sri-yudhisthira uvaca
bhagavan srotum icchami
nrnam dharmam sanatanam
yat puman vindate param
sri-yudhisthirah uvacaMaharaja Yudhisthira inquired; bhagavanO my lord; srotumto hear; icchamiI wish; nrnamof human society; dharmamthe occupational duties; sanatanamcommon and eternal (for everyone); varna-asrama-acara-yutambased on the principles of the four divisions of society and the four divisions of spiritual advancement; yatfrom which; pumanthe people in general; vindatecan enjoy very peacefully; paramthe supreme knowledge (by which one can attain devotional service).
Maharaja Yudhisthira said: My dear lord, I wish to hear from you about the principles of religion by which one can attain the ultimate goal of lifedevotional service. I wish to hear about the general occupational duties of human society and the system of social and spiritual advancement known as varnasrama-dharma.
Sanatana-dharma means devotional service. The word sanatana refers to that which is eternal, which does not change but continues in all circumstances. We have several times explained what the eternal occupational duty of the living being is. Indeed, it has been explained by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Jivera svarupa hayakrsnera nitya-dasa: [Cc. Madhya 20.108] the real occupational duty of the living entity is to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even if one prefers to deviate from this principle he remains a servant because that is his eternal position; but one serves maya, the illusory, material energy. The Krsna consciousness movement, therefore, is an attempt to guide human society to serving the Personality of Godhead instead of serving the material world with no real profit. Our actual experience is that every man, animal, bird and beastindeed, every living entityis engaged in rendering service. Even though ones body or ones superficial religion may change, every living entity is always engaged in the service of someone. Therefore, the mentality of service is called the eternal occupational duty. This eternal occupational duty can be organized through the institution of varnasrama, in which there are four varnas (brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra) and four asramas (brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa). Thus, Yudhisthira Maharaja inquired from Narada Muni about the principles of sanatana-dharma for the benefit of human society.

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