Bhakta Gene: Well, this raises a question in my mind, Your Grace. Within Christianity there has been a history of mysticism from 100 A.D. to the present. Now there have been some prominent mystics, a few prominent mystics, and a great many not so prominent. Now how do you classify these men, these Christian mystics, Protestant as well as Catholic?
Prabhupāda: It is some yogic mysticism. It has nothing to do with spiritual life. They want to see some miracles, generally, ordinary public. So this mystic power, show some miracles and make them astonished. That's all. It has nothing to do with spiritual life.
Bhakta Gene: Perhaps you misunderstood me. I was referring to truly devotional mystics, such as St. John of the Cross, St. Francis of Assisi.
Prabhupāda: If there is devotional service, where is the need of mysticism? There is no need. God is my master, I am His servant. Where there is necessity of this nonsense mysticism?
Bhakta Gene: I think that the term mysticism, so many people have been playing with, particularly here in the United States.
Prabhupāda: So many people, we have nothing to do with so many people. If you are actually servant of God, so God is there, you are servant. So your transaction is there. Just to carry out the orders of God. That's all. Why do you want mysticism? Just to show some jugglery to the people? You serve God. That's all. And it is very simple thing, what God orders. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). Where is the question of mysticism? There is no question of mysticism. God says "Just always think of Me. Offer your obeisances and worship Me." That's all. Where is the need of mysticism? It is all jugglery.
Indian man: I tell you, I think there's a wrong conception.
Prabhupāda: You think in your way. There is no meaning in your thinking unless you come to the line.
Indian man: No, sir. There's a wrong conception, that mysticism. They say it comes with the spiritual advancement. I think that's what he's getting at.
Prabhupāda: The problem is that we are suffering in this material world life after life, and our aim is how to again go back to home, back to Godhead. That they do not know. They are showing some mysticism. Stop death. Then I shall see your mysticism. What is this nonsense mysticism? Can you stop death? Is it possible? Then what is the meaning of this mysticism? All bogus. My problem is that I am accepting one body and suffering, because as soon as I get this material body, I have to suffer. Then I am creating another body. I die. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). And again begins another chapter. In this way, from this grass life to the demigods, I am simply changing body and dying and taking birth. This is my problem. So what mysticism will do? But that they do not know, what is the problem. That is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9). This is your problem. You are repeatedly taking birth and dying, and so long you are living there are so many troubles. Jarā-vyādhi. Especially old age and disease. So this is the problem. What mysticism will help you? Will the mysticism stop your birth, death, old age and disease? Then that is mysticism. Otherwise, what is the use of such nonsense things. (break) ...misleading from the real path. They do not know what is the aim of life, what is the problem of life. They create some mysticism, and some rascal people are after them. That's all. "Here is mystic."
Indian: How important is the association with the devotees?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ (SB 3.25.25). Therefore sādhu-saṅga wanted. Association of devotees. That is wanted. Then our life will be successful. Not mysticism.