Hṛdayānanda: (break) (translating) After taking birth again, how does one continue his spiritual progress? They have two questions. And also when one is feeling very weak, fallen, how can he get going spiritually?
Prabhupāda: First of all, the next body may not be for cultivating knowledge in spiritual life because we are already fallen, and if we do not elevate, we may accept another body, still fallen. Therefore the intelligent person in this human form of life should take to spiritual cultivation of knowledge immediately. Immediately means before another death takes place. Because death will take place—that is certain—so our duty is immediately take to cultivation of spiritual knowledge so that we may get next life either liberation or another opportunity for cultivating spiritual knowledge. So anyone who begins cultivation of spiritual knowledge, he is on the path of perfection, but even if he falls down immaturely, he is guaranteed to get next life a human body so that he can again begin his cultivation of spiritual knowledge and make his life perfect. Therefore the conclusion is that without delay, we should immediately take to spiritual life and try to make our life perfect. Because there is no certainty when our death is coming. That is real intelligence.
Hṛdayānanda: (break) (translating) How many births do we have?
Prabhupāda: Births? There is no counting. Because unless you come to spiritual knowledge, the birth and death will continue. Yes?
Hṛdayānanda: (translating) Do we have to liberate ourselves from karma in order to achieve Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Yes. The karma is the binding. So long our mind is karma conscious, then we have to take another body. Therefore bhakti is defined, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11). Karma. People are very much enthusiastic to be engaged in karma, fruitive activities, and some of them are very eager to speculative knowledge. That is called jñāna. Therefore bhakti is jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (CC Madhya 19.167). It must be uncovered by the speculative knowledge and fruitive activities. By karma, you are bound up to accept birth and death; by jñāna, you can be liberated for the time being, but you again fall down; but by bhakti, you are firmly fixed up in your spiritual platform.