When one enters into a planetary system, he must have a suitable body for that planet. Every planet is inhabited by living entities with bodies suitable for that planet. For instance, we can enter the water in this body, but we cannot live there. We may stay there fifteen or sixteen hours, or maybe twenty-four hours, but that's all. Aquatic animals, however, have particular bodies suitable for living their whole lives in water. Similarly, if one takes a fish out of water and puts it on the land, it will die instantly. As we understand that even on this planet there are different kinds of bodies for living in particular places, so, similarly, if we want to enter another planet, we have to prepare ourselves to get a suitable body.
If one transfers himself and his soul transmigrates to the moon by this yogic process, he gets a long duration of life. On the higher planets, six of our months equal one day. Thus the beings there live for ten thousand years. That is the description in the Vedic literature. So undoubtedly one can get a very long duration of life, but still there is death. After ten thousand or twenty thousand years, or even after millions of years (it does not matter), death comes.
Actually, we are not subject to death. That is affirmed in the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā (2.20): na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. We are spirit soul, and therefore we are eternal. Why then should we subject ourselves to death and birth? It is intelligent to think in this way. Those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious are very intelligent because they are not interested in getting promotion to any planet where there is death, despite a long duration of life there. Rather, they want to get a body like God's. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. (Bs. 5.1) God's body is sac-cid-ānanda. Sat means "eternal," and cit means "full of knowledge." Ānanda means "full of pleasure."
As stated in our pamphlet Kṛṣṇa, the Reservoir of Pleasure, if we transfer ourselves to the spiritual world, to Kṛṣṇa's planet or to any other spiritual planet, then we will get a body similar to God's: sac-cid-ānanda—eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. So those who try to be Kṛṣṇa conscious have a different aim of life than those who are trying to promote themselves to the better planets in this material world. Lord Kṛṣṇa says, mūrdhny ādhāyātmanaḥ prāṇam āsthito yoga-dhāraṇām: "The perfection of yoga is to transfer oneself to the spiritual world." (BG 8.12)
The spirit soul is a minute particle within the body. We cannot see it. One practices the yoga system to raise the soul to the topmost part of the head. This practice goes on while one is living, and the perfection is reached when one can place himself on the top of the head and then break through. Then he can transfer himself to whatever higher planets he likes. That is the perfection of the yogī.
If the yogī is inquisitive to see the moon, he can say, "Ah, let me see what the moon is like. Then I shall transfer myself to higher planets," just like travelers who go to Europe, California, Canada, or other countries on earth. One can transfer oneself to many planets by this yoga system, but anywhere he goes he will find visa systems and customs systems. To go to other planets, one must be qualified.
Kṛṣṇa conscious persons are not interested in any temporary planet, even if it offers a long duration of life. If the yogī, at the time of death, can pronounce oṁ, the concise form of transcendental vibration, and at the same time mām anusmaran, remember Kṛṣṇa, Viṣṇu, he will attain perfection. The purpose of the entire yoga system is to concentrate the mind on Viṣṇu. Impersonalists imagine that they see the form of Viṣṇu, or the Lord, but those who are personalists do not imagine this—they actually see the form of the Supreme Lord. Either way, if one concentrates his mind through imagination or if one actually sees, one has to concentrate his mind on the Viṣṇu form. Mām means "unto the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu." Anyone who leaves this body and concentrates his mind on Viṣṇu enters into the spiritual kingdom after quitting his body. Those who are actually yogīs do not desire to enter any other planet because they know that life is temporary on the temporary planets, and thus they are not interested. That is intelligence.
Those who are satisfied with temporary happiness, temporary life and temporary facilities are not intelligent according to Bhagavad-gītā (7.23). Antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām: "One whose brain substance is very meager is interested in temporary things." That is the version of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. I am eternal, so why should I be interested in nonpermanent things? Who wants nonpermanent existence? No one wants it. If we are living in an apartment and the landlord asks us to vacate, we are sorry, but we are not sorry if we move to a better apartment. This then is our inclination. We do not wish to die, because we are eternal.
The material atmosphere is robbing us of our eternality. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says, "Our duration of life is being diminished by the sun, beginning from its rising until the time it sets." Daily we are losing the duration of our lives. If the sun rises at 5:30 in the morning, at 5:30 in the evening twelve hours have been taken away from the duration of our lives. We will never get this time back. If we ask any scientist, "I will give you twelve million dollars—please give me back these twelve hours," he will reply, "No, it is not possible." The scientist cannot do it. Therefore the Bhāgavatam says that from sunrise to sunset the duration of our lives is being diminished.
Time is called kāla—past, present and future. What is now present, tomorrow will be past, and what is now future, tomorrow will be present. But this past, present and future are the past, present and future of the body. We do not belong to the category of the past, present and future. We belong to the category of eternity. Therefore one should be concerned with how to attain or how to be elevated to the platform of eternity. The developed consciousness of the human being should be utilized not in the animal propensities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending but in searching out the valuable path which will help him get that life of eternity. It is said that the sun is taking away our duration of life—every minute, every hour, every day—but if we engage ourselves in the topics of Uttama-śloka, the topics of the Lord, that time cannot be taken away. The time one devotes in a Kṛṣṇa consciousness temple cannot be taken away. It is an asset—a plus, not a minus. The duration of life, so far as the body is concerned, may be taken; however one tries to keep it intact, no one can do it. But the spiritual education we receive in Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be taken away by the sun. It becomes a solid asset.
Chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is a very easy thing to do. Time spent chanting cannot be taken away like time pertaining to the body. Fifty years ago I was a young man, but that time has been taken and cannot be returned. The spiritual knowledge I received from my spiritual master, however, cannot be taken away, but will go with me. Even after I quit this body, it will go with me; and if it is perfect in this life, then it will take me to the eternal abode.
Both the material and spiritual worlds belong to Kṛṣṇa. We are not proprietors of anything. It is all the property of the Supreme Lord, just as everything in the state belongs to the government, either in the prison house or outside the prison house. Conditioned life is just like life in a prison house in this material world. A prisoner cannot freely change from one cell to another. In free life one can go from one home to another home, but in prison life one cannot do that but must stay in his cell. All these planets are like cells. We are trying to go to the moon, but it is not practical by mechanical means. Whether we are American, Indian, Chinese or Russian, we have been given this planet to live on. We cannot leave—although there are millions and billions of planets and although we have machines by which we can—because we are conditioned by the laws of nature, God's laws. A man who is put into a certain cell cannot change at will without superior authority. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that one should not try to change from one cell to another. That will not make anyone happy. If a prisoner thinks, "I am in this cell—let me request the warden to change my cell, and I will be happy," that is a mistaken idea. One cannot be happy so long as he is within the prison walls. We are trying to be happy by changing cells—from capitalism to communism. The aim should be to become free from this "ism" and that "ism." One has to change completely from this "ism" of materialism; then he can become happy. That is the program of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
We are taking advice from the Supreme Person. He says, "My dear Arjuna, you may be elevated to the highest planetary system, which is called Brahmaloka and is desirable because life there is very long." We cannot calculate even a half-day there. It is beyond our mathematical calculations. But even in Brahmaloka there is death. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, "Do not waste your time trying to elevate yourself or transfer yourself from this planet to that planet."
The people I have seen in America are very restless. They go from one apartment to another apartment or from one country to another country. That restlessness is there because we are searching after our real home. To go from this place to that place will not give eternal life. Eternal life is with Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, "Everything belongs to Me, and I have the superexcellent abode, which is called Goloka Vṛndāvana." If one wants to go there, he must simply become Kṛṣṇa conscious and try to understand how Kṛṣṇa appears and disappears, what His constitutional position is, what our constitutional position is, what our relationship with Him is, and how to live. Simply try to understand these ideas scientifically. Everything in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is scientific. It is not bogus, whimsical, sentimental, fanatical or imaginary. It is truth, fact, reality. One must understand Kṛṣṇa in truth.
We have to give up this body, willingly or unwillingly. The day will come when we will have to submit to the laws of nature and give up this body. Even President Kennedy in his procession had to submit to nature's law and change his body for another body. He could not say, "Oh, I am the President; I am Mr. Kennedy. I cannot do that." He was forced to do it. That is the way nature works.
The purpose of our developed human consciousness is to understand how nature works. Aside from human consciousness, there is consciousness in dogs, cats, worms, trees, birds, beasts and all other species. But we are not meant to live in that consciousness. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says that after many, many births we have attained the human form of body. Now we should not misuse it. Please utilize this human life to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness and be happy.