Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda? The spirit is supposed to be stronger than matter. The spirit is superior than matter. So it seems that... Well, what happens when the body dies? Is the spirit forced to leave, or does it leave on its own accord?

Prabhupāda: No, it is by nature forced.

Devotee: But that is material.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee: Isn't nature material?

Prabhupāda: Yes, material nature, yes.

Devotee: So how is material forcing something spiritual?

Prabhupāda: You have voluntarily accepted her supremacy. Just like you have accepted some disease. The disease is forcing you. And if you cure, then it will not be able to force you. You infect some disease, then you become forced by the disease to accept the miseries. But if you are not diseased, there is no question of force. If you become criminal, the police forces you. And if you are not criminal, you have no business with the police. It is like this. Police control, controller— the controlling power upon me comes when I am criminal. Otherwise, why police will control me? Therefore I voluntarily accept the control of police by my criminal desires. That is going on. That is material life.

Devotee: But would that mean that a person who is a pure devotee doesn't have to die?

Prabhupāda: No, die... Pure or nonpure, nobody dies.

Devotee: Though his material body dies. But a pure devotee...

Prabhupāda: Yes. But a pure devotee goes back to home. There is no more material body. That is the... So we are advocating that you come to this stage where you will not to have accept this material body. Then you are really happy. And if you want to enjoy the flickering, illusory māyā, then you are subjected to the māyā. You are enjoying as American. Then you enjoy as a dog. That is māyā's control. But if you don't enjoy material things, then you become purified. You come to the eternal life, back to home, back to... But they are not willing to give up this material enjoyment. That is the defect. So it requires education. It requires knowledge. It requires training.

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Melbourne, May 22, 1975)
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