Guest (1) (Indian man): Actually, I have thought, without glorifying, because I did not want any material gain, but was my firm faith that what attracted me was the worth not of my personal ability but abilities of many other people.
Prabhupāda: No, no. We have to understand the subject matter for which we are working. Personal benefit and extended personal benefit, there is no difference by quality. Generally they take it that "I am working for my family. If I work for my community, or if I work for my society..." Extended. So the quality does not change.
Guest (1): The quality is... But even dharma many come, the mind should not be idle. Even if you go...
Prabhupāda: Mind cannot be idle. That is also foolishness.
Guest (1): Even if you go for religious sevā, that you go for some benefit, not otherwise, either for yourself or for the world.
Prabhupāda: But we must know what benefit is essential. Therefore I am trying to explain that there is body and there is the owner of the body. So which is important? There is this dress and the owner of the dress. If you simply take care of the dress and do not take care of the owner of the dress, do you think that is very good intelligence?
Guest (1): Sir, taking care of the society, of the countries, there is no difference?(?)
Prabhupāda: Society means... Suppose you are taking care of your own dress and if you take care, all the men, sitting here, their dress, you become washerman. That's all. (laughter) This is your improvement. Now you are soaping your own dress, personal, and if you soap the dresses of all these people, then you are elevated to the position of a washerman. If you are satisfied to become a washerman, that is very good. But that is not very important thing. Real important thing is whether you should take care of the dress or the owner of the dress. That is to be... So people are interested to become washerman, but they are not interested that we have to take care of the owner of the dress. That is the... So therefore spiritual knowledge begins when you understand that this body is not important. The owner of the body is important. Then spiritual knowledge begins. Otherwise, simply to take care of one's own dress and to take care of many others' dress, that is not improvement.
Guest (2) (Indian man): But who was responsible for bringing this body into existence?
Prabhupāda: You are. You are. You have selected your own dress.
Guest (2): The owner?
Prabhupāda: Just like you are in white dress and he is in brown dress. That is your selection. You like this white dress; he likes that brown dress. So for the dress, you are responsible. That is you.
Guest (2): Who is "you"?
Prabhupāda: You are... Therefore you do not know who you are.
Guest (2): That is what I am asking.
Guest (2): And the owner of the body, is He responsible for this body also?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Guest (2): If that be so, then why should there be a conflict?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Guest (2): Why should there be a conflict between the two?
Devotee: Conflict between the soul and the material body.
Prabhupāda: There is no conflict. I am saying, talking, that you are, you are taking care of this dress. That's good. But simply for taking care of the dress if you forget yourself, then you are a foolish. That is my point.
Guest (2): But there is no conflict.
Prabhupāda: There is no conflict.
Guest (2): Then we should not be afraid of this body also.
Prabhupāda: But people are interested with the dress only. That is foolishness. That is foolishness. Suppose you are driving one car. You are driving one car, and the car is also important, but you are not the car. But if you think that you are car, then you are a foolish. You have to take care of the car so far because it is plying, it is giving you service. You must keep in order very cleanse. That's very nice. But if you simply absorb in the service of the car, you don't take care of yourself.
Guest (2): The point is for ordinary men it is very difficult to conceive of a naked soul.
Prabhupāda: So ordinary man is foolish. Learned man is intelligent
Guest (2): But it is very difficult to think of a naked soul.
Prabhupāda: Naked, there is no question of... Naked soul is there, but you have no eyes to see it. Naked soul is there, but it is so small you cannot see it. The dimension of the naked soul is given in the śāstra. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca (CC Madhya 19.140). One ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair. So it is not possible to see by your these present eyes. But there is. There is no doubt about it.