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(Click to enlarge painting of life in the higher planets, on earth, and in the animal kingdom)

Indian man: Swāmījī, it has been said just as we act... We take birth according to our action. So if we have done something, we must take birth according to the law of God.

Prabhupāda: You must take birth. That is a fact. You cannot avoid it. But according to your karma you have to take birth.

Indian man: But therefore this means that you pay what you have wrote. Yes, eh? Therefore, do you think that...

Prabhupāda: Suppose when your this shirt is torn, you have to purchase one shirt. Now, that shirt you have to purchase according to your price. If you have good price, then you get a good shirt. If you have no money, then you get a bad shirt. That's all.

Indian man: I wanted to say this, Swāmījī, that hell also is situated in this world itself, because where do you think that we can pay our debt?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Indian man: The sin, the debt of our sin. Where do you think that we pay it? In the hell, which is not...

Prabhupāda: Hell is the place for your punishment.

Indian man: Therefore it is on the earth itself.

Prabhupāda: Why earth?

Indian man: In the planet earth, no?

Prabhupāda: No. It can be...

Indian man: In any planets?

Prabhupāda: ...many millions' miles away.

Indian man: But it is not locate... Only hell is located in one place or is located in another place? Do you think so, Swāmījī?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. There are different planets.

Indian man: There are many people who suffer in this world itself.

Prabhupāda: So they are first of all trained up in that hellish planet, and then they come here to suffer the same standard of life.

Indian man: When our soul gets out from our body, it goes to the hell or...

Prabhupāda: Hellish planet.

Indian man: ...hemisphere or it takes birth immediately afterwards?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Those who are sinful, they do not take immediately birth. They first of all trained up in the hellish planet how to suffer to become accustomed, and then they are taken birth, then suffer. Just like you pass I.A.S., then you become an assistant to the magistrate. You learn. Then you are posted as magistrate. Even if you are fit for going back to home, back to Godhead, you are first of all transferred to the universe where Kṛṣṇa is now present, and there you become accustomed. Then you go to real Vṛndāvana.

Indian man: Therefore, after our death...

Prabhupāda: Every arrangement by God is perfect. Pūrṇam. Pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇāt pūrṇam... (Īśopaniṣad, Invocation). Whatever is created by God, that is perfect.

(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Mauritius, October 5, 1975)
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You Take Birth According to Your Karma