The Natural Way of Life
Carol Jarvis: Your Divine Grace, what prompted you to start the Kṛṣṇa movement?

Prabhupāda: Well, the scientists make research. One does wrong thing to do that. So our process is to carry out the order of the higher authorities. So my Guru Mahārāja, my spiritual master, asked me to do this. Therefore...

Carol Jarvis: But you led a rather normal life—before this you were married; you were a businessman.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Carol Jarvis: What made you change suddenly?

Prabhupāda: By this association. Just like we are holding meeting, and so many boys, girls, they come. If somebody is capturing the idea, he makes further progress.

Carol Jarvis: What was it that was different about your way of thinking?

Prabhupāda: It is not my way of thinking. It is nobody's way of thinking; it is the natural way of life. Just like you eat. It is not a way of thinking; it is natural demand of the body.

Carol Jarvis: Well, why is it, can I ask, perhaps, that the Kṛṣṇa movement is the natural way of living against, say, other religions, other faiths?

Prabhupāda: It is not the question of religion or faith. It is the necessity. This already I have said, that you are hungry, and you require some food. It is not a way of thinking, that "I am hungry. I require..." It is the urge. You are hungry, and you require to eat. Similarly, people are making so many arrangements to become happy. So this is also another way, but this is the right way.

Carol Jarvis: You have now thousands and thousands of devotees all around the world.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Carol Jarvis: A lot of them are very young people coming into the movement. Do you think they really understand what they're going into when they join the Kṛṣṇa movement?

Prabhupāda: So if, if... At least they understand something about it. Otherwise how they are sticking to this movement? They are intelligent boy. They are coming from respectable family, educated. Why they should go after me unless they have got something? That you can ask them. There are so many. All of them are young men.

Carol Jarvis: They're forced to lead a very spartan way of life, though, aren't they? Why is this necessary?

Prabhupāda: If you want real happiness... That I have already explained. Real happiness—to become free from the natural material laws, birth, death, old age and disease. This is real happiness. Suppose you are arranging for your happiness, and all of a sudden death comes. Then where is happiness? So how you can check? So the real impediment of our happiness is stated: birth, death, old age and disease. So if you want real happiness, then you have to first of all make arrangement that you'll not die or you'll not take birth, you'll not become old, you'll not be diseased. Just like insurance. They make insurance of life. So where is your insurance for these things? You do not want to die, but you are forced to die. Where is insurance? This is insurance, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Carol Jarvis: It's an insurance for what? An after...

Prabhupāda: No more... No more death, no more birth, no more old age, no more disease. This is insurance. And therefore it is the primary necessity for becoming happy. Otherwise you have made arrangement very nicely, and if all of a sudden you die, then where is your happiness?

Carol Jarvis: Do you think the type of life that your devotees must lead...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Carol Jarvis: in fact a happy one—getting up very early in the morning...

Prabhupāda: Yes, it is. It is. Just like if you are suffering from some ailments, so you have to follow some rules and regulation so that you may be cured. Do the doctor not prescribe so many things, that "You don't eat like this. You don't do this. You do this"? There are so many don't's and do's. So if you really want to become happy, you have to follow some don't's and do's.

Carol Jarvis: Your Divine Grace, can I ask you how old you are now?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Carol Jarvis: How old?

Prabhupāda: I am eighty years old.

Carol Jarvis: And do you think the Kṛṣṇa movement has helped you? Are you a fit man for an eighty-year-old?

Prabhupāda: At least all my contemporaries have gone away. (laughter) All my young friends and childhood friends, there are no more existing, my relatives. And... So I am moving still all over the world.

Carol Jarvis: Can you see an age that you could live until? Could you predict how long you might live?

Prabhupāda: No, if... You see, this body is so made that it must end, but before ending, you must be competently Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then, next life, you become permanent in life, in knowledge, in blissfulness. That is required.

Carol Jarvis: Many people find it very difficult to reconcile the spiritual way of life in the Kṛṣṇa movement with the great financial resources the movement also has. Why do you need any great financial...?

Prabhupāda: It doesn't... The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement does not depend on any material condition, any material condition.

Carol Jarvis: But you make a lot of money out of the sales of your books, etcetera. There is begging in the streets each day.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But there are many beggars; they do not get money. We get money. We are not beggars; we are giving books, knowledge. Do you think we are beggars?

Carol Jarvis: If I could use the example, perhaps, of your temple, which has a lot of very rich material things in it. I wonder what significance that plays in your spiritual life.

Prabhupāda: So what do you mean by spiritual and material? Do you know the distinction? Then I'll show you spiritual. And do you know?

Carol Jarvis: Well, the material...

Prabhupāda: I say that in the temple there is nothing material, all spiritual. But you have no eyes to see to it with.

Carol Jarvis: I wonder if you could lead an equal sort of life without the richness of the temple.

Prabhupāda: Yes, you can do. You can live at your home like us. We are giving the example. You can live also like that. That is spiritual life. If you follow the same rules and regulation and live like that, that is spiritual life.

Carol Jarvis: You told me earlier that you make thousands of dollars a day...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Carol Jarvis: ...out of the sales of your books.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Carol Jarvis: If you want your thoughts to be passed on to other people, why do you sell the books and make money out of them?

Prabhupāda: Otherwise you'll not read it. If I give you free, then you'll think, "Ah, this is something nonsense. They are giving free."

Carol Jarvis: Not necessarily give them free, but perhaps sell them for a price that pays for the cost of producing them.

Prabhupāda: So when they pay for it... When they pay for it, they will try to see, "What these books are saying? Let me see." And if you get free, then you may keep it in your rack for hundreds of years. So that is not the... But after all, we have to print these books, so who will pay for that? We have no money.

Carol Jarvis: Well, what happens to the rest of the money, though, that is collected in the streets?

Prabhupāda: We are increasing our movement. We are opening centers. We are printing more books. This is my books. I have made a Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. That is my will, and I have given my will that fifty percent of the collection should be spent for reprinting the books and fifty percent should be spent for spreading the movement. So there is no question of material profit.

Carol Jarvis: I wonder if I could ask you just finally, then, if you have a message for the Australian people.

Prabhupāda: Yes, this is the message: That people are under the impression that one is this body, but that is not the fact. The soul, or the man, he is within the body. Just like you are not your..., this shirt and coat. You are within the shirt and coat. Similarly, the living entity, the living being, is within this body, the gross body and the subtle body. The subtle body is composed of mind, intelligence and ego, and the gross body is a composition of these material things—earth, water, air, fire, like that, five elements. Altogether, eight elements. This is inferior energy. And the superior energy is within these eight elements—five gross and three subtle. So we have to study about that thing. Just like I asked that boy that "You can manufacture a huge machine, flying in the sky, 747, but why don't you manufacture the pilot?"

Carol Jarvis: Thank you.

Prabhupāda: So that is intelligence, that if in spite of your manufacturing such a huge machine, without the help of a pilot you cannot fly it.

(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, Melbourne, April 20, 1976)
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