Mike Robinson: Your Grace, if we could perhaps go back over that just for a minute—you said nobody is free.
Mike Robinson: But are you saying that if we live a good life we in some way determine our future as well?
Mike Robinson: So we are free to choose in so far as what we believe important. I mean religion is important, because if we believe in God and live a good life...
Prabhupāda: There is no question of believe. Don't bring this question-belief. It is law. Just like there is government, you believe or not believe, who cares for you? That is government. Similarly, you believe or not believe, there is God. If you don't believe in God and do independently whatever you like, then you'll be punishable.
Mike Robinson: I see. Does it matter what religion you believe? Does it matter which religion you believe? Would it matter if one was a devotee of Hare Kṛṣṇa...?
Prabhupāda: It is not the question of which religion, it is a question of science, that what is your position. You are a spiritual being, you are under the laws of nature. So you may believe.... Just like you may believe in Christian religion, I may believe in Hindu religion, but it does not mean that a Christian child is not going to become a boy. We are talking of the science, that the child become a boy. This is natural law. It is not that because you are Christian you are becoming a boy, or because I am Hindu I am becoming.... Everyone becomes a boy. So similarly, the laws of nature is applicable to everyone. You believe this religion or that religion, it doesn't matter.
Mike Robinson: So you're saying there's only one God.
Mike Robinson: Provided you believe in that one God.
Prabhupāda: Yes. One God, one God's law, nature's law, and we are all under that nature's law, under the control of the Supreme. So if we think that we are free, we can do independently, that is our foolishness.
Mike Robinson: I see. Can you explain to me then what difference it makes being a member of the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement.
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa movement means one who is serious to understand this science-he's member of Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. There's no question of he belongs to some group, anyone, student. Just like in a college, students can be admitted. He may be a Christian, he may be a Hindu, he may be Muhammadan, it doesn't matter. It is a science to understand.
Mike Robinson: And what difference would it make to him, being taught what the Hare Kṛṣṇa people...
Prabhupāda: This is the beginning of education, that you are a spirit soul. Because you are spirit soul you are changing bodies. This is the understanding, beginning A-B-C-D. So when the body is finished, annihilated, you are not finished—you get another body. Just like you have got this coat and shirt. If you change tomorrow, you come to me in another shirt or another coat, that means you are not finished. This science has to be understood. Then one can make progress about the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement.
Mike Robinson: I'm beginning to understand. What I'm finding difficult is, for instance, we see on Oxford Street a lot of people who are handing out Hare Kṛṣṇa literature. Now...
Prabhupāda: Yes, this is the literature, how to convince them about the spiritual life.
Mike Robinson: And you're really not concerned whether or not they join the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement?
Prabhupāda: It doesn't matter. One must be.... Our mission is to educate. People are in ignorance. They are living in fool's paradise, that he is his body. Bas. When the body's finished, everything is finished. That is foolishness.
Mike Robinson: And you're basically just concerned to tell them that there's a spiritual dimension to life. And if they then were to find that spiritual dimension in something like the Anglican Church, that would not worry you.
Prabhupāda: I do not know what is Anglican Church...
Mike Robinson: Sorry, the English Church.
Prabhupāda: ...but we are concerned with the educational propaganda, that "You are not this body. Body is your covering, shirt and coat. Within the body you are living, and as you are spirit soul, you have got so many things to know."
Mike Robinson: Sorry, could I just change the tape? Perhaps if we can pick up where we were, if you could just carry on. Perhaps if I can carry on from where I was, that what I'm trying to understand is the difference it makes, a person being a member...
Prabhupāda: You try to understand this, that as you have got experience of change of body.... Have you got or not?
Mike Robinson: Yes, I've got the difference there.
Prabhupāda: Similarly, the so-called death is also a change of body. This has to be understood first.
Mike Robinson: Yes, I think I've got that far. Now if we could go on from there. And then we said, you said that it therefore made a difference in the life after death, how you lived, that there were natural laws that determined that.
Prabhupāda: Yes. The process is that the spirit soul is invisible in our material eyes, very small. So after the destruction of this gross body, there is another body, subtle body—mind, intelligence and ego. So at the time of death, when finishing this body, mind works. So, according to that process, the mind carries the small spirit soul to another body. Just like the air carries the flavor. Nobody can see wherefrom this rose flavor is coming, but it is being carried by the air, very subtle. You cannot see, but it is being done. Similarly, the soul is very subtle. It is being carried by the mind. According to the mind, he enters into the womb of another mother through the semina of the father, and then he develops a particular type of body given by the mother. It may be human being, it may be cat, dog or anything.
Mike Robinson: So we will come back in another body.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Then, that's when the body is developed, he comes out and his work begins.
Mike Robinson: Are you say that we were perhaps something else before we were born as well? And we keep coming back in something else next time?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Mike Robinson: And how long does this go on?
Prabhupāda: This is going on, this is going on, because you are eternal. According to your work, you are simply changing body. Therefore you should be educated how to stop this business, how to remain in our original, spiritual body. And that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
Mike Robinson: Oh, I see. So if I gain Kṛṣṇa consciousness, I wouldn't have to have the threat of coming back as a dog or something like that.
Prabhupāda: No, no.
Mike Robinson: Can you tell...
Prabhupāda: Read that, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9).