Prabhupāda: Give him chair. They . . . give . . .
Rāmeśvara: Śrīla Prabhupāda? These gentlemen are a reporter and a photographer from a very large newspaper in Long Island called Newsday. This is Mr. Kevin Layhart, he's the reporter . . .
Prabhupāda: So they require chair?
Rāmeśvara: He's asking if you'd like a chair.
Kevin Layhart: No, this is all right.
Rāmeśvara: This is Mr. Bill Semm. He's a photographer from their newspaper.
Prabhupāda: Thank you. Sit down. You have seen our books?
Kevin Layhart: Yes, I have. You translated all of those.
Kevin Layhart: . . . I wonder if you could tell me how you came to founding the movement here in the United States.
Prabhupāda: I was ordered by my spiritual master to do this work, so on his order I came in 1965. That is the beginning of this movement. I came alone with no help, no money. Somehow or other (laughs) I started.
Kevin Layhart: How did you attract people? You landed in New York, you had no money . . .
Prabhupāda: My attraction is this chanting. That's all.
Kevin Layhart: Did you stand on street corners and chant?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I had no magic. Just like others, they say some . . . show some magic. I never showed any magic.
Kevin Layhart: No, I understand that.
Bali-mardana: Thompkins Park.
Prabhupāda: By Tompkins Park I was chanting, and these boys gradually came. First picture was published by the New York Times. Then we started branches in San Francisco, in Montreal, Boston, and then Los Angeles. In this way . . .
Kevin Layhart: So you just chanted in Tompkins Park, and people came?
Prabhupāda: Yes, I was underneath a tree. I think that picture was published by that Voice, very big article, published.
Kevin Layhart: What did you have to offer, then? When you were chanting in the park and I came up to you and said: "What are you doing? Why are you chanting? What's your thing here?"
Bali-mardana: He said what did you have to offer.
Rāmeśvara: He said: "If someone had come up to you while you were chanting and said: 'Why are you doing this? What are you offering?' how would you have replied?"
Prabhupāda: They . . . naturally they came and joined me and began to dance, that's all. That is the beginning.
Rāmeśvara: But what if they asked you, "What is this all about?"
Prabhupāda: No, this is for spiritual realization. If you chant, then gradually you realize yourself that you are a spiritual being—you are not this body. Then his spiritual life begins. Actually, human life is meant for spiritual realization, and if one does not spiritually realize his identity, then he remains an animal. That is the difference between animal and man. Man is supposed to be spiritually realized.
Kevin Layhart: How is that spiritual dimension realized?
Prabhupāda: One has to realize that he's not this body, he's spirit soul, and the spirit soul is within the body. And after annihilation of this body, the spirit soul is transferred to another body. So there are 8,400,000 different forms of life, and we have to transmigrate to any one of these form. So today I am in American body or Indian body, very comfortably situated, but at the time of death my particular mentality will transfer me to a particular type of body, exactly like if a man infects some contagious disease he has to develop that disease. It is very subtle, material laws. So similarly, we are composed of gross body and subtle body. The gross body is made of this earth, water, air, fire, ether, like this. And the subtle body is made of mind, intelligence and ego. And the spirit soul is within that outward gross and subtle body. When the gross body is annihilated, the subtle body—mind—carries the soul to a similar body as he was thinking at the time of death. It is, example is given—just like the flavor of a rose garden is carried by the air or the bad odor of a filthy place he also carried by the air, similarly, mind, intelligence, carries me to a particular type of body as I was absorbed in thought at the time of death.
Kevin Layhart: What is the ultimate?
Kevin Layhart: What is the ultimate?
Prabhupāda: Ultimate is that you are spirit soul, you are being materially engrossed. You are creating different situation, and you are being transferred to different bodies. That is different situations.
Kevin Layhart: But for what purpose and to what end? What's the final end?Prabhupāda: Yes, so final . . . that unless you are spiritually realized, you do not know what is the final end. The final end is that we are part and parcel of God. Somehow or other we are in contact with this material atmosphere. So our final aim is to go back to home, back to Godhead. Unless we know this and we practice how to return back again to Godhead, then we have to remain within this material world, transmigrating from one body to another. Therefore the human intelligence is meant for understanding the spiritual identity and the goal of life and act accordingly. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is an educational movement to enlighten the people from gross ignorance to the highest enlightenment of spiritual understanding.