(Click to enlarge the changing of bodies)
Devotee: At the point of death, the gross body returns back to the earth. Is there ever a time when the subtle body dies?
Devotee (2): At the time of death, the gross body returns to the earth. Is...?
Prabhupāda: The gross body is finished. Gross body becomes ash, stool or earth. Those who are burying the gross body, it becomes after some times earth. And those who are giving this body to be eaten by other animals, it becomes stool. And those who are burning this body, the body becomes ash. So gross body, there are three ultimate goal: either to become ash or stool or earth.
Devotee (2): His question was, "Is there a time when the subtle body ceases to exist?"
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is liberation. When... So long you are encircled by the subtle body, there is no question of liberation, because the subtle body will take you to another gross body. When we are free from the subtle body, then we are liberated. We go back to home, back to Godhead. Yes?
Devotee (3): What's the subtle body like?
Prabhupāda: I have already explained. Mind, intelligence and ego—this is subtle body. Everyone has got his mind, everyone knows. But we cannot see. The intelligence... Everyone has got intelligence, but we cannot see. Similarly, subtle body is invisible. Ghost means when the living entity remains in the subtle body, do not get another gross body—they are very sinful—they create disturbance. But we cannot see. That is ghost. Ghost means that those who are too much sinful, they do not get this gross body. They are punished with the position, to remain in the subtle body, at least for some time. That is ghostly life. Therefore you will see, ghostly-haunted places, something is being done, but how it is being done you do not see, because you cannot see the subtle body. But you will see something is being carried in the air. It is not something being carried. It is being carried by the subtle body. But I have no eyes to see the subtle body. That is practical. I do not see your mind, but you have got your mind. You do not see my mind. You can see my mind by the action, that's all. The subtle body is there. Gross body, subtle body. Death means finishing of this gross body, and liberation means no more association with the subtle body, only spiritual. That is called liberation.
Devotee (2): Śrīla Prabhupāda? How does one become free from that ghostly body?
Prabhupāda: Ghostly body means he has to suffer for some time. Just like you are put into prison. After your term is finished, then you are liberated. Similarly, a most sinful man, he is given this term, "You remain for some years in the subtle body." Everything is like that. This is also. We have got this body, gross body, under certain condition. When that condition is finished, then I give up this body, I create another condition, and I enter another body. This is going on.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Melbourne, May 21, 1975)