(Children playing as death hovers in the background—click to enlarge)
"Nobody is safe here. At any moment the life may be finished. Nobody can guarantee. Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadām (SB 10.14.58). In the śāstra it is said that here in this material world there is danger in every step. You are walking very nicely, and sometimes suppose there is a skin of plantain, and you slip, and your leg may be broken. Padaṁ padam. Even walking, even sitting—heart failure.
So there is no guarantee. Any moment we can die. And it is therefore called mṛtyu-loka, 'The place where death is,' I mean to say, 'sure.' 'As sure as death.' People give surety example: 'As sure as death.' As nobody can avoid death, it is sure. You may be very strong and stout in your health and go on exercising on the beach daily, but you can die any moment. There is no guarantee. But everyone wants akuto-bhayam: 'There may not be... I must be very safe and sound in every respect, in my social position, so far my health is concerned, anything.' Everyone wants that security. But there is no security."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Bombay, December 11, 1974)
"Life cannot be prolonged by heart transplant. You cannot increase the duration of life. One can perhaps give some relief to disease, that is another thing, but the duration of life is destined. From the dead body, one cannot bring life. Similarly, it may appear that one is prolonging the duration of life by medicines or heart transplant, but that is not the case. If one lives 4 years after having had a heart transplant, then by nature's law he was destined to live four years with or without having had a heart transplant. So what is the value of heart transplant?
Only by the yogic process can one prolong the life. By stopping the breathing process, keeping in samadhi, the breath period is not being misused, and he increases the life span. Therefore, destiny can only be changed by devotional service or yoga. Otherwise, what you must suffer, you must suffer, and what you must enjoy, you must enjoy. For a devotee however, whatever it may be, he takes the opportunity to chant Hare Krishna, and if by Krishna's Grace destiny is changed, then it is alright."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 4, 1976)
"So we should not die like cats and dogs. We should die like brāhmaṇa. Even in one life a solution is not made, then you get next life opportunity. Just like all these boys who have come to us, it is to be understood that they tried in their last life for making a solution of this problem, but it was not finished. There is another opportunity. These things are stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. So now, this life, you should be determined. Those who are coming to the touch of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and initiated to execute, they should be very determined that 'In this life we shall make a solution. No more. No more coming again.' That should be our determination... and go back to home, back to Godhead, where we get eternal, blissful life of knowledge. This is the sum and substance of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Hamburg, September 8, 1969)
"We are teaching every man how he can prepare himself so that after leaving this body, he can go directly to God, back to home, back to Godhead. This is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). Tyaktvā deham, after giving up this... (break) ...we have to give up. I may not like to give up this body, but I'll have to. That is nature's law. 'As sure as death.' Before death we must prepare ourselves, what is next body. If we are not doing that, then we are killing ourselves, committing suicide.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to save the human kind from being fatally injured by the wrong conception of bodily concept of life. And the simple method is by chanting the sixteen words, or if you are philosopher, if you are scientist, if you want to know everything scientifically, philosophically, we have got big, big books like this. You can either read books or simply join with us and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Edinburgh, July 16, 1972)
"If you understand Kṛṣṇa in truth, then immediate benefit is that tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9). After... You have to give up this body; it is a fact. But after giving up, this is your last material body. No more material body. Your spiritual body. So why not try one life to get back your spiritual life, get back your spiritual body, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1), and live eternal, blissful life with full knowledge and live with Kṛṣṇa and dance with Kṛṣṇa, eat with Kṛṣṇa? Why you are missing this opportunity? This is our solicitation to everyone."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, March 11, 1975)
"It is the mercy of Krishna that you are getting fair warning of your nearing death. Now, you must become very serious to prepare to meet death without fear of being fully absorbed in the lotus feet of Krishna. You must be very careful and always praying to Krishna that you will not forget Him at the time of dying.
If your heart is weak, do not take part in so much active service. It will be better for you to chant more, read books, eat less—like that you can engage yourself. Everyone has to die sometime, but the problem is that most men your age are thinking, 'I will live another fifty years', but now you have been informed that in your case, you will not live so long. Take advantage of this advance notice, consider it a blessing and prepare yourself to go back to home, back to Godhead."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 6, 1975)
"You have to give up this body. Why don't you give it up for the highest cause? Highest cause. This is the highest cause, spiritual realization. Somebody's offering his body for country's cause. Somebody's offering body for the society's cause. Or somebody's offering body for theft case or some murdering case. We have, everyone has to offer his body at the end. But the man who sacrifices this body for the purpose of self-realization, he's the most intelligent man."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New York, April 5, 1966)