(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, in our fully developed state in the spiritual sky, are we still one ten-thousandth the size of a tip of a hair like we are now in conditioned state?
Prabhupāda: Your real dimension is mentioned there, that you are a spiritual atom. The measurement is one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair. That is the seed, or basic principle. Now, on that small particle of spirit soul we have developed this body. We have got human bodies, other has got the elephant body, other has got the mountaineous body, but this is external. The real seed is that one ten-thousandth part of the hair. Similarly, as you have developed this material body under different consciousness, similarly, when we give up the material connection we shall develop our spiritual body, and in that spiritual body we shall be able to enter the kingdom of God, back to home, back to Godhead. This is the position.
This body you will have to give up—today or tomorrow or one hundred years after. We have to give it up. The Bhagavad-gītā says after giving up this body, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9), after giving up this body he does not accept any more material body. Then what happens to him? Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti, "He comes to Me." So "He comes to Me" means just like in your country one who comes to you becomes citizen. He must have some particular qualities or conditions fulfilled, then he will be accepted as citizen or immigrant. Similarly, if we want to go back to home, back to Godhead, then we must develop our dormant spiritual qualities, and that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is the training period for going back to home, back to Godhead.
So... But after giving up this body or after this time's death, others who are dying, they do not know what next life they are getting. They, although they are proud of education, but they do not discuss what is the constitutional position of the soul, how he is transferring from one body to another, how it is to be done. This science is unknown to the modern education. Is it not? They do not know. They simply speculate. That is the defect of modern educational system. And actually, everyone is seeking for spiritual emancipation. Therefore in your country, in spite of so many big, big universities, you are producing hippies, hopeless population. Am I saying right or not? You are university teacher. I have seen in so many universities.
Guest (1): I like my students.
Guest (1): I like my students. I think they're on the right track.
Prabhupāda: No. You like your students; I like your students more, because I do not wish to see them in such frustrated condition. That is my mission. I want to make them happy. So I want to give them this information of Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that they may get back life.
I have received thousands of letter, those who have come to this life from frustration, how they are feeling obliged to me.
Guest (2): Prabhupāda? You said in, in the past lecture that, uh, for one who wants to take up bhakti, the work that you're engaged in does not stop. This has been a source of confusion for myself; maybe other people. Could you sort of delineate what it meant by this?
Devotee (1): He said that when you take up bhakti, the work does not stop. So he's confused.
Prabhupāda: No. Bhakti... Therefore we are defining bhakti. Definition of bhakti, it means,
(CC Madhya 19.167)
That is bhakti. Try to understand what is bhakti... Bhakti means we have no other desire than to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna satisfied Kṛṣṇa by fighting, and he became a bhakta.
In the battlefield Arjuna was hesitating, that "What is the use of killing my own..., own men, my family men, my brothers, my nephews, my grandfather?" all on the other side. And he was to fight with them, fight with them and to kill them. So he was hesitating. He was a warrior, a very great warrior. He knew that "I fight, I shall kill them. Though they have come to fight with me, they do not know, but I know. They are my men, so why shall I fight with them? Let them enjoy. I don't want." That was the principle, feeling. But after understanding Bhagavad-gītā, when he came to the understanding it is his duty to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, so he sacrificed his own conviction that he would not kill this men. He satisfied Kṛṣṇa, by the same art. He was a warrior. So he did not change his position. After reading (hearing) Bhagavad-gītā, he did not become a Vedāntist or walk away to Himalaya for yoga practice, and gave up the fighting, battlefield. No. He did not change. But he changed his consciousness. That is wanted.
Our, at the present moment our consciousness is that we are working for our own sense gratification. When this consciousness will be changed, that we have to work for satisfying Kṛṣṇa, then our life is perfect. You haven't got to change your work or position. But when you understand that you'll have to work not for your personal sense gratification, but for satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa, that is success of life. But there is no question of changing your position. Changing your consciousness—that is success.
Guest (2): Can I ask another question?
Prabhupāda: First of all, this is clear?
Guest (2): It's very clear.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Bhakta does not mean that he'll have to change everything. No. He hasn't got to change anything. Simply he has to change his consciousness. That's all. This is bhakti—change, change his consciousness in favor of Kṛṣṇa. I am acting now, "I like this, to do." This is our position. "I like. I like to eat like this. I like to sleep like this." So present position, material position, means my liking, and spiritual position means Kṛṣṇa's liking. That's all. I agree to the Kṛṣṇa's like. Material position means I..., I simply want to satisfy my liking. Therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to change this mentality, my liking, but to accept the principle of satisfying Kṛṣṇa. So bhakti means to act according to Kṛṣṇa's liking. Is it clear?
Guest (2): It's clear.
Prabhupāda: It does not mean change of place, change of occupation. Change of mentality. That's all.
Guest (3): (indistinct) We're engaged in some occupation that Kṛṣṇa does not like?
Devotee (1): What if you're engaged in some occupation which Kṛṣṇa does not like?
Prabhupāda: That you have to learn from the Kṛṣṇa's representative: what He likes, what He does not like.
Guest (3): We should accordingly give it up immediately?
Prabhupāda: Therefore you have to accept spiritual master. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo (Śrī Śrī Gurv-aṣṭaka 8). If the spiritual master is pleased, then you know Kṛṣṇa is pleased. If Kṛṣṇa..., if spiritual master is displeased, then you know that Kṛṣṇa is displeased.
You cannot be in contact with Kṛṣṇa at the present moment, in the beginning; therefore you require the help of Kṛṣṇa's representative to learn whether Kṛṣṇa is pleased or Kṛṣṇa is not pleased. But your business is to please Kṛṣṇa.
Guest (4): I'm not living in the temple now. I'm working and I'm married. So what should my activities be like?
Prabhupāda: You should make your home a temple. What is the difference between temple and home? This is a temple. Next house is a house. This is also made of brick and stone; that is also made of brick and stone. But it is called temple, because here the business is Kṛṣṇa; and that is called house, because there is no Kṛṣṇa business.
So if you make your house Kṛṣṇa business, then that is also temple. You do the same thing as the members here are doing—in your apartment, in your house, with your wife and children. You earn independently, spend independently; so do it for Kṛṣṇa. Then your house is temple. That, that we want. Here the temple means we are simply giving example how to live. So this example can be followed everywhere. Every house can be turned into a temple. Here everything is Kṛṣṇa-centered. Similarly, if at..., in your home, you make Kṛṣṇa center, not you center, then your home is also a temple.
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, New York, July 3, 1972)