(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada and disciple)
Guest: But in order to really get any interest in any of these things, you should really believe that...
Prabhupāda: It is not a question of believe. It is question of fact.
Guest: ...that there is another world and that you go there or you come back and all. This is a belief, isn't it?
Prabhupāda: It is not belief. It is a fact. One who does not know, he thinks it is belief. That is ignorance.
Guest: So how do we...
Prabhupāda: You have to learn it. You have to become student. How do you expect to learn it for nothing?
Guest: Learn what? Learn that there is...
Prabhupāda: That is the process, Vedic process. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet samit-pāniḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12). You have to learn. Just you learn so many things from teacher, similarly, these things also you have to learn.
Guest: In other words, this question of there being another world, it could be actually learned. There is no belief in word in that.
Prabhupāda: It is a fact.
Guest: You could actually find out, experience yourself that there is another world.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, yes. Just like you have come to America. (laughter) Yes, similarly.
Guest: So you are saying there is a process by which you can see the other world.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.
Guest: Does this take a whole lifetime to learn?
Prabhupāda: It takes only one minute. (laughter) If you are serious. If you are not serious, it will not be understood, even millions of years. That is the fact.
Guest: I see. It's so simple, then.
Prabhupāda: If you are serious, then it is a one minute's business. And if you are not serious, it is not fulfilled in millions of years. That is the...
Guest: I see.
Devotee: What determines, Śrīla Prabhupāda, if one is serious or one is not serious? What makes one...
Prabhupāda: Well, this seriousness comes after many, many births. It is also not so easy. Rūpa Gosvāmī says, tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate. He wrote a verse, kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ krīyatāṁ yadi kuto 'pi labhyate: "The kṛṣṇa-bhakti, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, this thing, if you can purchase somewhere, just immediately purchase it." Kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ krīyatām: "Just purchase." Yadi kuto 'pi labhyate. First of all, if you want to purchase, the things must be available. Yadi kuto. Therefore kuto 'pi, "If it is available, immediately purchase." Then next question is, "What is the value? What is the price I have to pay?" Then he said, tatra laulyam ekalaṁ mūlyam, "Simply your serious eagerness to have it. That is the price." "Oh, that I can have very easily." "No." Janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate: "That laulyam, that seriousness, is not obtained after thousands of years' pious activities." It is so difficult. Janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate. People are acting piously, but that kind of seriousness is not available even after executing pious activities for thousands of lives. So that seriousness is also very difficult, to become very serious that "In this life I shall finish my business and go home, back to home, back to Godhead." Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). Kṛṣṇa says, "After many, many births, when actually one becomes in knowledge, he surrenders unto Me."
(Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation, San Diego, June 29, 1972)