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(Click to enlarge photo of the "Changing Bodies" diorama)

"So we do not understand that our materialistic way of life, our this material existence, every one of us is (in) diseased condition of life. It is not healthy condition of life. That we do not understand. We are thinking, 'Oh, I am eating, sleeping and dancing, and then nice, so what is the disease? It is nice.' But that your very body is a disease, this very body, because it is subjected to so many tribulations, so many sufferings.

So we should try to understand that what is the cause of our suffering. The cause of our suffering is this body. The root cause of our... Either this body is American body, Indian body, cat's body, dog's body or prince body or demigod's body, because the body is material, therefore you have to undergo certain types of tribulation. At least, you'll have to die, you'll have to take birth, you'll have to suffer from diseases, you have to undergo the tribulation of old age. It does not mean that because I have got a princely body, therefore there will be no disease. No. The disease will be there. And the death will be there. And the sufferings of old age... Just like I am old man. I have got sometimes sufferings, backache, this ache... Old man, you see, rheumatic. So these things are to be suffered.

Therefore all our sufferings are due to this body. And this human body is the junction, the crossing point, whether I want to cure myself completely from this disease of birth, death, old age and disease or I want to continue. That we must make a decision. If we think, 'Oh, it is very nice. Let us have this body. Never mind sometimes we suffer from disease, suffer from old age or birth, death. Never mind.' But that is the general impression of the general public: 'Oh, we don't care what is going to happen.' That is irresponsible life.

But if a human being is responsible, if he actually wants healthy life... Healthy life means without birth, death, old age and disease. That is healthy life. Our conception of healthy life is not to become too much fatty, or robust body. Robust body or fatty body or any body, this body, everything will finish. Our proposition is that how to conquer death, birth, old age and disease. That is our proposition.

So if one is serious to conquer over these four principles of life and desiring eternal nonstoppage happiness and pleasure—the same thing, pleasure means there is... The same... Just like the pleasure in a hotel dancing, that is also pleasure, and here also, Hare Kṛṣṇa dancing, there is also pleasure. But the standard of pleasure is different. Standard of pleasure is different.

So this whole Kṛṣṇa conscious movement is nothing to stop, but to change the standard of pleasure from the standard of temporary, flickering pleasure to the permanent, eternal pleasure. That is the program of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So anyone who's interested to be..., to accept the standard of pleasure which is eternal and continual, for them this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very nice. And those who are interested, 'Never mind, we have got a temporary life, temporary pleasure. We enjoy this materialistic way of life. No,' so for them Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has no meaning. But those who are interested to attain that standard of pleasure which is eternal, for them this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is essential."

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Boston, April 28, 1969)
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The Root Cause of Our Suffering