TEXT 51
tatheti guru-putroktam
anujnayedam abravit
dharmo hy asyopadestavyo
rajnam yo grha-medhinam
SYNONYMS
tatha—in this way; iti—thus; guru-putra-uktam—advised by Sanda and Amarka, the sons of Sukracarya; anujnaya—accepting; idam—this; abravit—said; dharmah—the duty; hi—indeed; asya—unto Prahlada; upadestavyah—to be instructed; rajnam—of the kings; yah—which; grha-medhinam—who are interested in householder life.
TRANSLATION
After hearing these instructions of Sanda and Amarka, the sons of his spiritual master, Hiranyakasipu agreed and requested them to instruct Prahlada in that system of occupational duty which is followed by royal householder families.
PURPORT
Hiranyakasipu wanted Prahlada Maharaja to be trained as a diplomatic king in ruling the kingdom, the country or the world, but not to be advised about renunciation or the renounced order of life. The word dharma here does not refer to some religious faith. As clearly stated, dharmo hy asyopadestavyo rajnam yo grha-medhinam. There are two kinds of royal families—one whose members are simply attached to household life and the other consisting of rajarsis, kings who govern with ruling power but are as good as great saints. Prahlada Maharaja wanted to become a rajarsi, whereas Hiranyakasipu wanted him to become a king attached to sense enjoyment (grha-medhinam). Therefore in the Aryan system there is varnasrama-dharma, by which everyone should be educated according to his position in society’s division of varna (brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra) and asrama (brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa).
A devotee purified by devotional service is always in the transcendental position above the mundane qualities. Thus the difference between Prahlada Maharaja and Hiranyakasipu was that Hiranyakasipu wanted to keep Prahlada in mundane attachment whereas Prahlada was above the modes of material nature. As long as one is under the control of material nature, his occupational duty is different from that of a person not under such control. One’s real dharma, or occupational duty, is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam (dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]). As described to his order carriers by Dharmaraja, or Yamaraja, a living being is a spiritual identity, and therefore his occupational duty is also spiritual. The real dharma is that which is advised in Bhagavad-gita: sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. One must give up one’s material occupational duties, just as one must give up his material body. Whatever one’s occupational duty, even according to the varnasrama system, one must give it up and engage in one’s spiritual function. One’s real dharma, or occupational duty, is explained by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Jivera ‘svarupa’ hayakrsnera ‘nitya-dasa’: [Cc. Madhya 20.108] every living being is an eternal servant of Krsna. That is one’s real occupational duty.

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