June 19 1974 Germany
Vedavyāsa: He says it's a waste of our energy if we try to do good for others, if we smile and be kind…
Prabhupāda: But you cannot do good to others because you do not know what is good. (German)
Prabhupāda: You are thinking of good in terms of your body, but body is false. Therefore the conception of goodness is also false. (German)
Dr. P. J. Saher: I cannot accept that the body is false.
Prabhupāda: No, no. I withdraw that word false. But it is not you. It is false in this sense, that you are accepting this body yourself, but that you are not. (German) Just like…
Dr. P. J. Saher: But I live my identity with the body.
Prabhupāda: With the body. But the body is false, false in this sense, that you are not this body. You are simply… Just like I am occupying this apartment, but I am not this apartment. I am different from this apartment. This is understanding. So if you take interest of the apartment and you forget yourself, that is false. (German) If I simply decorate this body, apartment, and I don't eat myself, then what is the… This is false attempt, that we are trying… This is called. In the Bhāgavata it is said that aprāṇasya hi dehasya mandanaṁ loka-rañjanam.
Now, this body, just you or I, everyone, we are nicely dressed. But if the life is gone from the body, if you dress the body, is that very good intelligence? You have understood? That I am dressing, so long my life is there, I am dressing very nicely this body, but when the body is dead, if you dress the body or somebody or your relative dresses nicely, it is very good intelligence? (German) [break]
Vedavyāsa: …example of this comparison with a room and the body is not very good because he says…
Prabhupāda: But because he does not know that he is not this body.
Vedavyāsa: Yes, but he says because if we go out of the room, the room remains as it is, but if we go out of the body, the body doesn't remain. So he says there must be an intimate connection between the soul and the body.
Prabhupāda: No, remains means in the same way. Just like if I leave this room and it remains here, in a few years time it will be destroyed. Similarly, if you leave this body, in a few hours… It is a question of hours and years. (German) [break]
Vedavyāsa: …saying that this body is, the soul is eminent.
Prabhupāda: The soul is different from the body.
Vedavyāsa: Yes, but at the same time, he says there must be a very intimate connection of, actually a oneness of body and soul. That is what is now.
Prabhupāda: No, no.
Dr. P. J. Saher: As long as we are alive.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is not oneness. Just like this room is important so long I am living. Otherwise it has no importance. (German) [break] …soul is gone from the body, even the body is very dear, I throw it away. (German).
Vedavyāsa: He doesn't want to separate.
Prabhupāda: But you must separate. (laughter) As soon as your death comes, your body will be kicked out by your relatives.
Professor Durckheim: I think the difference is now just one, that Sir Fox (?) spoke about our lifetime, that during our lifetime there is an intimate unity between life and soul, as we experience it, and he now has no doubt that the soul is something different of the body, and when soul goes out, there is no life anymore.
Prof. Pater Porsch (Indian man): May I please add one thing. Perhaps it makes a difference if the person thinks "I am the spirit. I have a body." or he thinks, "I am a body, and I possess a soul." That is an important point.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. That is his mistake, that he is body and he possesses soul. But not that. He is soul; he is covered by this body. Another example. Just like your coat. So long you use it, it is important. And if you don't use it, it has no importance. But if he takes coat is very important… Important, it is important, so long you use it. But if you don't use it—it is torn—you throw it away. You take another coat. (German)
Prof. Pater Porsch: Can we not also say that self and not self must separate, either in death involuntarily, or through destiny.
Prabhupāda: Must separate, must separate.
Prof. Pater Porsch: Either through death or destiny.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is called death. You separate from this body; you accept another body. This period is called death. (German) So the body which you occupied previously, that is false now. Now the body which you have occupied now, that is important now. So you are giving stress on the body which I am changing after few years. That is the problem, misunderstanding.
Some Conclusions — This is a very nice discussion about the soul and body relationship. Many people will say, yes I have a soul, but miss the point that THEY are the soul, not that they have one, like you have a car or a house.
Prabhupada starts out by saying you cannot do good for others is you dont understand what is "good". Just dressing up the body with nice clothes, or house furnishings, is not really good for the self because at death all these things are separated from the real self-the soul.
The body stays behind, but the soul goes somewhere else. So all that work given to the body, if there is no spiritual connection to God,Krsna, is ultimately gone. It is true we need the human body to gain self realization, and that is the main benefit of having the human form of life – to understand who we are, where we came from, and where we are going at death.