Lecture at Bhāratīya Vidyā Bhavān

Type:
Lecture
Date:
October 18
Year:
1973
Place:
Bombay

Prabhupāda: [chants maṅgalācaraṇa prayers] 

…jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-[gurave namaḥ]
śrī-caitanya-mano ‘bhīṣṭaṁ
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
dadāti sva-padāntikam
he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho
dīna-bandho jagat-pate
gopeśa gopīkā-kānta
rādhā-kānta namo ‘stu te
tapta-kāñcana-gaurāṅgi
rādhe vṛndāvaneśvari
vṛṣabhānu-sute devi
praṇamāmi hari-priye
vāñchā-kalpatarubhyaś ca
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya
prabhu-nityānanda
śrī-advaita gadādhara
śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare

Śrīman Nandajī, Ladies and Gentlemen, this scarcity of Kṛṣṇa consciousness was felt long, long ago. When, before starting this movement, I tried to approach many friends in India… Sometimes I think I approached late Mr. Munshi also, when he was governor in U.P. I requested that everyone may contribute a son from the family so that I can convert him an actual brāhmaṇa. Because the education at the present moment is creating śūdras. 

Actually, there are two kinds of dharmas: paśu-dharma and mānava-dharma. Paśu-dharma means eating, sleeping, sexual intercourse and defending. This is paśu-dharma. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca sāmānyam etat paśubhiḥ narānām [Hitopadeśa]. Eating, this is essential. Try to understand what is dharma. Dharma means which you cannot give up. Dharma does not mean you accept this dharma today, and tomorrow another dharma. That is not dharma. Dharma means the natural characteristic. Just like sugar is sweet. That is its dharma. And chili is hot. That is its dharma. A snake bites. That is his dharma. Water is liquid. That is its dharma. Stone is solid. That is its dharma. You cannot change. 

So what is the dharma of the living entities, or the human being? Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has enunciated the dharma of the human being: jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa-dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.108-109

"It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa because he is the marginal energy of Kṛṣṇa and a manifestation simultaneously one and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Kṛṣṇa has three varieties of energy.
. This is dharma, that every living entity is eternally servant of Kṛṣṇa. He cannot give it up. If he does not serve Kṛṣṇa, then he will have to serve māyā. Service is there. Nobody can say that “I don’t serve anyone.” Is there anybody who can say boldly that “I do not serve anyone”? You must serve. That is your dharma. Either you become a Christian or a Muslim or a Hindu or this or that, your real characteristic is that you have to serve. That service attitude, when it is misunderstood, it is applied to māyā, and we are not happy. When it is applied to Kṛṣṇa, then we are happy. Service you must render. That is your position. You cannot become master. Even the politicians, they promise, “I shall give you such-and-such service. Please give me vote.” So the service is promised, because we have to serve. 

So this definition given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that jīvera svarūpa haya kṛṣṇa nitya-dāsa: “The real, original characteristic of the living entity is to serve Kṛṣṇa,” that is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 15.7

The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.
: “All these living entities, they are My parts and parcels.” Just try to understand. What is the duty of the parts and parcel? Suppose this finger—they are the parts and parcel of my body. What is the duty of the finger? The finger has to catch the foodstuff or prepare the foodstuff and put into the mouth. The finger cannot enjoy; it has given to the stomach. Similarly, if we are parts and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, we cannot enjoy anything directly without giving Kṛṣṇa. That is our duty. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa-dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.108-109

"It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa because he is the marginal energy of Kṛṣṇa and a manifestation simultaneously one and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Kṛṣṇa has three varieties of energy.

So Kṛṣṇa also said in the Bhagavad-gītā, dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge. 

yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
[Bg. 4.7]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 4.7

Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself.

So what for Kṛṣṇa comes? Does He come to establish Hindu dharma, Muslim dharma or Christian dharma? If Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, why He should be interested in particular type of dharma, Hindu dharma, Christian dharma or Muslim dharma? No. Therefore after giving instruction throughout the whole Bhagavad-gītā, at last says, Kṛṣṇa, “The most confidential part of My instruction, Arjuna,” sarva-guhyatamam, “is this: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 18.66

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
.” This is dharma. If you are not surrendered soul to Kṛṣṇa, or God, your dharma has no meaning. It is useless. And where the definition of dharma is given by Kṛṣṇa at the last stage of His instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, if one can catch up this point, then he begins bhāgavata-dharma. Bhāgavata-dharma. 

Prahlāda Mahārāja said, kaumāraṁ ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha [SB 7.6.1]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.6.1

Prahlāda Mahārāja said: One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life—in other words, from the tender age of childhood—to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection.
. Kaumāra, from the very beginning of childhood, one should be taught about dharma, especially bhāgavata-dharma, the relationship with God. Similarly, in other place it is said, 

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yenātmā suprasīdati
[SB 1.2.6]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.6

The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.

Yena ātmā suprasīdati. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo, highest type of religious system, yato bhaktir adhokṣaje, by which one can learn how to love God—that is dharma. Anything else, that is not dharma. That is paśu-dharma. Nandajī has invented a very nice word, mānava-dharma. So mānava-dharma means… What is the distinction between mānava and paśu? That distinction is that a man eats, an animal eats; a man sleeps, an animal sleeps; a man has got sexual intercourse, animal has got sexual intercourse; a man also tries to defend, an animal also tries to defend. 

So these four principles of dharma, bodily necessities of life, is equal to the man and the animal. If you manufacture very nice, palatable dishes for eating, that does not mean you are advanced in civilization. No. It is eating. So what is the difference between mānava-dharma and paśu-dharma? Mānava-dharma means what Kṛṣṇa teaches—sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 18.66

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
. This is mānava-dharma. Except this, anything, that is paśu-dharma. That is paśu-dharma. Therefore Bhāgavata says, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo atra [SB 1.1.2]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.1.2

Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhāgavata Purāṇa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhāgavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyāsadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhāgavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart.
: “All cheating type of dharma is kicked out from this bhāgavata-dharma.” 

So actually, if we are interested in mānava-dharma, we should take instruction from the authorities. Don’t try to manufacture dharma. That is not possible. You cannot manufacture. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣāt bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.3.19

Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas.
. Dharma means the codes given by God. That is dharma. Just like law means given by the state. You cannot manufacture law at your home. That is not possible. Nobody will care for that. Nobody will care for that. 

Just like on the street we have got the law, “Keep to the left.” So if you say, “Why not go to the right?” you will be immediately arrested; you are criminal. Because it is law by the state. By your consideration, where is the difference between going… In some countries, in England… England is “Keep to the left,” India. America is “Keep to the right.” So this may be changed in different countries and different laws, but law means which is given by the state. Similarly, dharma means which is given by God. You cannot manufacture dharma. That will not be applicable. 

So therefore Kṛṣṇa says, the Supreme Personality of Godhead says, that “I descend.” Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata [Bg. 4.7]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 4.7

Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself.
. What is that glāniḥ? When one forgets Kṛṣṇa, or God, and manufacture his own religion, paśu-dharma, he cannot be happy. That is not possible. Just like if you make your own laws, you cannot be happy. You must obey the laws of the state. Similarly, what is the law of God? That is dharma. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣāt bhagavat-praṇītam. Dharma cannot be manufactured by any man or any demigod or any saintly person or… No. 

The dharma is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which He says as the last instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 18.66

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
. And actually it is happening all over the world. Since we have presented this dharma, to serve Kṛṣṇa, it is working very wonderfully. We have got branches all over the world, and you will find… Some of the samples you will see, those who are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, these Europeans, Americans, Canadians—we have got even branch in Iran also—Muhammadans, Christians, Africa. Everyone is taking to this dharma, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. 

Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu enunciated, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam [Cc. Antya 20.12]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 20.12

"Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.
. Bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam. There is a conflagration of flame all over the world on account of godless civilization, this nonsense civilization. We have to stop it. Then you will be happy. You cannot become happy without God. That is not possible. Therefore if you actually interested to spread dharma, you take the principles of Bhagavad-gītā, standard, Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Don’t try to interpret in a fashionable way: “This means that; that means that.” No. “Kṛṣṇa” means Kṛṣṇa. “Kṛṣṇa” means… 

Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 7.7

O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is no Truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.
: “My dear Dhanañjaya, there is no more superior authority than Me.” You have to accept that. Kṛṣṇa says, mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te. You have to accept that. Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 18.65

Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.
. You have to accept that. Then you will be able to…, you will be successful. Otherwise it is useless waste of time. Śrama eva hi kevalam. Śrama eva hi kevalam. 

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam
[SB 1.2.8]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.8

The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.

You can execute your so-called dharmas, but if it does not help you to understand what is God, then it is useless waste of time. It is useless waste of time. Śrama eva hi kevalam. 

So actually, this Bhārata-varṣa is the land of dharma. Even some Communist Chinese gentleman, he has written a book… That is recommended in the New York University. He says that “If you want to know about dharma, you must go to India and learn there.” We have got so facility. Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, 

bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra
janma sārthaka kari’ kara paropakāra
[Cc. Ādi 9.41]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 9.41

"One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India [Bhārata-varṣa] should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people.

“Anyone who has taken birth as a human being in the land of Bhārata-varṣa, first of all let him become perfect and distribute the knowledge all over the world.” That is paropakāra. 

So I shall request that there is great need of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement all over the world. It is only one man’s attempt. If persons like Nandajī and others, living persons… Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate [Bg. 3.21]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 3.21

Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.
. Nandajī is one of the śreṣṭha-vekti of India. He was minister in the central government. Now he is out of office. But the man is the same. I was very glad when I received the literature. I thought, “At least one man in India is thinking that India is so much downfallen.” So I was very much encouraged. Otherwise, I was very much discouraged that there is no human being in India, because they have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, forgotten God. Now I see there are still. 

So I shall request Nandajī that take the standard method as prescribed in the Bhagavad-gītā. Then you will be successful. Not only Nandajī—anyone. The example is already there. I am preaching all over the world Bhagavad-gītā as it is. There is no fashionable interpretation. No. As it is. And how they are being accepted. So why not in this country? And in this country Kṛṣṇa consciousness is natural. It is not artificial. From the birth of a man, he is Kṛṣṇa conscious. Artificially he is being cut down, “Forget Kṛṣṇa.” This nonsense dharma should be stopped. Take Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is being accepted all over the world. Why not in India? Why you present competitors of Kṛṣṇa? Don’t do this. Take this instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 18.66

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
. You will be successful. If you manufacture something, you will never be successful. I tell you. 

So anyone, the standard is there, the instruction is there, everything is there. Why should we try to manufacture something new? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 17.186

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued," 'Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.' "
. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.3.19

Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas.
. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhayaṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. That is our process. Tarko ‘pratiṣṭhanam. Simply by argument, you cannot reach the confidential part of dharma. Śrutayo vibhinnā. And if you study Vedas, that is also…, Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg, Atharva, you will be puzzled. So, nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam [Cc. Madhya 25.57]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 25.57

" 'Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.'
. He is not a philosopher or a muni who cannot give a separate theory. 

So these things are going on. Therefore how to know what is the purpose of dharma? That is stated, that dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 17.186

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued," 'Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.' "
. Just follow, try to, mahājana. 

Who can be better mahājana than Kṛṣṇa? Is there anybody in this world still now better than Kṛṣṇa, who can give good instruction, more beneficial than Kṛṣṇa? No. There is not. So take this principle, Bhagavad-gītā as it is, the instruction of Gītā, instruction of Kṛṣṇa, and try to follow. It will be successful not only in India; all over the world. That is my practical experience. 

Thank you very much. [applause] [end]