Devotee: (reading) "As long as the material body exists, one has to meet the demands of the body, namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating. But a person who is in pure bhakti-yoga, or in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, does not arouse the senses while meeting the demands of the body. Rather, he accepts the bare necessities of life, making the best use of a bad bargain, and enjoys transcendental happiness in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He is callous toward incidental occurrences—such as accidents, disease, scarcity and even the death of a most dear relative—but he is always alert to execute his duties in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or bhakti-yoga. Accidents never deviate him from his duty. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, āgamāpāyino nityās tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata. He endures all such incidental occurrences because he knows that they come and go and do not affect his duties. In this way he achieves the highest perfection in yoga practice."
Richard: Did you write…, you wrote the purport? Okay, um, when you said that the person who is involved with Kṛṣṇa consciousness makes the best use of a bad bargain, were you referring to life?
Richard: This physical life?
Prabhupāda: The physical life is struggle for existence.
Richard: Is a struggle for existence. Why is…? Why, if a man who is an alcoholic, if that’s the best that he can make of life, why is that bad?
Prabhupāda: That is not… He’s wrongly… He’s going in the wrong path.
Richard: Well, if that’s the best that he can do.
Prabhupāda: He can think.
Richard: He can change?
Prabhupāda: Yes, he can change. Change is possible, but if he sticks, that is his selection.
Richard: Ah, but suppose drinking to him is better than what he has to put up with, the…
Prabhupāda: That is not actual fact. Drinking, nobody can be happy by drinking. That is not possible.
Richard: Okay. Okay. You said in the purport that tragedies of life—I’m paraphrasing—tragedies of life such as death of even a close relative are mere incidental occurrences. Is…? But you said earlier that death to you was anything but a mere incidental occurrence, that it was the… Am I mis…
Prabhupāda: No, we are not irresponsible to the death. Death, although we have to meet death, we are making provision that after death we become happy. Happy, of course, for us, even in living condition or dead condition, there is happiness, but it will take time to understand. But taking superficially, death is not very pleasing, so after death, that is mentioned in the Bha… Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma (BG 4.9), we do not get again a material body. This is final. The material body is the cause of pains and pleasure. So if you don’t get the material body, if you remain in your spiritual body, that is real enjoyment.
Richard: But then why do you fear this death of the physical body?
Prabhupāda: No, I do not fear.
Richard: Oh, you don’t?
Richard: Oh, okay.
Devotee: The ordinary man.
Richard: Well, I don’t either, and I’m not in Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: That is another thing, because you do not know that you are risking your life without Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the… You do not, that I have already said, that an innocent person doesn’t know what is going to happen. But things are going to happen. That you do not know.
Devotee: After death.
Prabhupāda: So you must be aware what is going to happen after death. Then if you become fearless, that is secure. But without knowing, if you are not afraid, that is risk.
(Srila Prabhupada Coronet Magazine Interview, June 10, 1976, Los Angeles)