Man: Each of us have come here tonight sort of looking for a bit of a miracle or a bit of a statement that can stamp us, to hold us, to illuminate us. Now, you travel in a spirit. Can you tell us the wonderful feeling of enlightenment to enter this spirit? We don’t know how to exactly enter this spirit and travel as you travel.
Prabhupada: That I am distributing. You chant at home, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, and see the result. It is not difficult. If there is no expenditure, there is no loss, if you chant Hare Krishna mantra, and you see the result at home. You haven’t got to travel. You sit down at your home and chant Hare Krishna.
Man: The word travel… Illumination. Each of us wants to know that beautiful, glorious feeling and how we gain it.
Prabhupada: That glorious… First of all we must know what we are. The mistake is that we are accepting this body as ourself. I am thinking Indian, you are thinking Australian, he is thinking American, he is thinking Mohammedan, he is thinking Hindu. In this way, because we are thinking different way, we have got difference of opinion. But as soon as we come to the spiritual platform. There will be no more different opinion. That we are trying, that come to the spiritual platform. Then everything will go on. The first lesson of coming to the spiritual platform is to understand that “I am not this body.” This the first lesson of spiritual understanding.
Man: I’ve read about Hubbard’s Scientology and a lot of the writings that Hubbard writes sound a lot like the theory of Hare Krishna. Is there any parallel at all between the two, or have you taken any opinion on side, both your cases? You know anything about that?
Prabhupada: What is that Scientology? I do not know. (laughter, applause) I do not know. Can you explain what is this Scientology?
Man: It’s just a teaching that’s supposed to be fairly widespread. (laughter) Can you give any explanation about the spiritual, around the earth. If they are all luminous?
Prabhupada: Psychic phenomena is the subtle materialism. There are two material conditions: one gross condition, one subtle condition. Gross condition is created by the five elements—earth, water, fire, air, and ether. And the subtle elements are mind, intelligence and ego, false ego. So all these eight elements, they are material. One section is gross, and another section is subtle. So the psychology means the subtle material elements. It is material; it is not spiritual. It is subtle.
Man: At rebirth do we all return as a male if the previous existence was a male, or do we change. (laughter)
Prabhupada: No, no. Just like you change your body, you change your shirts, it is not necessary that you will get the same type of shirt. No. That you… Just like if your present shirt, you want to change, and you go to the store and you purchase another shirt and coat, that will depend on your choice and the price you can pay. It is not necessarily that you will get the same type of shirt and coat. Therefore, when we change our body, there is no guarantee that we get the same type of body. A male can get a female body. There are many instances like that. And a female can get the male body. A man can get animal body, like that. So in the Bhagavad-gita it is said dehantara-praptih, change of body. But what kind of body you are going to change, that will depend on your own work.
Man: Is this your last body? If so, how do you know? (laughter)
Prabhupada: I think so. (laughter) Not only I, all of my disciples. This is there in the Bhagavad-gita. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. Janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah. Any one who understands Krishna factually, the result is tyaktva deham, giving up this body, he never accepts again material body. He goes back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore, because we are trying to understand Krishna, and if by Krishna’s grace we can understand Him, then we are not again going to accept any material body. That’s a fact.
Man: I have some sympathy for you, sir, but I think that tonight you have been postulating the old concept that most of our established religions have thrown out, that is that the reward for the miseries of this life lie in the transmigration of one’s soul. But…
Prabhupada: Yes. That is actual misery.
Man: But, but but… In the West, our theologies have taught us that we no longer believe in heaven, we no longer believe in hell, we no longer believe in a soul. So I think that if you want to generate some sympathy, you had better change your tack. (laughter)
Prabhupada: No, I… If you do not believe, that does not mean the things become null and void. That is not a fact. Suppose a thief does not believe in the prison house. That does not mean the prisonhouse will be closed. A thief may think like that. That is another thing. But the prisonhouse will continue, and as soon as you commit theft, you will be put there. That’s all.
Man (8): I think that there is no point in answering a question with a parable. In point of fact, the things you’ve been postulating tonight is a denial of observable truth.
Prabhupada: Yes. It is truth. (laughter) Anyone who has got eyes to see, he can see the truth.
Man: Do you believe in the essential unity of religious paths in such a way that soon people will take to God and yoga?
Prabhupada: Yes, religion is only one. Just like religion… Our definition of religion is dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: [SB 6.3.19] “Religion means the laws and the codes given by God.” That is religion. Now, God is one. God cannot be two. And what He says, that is also one. So if we accept that one law of God, that is religion. Then there is unity. But if you create your own religion by your imagination, that is another thing. Religion means the laws given by… Just like state law. State law is acceptable by everyone. I have given this instance. The state law is that “Keep to the right” or “left.” Everyone accepts. There is no disunity. So if we actually take the words of God, then there is unity. But if we do not take, if we create our own system of religion, that is a different thing.
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Auckland, February 21, 1973