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You can catch it as iron rod, but touch anywhere it will burn. It has got the quality of fire. Similarly, if you always keep yourself in Krsna consciousness then you become spiritualized. You'll act spiritually. No more material demands

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"You can catch it as iron rod, but touch anywhere it will burn. It has got the quality of fire. Similarly, if you always keep yourself in Krsna consciousness then you become spiritualized. You'll act spiritually. No more material demands"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Iron rod, when it is red hot, it is not longer iron rod, although it is iron rod. You can catch it as iron rod, but touch anywhere it will burn. It has got the quality of fire. Similarly, if you always keep yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness then you become spiritualized. You'll act spiritually. No more material demands.
Talk with Bob Cohen -- February 27-29, 1972, Mayapura:

Bob: O.K., imperfect. But let me tell you. I feel that right now I admire and respect your devotees, but I don't feel as if I'm part of them or even a great desire to be part of them. I feel that I just want to do what is right and come closer to God, and if I just go to a better life next time, I'd be satisfied.

Prabhupāda: Very good life.

Bob: Maybe that's just material clinging.

Prabhupāda: So just you follow in their footsteps, my other students, and it will be fulfilled, your desire. We are training to that direction, how to become purified and happy. That is our mission. We want to see everyone happy. Sarve sukhino bhavantu. But people do not know how to become happy. They do not take the standard path to become happy. They manufacture their own way. That is the difficulty. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattva yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam (SB 5.5.1). This advice was given by Ṛṣabhadeva to his sons. "My dear boys, just undergo austerity," divyam, "for transcendental realization." Everyone is going austerity. This boy, I know, he had to go foreign countries to learn this commercial management. So many... So now he's good situated. But everyone has to undergo some austerity for future life. So why not take that austerity for permanent happiness? Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena satt... Permanent happiness, you have to purify your existential body. This body, so long you will accept this material body, you'll have to change it. And as soon as you get a spiritual body there is no question of change. Spiritual body you have already. Simply now, due to our material contamination, we are developing material body. But if we associate with spiritual life, then we shall develop spiritual body. The same example I have several times given, that you put the iron rod with fire, it will develop to be fire. Is it not?

Bob: Put the iron rod into fire...

Prabhupāda: Yes, and it will become fire.

Bob: Yes...

Prabhupāda: Although iron rod.

Bob: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Similarly, this body, if you always keep yourself spiritually engaged, it will act as spiritual, although it is material body. The same example. Iron rod, when it is red hot, it is not longer iron rod, although it is iron rod. You can catch it as iron rod, but touch anywhere it will burn. It has got the quality of fire. Similarly, if you always keep yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness then you become spiritualized. You'll act spiritually. No more material demands.

Bob: How do I do this?

Prabhupāda: This process, as they are doing. You have seen. These boys are, our six boys, they are now initiated today. It is very simple. You have to follow the four restrictive regulations and chant this beads. Very easy.

Bob: Well, um, but... See, when I'm back in Bihar and following my lifestyle there, I..., if I follow all these regulative principles... Some I follow now, but not all... But if I follow all...

Prabhupāda: Some means?

Bob: Some...

Prabhupāda: There are only four regulative principles. Some means three, or two?

Bob: Two or three.

Prabhupāda: So why not other one?

Bob: No, no, I mean I follow one or two now. One or two now I follow.

Prabhupāda: (laughs) Why not the other three? What is the difficulty?

Bob: Umm...

Prabhupāda: Which one you follow?

Bob: Which one I follow? I am almost vegetarian, but I eat eggs.

Prabhupāda: That is also not fully. (laughs)

Bob: No, not even fully. But since last time I've become vegetarian, and...

Prabhupāda: No, no, vegetarian is no qualification.

Bob: Not much.

Prabhupāda: You see, vegetarian, the pigeon is vegetarian. The monkey is vegetarian. But most rubbish creature.

Bob: Well...

Prabhupāda: A monkey is vegetarian, naked sannyāsī, lives in the forest, the most mischievous.

Bob: I felt that it was a little bit of progress because it was somewhat difficult at first, then easy, and I had returned to...

Prabhupāda: No, you can stick to all regulative principles provided you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness process. Otherwise it is not possible.

Bob: Yeah, but this is it. I have... When I'm back in Bihar and my friends may say... Well, we're sitting in the evening, and there's nothing to do but fight mosquitoes, and they'll say, "How about smoking some marijuana?" And I say, "Sure, there's nothing else to do," and then I sit down and I enjoy myself for the evening. Now, we did this... we got carried away, we were doing it every day and realized we were hurting ourselves and stopped, but still, on occasion we do that....

Prabhupāda: You have to live with us. Then your friends will not ask you, "What about marijuana?" (Bob laughs) Keep the association of devotees. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-ras... (SB 3.25.25). We are opening centers to give chance people to associate with us. Why we have taken so much land? Providing for those who are seriously desirous. They will come and live with us. Association is very influential. Satāṁ prasaṅgāt. Saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ. If you associate with drunkards, you become a drunkard. If you associate with sādhu, then you become sādhu.