The Real Purpose of Life

Admin Angol, YOGA

28 February 1972

Śrīla Prabhupāda The purpose of this movement is especially meant for making human life, reaching the real goal.

Bob: The real goal?

Prabhupāda: The real goal of life.

Bob: Is the real goal of life to know God?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Bob: So that is the real goal, to know God.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Go back to home, back to Godhead. That is the real goal of life. Just like the water coming from the sea as cloud falls down as rain and the actual goal is to flow down the river and again go to the sea. So we have come from God. Now we are embarrassed in this material life. Therefore the aim should be how to get out of this embarrassment and go back to home, back to Godhead. This is the real goal of life.

mām upetya punar janma
duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ
saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ

 [Bg. 8.15]

That is the version of Bhagavad-gītā. “If anyone comes back to Me,” mam upetya kaunteya… mām upetya tu kaunteya duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam, nāpnuvanti, “he does not come back again.” Where? In this place, duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. This place is the abode of miseries. Everyone knows, but he has become fooled, befooled by so-called leaders. This is miserable life, material life. So duḥkhālayam… Kṛṣṇa says, God says, that this place is duḥkhālayam, it is a place of miseries. And that also aśāśvatam. You cannot make a compromise, “All right, let it be miserable. I shall remain as American or Indian.” No. That you also cannot do. You cannot remain as American. You may think that you are born in America, you are very happy. But you cannot remain as American for long. You’ll have to be kicked out of the place, and next life you do not know. Therefore it is duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. That is our philosophy.

Bob: But when you have some knowledge of God, then life is not so miserable.

Prabhupāda: No, some knowledge will not do. You must have perfect knowledge. Janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ [Bg. 4.9]. Tattvataḥ means perfect. That perfect knowledge is being taught in the Bhagavad-gíta. So, we are giving chance to the human society to learn Bhagavad-gītā as it is and make his life perfect. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. What does your science say about the transmigration of the soul?

Bob: I think that science cannot deny it, by scientific methods cannot deny it, or does scientific method show it. Science does not know of it.

Prabhupāda: Therefore I say, imperfect science.

Bob: Science may, though, say something. It is said in science that energy is never destroyed. It is just changed.

Prabhupāda: That’s all right, but how the energy is working in future, that science does not know.

Bob: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: How the energy is diverted, how by different manipulation the energy is working differently. Just like electric energy, by different handling it is creating heater and it is creating cooler. Just opposite. But the same electric energy. So similarly, these energies, living energy, how it is being directed, which way it is going, how it is fructifying in the next life, so they do not know. They do not know. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is very simplified. Vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya [Bg. 2.22]. You are covered by this dress, by this shirt. When this shirt is not workable you change it. Similarly, this body is just like shirt and coat, when it is no longer workable, we have to change.

Bob: What is the “we” that has to change? What is constant between one life to the next?

Prabhupāda: That is soul. That is soul, “I”, what you are speaking, “you”, what I am speaking, identification, atma, or soul.

Bob: My soul is different than your soul?

Prabhupāda: Yes. You are individual soul, I am individual soul.

Bob: But you have removed yourself from karmic influences. If I was to remove myself from karmic influences, would our souls be the same or different?

Prabhupāda: Soul is the same. Just like you are under certain conception of life at the present moment. Just like your these countrymen. They were under certain conception of life. But by training they have taken another conception of life. So the ultimate training is how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is perfection.

Bob: If two people are Krsna conscious, is their soul the same?

Prabhupāda: Soul is always the same.

Bob: In each person. In each person is it the same?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Soul, as spirit soul, pure soul, they are all equal. Even in animal. Therefore it is said, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18], means those who are actually learned, they do not see the outward covering, either human being or animal.