LA July 14 1974
Umāpati: Śrīla Prabhupāda? We, because of our fallen condition, do require many mechanical means by which we can offer one another respects and to teach one another examples of scripture. For example, we are asked to bow our bodies down to show respects, or to call one another "prabhu," to understand that each person is a spiritual master to the other. How is a… How are the boys and girls to learn these things in manners of decorum and manners from the sannyāsīs, for example. How are they to offer respects to their godbrothers. And, uh… [break]
Prabhupāda: You can. You behave like that, others will learn.
Umāpati: For example, I have seen many godbrothers offer one another respects, but I very seldom see that in terms of some of our leaders.
Prabhupāda: So some of you show by practical example, guide them. Then others will…
Bali Mardana: One person who sees can lead thousands of blind men.
Prabhupāda: Eh? Yes. Very good. (pause) [break]
March 14 1975 Iran
Prabhupāda: No, attachment to the body is not bad. Just like you have got a nice car. So you have got attachment for it. But you must know that you are not the car. That everyone can… A child can understand. But because I have got attachment for something, it does not mean I am that thing. I have got attachment for so many things. That is natural. Anything I possess, I have got attachment. But that does not mean I am that thing. But here the mistake is that because we have got attachment for the body, I am identifying myself as the body. That is ignorance, illusion.
Young man: Yes, but one is egocentric… My egoism is very close to my body.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Everyone says "I am." But the mistake is: he is thinking "I am this body." That… When one is in knowledge, he understands that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul." The "I am" is there. But "I am" is now falsely identified with this body. That has to be cured. Then spiritual knowledge begins.
Young man: When one is aware of that fact, that he is not the body?
Prabhupāda: As soon as he come into knowledge.
Young man: But can one be egoistic and be spiritual at the same time, I mean, be proud of himself, not as a body, but proud of his state of the spirit?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Now we are bodily busy. Because I am identifying with this body, therefore my misunderstanding is there. But if I understand I am not this body, then my activities will be different. So first of all, you have to understand that I am not this body. That is the beginning of spiritual education. [break] …with this body, we remain an animal, because animal cannot understand that he is not body. Try to understand that you are not this body. And what is the difficulty? When a…?
Some Conclusions- In the first conversation the devotee is telling Srila Prabhupada that most of the rank and file devotees do offer obeisances and respect to each other, but he noticed that seldom did he see that mutual respect given in some of the "leaders". The reason for this is given in the second conversation where due to bodily attachment one becomes proud of his body and his so-called temporary position. Without treating all Godbrothers and Godsisters as "Prabhu", one remains in a fallen condition.