“The body is important as long as it has consciousness. Without consciousness, the body is merely a lump of matter. Therefore, to return home, back to Godhead, one must change his consciousness from material consciousness to Krishna consciousness.”
This is from the Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.15.41
[This chapter of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “Instructions for Civilized Human Beings,” relates a conversation between the sage Narada and King Yudhisthira. Yudhisthira has asked Narada how a common man may achieve the perfection of life. Here, Narada offers some advice.]
Transcendentalists who are advanced in knowledge compare the body, which is made by the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to a chariot. The senses are like the horses; the mind, the master of the senses, is like the reins; the objects of the senses are the destinations; intelligence is the chariot driver; and consciousness, which spreads throughout the body, is the cause of bondage in this material world.
…“Those who are not faithful on the path of devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of foes, but return to birth and death in this material world.” (Bg. 9.3) The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, personally gives instructions on how one can return home, back to Godhead, but if one does not care to listen to His instructions, the result will be that one will never go back to Godhead, but will continue life in this miserable condition of repeated birth and death in material existence (mrtyu-samsara-vartmani).
The advice of experienced transcendentalists, therefore, is that the body be fully engaged for achieving the ultimate goal of life (svartha-gatim). The real interest or goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead. To enable one to fulfill this purpose, there are so many Vedic literatures, including Vedanta-sutra, the Upanisads, Bhagavad-gita, Mahabharata and the Ramayana. One should take lessons from these Vedic literatures and learn how to practice nivrtti-marga. Then one’s life will be perfect.
The body is important as long as it has consciousness. Without consciousness, the body is merely a lump of matter. Therefore, to return home, back to Godhead, one must change his consciousness from material consciousness to Krishna consciousness. One’s consciousness is the cause of material bondage, but if this consciousness is purified by bhakti-yoga, one can then understand the falsity of his upadhi, his designations as Indian, American, Hindu, Muslim, Christian and so on.
Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. One must forget these designations and use this consciousness only for the service of Krishna. Therefore if one takes advantage of the Krishna consciousness movement, his life is certainly successful