consciousness is developed into Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then his life is success.

Graham Hill: Can we look at ourselves and say, well, this body that we inherited, the bodies that we're in now, are the results of the behavior of our souls when we were in our previous...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Graham Hill: And then can we sort of, by looking at ourselves, can we get the sort of person we were when we were here before?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Graham Hill: Can we?

Prabhupāda: Yes. There is... There is... Even astrology, Bṛghu-saṁhitā. From that astrological calculation you can know your past life, present life and future life. There is system. Bṛghu-saṁhitā.

Graham Hill: And you say that by our behavior [indistinct] in this moment will determine what sort of body we will get when we return?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like if you are educating your son for future life. So according to his education, according to his qualification, his future life will be fixed up. If he is properly educated, he can become a very big man. And if he is not, he may not become. So this life is preparation for the next life. So this human form of life, if we are advanced in our consciousness, then we should try to get our next life going back to home, back to Godhead. This should be our endeavor.

yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtejyā yānti bhūtāni
mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām

[aside:] Find out this verse.

Śyāmasundara: There is no more body? No more body?

Prabhupāda: Yes. No, this body you have got. Just like this shirt and coat, vasamsi, this is covering of your body. So you have got already your spiritual body.

Śyāmasundara: Spiritual body.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is now covered by this material element. So emancipation, or salvation, means you no more get your material body. But your body is already there. Just like in this body I have got my body. And because I have got a hand, my dress has got a hand. Because I have got a leg, my pant has got a leg. So this superficial, external body is simply covering of your original body. Your original body is spiritual. So go back to home, back to Godhead, means you remain in your original, spiritual body. You get freedom from this covering of material body. Now that spiritual body you can transfer to so many ways.

[aside:] Read it.


yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā
yānti mad-yājino 'pi mām.

"Those who worship the demigods will take birth amongst the demigods."

Prabhupāda: Higher planetary system of demigods, yes.

Pradyumna: "Those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth amongst such beings. Those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors. And those who worship Me will live with Me."

Prabhupāda: Yes. So we can transfer to any form of body. Simply you have to prepare. But if we remain in our original body, then you go back to home, back to Godhead.

Graham Hill: How do we attain our spiritual body?

Prabhupāda: You have got already spiritual body.

Graham Hill: I mean, how did I get my spiritual body?

Prabhupāda: Because you are part and parcel of God. God is all spirit. Just like materially, because you have got white body, your son has got white body. Similarly, God is all spirit. Therefore you are son of God, part and parcel of God, that you are all spirit. But you have got this material covering because you wanted to come here and enjoy or lord it over the material nature. Everyone is trying to that. Everyone is trying to become a very prominent man in this material world. That is for lording it over the material nature. So because you desire to lord it over the material nature, you have to accept a material body.

Graham Hill: Are all spiritual bodies the same? I mean, is your spiritual body exactly the same as...

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Spiritually you are all the same. Just like as human being we are all the same, but you may have a black dress, I may have a saffron dress, he may have white dress. This is outward covering. This is not myself. Similarly, dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā [Bg. 2.13]. Within this body the spirit soul is there, and he is changing different types of bodies. So when he accepts a process, this going back to home, back to Godhead to Kṛṣṇa, then he hasn't got to accept any more material body. He remains in his own spiritual body. And spiritual body, by original constitution, it is eternal. Eternal. Nityaṁ śāśvato 'yam, na hanyate hanyamāne. Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācin [Bg. 2.20]. This is a description of it.

Śyāmasundara: In the spiritual bodies aren't there also individualities?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.

Śyāmasundara: My spiritual body won't be the same as...

Prabhupāda: Yes, just like father and son. Son is also individual. Father is also individual. Although the son is born of the body of the father, of the mother, but he is individual. He is individual. He can disobey father or he can obey the father. So long he obeys he is happy. When he disobeys he is unhappy.

[to child:] Is that all right? Eh? You want to be happy or unhappy? Obey your father, that's all. [laughter]

Very simple philosophy. Yes.

Graham Hill: [indistinct] very active.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that's nice. Yes. So he sometimes becomes disobedient? Sometimes? Eh? Why? [laughs] That means you have got independence. Is it not? Yes. That means he has got independence. Yes. This is a fact. Similarly, we are sons of God, we have got little independence. We may remain with God, we may give up His company and come here to find our own fortune. And to find our own fortune we are becoming implicated and taking birth in different species of life. That is our ignorance. You are obedient to your mother?

Girl: Sometimes.

Prabhupāda: Sometimes; not always.

Girl: Yes.

Prabhupāda: She is the youngest? Ah, therefore she must be disobedient. [laughter] Daughter is eldest? This daughter? Oh. You are obedient?

Girl: Sometimes.

Prabhupāda: Sometimes? Not always? [laughs]

Mother: Most times.

Prabhupāda: All right. Thank you.

Graham Hill: She's a bit wild when she is at home.

Prabhupāda: [laughs] Hare Kṛṣṇa. So give them prasādam. Oh, [indistinct] that's nice. So I am very glad to see you with your all family.

Graham Hill: Thank you.

Prabhupāda: Ah. Please come here. We have got very... [indistinct] [end]