(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada)
"Regarding your question about the relationship between the living entities and Krishna, the answer is that qualitatively we are one with Krishna: There is no qualitative difference, although the living entity has a different function than Krishna. Prakrti means nature. Just like fire; its nature is heat, and the heat is not a different quality although the function is different. In one sense, fire and heat are nondifferent. Therefore, Lord Chaitanya's philosophy of inconceivably simultaneously one and different is the perfect philosophy of our relationship with the Absolute Truth. Everything is manifestation of the prakrti of the Lord, exactly like the heat and light of the fire. Heat and light are not different from the fire, but at the same time, heat and light are not the fire. In this way we have to understand the purusa and prakrti. The Lord is the purusa, or Enjoyer, and prakrti is the enjoyed.
Regarding your question about our relationship with Srimati Radharani, She is the internal energy, we are marginal energy. Marginal means sometimes internal, sometimes external. When we are under the internal energy, that is our normal life, and when we are under the external energy, that is our abnormal life. Therefore, we are called marginal energy; we can be either this way or that way. But being qualitatively one with the purusa, our tendency is to remain in the internal energy. Being in the external energy is our artificial attempt."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 25, 1969)
You have inquired about how we leave our body and enter into the Spiritual Sky. This information is very nicely explained in the Second Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, First Chapter. The idea is that this universe is just like a coconut fruit, and exactly like the coconut fruit there is covering of several layers. Each layer is said to be ten times more than the other. So when a living entity is eligible and fully prepared to enter into the Spiritual Sky, he merges his different bodily elements which are called earth, fire, water, air, and ether. In those covering layers these bodily elements return, and the living entity goes back to the Spiritual Sky. Pure devotees do not desire to enter into any one of the higher planetary systems of this universe. Sometimes mystic yogis are interested to see the higher planetary systems, and before entering into the Spiritual Sky, they take advantage of seeing the higher planetary systems. But a pure devotee is so much eager to enter back into the Spiritual Sky, especially devotees of Krishna, so they do not try even to enter into the Vaikuntha Lokas. Everything depends on the intense desire of the living entity, and Krishna gives all facilities for fulfilling such desires. So far as we are concerned, we should always be very much eager to directly contact Krishna, following the Footprints of Lord Caitanya."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 26, 1969)
"Regarding your question about the difference between mind and soul, the mind is one of the senses, and the soul is the owner of the senses, including the mind. The mind is material, just like the material body, but when the material coverings are taken away, as we revive our spiritual body, similarly we revive our spiritual mind also. At the present moment, my material mind, intelligence and ego is carrying me in different types of bodies, because mind has different desires, and it carries the soul just like finer air carries the flavor of the flower or some other smell. So the mind is an instrument, and the soul is the worker of the instrument."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 8, 1969)
"Regarding your questions about Sankirtan Party, I think you should try to always have Sankirtana going on. All other things are subsidiary. This chanting is our life and soul, so we must arrange our program now so that there will be as much chanting on the streets and at college engagements as possible. On May 12th, we had a very successful engagement at Ohio State University, and over one thousand boys and girls were chanting and dancing along with us. So this policy should be continued as far as possible."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 14, 1969)
"So far as your question about how to think of Radha-Krishna, your present process of visualizing the Deities is nice."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 15, 1969)
"Regarding your question of Paramatma: you are fortunate enough for your sincere service, Krishna as Paramatma Who is sitting within your heart is now dictating. Krishna is so kind that He wants to help us as Spiritual Master in two ways. He helps us from within as Caitya Guru and He expands Himself externally as Siksha Guru (as instructor) and diksha Guru (initiator). So the principle is that whatever you are instructed by the Chaitya Guru internally may be confirmed by the instructor or initiator externally. Then your progress will be complete."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 21, 1969)
"Regarding your question about kirtana, practically we are not concerned with the instruments. They are used sometimes to make it sweeter, but if we divert our attention for using the instruments more, that is not good. Generally kirtan is performed with mridanga and kartals, but if somebody is expert instrument player, he can be admitted to join Sankirtan. We can accept everything for Krishna's service, but not taking the risk of diverting attention to any other thing which will hinder our Krishna Consciousness. That should be our motto, or principle."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 26, 1969)
"I have received your last three letters, and in the last one, dated 24th May, 1969, you have inquired about the Jagannath Car. The crimson color with silver decorations is quite all right. There is no strict regulation about decorating the cars. We can decorate the cars very fascinatingly with gold, silver, and other shiny metallic embroidery work as far as possible. The idea is the more we decorate Krishna, Who is nondifferent from His car also, the more we become decorated indirectly. We are compared as the shadow of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as it is stated in the Bible also, man is made after God. We understand from the scriptures that Krishna has His Vigraha, or Spiritual Body, exactly like a man who has two hands, two legs and all similar features. If you decorate your face, you do not see directly how your face has become beautiful, but when you see the reflection of your face in the mirror, then indirectly you can see the beauty. Therefore, by serving Krishna directly the result of the service indirectly comes to us. Just like we offer very nice prasadam directly to Krishna, but indirectly we enjoy the nice taste of the prasadam. So we should always remember this, that Krishna is always full in Himself; He does not want a pinch of our help for his satisfaction, but if we try to satisfy Him in so many ways as directed by acaryas and scriptures, indirectly we become benefited by such activities."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, May 27, 1969)
"Regarding the first question in your letter about how do we know of the spiritual abodes since once going there no one returns, you should know that the great liberated souls and incarnations who appear from time to time in this material world are not actually coming back, because they are never subject to material contamination or the laws of material nature. For the purpose of delivering the fallen living entities they come here temporarily and then go back when their business is finished, and this is all under the direct order of the Lord. So the appearance of the Lord or the great liberated souls in the material is different from the appearance of the contaminated living entity who is forced to take birth in the material world due to his desire to lord it over the world. In your second question you asked if we will remember the earth, when in Vrindaban, and the answer is certainly. When Narada Muni was talking to Vyasadeva, as you may have read in first volume of our Srimad Bhagavatam, he was in a spiritual body, but he remembered his previous life and explained it to Vyasadeva. In material life there is forgetfulness, but in spiritual life there is no forgetfulness."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 6, 1969)
"The answer to your Istogosthi questions are as follows: Unless one is a resident of Krishna Loka, one cannot be a Spiritual Master. That is the first proposition. A layman cannot be a Spiritual Master, and if he becomes so then he will simply create disturbance. And who is a liberated person? One who knows Krishna. It is stated in BG, fourth chapter, anyone who knows Krishna in truth is immediately liberated, and after quitting the present body, he immediately goes to Krishna. That means he becomes a resident of Krishna Loka. As soon as one is liberated he is immediately a resident of Krishna Loka, and anyone who knows the truth of Krishna can become Spiritual Master. That is the version of Lord Chaitanya. So to summarize the whole thing, it is to be understood that a bona fide Spiritual Master is a resident of Krishna Loka."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, June 10, 1969)