Letter to: Subrata Lahiri , Bombay , 1973-01-04

Please accept my greetings and blessings. I have received your letter and I very much appreciate your kind sentiments. It appears that you are an intelligent man because you approach submissively and not to argue. In your letter you mention Bhagavad-gita. Actually the whole purpose of Bhagavad-gita is to revive our sanatana-dharma, which is the eternal occupation of the living entity. Sanatana-dharma does not refer to any sectarian process or religion. It is the eternal function of the eternal living entities in relationship with the eternal Supreme Lord. The English word "religion" is a little different from sanatana-dharma. Religion conveys the idea of faith, and faith may change. One may have faith in a particular process, and he may change this faith and adopt another, but sanatana-dharma refers to that activity which cannot be changed. Man professes to be a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or any other sect. Such designations are not sanatana-dharma. A Hindu may change his faith to become a Muslim, or a Muslim may change his faith to become a Hindu, or a Christian may change his faith and so on. But in all circumstances the change of religious faith does not effect the eternal occupation of rendering service to others. Thus, to profess a particular type of sect is not to profess one's sanatana-dharma. The rendering of service is sanatana-dharma.

Factually we are related to the Supreme Lord in service. The Supreme Lord is the supreme enjoyer, and we living entities are His servitors. We are created for His enjoyment, and if we participate in that eternal enjoyment with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we become happy. We cannot become happy otherwise. It is not possible to be happy independently, just as no one part of the body can be happy without cooperating with the stomach. It is not possible for the living entity to be happy without rendering transcendental loving service unto the Supreme Lord, Krishna.

I will be staying in Calcutta from January 23, until the end of the month. If it is possible you may stop in and see me. I am looking forward to hear from you in the future.

Hoping this meets you in good health.

Your ever well wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami