Lecture at Bhāratīya Vidyā Bhavān
Prabhupāda: [chants maṅgalācaraṇa prayers] ¶
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-[gurave namaḥ]
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho
rādhā-kānta namo ‘stu te
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
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 ¶. 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 ¶: “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 .
So Kṛṣṇa also said in the Bhagavad-gītā, dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge. ¶
yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
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 ¶.” 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 ¶. 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
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 ¶. This is mānava-dharma. Except this, anything, that is paśu-dharma. That is paśu-dharma. Therefore Bhāgavata says, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo atra : “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 ¶. 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 ¶. 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 ¶. 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 ¶. 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 ¶: “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 . 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
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam
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
“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 ¶. 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 ¶. 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 ¶. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam . 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 . 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 ¶. 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] ¶