Faill: May I ask a few questions now?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes.
Faill: Do we get a second chance if we don't make the most of this life? In other words, is reincarnation part of your...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Second chance means you have to change your body. Now, according to your desire you get another body. That body is not guaranteed that you shall get a human body. It may be...
Faill: If you've been bad enough, you might finish...
Prabhupāda: No, that... This I have already told you. There are 8,400,000 different forms of life. So you can enter any one of them according to your mental condition. We are under the control of the material nature. The material nature is being conducted in three modes: goodness, passion and ignorance. So just like three colors: yellow, red, and blue. Now you mix-three into three equal to nine, nine into nine equal to eighty-one. So these modes of material nature is being mixed up. Therefore there are so many varieties of life. So if we transcend this coloring platform of material nature, we come to the pure consciousness. Then we stop this repetition of birth and death in different forms of life. And if we do not that, then there is chance of going down or going up. There are different planets. If you cultivate the modes of goodness, then you are promoted to the higher planetary system, higher standard of life. And if you don't improve or don't go down, then you may remain in the present stage. But out of ignorance, if you still degrade, commit sinful activities, violate the laws of nature, then we go down again—the animal life, the plants' life, like that. But again we have to evolve, evolutionary process, by nature's... So it may take many millions of years. So therefore a human being must be responsible that "I have got this opportunity to get out of this cycle of birth and death and different forms of life, and let me properly understand God and what is my relationship with God and act accordingly so that if we understand what is God, then we go back to home, back to Godhead."
Faill: What can an ordinary man do? I mean the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement involves shaving the head and wearing the saffron robe. What can the man who is caught up in family life do?
Prabhupāda: This saffron robe is not very essential, or cut the hair, but it creates some good situation, mental. You see? Just like a military man, when he is dressed properly he gets some energy to feel like a military man. But it does not mean that unless you are dressed, you cannot fight. It does not mean. So God consciousness can be revived in any condition, without any check. But these conditions are helpful, helpful. Therefore it is prescribed that "You live like this," "You dress like this," "You eat like this," "You do like this." These are convenient. These are convenient. So they are not essential. At the same time, if we take to these processes, then it will be helpful.
Faill: Yes. One can be a student of Kṛṣṇa consciousness while going about a normal daily life.
Faill: Do you think transcendental meditation is beginning to help...
Prabhupāda: They do not know what is meditation. They are... Simply it is a farce. That is another cheating process by the so-called swamis and yogis. They do not know what is meditation. Do you know what is meditation? You are asking me the question, but do you know what is meditation?
Faill: Just a stilling of the mind, trying to sit in the center without swimming either way.
Prabhupāda: So what is that center?
Faill: Oh, I don't know.
Prabhupāda: Then? Why you are asking me? You do not know. So everyone does not know what is meditation, and they talk very much, "meditation." This is going on. These bluffers, they say "meditation," but what is the subject matter of meditation they do not know. Simply bogus propaganda. You see?
Faill: Not even beginning to get people thinking right?
Prabhupāda: No. Meditation means this dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā, mind saturated with God consciousness and thinking of God. But if you do not know God, then where is the meditation?
Faill: So it's a long...
Prabhupāda: No, it is very nice, but at the present moment in the name of meditation, simply cheating and bluffing going on. They do not know what is the subject matter of meditation. Besides that, in this age, mind is so agitated that you cannot concentrate. I have seen the so-called meditation. They are regularly sleeping and snoring. They do not know. Yes. This is going on. So unfortunately, in the name of God consciousness or this self-realization, so many not standardized methods are being presented by the so-called bluffers without any reference to the authoritative books and knowledge, Vedic knowledge. It is another type of exploitation.
Faill: What about some of the other schools that have grown up, people like Ouspensky and Gurdjieff and people who've brought a message similar to yours to the West in the past?
Prabhupāda: What we have to study particularly whether it is standard. Otherwise they may speak so many things, but if they do not know what is the standard... Just like medical science or any science, that is one. It cannot be different because it is spoken by different men. That is not one. That is not science. "Two plus two equal to four"—this is a science that is true everywhere, not that because it is spoken by somebody else it becomes "two plus two equal to five" or "three." No. That is...
Faill: No. Some other people, do you feel, possibly have had the truth as well, have they?
Prabhupāda: It is very difficult to say.
Faill: Yes. Unless you studied it in detail.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Unless I study, it is very difficult to say because there are so many bluffers, so many.
Faill: Just doing it for money.
Prabhupāda: That's all. That's all. It is going on like that. They have no standard method. We are presenting the standard method. This is Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. As it is, without any malinterpretation, we are presenting as it is. This is standard.
Faill: Yes. If you begin dressing things up, they change. And the size of the movement now? Is it a growing movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, it is very much growing. You will be surprised that we are selling these books... We have got about fifty books like this, and every library, college, professor, universities, they are very much appreciative of this, because there was no such literature existent. This is the new contribution to the world.
Faill: Now, this American, Alpert, he came to a state of God consciousness, but he was very, very heavy on drugs. This can't be right, taking a drug.
Prabhupāda: Alfred? Just speak.
Harikeśa: He was one of the associates of Timothy Leary.
Prabhupāda: Alfred Ford?
Harikeśa: No, no, no.
Harikeśa: What is his first name?
Faill: Alpert was his second name, and then he took on, you know, an Indian name.
Prabhupāda: Oh, then he is speaking of Alfred Ford.
Harikeśa: No, no, no. He is one of the people who were first into that LSD thing and then he took up meditation in India.
Harikeśa: Yes. Leary was his associate. And then this other man, he took up this meditation and started to become...
Prabhupāda: That is also bogus. That is also bogus.
Faill: I didn't like the idea of that. The book was very impressive, but I just thought, "This isn't right." You shouldn't have to lean on drugs.
Prabhupāda: No. That is... Anything... If drugs can help God realization, the drug is better, I mean to say, more powerful than God.
Faill: Which isn't...
Prabhupāda: Then how we can accept that? Drug is a material thing, chemical composition, and how it can help one, God realization? That is not possible. This is a kind of intoxication and hallucination, but it is not God realization.
Faill: Do you think that the great mystics down the ages have actually seen this spark? This is what...
Prabhupāda: What do you mean by mystic?
Faill: Well, there seem to be chaps who've had some very odd experience and always remembered it and found it very difficult to put it down in words.
Prabhupāda: Mystic means something jugglery? What do you mean by mystic?
Faill: Well, it's just the name they seem to give people who've had an experience of another level of reality.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So yes, that... We don't say mystic. Our reality is God realization. There are different stages. I mean to say, direct perception, then receiving knowledge from authority, then personal experience between the two, then above that transcendental, and then, I mean to say, spiritual. In this way we have to go, step by step. We have to come to the point, to the spiritual platform. So, so long we are on the bodily concept of life, our understanding is sense gratification because body means the senses. And then, if we go still up, then we can see that mind is the center of sense activities. We take the mind as the final, and that is mental platform. Then, from mental platform, we come to the intellectual platform. Then, from intellectual platform, we come to the transcendental platform.
Faill: To the trans...
Prabhupāda: Transcendental platform. And from transcendental platform, we come to the spiritual platform. These are the stages. So in this age, because people are so fallen and in the śāstra a special recommendation that give the people directly spiritual platform... That direct spiritual platform is chanting of this holy name of God, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. So if we cultivate this practice on the spiritual platform, then immediately we realize our spiritual identity, and God, and it becomes very quickly successful.
Faill: So in a sense, what a lot of people are saying today is that we must look inwards rather than outwards into the world of the senses.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Inward means that you are spirit soul; you are not this body. But if you keep your bodily concept of life, then where is inward? It is outward only.
Faill: It's just another way of looking out.
Prabhupāda: No. That means it is simply talking. It has no realization. Unless you understand that you are not this body—you are spirit soul—there is no question of inward. That we have to study first of all, whether I am this body, or I am something within this body. That is inward. But that they do not understand. There is no education in the school, college or university. Everyone is thinking "I am this body." You see? Just like in this country, everywhere: "We are South African. They are Indian. They are this. They are this. They are this." So whole bodily concept, the whole world... "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am German." So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means it starts when one is above the bodily conception of life. Then the starting begins.
Faill: So the recognition of the spark comes first.
Prabhupāda: Ha. Recognition of the spirit soul within this body, that is first education. Unless one understands this simple fact, there is no question of spiritual advancement.
Faill: Is it a question of just understanding it?
Prabhupāda: Yes. For the time, in the beginning, first of all theoretical, theoretical.
Faill: Intellectually accept it.
Prabhupāda: Theoretical. That is a fact. Unless there are two department of knowledge, theoretical and practical... So first of all, one has to learn theoretical. That much knowledge one must have. Then, by practicing, working on that spiritual platform, he comes to the practical life.
Faill: Am I keeping you too long now?
Prabhupāda: No, you can go on.