Prabhupāda: The Bhagavad-gītā says, yānti deva-vratāḥ devān. If you want to go to the moon planet, sun planet, Venus planet or any other planet, you just prepare yourself in this life, and at the time of death, you'll be transferred to such-and-such condition of life. Similarly, pitṛ-vratāḥ, there are pitṛ-lokas; bhūtejyā, bhūtejya, ghost worshiper, they will also go to such planet. And mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām, Kṛṣṇa says: "Those who want to go to Me, back to home, back to Godhead, they can also go there. They can also go there."
Therefore our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that if I have to prepare myself in this life... actually, this life is preparation for the next life. That is a fact. So here is a chance, this human form of life. Either you go back to home, back to Godhead, or again you go to the cycle of different species of life. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate (BG 8.19). You accept one type of body, live there for some time, then give it up, then accept another type of body, live for some time, then accept another type of body. In this way...
But we are so much illusioned that although this is botheration, to accept one type of body, again give it up, again accept another type of body, we are not disgusted with this business. Because actually we are eternal. Why should we accept one type of body, live there for some time and again change it? That we have experienced. Just like any one of us, we desire that my youthful body may remain. We try to keep that youthfulness by so many medicine, by so many means. But nature will not allow to keep yourself always youthful. That is not possible. You must change.
Therefore one should be inquisitive, that "I don't want this type of body, this old body, feeble body, more conditioned, with rheumatic disease and other, so many disease, cough disease. I don't want it, but I'm forced to accept this body. This is real problem. I don't want to die, but death is forced upon me." So these question should be raised by really advanced human being, that, "I don't want all these things. I want to enjoy this material world, but I am forced to change into a body I cannot enjoy. I cannot enjoy." This is real problem. That real problem has been discussed in the Bhagavad-gītā: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). We want to enjoy. Suppose I am a technologist. I want to enjoy this material world. I manufacture something, very good facility for living condition, as we are doing. But before finishing my desirable construction, nature takes me away. Just like I saw in France, Paris. What is that arch?
Devotees: Arc de Triomphe.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Napoleon wanted to construct that arch, and he was so, I mean to say, powerful man, but he could not see the arch beginning in his life; he was taken away. He did not like that, that he wanted to see something more, but he was taken away. But we are not seeing this point that, "I am trying to enjoy, and we are adopting so many means, but where is the certainty of my enjoyment? At any moment I shall be kicked out, 'Get out!' " That brain is lacking in the present civilization.
Therefore it is said in the Bhāgavatam, parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto (SB 5.5.5). Because these persons are abodha, have no full knowledge, therefore they are trying for something to enjoy which may not be allowed to him. It is not actually allowed to him. Nobody wants to die; he wants to enjoy, live here. But that is not possible. So this is the real problem, that we have accepted a condition of life in the material world which will not allow me to fulfill my desires to the fullest extent.
That is the real problem. And that is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānu... those who are actually thoughtful, they should know these four principles of problem or unhappiness always in front. He should think that, "I am trying to enjoy. I'm planning to enjoy this material world, but I have to die. I have to give up this body at any moment. There is no guarantee that I shall live so many years. There is no guarantee. At any moment."
Therefore the death has been described by Kṛṣṇa, mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś ca aham. Mṛtyu means death, and sarva-haraś ca means one who takes away everything. Sarva-haraś ca. "That is I am," Kṛṣṇa says, or God says. Those who are demons, those who cannot see God or feel the presence of God, they are called demons. So sometimes we hear they say, "Can you show me God?" Well, God is everywhere. God is within your heart. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham (Bs. 5.35). God is within this universe. God is within your heart. God is within the atom also. Now you have to make your eyes to see. Why do you say, "Can you show me God?" Have you got the eyes to see? Your eyes are imperfect. Why you are so much proud of your eyes? If there is no light, you cannot see, so what is the value of your eyes?
So your seeing power is under certain condition. Therefore, if you want to see God, then you have to fulfill the condition. That is, that condition is given in the Vedic literature:
santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yam śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
If you have to see God, then you have to apply the ointment of love of God in your eyes, and then your eyes will be cleansed and you'll see God. This is the process. Premāñjana. Prema means love of God, and añjana means ointment. Just like sometimes we do not see correctly. In India, there is a kind of powder called surma. They apply it and they see clearly. Or some, any other. Similarly, there is possibility of seeing God with these eyes, provided you cleanse it. And what is the cleansing process? Love of Godhead, that's all. If you actually learn how to love God... that is practical. If you love somebody, in spite of being engaged in so many other occupation, you see your lover always—"When shall I meet? When shall I talk with him or with her?"
This is practical. So if it is materially possible, if you develop your loving tendency... you have got the loving tendency. That is natural. Because living being is part and parcel of God. God is loving, so we have got that propensity of love. But our loving propensity has turned into lust at the present moment due to material condition. So if you want to purify that lust tendency into love, then we can see God. That is the condition. That we'll have to learn. That is called bhakti-yogam, bhakti-yogam, which we are teaching, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
The human life is meant for understanding God, for seeing God, for talking with God, for behaving with God. That is possible. But you require little training. From the animalistic life, the animal cannot talk of God, cannot understand of God, cannot see God. But if we remain in the animalistic way of life, then it is not possible to see God and talk with Him. But if we purify ourself, if we apply the ointment of love of God on the eye, then premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ, those who are saints... I think this "saint" word has come from the Sanskrit world santa. Santa is Sanskrit word. Santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti. Those who are saintly person, those who have trained themself in the affairs of love of Godhead, they can see God constantly within the heart. That is possible.
So here, Arjuna is also a saintly person. He's not ordinary man, because he's talking Kṛṣṇa personally. If Arjuna has got the chance of making friendship with God and talking with Him personally, everyone has got the same capacity, provided we elevate ourself to that standard of life, bhakti, bhakti-yoga. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, "If anyone wants to understand Me, then the process is bhakti, devotional service." The process means how to love God, that process. And in the Bhāgavatam it is said what is first-class religion. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). That religion is first class which makes the follower a lover of God. This is simple definition of religion, first-class religion. If we do not awaken our dormant love for God, then śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8): then you follow any type of religion, you are simply wasting your time. That's all. That is not religion. Religion means to understand God and to learn how to love God.
So here Arjuna, he loves Kṛṣṇa, he's a lover of God; therefore he's asking question from Kṛṣṇa. But whatever question is answered by Kṛṣṇa, that is perfect, because He is perfect. So our process of receiving knowledge: from the perfect. Not one who is illusioned, who commits mistake, whose senses are imperfect and wants to cheat. Because how an imperfect person can take the position of a teacher if he has...? Now so many scientists, we ask so many things, and they simply reply that "Yes, we are trying," "In future." That means he is not yet perfect. So if you are not perfect, why you are taking the position of a teacher? First of all you be perfect. So that is not possible. Therefore, our process of receiving knowledge is from the perfect. And who can be more perfect than God Himself? That is our process of knowledge.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Stockholm, September 7, 1973)