Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.2 , London , 1971-08-17

Pradyumna: Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. [Prabhupāda and devotees repeat] [leads chanting of verse, etc.]

dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ
vedyaṁ vāstavam atra śivadaṁ tāpa-trayonmūlanam
śrīmad-bhāgavate mahā-muni-kṛte kiṁ vā parair īśvaraḥ
sadyo hṛdy avarudhyate 'tra kṛtibhiḥ śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt

Prabhupāda: [Indistinct]


dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ
vedyaṁ vāstavam atra śivadaṁ tāpa-trayonmūlanam
śrīmad-bhāgavate mahā-muni-kṛte kiṁ vā parair īśvaraḥ
sadyo hṛdy avarudhyate 'tra kṛtibhiḥ śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt

Prabhupāda: Anyone else? [corrects pronunciation] Very good.

Pradyumna: ...lation: "Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhāgavata Purāṇa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhāgavatam, compiled by the great sage Śrī Vyāsadeva, is sufficient in itself for God realization. As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhāgavatam, he becomes attached to the Supreme Lord."

Prabhupāda: So, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra [SB 1.1.2]. Dharma, religiosity; kaitava, pretension or cheating. Dharma artha kāma mokṣa [SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90]. These four things are supposed to be meant for spiritually or advanced people, advanced in civilization. Not spiritually, but advanced in civilization.

So the first thing is dharma. Dharma is the basic principle of civilization. Dharmeṇa hīnāḥ paśubhiḥ samānāḥ [Hitopadeśa]. If there is no dharma, then it is the society of the animals. That is the distinction between human society and animal society. There are eight million different species of life below the human society, but there is no question of God consciousness.

In the human society, either they execute religious principles rightly or not, at least there is a symbol, in the civilized society. There are Hindus, there are Muslims, there are Christians, there are Buddhists and so many others also. Because it is in human society, there must be some idea or some principle of understanding God. That is called religion.

But in the name of religion, there are..., so many things are going on. That is called kaitava, cheating. We don't want to discuss, but more or less, at the present moment in whichever category of religion one may belong to, nobody is following strictly the religious principles. That's a fact. That is called kaitava.

Another kaitava is that one who does not know the purpose of religion. Religion means, as we have several times explained, religion means the rules or the laws given by God. That is religion. Not the formulas. Formulas must be there, but the real basic principle of religion means the laws given by God. Just like we are living in a state, either in England or in Germany or in America or in India, there are state rules and regulations. Good citizen means who are abiding by the state laws.

Similarly, a devotee means who is abiding by the laws given by God. This is the... Just try to understand. Just like a good citizen means that he is following the state law, as we do actually. When there is red light, immediately you stop your car because you have to abide by the laws of the state; otherwise you become criminal. Although there is none to look, still, you have to stop your car, "There is red light." That is obedience. And then, when there is green light, you start your car.

So religion is like that. There are... As this is a small state or small city, London... It is small city in comparison to the universe; it is nothing, a spot. So there are so many rules and regulation and laws, and the Supreme Lord, who is maintaining, creating this universe, there is no law? How do you think like that? For a small city, an insignificant city... In our estimation it is not insignificant, but in comparison to the universe, what is the value of this London city or New York city? As soon as you go a little high up, say, twenty-five miles above, you cannot see your city. It is all finished.

Similarly, there are so many cities in the stars and planets, upwards. So many universes, so many seas, mountains, skyscraper, houses, we cannot see. Because in the universe these are all simply insignificant particles only. So if in this insignificant particle there are so many state laws, you just imagine to manage this universal affair, the Supreme Lord, how much laws and regulation must be there. Who can deny it? Deny means he's a rascal. But intelligent man will understand that if in a small place there are so many rules and regulations, and in so big place, so universal—aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu—there are laws.

The scientists also admit that the nature's law is so systematic. Even Professor Einstein, he agreed, that "As I advance, I see there must be a big brain, God." Is it not? Did he not say?

Devotees: Yes.

Prabhupāda: There is knowledge. That is knowledge. Everything is being maintained so nicely and there is no brain, there is no manager? One who says, "God is dead. There is no God," he's a rascal number one. Nothing else. Immediately take him he's a rascal number one, that's all, however educated he may be, because he does not know the psychology, how we accept the Supreme.

Suppose a child has come to London. So he cannot see the Queen. Or even a child's father. So many people are coming to visit London. It is not that everyone is seeing the Queen. But if he says, "Oh, there is no Queen," or "Queen is dead," will it be accepted? Similarly, some rascals who do not know how this universe is being managed, he may say, "God is dead. There is no God," but that will not be accepted by a sane man.

A sane man will say, "There must be somebody, the origin of everything." Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. That is the Bhāgavatam. Janmādy asya. First aphorism in the Vedānta-sūtra is that "What is the Absolute Truth?" Athāto brahma jijñāsā. "Let us discuss about the Supreme Truth, Absolute Truth." The answer is that Brahman, the Supreme, is that from whom everything comes out. He is the origin of everything. Very simple description. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1].

So dharma, religion, actually means to understand that origin, Absolute Truth. That is dharma. So that dharma, principles of religion, is there in every human society, either in Europe or America or Africa or... There is some. That is the significance of human being. If it is a human being society, there must be some principles of religion. Without religion... It doesn't matter what type of religion it is, there must be some religion. If there is no religion, then it is animal society. Try to understand. And what is the purpose of religion? The purpose of religion is, if religion is the code given by God, then we must know.

Just like a child. A child is abiding by the laws, but he does not know who is the law-giver, how the street is managed, what are the laws. He's to be considered as in ignorance. Just like in our schools and colleges, the state constitution, laws, lawyers, they study. So one may not know, but that is not very good position. But one who knows, his position is better. So simply to know, "There may be somebody, God. He has given us some laws. All right, let us abide by the laws," just like ordinary man doing. But to know, that inquisitiveness is called brahma-jijñāsā. That is required. Human society, human being must be interested in knowing that, the Supreme Absolute Truth, who has given us these codes and laws.

So that is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, that these laws, these material laws of nature, they are very strong. They are enacted by the Supreme Lord, as we understand from the Bhagavad-gītā, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram [Bg. 9.10]. Mayādhyakṣeṇa, "Under My superintendence." The laws... Just like laws are there; at the same time, the government has got a department which is called law and order department. The laws are going on nicely, the law and order department examines. So that examiner, departmental, may be, but the original examiner is the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, mayā adhyakṣeṇa: "Under My superintendence."

Just like in our institution, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, although I am the head, still, I have got so many assistants, the GBC members. They are assisting me, departmental. Somebody is here, somebody is there. Similarly, God has departmental management, and because it is such a huge affair, there are... What is a koṭi? Koṭi means ten million? Huh? Ten millions multiplied by thirty-three. How many it comes?

Devotees: 330,000,000.

Prabhupāda: So there are 330,000,000's officers of Kṛṣṇa. Must be. Such a huge affair. If for managing a small shop we have got so many things... This is manager, this is assistant manager, this is... In such a huge universal affair, there Kṛṣṇa has got assistants. And 330,000,000 assistants within one universe, and there are innumerable universes. And each and every universe, there must be similarly 330,000,000's or like that. They are called demigods.

Demigods means exactly under the position of God. Just like here there is governor. Immediately under him there are secretaries. Similarly these demigods, they are different officers, secretaries, directors under God. We don't deny the existence of demigod, but we don't worship that he is God. We worship, we give him all respect.

Just like if the queen's secretary comes here, we shall give him all respect because he's queen's secretary. But we'll never accept that he is king. No. That is not possible. That is sane. It is not that... We Vaiṣṇavas, we are prepared to offer respect even to the ant, and why not to the secretary? When we offer to a big officer, it is not that we are flattering. It is the etiquette, it is the duty, to offer respect to the respectable persons.

So we give all honor to the demigods, but we don't accept the demigods as the Supreme. That is Vaiṣṇava philosophy. There may be 330,000,000's or 330,000,000's of secretaries, but we say... Just like it is stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta: ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. The only master, or controller, is Kṛṣṇa. Āra saba bhṛtya. And all other demigods... Just like Lord Brahmā, Śiva, so many others. Indra, Candra, Varuṇa. 330,000,000's, how many we can remember? It is not possible. But there are. So they are all servants.

ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya
yāre yaiche nācāya, se taiche kare nṛtya

[Cc. Ādi 5.142]

He is pulling the wire. Just like the doll dancing, there is a man pulling the wire. These are the descriptions in the śāstras, or Vedic literatures. So we should not equalize or we should not place the demigods on the same level with God. That is offense.

The Māyāvādīs, because they think that "God is formless, impersonal, but I cannot meditate upon anything which is formless. So let me imagine something..." That is their theory. They say, "Let me imagine a form of God." Sādhakānāṁ hitārthāya brahmaṇo rūpa-kalpanaḥ. Kalpana, "imagine." The Māyāvādī philosophy is that, that "You imagine a form of God. Actually, there is no form of God." That is their theory. And we say, "No. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. He has got form, but not a form like me." That we know. It is a different type of form. Different material. Or we don't say material: different ingredient, spirit, complete spirit.

So that is our philosophy. God is a person like you and me. As we are sitting together; you are seeing me, I am seeing you. Similarly, if you become elevated to the perfection of devotional service, you'll go to God and you'll see Him as you are seeing me, I am seeing you. You'll see Kṛṣṇa. Try to understand. Therefore there are so many religious systems which say, "God has no form. There is no God. Let us imagine." These are..., this kind of religion is cheating religion.

Therefore it is said here, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra [SB 1.1.2]. Cheating. Because there is no real information. Real information is īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [Bs. 5.1], the Supreme Lord has got His spiritual body, and He is... In the Christian Bible also, it is said, "Man is made after God." Is it not? So unless God has got form, two hands, two legs, like that, how man has got two hands, two legs? If we are imitation of God, then God must be person. This is natural conclusion.

So impersonal concept of God is imperfect conception of God. That is not perfect. They are puzzled because Kṛṣṇa, God, is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. They cannot imagine that a form of sac-cid-ānanda can be possible. That is their lack of knowledge. But we learn from Vedic literature that God has got form, complete form, like us. Just like Kṛṣṇa, you see, He has got also two hands, He is also playing flute, with consort, Rādhārāṇī. He has also got two hands, nice face, nice head. Everything is there. Only the ingredients are different.

These ingredients, at the present moment... I have also got form, spiritual form. You have also spiritual form. Now that spiritual form is covered by material dress. Just like my body is covered by this shirt. You cannot see the actual body. Similarly, the spiritual body is now covered by this material body; therefore we cannot see. Besides that, our present eyes, that is also material. So with material eyes, we cannot see God. But God has got form. That's a fact. Now we are unable to see. Therefore the process is that we have to purify our eyes, our legs, our hands, and everything, so that we may be able to serve God.

So this arcana-paddhati, the devotional service, although we have got this material body, under the direction of śāstra, under the direction of spiritual master, we are working, we are trying to serve God, Kṛṣṇa. So that service is as good as the service in the spiritual world. There is no difference. Just like... The example is: just like you have got a green mango. Green mango. So the green mango is not so tasteful, but when it is ripe, it is tasteful. The mango is not different. The same mango. You wait. You wait for the time when it is ripened, you will taste it, nice.

Similarly, in the beginning, in the neophyte stage, when we say, "You must rise early in the morning, you offer maṅgala-ārati, you do this, you take your bath," these things, because we are not ripened, in the neophyte stage, these things appear to be botheration, not tasteful. But you have to do it under the order of the spiritual master and the order of the śāstras. Because unless you practice, how you can... But when it is ripened by practicing, practicing, when one is accustomed... Say by practicing he develops love for God. Then, when he's in love for God, he cannot do without it. Automatically he will rise early in the morning, automatically he'll do everything. It is simply the question of time to arrive to that ripened stage.

So this is the process, that we are serving here Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is also very kind. Because if Kṛṣṇa in His spiritual form, He is present... Of course, there is no difference. For Kṛṣṇa, there is no difference, material and spiritual, because everything is spiritual ultimately. But still, taking it accepted that we cannot see spiritual form at the present moment... Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. Because our senses are now blunt, we cannot see the spiritual form of Kṛṣṇa at the present moment. Therefore because we cannot see Kṛṣṇa with your present eyes, because we cannot serve Kṛṣṇa with our present hand, therefore Kṛṣṇa appears in a way so that we can see, we can touch. That is Kṛṣṇa.

Kṛṣṇa can appear in any way. He is all-powerful. So when He appears just like a stone statue, that does not mean Kṛṣṇa is stone or statue. Kṛṣṇa is the same Kṛṣṇa, but He appears before me just like stone statue because I cannot touch anything beyond this stone. I cannot see beyond this stone. So it is His mercy. Therefore it is called arcā-avatāra, incarnation of worshipable Deity. So we should never think that "Kṛṣṇa is not seeing. If I commit some offense, or..., Kṛṣṇa is in Vaikuṇṭha. Here I can do whatever I like." [laughter] Don't do that. That is a great offense. Therefore there are... We should always think, "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is here." We should be respectful just exactly as Kṛṣṇa is here. Don't make differentiation, that "This Kṛṣṇa is stone statue."

Similarly... Therefore the śāstra injunction is arcye śilā-dhīr guruṣu nara-matiḥ [Padma Purāṇa, Brahma Khaṇḍa 25.15-18]. To think of the Deity as made of stone, to think of the spiritual master as ordinary man, arcye śilā-dhīr guruṣu nara-matir vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ, to accept a Vaiṣṇava as belonging to some caste and creed... Just like in India there are many so-called brāhmaṇas, they think that "These Europeans, they are coming from low-grade family. How we can accept them as brāhmaṇas?" No. Vaiṣṇave jāti-buddhiḥ.

When one has taken the Vaiṣṇava initiation and properly discharging duties, he should be not be considered belonging to such caste. A spiritual master should not be counted amongst ordinary human beings. Similarly, this Deity, although we know that we have made it from stone, He's not stone. He is stone to the stone-hearted. If one is stone-hearted, then Kṛṣṇa will stand as stone forever. But if one is soften-hearted by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, then he'll talk with Kṛṣṇa. That is the difference. Kṛṣṇa is always present.

Therefore it is said here... Any religion which does not teach about God, which does not know what is God, that is cheating religion. That's all. Dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra [SB 1.1.2]. Cheating religion. And the Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura has said,

pṛthivīte yāhā kichu dharma-nāme cale
bhagavat prahe tāhāṅ paripūrṇa chale

"In the all over the world, what is going on..." It is a strong criticism. In the name of religion, the Bhāgavata says, "They're all cheating." That's all.

Because they have no idea what is God. Neither in their principles there is service of God, there is dedication to God. Simply official in the so-called religion. Therefore Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura said, "These are all cheating religion." Religion means when one accepts some religion, he must know, "What is God; what I am; what is my relationship with God; what are the laws of God; how I am to act." So many things you have to learn. That is religion. Simply stamping myself with some rubber stamp, that "I belong to this religion," "I belong to that religion," that will not help. That is cheating. You are cheating yourself.

Another point is that it doesn't matter... I don't say that your religion is cheating or my religion is bona fide. I don't say that. We have no right to say that. I want to see... "I" means we are bhāgavata. We are representative of bhāgavata-dharma. Or bhāgavata wants to see. Any religion you may profess—it doesn't matter—I want to see whether you have got the result of religion. The result of religion is you will love God. That is result of religion. If you have become actually lover of God, then your religion—it doesn't matter whatever religion you profess—that is perfect.

But if instead of developing your love for God, you have developed love for so many nonsense things, then you have simply wasted your time. That is the verdict of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam

Dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ. Not that anyone who is not following strictly the religious principles. Even if he is following strictly the religious principle... Svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsām, dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsām. But the result should be that he should be a lover of God. Viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ. Unless one becomes lover of God, he is not interested to hear about God. Here you are sitting, a few boys and girls. There are millions of people. Because you have little love for Kṛṣṇa, therefore you are sitting. Therefore you are sitting. So without development of love for God, nobody is interested to hear about God.

So by following any system of religion, if we do not develop our dormant love for God, then following such religious principle means simply waste of time. That's all. Because it has no effect. Effect should be by following religious principle you must develop love of Godhead. That is our bhāgavata-dharma. What is time now?

Śyāmasundara: Eight o'clock almost.

Prabhupāda: All right. Have little kīrtana. [end]