Karandhara: Prabhupada, the premise of Zen is that the cosmic force falls into misery when it develops an individual desire. So an individual, as long as he has desires and he wants things, then he's forced to suffer, to take on a body and to suffer. So the Zen satori is to give up all desire, not care one way or the other what happens.
Prabhupada: That is also desire, to give up all desire.
Karandhara: Yes, it is.
Prabhupada: That is also desire. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says that the person who is practicing without goal, without desire, without getting the satori without anything, then he is practicing the satori.
Prabhupada: Where is the point of no desire? (chuckles)
Karandhara: No point. It's ambiguous. (French)
Prthu Putra: For himself it's just to practice zazen, to meditate on Zen.
Prabhupada: That is also desire.
Prthu Putra: He says that's for sure. In the beginning when they are practicing zazen is always some material desire. We desire that, we desire that. We would like to know God or something like that. But by practicing zazen finally we just come to the point--we don't have any more desire, just by practicing zazen.
Prabhupada: Then what is that position of no desire?
Karandhara: The real position is to eliminate the self. The only possible way that they can achieve no desire, no initiative, is to eliminate the self altogether, to make the self become eliminated and just be the cosmic one again without any self.
Prabhupada: Yes, that will be done automatically. Why you practice so much? (French)
Prthu Putra: He says the practice of zazen harmonize the self in this cosmic force.
Bhagavan: Does that harmony means to merge?
Prabhupada: Now let me explain. Suppose the material elements are there. Somehow or other, combined together they have become this body. Is it not? Now, this body, when I am dead body, automatically it again becomes dispersed to the different elements. So this is taking place for even cats and dogs. Then what is the value of my meditation? (French)
Yogesvara: Actually, Srila Prabhupada, you've defeated him. He doesn't really have an answer.
Prthu Putra: He says so then I am practicing like a cat and dog, but the deep goal...
Prabhupada: But I mean to say what result you will get more than the cats and dogs?
Karandhara: Why practice? (French)
Bhagavan: What happens to the cat and the dog in the end?
Karandhara: Actually, Zen philosophy, they accept reincarnation, that the self keeps on taking bodies until he becomes selfless, and it's only in the human form that he can develop that selflessness.
Prabhupada: Then they have to accept good work and bad work.
Karandhara: Yes, they do. They have a similar understanding of karma so far as the material self is concerned, and that the soul or the self takes on different forms until it becomes perfectly selfless. And then it merges back into the nondescript, the cosmic force. So I don't know if this young man's versed in Zen philosophy...
Prabhupada: That is our definition, anyabhilasita-sunyam. Sunyam means, you have to give up all material desires. Jnana-karmady-anavrtam. But the desire should be synchronized. Anukulyena krsnanu..., you have to desire to satisfy Krsna.
Karandhara: Well, they come to the point of trying to give up all material desires. But at that point they say there's nothing, there's no self...
Prabhupada: That is their ignorance, or they do not understand, or they do not try to explain because the followers will not understand. That is our also point, anyabhilasita-sunyam, to become desireless. But after becoming desireless, what is it? Just like you become painless from the disease. That means painless means everything finished? Then let me enjoy this pain. After being painless means everything is finished. No. Painless means no material pain but spiritual life. That is painless. (French)
Karandhara: Their point is they come... Zen Buddhism or Buddhism goes as far as trying to obliterate the material ego.
Prabhupada: No, it is clear as you said, as you said that unless he becomes desireless. That desire means material desire.
Karandhara: Yes. That's actually what they're speaking about when they say desire.
Prabhupada: So they are not so advanced that there is spiritual desire. That they do not understand. But so far the material desirelessness, that is accepted by us also. (French) It is something like this. Just like a child without education at home is simply doing mischief. So the parents want to make him (sic:) mischievousnessless. But if the parent does not know that he should be given better engagement, otherwise it cannot be mischievousnessless, that he does not know. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says there is something beyond material desire and spiritual desire.
Karandhara: No, he doesn't understand the definition when we say spiritual then. He's confusing spiritual with something like esoteric. Spiritual is the opposite of material. And beyond material desire, that means beyond gross and subtle desire, when we say spiritual we mean transcendental, the opposite of material.
Prabhupada: Purified, purified.
Yogesvara: Purified desire. (French)
Bhagavan: Prabhupada says spiritual means pure desire, not that it's opposite but it's pure desire. (French)
Yogesvara: He says it's still a desire. It may be a pure desire, but...
Prabhupada: Because he has no information what is spiritual desire, he thinks material desire is as good as spiritual desire. (French)
Karandhara: They don't have a conception of spiritual. To them everything is material.
Prabhupada: No, it is ignorance. Just like a man is suffering from disease. He is also lying down. He is also eating. He is also passing stool. And if he is informed that "After your disease is cured, you will also nicely sleep, you will also nicely walk, you will also nicely eat," but he is thinking, "Again eating? Again sleeping? Again...?" This is something like this. "So I don't want to be cured."
Karandhara: Yes, that's actually the psychology behind Zen philosophy.
Prabhupada: That is the trouble, yes. He does not know what is the sleeping in healthy condition and what is the eating in healthy condition. He thinks this eating and that eating the same. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says for him, spiritual and material, they are going together. In spiritual is something material, and in material is something spiritual. And they are... Together they form harmony, and this harmony is the goal.
Prabhupada: But he has no knowledge that although... Just like here is my leg, and here is my nail. Now when I cut the nail I don't feel, and as soon as you come little later, the skin, you feel pain. So they are one. But why there is no sensation, and why there is sensation? (French)
Yogesvara: He doesn't understand the analogy. He doesn't understand the example, how that explains spiritual life as compared to material life.
Prabhupada: Then why... How he will understand? Let me know. I will tell him. Let me know how he will understand.
Yogesvara: He doesn't understand the example of the skin and the nail. How does that explain...
Prabhupada: Why? It is everyone understands. Why he does not understand? Here is the nail; here is the skin. As soon I prick the nail cutter here, oh that "Ooooo!" And (chuckles) while it is cutting on, it is going on nicely. Why he does not understand?
Prthu Putra: The thing is he doesn't understand the analogy with spiritual and material.
Prabhupada: Analogy is, means where there is no spiritual sensation, that is matter. (French)
Karandhara: It's just merely meant to be an illustration, not that you're supposed to compare everything all the way around. The body is also material; the nail is also material. The point is that that which is not sensed spiritually by the true identity of the soul, that which is experienced outwardly by the material body and the senses, that is matter. But the basic element, or the basic consciousness is spiritual, and that's eternal. Whereas the sensation from outward, like what I see today and taste today, that is temporary, but the taster, the seer, he is eternal, the self. (French)
Prabhupada: As soon as that spirit soul will be off from this body, this part of the body also will be without any sensation. Therefore the distinction of sensation and no sensation is due to the presence of the spirit soul. (French)
Yogesvara: He says the important thing is the basic principles. If you accept the basic principle, for example that the soul has a form, then we can discuss many many things afterwards.
Prabhupada: Yes, soul has a form. (French)
Yogesvara: He's asking is the form of the soul material?
Prabhupada: No, spiritual. (French)
Yogesvara: He says it's an idea that he finds difficult to understand, spiritual form.
Prabhupada: Yes, that requires knowledge. That requires how to get that knowledge. He has no such knowledge. (French)
Karandhara: You explain to him the basic difference between the Buddhist concept and our concept is that after the material, the ignorance of the material body and the material self, is cleared away and eliminated, there is still a self. There's still a body, but it's spiritual. It's opposite from material. Whereas the material body is simply temporary and liable to suffer, the spiritual body is eternal and never suffers. It's just the opposite of material. Buddhists go towards... They get to the point of eliminating the material, but then they don't, they don't have the next step, or the spiritual.
Prabhupada: No understanding of the spiritual. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says the concept of Zen is to see spirituality in matter and something material in spirit, in spirituality. That is the concept of Zen, to realize spiritual life according to matter.
Karandhara: What that means... That's just an expression of the idea that everything is ultimately one. You don't have to make value judgments, you shouldn't make value judgments or say one thing is better than the other, that everything is ultimately the same, and the self is also the same as everything. So there's no distinction and there's no objective or conscious awareness of anything because everything is everything.
Yogesvara: There's no discrimination.
Karandhara: Yes, there's no self. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says in the daily life there is varieties. If something wrong, we do something right. But when we are speaking about spiritual elevated life, everything is one.
Prabhupada: Yes, when the spirit is gone, then your daily life is also gone. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says yes, for sure, we all die.
Prabhupada: Yes. Therefore daily life means so long the spirit is there. As soon as the spirit is gone, there is no more daily life. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says but the goal...
Prabhupada: Has the dead man has any daily life? (French)
Yogesvara: He says his daily life is just lying in his coffin.
Prabhupada: That is daily life? That is perpetual life. (chuckles)
Karandhara: No, ask him is death always the solution? If we're in ignorance or we're suffering, when I die, even if I don't attain Zen within this life, when I die, does that solve all the problems? (French)
Prabhupada: That I said already. The cats and dogs, they are also having the same result without any Zen philosophy. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says death is a part of life. The question is not to die or not to die. He says the question is not to know we are going to get salvation by going to die or not. The important is just life, and the death is part of life. Here and now, what's happening here, in the instant, here, now, that's important for him.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Prthu Putra: What is important for him is here and now what he's doing in the instant. He says death is just part of life.
Bhagavan: So what difference does it make if someone becomes religious or if someone becomes a demon? (French)
Prthu Putra: He says in a demoniac person there is some religiosity, and in a religious person there is some demoniac qualities too.
Bhagavan: Are you a demon? (French)
Prthu Putra: As we want.
Prabhupada: No, so far we know, Lord Buddha is considered as incarnation of God. He was sympathetic with the animal-killing. So he wanted to stop this animal-killing. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says he thinks that Buddha was just a man who was searching how to solve the problems of death and life, and when he got some experience he preached this message.
Karandhara: Yes, the Zen school don't accept the preeminence of the personality of Buddha. They say Buddha is just a state of mind, and various men in history have attained that state of mind, that no one particular man was the Buddha, set apart from everyone else.
Prabhupada: At least, he set the example before others. That is not wonderful, but he set the example. Therefore he is original Buddha. (French)
Prthu Putra: He doesn't deny the personality of Buddha, and he says the most important thing they are following is some kind of disciplic succession from Buddha until now. He says the most important thing is the relation with the disciple and the master who is in affiliation from Buddha.
Karandhara: But they don't have the same historical... I don't think they're considered the same historical personality. I studied Zen myself a number of years, and they don't distinguish one particular individual in one particular period of time as being the Buddha. All the way back in history as long as history goes, any man who's come to the state of enlightenment has become a Buddha. It didn't begin anywhere. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says he doesn't give any special meaning to Buddha. Sometimes Buddha is with them, sometimes Buddha is a concept of God like the Christianity they call God, or Buddha is all this disciplic succession. He doesn't give any special meaning to the word Buddha.
Prabhupada: No, no, buddha, actually buddha means knowledge, "one who knows," that is the meaning. So that is existing always. Now, we are talking your (sic:) Jain Buddha. Jain Buddha. No? What is the...?
Karandhara: Zen. Zen's a later development. The school of Zen started...
Prabhupada: So we are trying to study this Zen Buddha. Buddha means, ordinarily, knowledge. Budha bhava-saman... (break) (French)
Karandhara: The Zen school is a liberalization of the old Buddhist doctrines. Previously, hundreds of years ago, to completely follow the Buddhist path one had to renounce all activity. He had to go away from civilization and live in hermitage. Zen...
Prabhupada: Nirvana. Finish everything.
Karandhara: Yes. Zen allows a man... According to the precepts of Zen, you can act within the world. You can be a businessman, you can be a soldier, you can be anything, and still attain the same state of perfection by acting without desire, by acting unattached to the results.
Prabhupada: So that is our philosophy. We... Arjuna acted as soldier, and still, he was recognized as devotee. (French)
Bhagavan: What is the use of practice, if you practice or you don't practice you still get the same result?
Prabhupada: No, practice must be there. You cannot avoid practice. We also practice.
Karandhara: What he says is the form of the practice doesn't really matter, but the inspiration or the motivation to practice, to try and become desireless, that is the dynamic thing. It doesn't matter what form it takes.
Bhagavan: The problem is still death, though.
Prabhupada: No, practice without any aim...
Karandhara: They say the aim is the practice itself. Just like we say the aim of devotional service...
Prabhupada: No, no, the aim is there. Aim is there. He says that to become desireless. That is the aim. So why does he say that there is no aim?
Prthu Putra: When he is talking about practice, he's talking about special practice, the zazen practice. And his concept in zazen, his concept of Buddha, is this disciplic succession, that to practice under the guidance of the spiritual master of this disciplic succession of zazen from Buddha. That is his practice.
Prabhupada: No, if he says that "There is no aim; you go on practicing," so aim is there, he says, that to become desireless. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says zazen is in himself the satori, is the practice. We don't practice to get the satori, but the satori is going automatically with the practice.
Prabhupada: No, no, the aim of practice is to become desireless. Is it not? (French)
Prthu Putra: He says the goal of the practice is to become without goal.
Prabhupada: Oh, it is nonsense. (chuckles) What is this nonsense? Goal is without goal. Then what is this? These are vague terms.
Karandhara: It's like saying nothing is true, but then that's a truism.
Prabhupada: It is darkness.
Pusta-krsna: They want to become minus.
Prabhupada: But he is plus always. (French) No, if you have no goal... There is example: "Man without any aim is ship without any rudder." What is called? So suppose if the ship goes... (others are talking at the same time) Aeroplane is going with a aim to land in some country, but if he goes on simply without any aim, then there will be disaster.
Karandhara: Well, they have an aim. But the aim is... Because they haven't...
Prabhupada: That you say they have got; he does not say. You say.
Karandhara: No, but I mean philosophically considering, they have an aim, but it's very obscure. The substance and the significance of that aim is without form or conception.
Prabhupada: So without aim, what is the use of practice? (French)
Prthu Putra: He says he likes the practice without goal, and he doesn't give any value to the practice because there is goal.
Prabhupada: That is foolishness. Without goal, practicing something, it is foolishness. (French)
Karandhara: No, he is also working for a goal. He just differs semantically with what we say.
Prabhupada: No, he does not know what is that goal. No, he does not know what is that goal.
Karandhara: Well, he says the goal is to become goal-less.
Prabhupada: We give the goal... We give the goal, yajnarthe. Yajnarthe karma. We give the goal: for satisfying the Lord Visnu, Yajna, yajna-purusa. We know the goal. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says, "Who is Visnu?"
Prabhupada: Visnu is God. (French)
Prthu Putra: And how we can satisfy God?
Prabhupada: That you have to learn from me. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says yes.
Prabhupada: "Me" means from the spiritual master. If you don't work for Visnu, Yajna, yajnarthe karmanah anyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah, then you will be entangled in this birth and death. Just like if I do not know what is healthy life, then, if I live whimsically then I will infect so many contaminous disease, and I will have to suffer one after another, one after another, one after another. Therefore the aim is Visnu. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum. These people, they do not know that what is the aim of life, the aim is Visnu. Durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah. They are implicated with the external energy, therefore very much anxious to mitigate this suffering, mitigate that suffering, mitigate that suffering, that suffering, that suf... The suffering will never end. Simply they will be bewildered, one after another, one after another, sometimes man's life, sometimes a dog's life, sometimes cat's life. That's life. So this kind of philosophy is propounded by blind men. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanah. One blind man is guiding another blind man without knowing the strict, stringent laws of nature. (aside:) There is one bead lying for three hundred years there. Whose? He has taken initiation. He does not know where is the bead? On the... There is a bead. Just see.
Karandhara: On the heater there's someone's beads.
Prabhupada: So I see it was lying on the bathroom. Then I brought it here, and it's still lying unused. Whose it is?
Bhagavan: It is mine.
Prabhupada: You are so forgetful?
Bhagavan: No, I was looking for them.
Prabhupada: Why? Why did you...?
Bhagavan: I left them on your bathroom door, I think.
Prabhupada: Yes. (pause) Hmm. So this kind of leadership will not make any solution, if you do not know what is the real goal. (French)
Prthu Putra: He doesn't agree if a man create or imagine a goal, he says, the real goal, the real things...
Prabhupada: No, it is not imagina... That is another foolishness, to imagine a goal. If we imagine some goal, that is another rascaldom. We have to understand what is the goal of life from superior. Just like a child. He does not know what is the goal of life, but his parents know he must be educated. So goal has not to be imagined. Goal has to be understood from superior. So if the superior man is also blind, then he cannot lead other blind forward. If a blind man takes the position of superior, then he will lead these followers to the ditch only. That's all. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says who can understand that someone is blind or not blind?
Yogesvara: Who can judge.
Prabhupada: But because he has no eyes, he cannot see. Therefore he has to hear. He has to hear. (French)
Pusta-krsna: How can one discriminate what is a real authority and who is a blind person posing as an authority?
Yogesvara: How can we tell a real authority?
Pusta-krsna: As opposed to someone who is posing as an authority?
Prabhupada: This authority means just like you follow somebody. You are going to somewhere by aeroplane. You do not know. But others are purchasing ticket and going there, so you have to follow them. That's all. So the authority is if he does not know... Therefore we are giving the chance, the association of the devotee. The devotee, they are practicing something for going back to home, back to Godhead, so you have to mix with the devotees and then gradually understand.
Karandhara: No, what he's saying is: what is the standard of measurement? There are so many people saying they are the authority. How does one individually judge which one is the best or proper?
Prabhupada: So that he has to judge himself. It is like this: just like if you eat, then you judge yourself whether you are satisfied or not. (French) The process is described. No, no, the process is described. First of all, the thing is that he is inquisitive to know the ultimate goal. That is first qualification, that he is actually searching after the goal of life, the actual. That is first qualification. If he has no such aim, that "I must find out the actual aim of life," then he will remain always in darkness. Then next thing, next process will be that he has to associate with person, those who are also actually the goal of life. And then next process is, as Bhagavan was telling last night, that we have no problem. Then next process will be how we have become free from all problem. Then he will say, "You do like this." Then, acting according to him, one who says that I have no problem, "So let me act like him," when he feels, "Yes, I have no problem," then it is fixed up. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says in the Buddhist philosophy there is these three things. There is these three steps.
Prabhupada: No, no, apart from this philosophy, we are talking general, general talk. So when he understands, "Yes, I have also no problem," then he is fixed up. Then spiritual life begins. Yes. When he becomes problemless, no more problem, then spiritual life begins. So long he is busy to solve the problems of the material, that is no spiritual life. Find out this verse, yam hi na vyathayanty ete purusam purusarsabha, sama-duhkha-sama... Yam hi na vyathayanty ete purusam purusarsabha. Y-a-m, yam.
Pusta-krsna: Yam hi na vyathayanty ete...
Prabhupada: Ete, yes.
Prabhupada: Sah amrtatvaya kalpate.
yam hi na vyathayanty ete
so 'mrtatvaya kalpate
"Translation: O best among men (Arjuna), the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation."
Prabhupada: Yes. So long these material disturbances disturb him, he cannot get any spiritual life. Fixed up, that is the position of fixed up. (French)
Prthu Putra: He's all right with this point. He agree with this point.
Prabhupada: He will agree with all the points provided he is fixed up. (French) Not, (sic:) after death, in this life you can be fixed up, provided you associate with the persons who are fixed up. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says we have to be constantly fixed up, not only one moment and after it's slowing. We always have to be fixed up each time, each time, all the time, all the time.
Prabhupada: Not each time. Just like our devotees. They come in the sankirtana once, twice, thrice. He becomes interested. Then he becomes fixed up. (French)
Prthu Putra: He says to want to become fixed up, that is important, just on the moment.
Prabhupada: Yes. Unless one is fixed up, his spiritual life does not begin. Spiritual life means fixed up, who is not agitated. Sama-duhkha-sukham duhkham. What is that? Same verse.
Pusta-krsna: Sama-duhkha-sukham dhiram. "unaltered in distress or happiness."
Prabhupada: Is there any purport?
Pusta-krsna: "Anyone who is steady in his determination for the advanced stage of spiritual realization and can equally tolerate the onslaughts of distress and happiness is certainly a person eligible for liberation." (French)
Prthu Putra: He says so we then just have to practice now.
Prabhupada: Yes. Goal must be fixed up, practice must be there, and one must be fixed up. Then it will be... (French)
Prthu Putra: He says it's very simple.
Prabhupada: Yes, it is simple. It is simple. First thing to know that I am not this body. Because within this body there is the living force. I am that living force. Then he will understand that there is living force in this big cosmic gigantic manifestation. There is a living force. So what is the relationship with that living force and this living force? Then when it is understood that "Living force is great, and I am small," then what is my duty? Here we see that the great takes service from the small. Therefore my business is to serve the great. That is final. In three lines you can understand the whole truth, provided you understood. But if you become rigid to your understanding, own understanding, then it is very difficult. Otherwise it is very simple. You are a living force. There is no doubt. Is there any doubt? You are a living force. (French)
Prthu Putra: No, he has no doubt.
Prabhupada: Then there must be one living force for the whole cosmic manifestation. So He is also individual; I am also individual. But He is great; I am small. The small business is to serve the great. If the small falsely thinks himself that he is as great, that is ignorance. So one has to get out of this ignorance that he is thinking falsely that he is as great as the big. Then he is in fixed up. Yes. Then further progress.
Bhagavan: Then we can ask, "What is that great?"
Prabhupada: Yes, that we are doing! You can understand very easily. Just like you want money. You are in need of money, but you have no sufficient money. So greatness means he has more than sufficient money. That is greatness. Suppose you are weak, and if He is like you, no. He is unlimitedly stronger than you. You have got knowledge, but not perfect knowledge. But He has got unlimited knowledge. In this way you can understand greatness. (French)
Prthu Putra: He understands the point.
Prabhupada: Greatness should be understood, comparing my position. We can understand, "This man is greater than me. He is superior than me." That we can understand. Similarly, we can understand. Just like we human being, we are floating, flying one biggest airplane, 747, and we are thinking we are very wonderful, but that great is floating millions of planets in the air. But the foolish man cannot see the process. He can see that a pilot is floating this airplane, so there must be one big pilot who is floating all these things. But he cannot see. Therefore he says, "Nature." So he cannot see. Just like a child he cannot see that within the plane there is a pilot (pronounces pee-lot, French pronunciation of "pilot") or pilot. He is thinking that the plane is moving automatically. So one who is foolish, he sees the cosmic wonderful work only. He does not know there is a pilot. And in the absence of that knowledge he is thinking that I am also being moved in that way. So so long I do not see the pilot of the cosmic movement, I am fool. Therefore Bhagavad-gita says, na mam duskrtinah mudhah. (laughs) Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah, mayayapahrta-jnanah. His knowledge is lost.
Pusta-krsna: "Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest amongst men, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me." (French)
Prabhupada: So naradhama, means lowest of the mankind. In the human form of life one could understand that as there is a pilot in the aeroplane, there is a pilot on this big cosmic manifestation.
Yogesvara: Yes, but his last reaction to that was that he always finds Indian analogies amusing.
Prabhupada: But he has no other knowledge. Without analogy he cannot understand. Then it will be dogmatic. So if you go this way you are dogmatic, and if you this way, analogy. Then what way he will take? (French)
Prabhupada: But you are a fool. In your own way means foolish way. You do not know. (French)
Pusta-krsna: The example is that this body, there is a living force within the body which is causing it to move and to work, and that living force is the soul. And when the soul leaves this body, then the body is no longer moving and eating and talking and hearing and seeing. So in the same way in this universe there is a greater spiritual person, and His body, in a sense, is this whole universe, and it is moving on the same principle because He is the supreme consciousness.
Deshimaru: But what do you know about the soul leaving the body? Maybe when the body leaves the soul, the soul also dies.
Pusta-krsna: The point is that body and soul are two things.
Deshimaru: I think it is same thing.
Prabhupada: You think, but how you can prove?
Deshimaru: How you can prove that the body...?
Prabhupada: Yes, you cannot prove. When the soul is gone...
Yogesvara: He's asking how can we prove our point?
Prabhupada: Yes, I can prove that the body is dead because the soul is gone. (French)
Yogesvara: He says, "Oh, I can also say that when the body is dead, the soul is dead."
Karandhara: No, but at the time of death the body is still there. Just like your body is there, at the time of death your body will still be there, but it won't be the same, something is missing. Something's gone away. What's the difference between a dead body and a living body?
Prabhupada: How you can explain? Why the body's hand is there, leg is there, head is there, why it stopped working? (French)
Yogesvara: He says that when there is no longer any movement in the cells, scientific explanation.
Prabhupada: So why don't you... If you know that, then replace that cell.
Karandhara: The scientists don't have a perfect explanation either. They don't know exactly what death is.
Deshimaru: They cannot know also what life is.
Karandhara: They do. They know this much, that life is what is not present in a dead body. So it must be different than the body.
Deshimaru: But the death is... You can change also what you say.
Prabhupada: How you can change? Can you make the dead body alive? (French)
Karandhara: I can say that life is not present in a dead body, but you can't say that death is present in a live body. (French)
Prabhupada: No, he says that the living force and the body is the same.
Prabhupada: Does he not say? But why the body becomes dead, and the living force go on? Why? Why the body is no more moving? (French)
Prthu Putra: He says when the body is dead, everything is gone, but what is still existing is the karma.
Prabhupada: Is the karma.
Prthu Putra: The karma. What is still existing when a body is dead and when the soul is gone, the something is still there, still existing, is the karma.
Pusta-krsna: Let's say if your hand is cut off, and it's lying there. Why is it that you are not conscious of that hand? (French)
Prthu Putra: Because the nerves are just cut.
Prabhupada: No, no, if the body and the hand is the same, when it is cut, then it is lying down on the floor. So why there is no consciousness. His question is very intelligent.
Deshimaru: Because the hand is cut.
Prabhupada: But it is hand. Why there is no consciousness?
Karandhara: It's part of the body. It should have its own consciousness if the body and consciousness is the same.
Prabhupada: You say the consciousness and body is the same. So when it is cut, why there is no consciousness? Therefore the body is different from consciousness. Therefore body is different from consciousness. (French)
Devotee: And also if he says that the soul and the body are the same, then what is the cause of death then? Then what is death?
Prabhupada: No, we say the soul goes away from this body. Just like if I am sitting here, I can go away from this room, so similarly, the soul is within the body, he goes away, and therefore the body is dead.
Devotee: That's our explanation, but what is his explanation of death? If the soul and the body are the same then what is the cause of death.
Prabhupada: That he does not know, he cannot explain.
Devotee: Is it that the soul gets old, and then because the soul dies, then the rest of the body doesn't work? (French)
Prabhupada: (aside:) Take it. Make arrangement within. (French) (end)
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam, 06-15-74, Paris
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. Excerpted from text and purports of HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.