Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.9
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Detroit, August 3, 1975,
University Lecture

Prabhupada: Water? [break]

…sya na arthah arthaya upakalpate na arthasya dharmaikantasya kamo labhaya hi smrtah

Dharma, generally it is understood “religion.” Religion means a kind of faith. So that is not the proper meaning of dharma, “faith.” Faith one may have, one may not have. But actually dharma means compulsory. It must be. Just like sugar. Sugar must be sweet. There is no question of sometimes becoming sweet and sometimes becoming bitter. That is not sugar. Sugar must be sweet. Similarly, dharma is also a “must be.” It cannot be option or a kind of faith which you can change at your whims. That is not dharma. Dharma means “must be.” The same example: A particular thing has a particular characteristic. The sugar characteristic is sweetness. Chili is hot. Similarly, everything has got its characteristic. Just like microphone. I am speaking; it must resound. That is the characteristic. That is dharma, which cannot be separated. If sweetness is separated from sugar, it is no longer sugar. Similarly, dharma means that. Dharma means, real meaning is, characteristic. The characteristic of the living being is to serve. Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave this instruction. Jivera svarupa haya nitya krsna dasa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. That is the characteristic of all living entities, to become servant, to become servant of Krsna. But when we do not serve Krsna, then, because my constitutional position is to serve, I have to serve maya. If you don’t serve Krsna, then you will have to serve maya. Because you have no other business than to serve. Just like a servant class. If he gives up one master, he must accept another master. May be better master, but master he has to accept. Just like dog. Without accepting a master, it is street dog. It has no position. So dharma means that, the characteristic of the living being.

So here it is, says, dharmasya hy apavargyasya na artha arthayopakalpate. There are four principles in the material world: dharma, artha, kama, moksa. Human life begins from religious life, because in the animal life there is no religion. Animal life—cats’ life, dogs’ life, tigers’ life, or any other less than human being… Especially civilized human being all over the world, there is some type of religion, either it may be Hindu religion or Christian religion or Muhammadan religion or Buddhist religion. That is the sign of civilized human society. Dharmena hinah pasubhih samanah. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanyam etat pasubhih naranam. Eating, sleeping, sex life and defense, they are common either to the human being or to the animals. So what is the difference between animal and human being? The difference is that a human being, civilized being, has some sort of religious understanding. The cats and dogs, they have no such thing. That is the difference. Therefore, when human being becomes irreligious, without any religion, then it is no better than the cats and dogs. Dharmena hinah pasubhih samanah.

So civilized human being must have religion. But religion does not mean to develop or improve economic condition. Generally people go to church, to temple, to express some awful condition, artah jijnasuh. Catur-vidha bhajante mam sukrtino ’rjuna. What is the next life? Arto artharthi jijnasur jnani ca bharatarsabha. Four classes of men in the beginning take to God consciousness if they are pious, sukrtinah. Sukrti means pious. One who does not act sinfully, he is called sukrti. And one who acts sinfully, he is called duskrtina. So Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita that four classes of men, namely arto artharthi, if he is pious and if he is distressed, then he goes to church or temple—“My Lord, I am distressed. Please give me some help”—prays to the Lord. And artharthi, one who is poor, he also goes to pray to God to give him some money. He is in distressed condition. These two classes, and another two classes, jijnasu, one who is inquisitive to understand what is God, and jnaniJnani means one who understands his constitutional position. He is jnani. Most people, they do not understand what he is and what is the goal of life. They are called ajnani, in ignorance. Just like animal. Animal does not know what is the aim of life. Similarly, if a human being does not know what is the aim of life, he is also animal. So catur-vidha bhajante mam sukrtino ’rjuna, artharthi jnani, jijnasur jnani ca bharatarsabha.

So this is beginning of life. To try to understand, to approach God, that is the beginning of human civilized life. Therefore, in the Vedic civilization, there are four principles: dharma, artha, kama, moksa. Dharma means religious principle, to understand. And economic development, because we require money, after all, to keep this body fit, that is also required. Dharma, artha, kama. Kama means sense gratification. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca. To eat, to make arrangement for eating, to make arrangement for sleeping, to make arrangement for sense gratification, and to make arrangment for defense—these are necessities of the body. These are called kama. Dharma artha kama moksa. And at last, to become liberated, moksa. Moksa means to get out of the entanglement of material miserable condition of life. That is called moksa. What is the material miserable condition of life? There are many. But the essence is, as presented by Krsna, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam. Everyone is trying, struggling for existence, to get out of the miserable condition of life. Everyone is trying. The standard of miserable condition may be different. One has got a million dollar. He thinks, “This is miserable condition. I must have ten times of this money. Then I will be happy.” And one has got one hundred million dollars, or one hundred dollars. He thinks that “If thousand dollars I get…” In this way, everyone is trying to approach a position where he will be happy. That is

The Vedanta-sutra says that anandamayo ’bhyasat. Because we are spirit soul, our position is anandamaya. Anandamaya means always blissful. Because we are part and parcel of God… God is blissful, all- good, sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah. Isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. His form… He has got form. He is not formless. But His form is different. That form is sat-cit-ananda. Sat means eternal, and cit means full of knowledge, and ananda means full of bliss. So we are part and parcel of God. Krsna says, mamaivamso jiva bhutah: [Bg. 15.7] “All these living entities, they are My part and parcel.” So if Krsna is sat-cit-ananda, then we are also sat-cit-ananda, because we are part. Just like gold and a gold, small particle. That is also gold. You cannot say it is something else. No. So part or whole, it may be. That is difference. Part is never equal to the whole. But quality is the same. Therefore we, being part and parcel of Krsna, the Supreme Lord, we are trying to utilize our original constitutional position. This is going on. But we are doing that without Krsna at the present moment. Therefore it is not successful. Part must remain with the whole. I have given this example many times, that a small screw of typewriter or any machine, it must remain with the whole machine. Then it has value. If it is out of the machine, there is no value. A small screw in the motorcar, so long it is with the motorcar, it has got value. And as soon as it is thrown out of the motorcar, it has no value. So similarly, we are part and parcel of God, Krsna. If we remain with Krsna Just like we are part and parcel of our family, father, mother. And father is opulent. So if we remain with father and mother, we are also opulent. But if we give up the company of father and mother, father and mother, not ordinary father and mother, opulent God is opulent. So then we are also opulent. And if we give up the company of father and mother, want to live independently, then we are in distress. This is our position.

Therefore it is said here, dharmasya hy apavargyasya. One should execute religion just to become free from this maya and go back to home, back to Godhead. That is dharma. Therefore Krsna personally comes and instructs that “My dear sons, My dear part and parcel, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. You are suffering here in this material world repeatedly, birth after birth. Still, you are not in sense.” Therefore He said to Arjuna that “Because you are My intimate friend, I am just instructing you the most confidential part of dharma.” What is that? Now, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “This is your duty.” So this Krsna consciousness movement is teaching the same principle. What Krsna taught five thousand years ago in the Battlefield of Kuruksetra to Arjuna, we are broadcasting the same message. We have not manufactured anything new. That is not dharma. Dharma cannot be manufactured. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Just like law cannot be manufactured. If you manufacture some law at your home, that will not be accepted. Maybe some people, your friend, your relatives or your family members, may accept. But that cannot be accepted by all, law. But the law given by the government must be accepted by everyone. Similarly, dharma means the law given by God. That is dharma, not that I manufacture this dharma, you manufacture another dharma, you manufacture another… That may be partially good, but it is not dharma. Dharma is… Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. That is the definition. Just like law is made by the government. The government makes the law, “Keep your car to the right.” That has to be accepted by everyone. You cannot say, “Why not left? In India we keep our car on the left side. Why not here?” No. Then it will be unlawful. Similarly, Krsna says, “This is dharma.” Not that yata mat tata pat, whatever you manufacture, that is dharma. No. That is rascaldom. This is dharma: sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam [Bg. 18.66], only one. That is dharma.

So here Suta Gosvami is explaining that what is dharma. Dharma means dharmasya hy apavargyasya. Dharma means to disentangle yourself from these material complexities. That is dharma. Now, the same thing… Anywhere you go, the Vedic literature, the same thing is there. Dharma means to mold your life in such a way that ultimately you become disentangled from this complication of material life. The complication of, essence of the complication, is janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi: “Birth, death, old age, and disease.” This is material complication because we living entity, na jayate na mriyate va; we have no birth, no death. This is our position. We are… Simply we are changing body. Tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. These are the instruction, that dehantara-praptir. Dehino ’smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara, tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13]. Just like these children. They have got a body now. This will be changed. When they will be young, a different body… And the young man, when he will be old, a different body. Similarly, the old man, when he will finish this body, he will get a different body. This is called dehantara-praptih, accepting another body. So we are changing, but we are so fool that we do not understand what is the real problem of life. We are simply busy in some temporary problems. Real problem is that a living being is eternal, and by the laws of nature, by his karma, he has to change his body. That is real problem. Tatha dehantara-praptih. And we can see, if we have got eyes, that there are many varieties of life, 8,400,000 varieties of life. Jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati. So Krsna says, tatha dehantara-praptih. According to your karma, you will get another body. That What kind of body I shall get? That I do not know. Then what is your education? Suppose you are being educated. You know aim, that “I shall become a lawyer,” “I shall become a scientist,” “I shall become mathematician.” With this purpose you are being educated. But what purpose you are being educated for the next life? Do you know this? No. Then what is your education? You may be very good scientist, but can you manufacture a scientific law that you will never die? No. That is not possible. You will never take birth after death? You will never be diseased? You can manufacture nice medicine for a type of disease, but you cannot stop disease. You cannot stop birth, you cannot stop death, you cannot stop disease, you cannot stop old age.

Therefore Krsna gives the essence of knowledge, janma… Jnani means one who can see “What is the problem of my life.” Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanudarsanam. This is the problem. Therefore dharma means apavargyasya, how to avoid birth, death, old age and disease. Apavarga. Pavarga. Pavarga… Those who are educated in India, they know that pa-varga, ka-varga, ca-varga, ta-varga. So here it is pa-varga:pa, pha, ba, bha, ma.” So pa means parisrama, laboring. And pha means the hard laboring so that foam comes out of the mouth. Pa, pha, ba. Ba means baffled. In spite of all laboring hard, life is baffled. Pa, pha, ba, bha, and bha, bhaya. Bhaya means always fearful—“What will happen next?” And ma. Ma means mrtyu. So in this way, struggling—pa, pha, ba, bha, ma—that is called pavarga. So here it is said, dharmasya hy apavargyasya. Apa. Apa means just to make nullified this life of pavarga. That is, means, liberation, to come to the original position, spiritual life. Dharmasya hi apavargyasya na arthayopakalpate. Not that you go to church and temple and pray to God, “God, give me some money. I am in distressed condition. Please…” God can do that. It is not very difficult. He is doing already. The birds and beasts, they do not go to church or temple, but they have no problem. They are living very happy. So that is not the aim of life. The aim of life is how to regain our God consciousness, or Krsna consciousness, and love Him. Because we do not love God, therefore we have been obliged to love maya, Satan. This is our present position. Therefore in this chapter, in beginning, is sa vai pumsam paro dharma yato bhaktir adhoksaje. There are different types of religious system, but that type of religious system is first class which teaches the follower how to love God. That is first class, not to go to the church: “Give me my daily bread” or “Please minimize my troubles of life. Give me some money.” No. This is also good. Because one has gone to God, so he is in touch. Some way or other, he has gone to the fire. Then, if he keeps there, it will be warmer, warmer. But those who are duskrtina, they do not go even to the God. Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah [Bg. 7.15]. So they are better than. One who goes to the church or temple and prays to God for minimizing his distressed condition, he is better than the atheist who never goes to God, because this man will get chance to understand God some day. And that man, the duskrtina, naradhama, he will never get chance. This is the position now throughout the whole world. People are becoming godless more and more.

So this is very, very precarious condition of life. Therefore Krsna consciousness movement is essential. It is not a fashion. It is essential, and everyone should take to it very seriously, because we do not know what we are getting the next life. Next life… The other day I was giving example in Berkeley. We were sitting within the room, and next to our window there was a tree standing. That is also living entity. We are also living entity. Just a yard from our room the tree is standing, but he has got so many disadvantage. He cannot move an inch. There is severe cold, there is scorching heat, there is blast, there is wind and sunshine, but he has no power to move. And we are human being. We are in a comfortable room. Why these different changes of condition, although the tree is also living being and I am also living being? Who has made this condition? But we have no knowledge. So I may get that condition next life. Then what is the value of my education? Yam yam vapi smaran loke tyajaty ante kalevaram. Because at the time of death, the, your mentality, my mentality, will decide what kind of body I am going to get. That is under the laws of nature. You cannot dictate that “Give me this American life or Indian life.” No. Karmana daiva-netrena. By your karma it will be decided whether you will be American, Indian, or snake or tree or bird. Daiva-netrena. Just like when you go to the court, the court will decide whether you will be punished or you will be rewarded. You cannot dictate to the court that “Sir, give me this judgment.” No. That is not possible.

Similarly, here it is indicated that religion… What religion? Religion should be to disentangle you from this material miserable condition—dharmasya hy apavargyasya na arthayopakalpate. Not that you go to church or temple and ask for some material benefit. No. That is not the… Na arthasya dharmaikantasya. Arthasya. We are earning money by some occupation. That’s all. Then what is the purpose of this money? Now, if you are dharmic, dharmaikantasya, if you are actually religious, then your money is not meant for sense gratification. Na arthasya. Dharmaikantasya. Kamo labhaya hi smrtah. Not for your sense gratification. You should know that this money, excess money you have got, it is God’s money, because in the Bhagavad-gita we learn, bhoktaram yajna-tapasam [Bg. 5.29]. He is bhokta. He is bhokta. Bhokta means enjoyer. Just like we were just coming here. This Ford company and this company and so many, there are. So the factory is going on. The bhokta is the managing director or the proprietor, not the worker. Worker can get their salary, that’s all. So bhokta, real enjoyer, is the proprietor. Therefore nowadays the Communist party, they say, “We are working. Why this man should enjoy?” They struggle. So this struggle, either the worker becomes proprietor or the capitalist become proprietor, it is the same thing. Real proprietor is Krsna. Bhoktaham. Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam. That we do not know. This kind of change will not help, the capitalist thinking that “I am bhokta,” or the laborer thinking, “I am bhokta.” Nobody is bhokta. Bhokta is Krsna. If we try to understand… We can understand because bhokta means the proprietor. So God is the proprietor, everything. You are manufacturing one big nice car, but who has manufactured this metal? Who has manufactured this wood with which you have manufactured a nice car? That is manufactured by a God. You have not manufactured. You are changing the shape from iron to iron seat, iron seat to another form. That’s all… You can do that. You cannot manufacture.

So original proprietor is Krsna. He says, bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca. Bhinnam me prakrtir asta… Me, “My.” The earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence… Even your intelligence is Krsna’s. With your intelligence, with ingredients of Krsna, if you manufacture something, the proprietor is Krsna. Because the… Just like a carpenter. You give the wood, the instrument, these labor charges. So when he manufactures a nice closet, who, to whom it will belong? It will belong to the man who has supplied you all these things. Similarly, you may be changing the form of the material elements, but you are not proprietor. The proprietor is Krsna. That is Krsna conscious. If we understand this philosophy, that “Everything belongs to Krsna…” That is the fact. And if you do not understand that, that is maya. Maya means not fact, ma-ya.

So this Krsna consciousness movement is educating people in this way, that Krsna is the enjoyer. You have seen Krsna’s picture. He is always enjoying. He is not working. That is Krsna. God… In the Vedas the definition of God is given, na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate: “God has nothing to do.” He is enjoyer. Where He will do? He will not work. Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate na tasya sama adhikas ca drsyat: “Nobody is found equal to Him or greater than Him.” That is God. Nowadays so many gods coming from India… So God is one. Na tasya sama adhikas ca. Nobody can be equal to Him; nobody can be greater than Him. That is God.

isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah anadir adir govindah sarva-karanam… [Bs. 5.1]

Parama, controller… Isvara means controller. So here in the material world we find that I am controller; I am controlled by somebody else. Then that controller is controlled by somebody else. So controller over controller over controller over… When you come to the point when the controller is there but no more controller upon him, that is God. That is God. If I am controlled by a dentist—a god has become affected with tooth trouble and goes to the… Then he is not God. Such kind of god we do not worship, that when there is some toothache, he goes to a doctor. So no, that is not God. God means isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1] And Krsna says, mattah parataram nanyat: [Bg. 7.7] “There is no more superior authority than Me.” And Arjuna accept, param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan [Bg. 10.12].

So in this way, try to understand what is dharma, what is God. And we can help you, this Krsna consciousness movement. We have got now about fifty books, big, big books like that, to understand Krsna, simply to understand Krsna. So if you want to understand Krsna through your education, through your scientific knowledge, philosophy, and whatever you like—yes, we can convince you. We have got so many books. But if you say that you have no money to purchase books, you are not so learned to… Chant Hare Krsna. Then you will understand Krsna.

Thank you very much. Any question?

Jagadisa: Any questions?

Prabhupada: Water.

Student: (indistinct)

Jagadisa: He says, “Everybody knows God, but what’s His name and how can we tell that He’s God?”

Prabhupada: You take from us. If you do not know what is the name of God, we give you His address, His father’s name, everything.

Student: How am I to know He is God?

Prabhupada: No, no. You are asking; we can give you. Now it is up to you to believe it or not believe it, but we can give you. Now you test whether it is real or not. That is your business. But we can give you the name of address, His father’s name, His abode, everything, house number, everything. (laughter)

Indian man: In your opinion, what is the relationship between Krsna and Christ? In this country, everybody, many people… There are 250,000,000 people in this country. And I would say maybe ten percent of the people haven’t heard about Krsna. And I have discussions with people, and I try to explain as much as I can.

Prabhupada: So why don’t you inform them?

Indian man: No, I know that. But those people, they don’t know that. Now what would you say… You know, if they believe in Christ, and if they are a true religious people within their own means, knowledge, and right, what would be their relationship as far as going to Vaikuntha or moksa or whatever you say?

Prabhupada: No, first of all your question is what is the relationship between Christ and Krsna. You inquired this. So Christ says that he is son of God. So he is son of Krsna.

Indian man: That was what I thought, but I could not convince them all.

Prabhupada: You should learn how to convince. (laughter) Without learning, how can you do it? First of all you become a disciple of Krsna. Then you can teach. Tad-vijnanartha… What is that?

tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya upadeksyanti tad jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah [Bg. 4.34]

You should learn what is Krsna from jnaninah, tattva-darsinah, who has seen Krsna. So you can take. You can follow Arjuna. Arjuna has seen Krsna. Arjuna has talked with Krsna. Arjuna has taken instruction from Krsna. What Arjuna says? Arjuna says, param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan, purusam sasvatam adyam [Bg. 10.12] You learn it. Why don’t you learn from Arjuna? Then you will be able to convince others. You learn. That is your duty as Indian.

Indian man: Oh, I have accepted the fact.

Prabhupada: So you become more enlightened. Read Bhagavad-gita carefully. Then you will be able. These foreigners, they are doing that. And you, Indian, you cannot do it?

Indian man: No, I didn’t say that I couldn’t do it.

Prabhupada: Then you… Then do it. If one is not convinced, you… As Indian, it is your duty.

Indian man: Oh, I accept that.

Prabhupada: Yes, so do it now. Join with us and do it. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission. He advises,

bharata-bhumite manusya-janma haila yara janma sarthaka kari’ kara para-upakara [Cc. Adi 9.41]

“Anyone who has taken birth in India as a human being, he must first of all know the success of life and preach the cult to others, para-upakara.” This is the duty of every Indian, that you should learn Bhagavad-gita perfectly well and preach it. That is your duty, all Indians. This is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission. Bharata-bhumite manusya-janma haila yara janma sarthaka kari’ kara [Cc. Adi 9.41] They do not know it. They know that Christ is son of God. They have heard it. Now convince them that “Yes, there is no fighting between Christian or Krsna-ite. One is worshiping the father; one is worshiping the son. So there is no difference.” But isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1]. Krsna… He says that,

sarva-yonisu kaunteya sambhavanti murtayah yah tasam mahad yonir brahma aham bija-pradah pita [Bg. 14.4]

He is the father. That’s all right. He identifies Himself as being the father, and Christ identifying himself as the son, then where is the difference? There is no difference. Either you learn from the son or from the father, the teaching will be the same. Only a minority is Christian only.

Guest: I have a question. I think the…

Prabhupada: Only a minority is Christian only.

Guest: The majority believe that Christ is also God, not just His son, but he is God also.

Prabhupada: Yes. No, to… God… God and God’s son, they are one and different simultaneously. That you, anyone, can understand, that a father and the son… The son is born out of the body of the father. So if the father is spirit, the son is also spirit because the son is born out of the body of the father. So, so far the body is concerned, it is spiritual. But still, the relationship is father and son. It is called acintya-bhedabheda-tattva, simultaneously one and different. Anyone can understand. The child is the father’s body. In that way it is one. But a child is the son, and the father is the father. So simultaneously one and different. So Christ is God and not God simultaneously.

Guest: Are you saying that through the unity of Krsna is also a unity of non-Krsna?

Jagadisa: He’s saying that within the unity of Krsna is also…

Guest: There is also the unity of non-Krsna?

Prabhupada: Well, in the higher sense there is nothing but Krsna, or God.

Guest: It is also non-Krsna?

Prabhupada: There is… Just like… I have already explained that, simultaneously one and not one. Just like the sunshine. You see the sun, and you see the sunshine. The sunshine is of the same quality, heat and light, and the sun is also heat and light, but when the sunshine comes within your room it does not mean the sun has come within your room. The heat and light is already there with the sunshine, but still, you cannot say sunshine is the sun.

Guest: (indistinct)

Jagadisa: Can’t hear. Speak louder. (end)