Harikeśa: I'm curious about the destination of a neophyte devotee. If a neophyte devotee is with determination endeavoring for purification but he were to meet with death as he is still influenced by the lower modes, although he is seriously trying, then does he take another birth or does he go to Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: No, he has to take another birth. If he is not completely purified, he has to suffer another birth. Nobody is allowed to enter into the spiritual unless he is cent percent pure. No allowance. Then he has to... Therefore it is said, śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo sañjāyate [Bg. 6.41]. He is given chance, another chance, to take birth in a very pure brāhmaṇa family or rich family so that he may take again the chance, not in, he is allowed to enter. He is given a good chance again. That is his benefit. Even if you are failure, still, your next birth as a very first-class human being is guaranteed. Not for others. It is only for the yogis. If he is... Therefore it is said that "What is the loss even if he is failure?" Tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ harer bhajann apakvo 'tha patet tato yadi yatra kva va abhadram abhūd amuṣya kim [SB 1.5.17]. This verse is very important. Even by sentiment one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and discharges the regulative duties, chants Hare Kṛṣṇa, his next life is guaranteed as a human being. Even he does it for some time—he is not perfect—still, his next life is guaranteed. But others, there is no such guarantee. Even if he discharges his so-called duties, material duties, there is no guarantee that he'll become a human being. [break]
Harikeśa: They let him stay in that body and then he went to Hṛṣīkeśa and performed devotional service and then became perfect.
Prabhupāda: No, he was already perfect, but to increase his desire—"How shall I go Vaikuṇṭha?"—another time he had to go. He was a perfect; otherwise how he was saved from the Yamadutas?
Harikeśa: So if a devotee dies and remembers Kṛṣṇa, although he is not perfect...
Prabhupāda: Unless he is perfect, he cannot remember Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible. That is not possible. That is theory only. He must be perfect. Somehow or other, he fallen, so Kṛṣṇa gives him the chance. That is special concession for devotee. Some way or other, you become devotee. Even if you cannot finish the whole job, if you fall down, still, there is guarantee that you get your birth in a very good society. That is the prerogative."
Srila Prabhupada's Morning Walk conversation -- November 2, 1975, Nairobi