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Lecture at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Bombay, October 18, 1973
Prabhupada: (chants mangalacarana prayers) Sriman Nandaji, Ladies and Gentlemen, this scarcity of Krsna 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 brahmana. Because the education at the present moment is creating sudras. Actually, there are two kinds of dharmas: pasu-dharma and manava-dharma. Pasu-dharma means eating, sleeping, sexual intercourse, and defending. This is pasu-dharma. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanyam etat pasubhih naranam. 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? Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has enunciated the dharma of the human being: jivera svarupa haya nitya krsna-dasa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. This is dharma, that every living entity is eternally servant of Krsna. He cannot give it up. If he does not serve Krsna, then he will have to serve maya. 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 maya, and we are not happy. When it is applied to Krsna, 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 Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that jivera svarupa haya krsna nitya-dasa: "The real, original characteristic of the living entity is to serve Krsna." That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita. Krsna says, mamaivamso jiva-bhutah: [Bg. 15.7] "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 Krsna, we cannot enjoy anything directly without giving Krsna. That is our duty. Jivera svarupa haya nitya krsna-dasa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. So Krsna also said in the Bhagavad-gita, dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge.
So what for Krsna comes? Does he come to establish Hindu dharma, Muslim dharma or Christian dharma? If Krsna 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-gita, at last says Krsna, "The most confidential part of My instruction, Arjuna," sarva-guhyatamam, "is this: sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]." This is dharma. If you are not surrendered soul to Krsna, or God, your dharma has no meaning. It is useless. And where the definition of dharma is given by Krsna at the last stage of His instruction of Bhagavad-gita, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, if one can catch up this point, then he begins bhagavata-dharma. Bhagavata-dharma.
Prahlada Maharaja said, kaumaram acaret prajno dharman bhagavatan iha. Kaumara, from the very beginning of childhood, one should be taught about dharma, especially bhagavata-dharma, the relationship with God. Similarly, in other place it is said,
Yena atma suprasidati. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo [SB 1.2.6], highest type of religious system, yato bhaktir adhoksaje, by which one can learn how to love God—that is dharma. Anything else, that is not dharma. That is pasu-dharma. Nandaji has invented a very nice word, manava-dharma. So manava-dharma means what is the distinction between manava and pasu. 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 manava-dharma and pasu-dharma? Manava-dharma means what Krsna teaches—sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. This is manava-dharma. Except this, anything, that is pasu-dharma. That is pasu-dharma. Therefore Bhagavata says, dharmah projjhita-kaitavo atra: [SB 1.1.2] "All cheating type of dharma is kicked out from this bhagavata-dharma."
So actually, if we are interested in manava-dharma, we should take instruction from the authorities. Don't try to manufacture dharma. That is not possible. You cannot manufacture. Dharmam tu saksat bhagavat-pranitam. 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 Krsna says, the Supreme Personality of Godhead says that "I descend." Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata [Bg. 4.7]. What is that glanih? When one forgets Krsna, or God, and manufacture his own religion, pasu-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. Dharmam tu saksat bhagavat-pranitam. 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-gita. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. And actually it is happening all over the world. Since we have presented this dharma, to serve Krsna, 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 Krsna mantra, these Europeans, Americans, Canadians—we have got even branch in Iran also—Muhammadans, Christians, African. Everyone is taking to this dharma, this Krsna consciousness movement.
Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu enunciated, ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam. 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-gita, standard, Bhagavad-gita as it is. Don't try to interpret in a fashionable way: "This means that, that means that." No. "Krsna" means Krsna. Krsna means... Krsna says, mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: [Bg. 7.7] "My dear Dhananjaya, there is no more superior authority than Me." You have to accept that. Krsna says, mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te. You have to accept that. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. You have to accept that. Then you will be able to... You will be successful. Otherwise it is useless waste of time. Srama eva hi kevalam. Srama eva hi kevalam.
dharmah svanusthitah pumsam
notpadayed ratim yadi
srama 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. Srama eva hi kevalam. So actually, this Bharata-varsa 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 Mahaprabhu said,
Anyone who has taken birth as a human being in the land of Bharata-varsa, first of all let him become perfect and distribute the knowledge all over the world. That is paropakara.
So I shall request that there is great need of this Krsna consciousness movement all over the world. It is only one man's attempt. If persons like Nandaji and others, living persons... Yad yad acarati sresthah lokas tad anuvartate [Bg. 3.21]. Nandaji is one of the srestha-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 Krsna, forgotten God. Now I see there are still. So I shall request Nandaji that take the standard method as prescribed in the Bhagavad-gita. Then you will be successful. Not only Nandaji—anyone. The example is already there. I am preaching all over the world Bhagavad-gita 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 Krsna consciousness is natural. It is not artificial. From the birth of a man, (he) is Krsna conscious. Artificially he is being cut down, "Forget Krsna." This nonsense dharma should be stopped. Take Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is being accepted all over the world. Why not in India? Why you present competitors of Krsna? Don't do this. Take this instruction of Bhagavad-gita, that sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. 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? Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. That is our process. Tarko 'pratisthanam. Simply by argument, you cannot reach the confidential part of dharma. Srutayo vibhinna. And if you study Vedas, that is also..., Sama, Yajur, Rg, Atharva, you will be puzzled. So, nasau munir yasya matam 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 tattvam nihitam guhayam mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. Just follow, try to, mahajana. Who can be better mahajana than Krsna? Is there anybody in this world still now better than Krsna, who can give good instruction, more beneficial than Krsna? No. There is not. So take this principle, Bhagavad-gita as it is, the instruction of Gita, instruction of Krsna, 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) [break] (end)