(Click to enlarge painting of the cycle of birth and death)
Devotee: Yesterday you gave an example of a man who was lying asleep in bed, and he is transported somewhere in dream, walking on the beach. What is the full...? Because we're going to try to make an exhibit of it. So what is the full analogy? Is he actually going to another place by his mind? He's actually transported?
Prabhupāda: The soul is going there. The seer is the same in this gross body or in the subtle bodies. I am in the... walking in this gross body, I'm seeing this ocean, and I will leave my gross body in dream, I go to India. So the seer is the same. That is the proof of transmigration. He's dreaming tiger, and he's crying, "Here is a tiger, tiger, tiger," and another man, who is seer of the body, he says, "Where is tiger?" So this is the difference. One is seeing through this gross body, another seeing through the subtle body, but the seer is the same. Transmigration of the soul means when he's seeing through... that is practical. The child, when he's seeing through the childish body, he's talking nonsense. The same soul, when he's talking as an elderly person, he's talking beautiful. The seer is the same, simply the glass is changed: sometimes blue, sometimes red. The seer is the same, medium is different. That you have... and dead body means the seer is no longer there. It has entered another body.
Devotee (2): ...when someone is sleeping and dreaming, that the seer has left the gross body?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Devotee: How does the... life symptoms. How are the life symptoms maintained in the body?
Devotee: The life symptoms are maintained in the body still?
Prabhupāda: No, life symptoms, there is not. The body's fit; therefore, he comes back again. When the body is not fit, he enters another body. Just like your car you leave. We have come here. Now the car is all right; we go. If it is useless, we don't go; we take another.
Devotee: The body is breathing.
Devotee (3): That is like leaving the motor running.
Prabhupāda: They, unless the seer returns back, the body will lie down. That is death. The seer no more comes back, then it is dead.
Devotee (3): Yes, sometimes a man dies in his sleep.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is death.
Devotee (4): So sleeping is like temporary death.
Prabhupāda: Yes. All deaths are temporary. When you change body, you die for seven months. This death is for few hours, and that is for seven months. That's all.
Devotee: What happens when he dreams of the spiritual master or Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: That's all right. Dreaming means he's seeing. The seer is the same.
Devotee: In Hawaii you were saying that they take rest for six months and wake up a dog.
Prabhupāda: Yes. (laughter) (break)... a small garden like this, that is called a hanging garden.
Devotee (3): Yes. We can walk there in the mornings.
Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa is considered to be the watering process, and sometimes from chanting, the weeds... from watering, the weeds also grow along with devotional service—the weeds of different desires. I don't understand how it is possible that from chanting these weeds grow.
Prabhupāda: Chanting is purifying all material desires. It will take, gradually. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. If you are chanting without any offense, then your heart will be cleansed of all material contamination. Harer nāma.
Devotee: So pulling out the weeds means avoiding the offenses in chanting the holy name.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So long we'll have material desires, we'll have to accept a material body and fulfill the desires.
Devotee (4): Sometimes, although a devotee understands that he must take birth again if he does not... if he is not strict, he thinks, "Oh, it is so difficult to be strict. Maybe I'll just take it easy and remain engaged in devotional service, then I'll take another birth as a devotee and maybe next time I'll finish up my business."
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. He gets good opportunity of material enjoyment, and then take birth in good family, aristocratic or brāhmin. Then where he ended in last life, he begins again. There is a verse, paurva-dehikam (BG 6.43). Paurva-dehikam means previous birth.
Devotee (4): It seems, though, that in that respect, he's gambling.
Devotee (4): Yes, he's gambling, that he's thinking that, "Oh, next life I will come back in a better condition," but his next life might be different.
Prabhupāda: Why should he desire like that? That means he has not understood what is meant by Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Devotee (3): Yes. One who understands wants to get out in this lifetime.
Devotee (3): One who understands Kṛṣṇa consciousness should want to finish the business of material life.
Prabhupāda: Yes, therefore he's required to read Bhagavad-gītā thoroughly. It is said clearly, "This is a place of misery." Why do you desire to keep yourself in this? That means you do not understand what is spiritual life.
Devotee (5): Still thinking he's this body.
Prabhupāda: Thinking. Thinking, he's under the influence of māyā. Māyā is dictating, "Why you are trying to go away? Come on, here, Santa Monica." (laughter) And when you become detestful, either this Santa Monica or any Monica, "I am not interested."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Los Angeles, June 3, 1976)