Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.8 , Hyderabad , 1974-04-22

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

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

[break] [02:44]

Translation = "Duties, or dharma, executed by men, regardless of occupation, are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Supreme Lord."


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

Dharma, generally translated into English as "religion." I have already explained several times, the dictionary meaning of religion is "a kind of faith." But actually, dharma means occupational duty, or the characteristic. Just like a snake. The snake, its religion is to bite, and fatal bite. That is his dharma, occupational duty. Everything has got... Just like this microphone, it must work, it must expand the sound. That is its dharma. If it does not expand the sound, it is useless. So everything you take, there are characteristic. That is the meaning of dharma. Dharma is not an artificial faith. Faith you can change, but your occupational duty you cannot change.

So what is the occupational duty of the living entity? The living entity is now encaged in two kinds of gross and subtle body. Therefore, when he is situated in the bodily concept of life, his dharma is fruitive activities, or sense gratification. When he is situated on the mental platform, then his occupational duty become speculation, imagination. And when he is situated in his original, spiritual platform, then his occupational duty is to serve Kṛṣṇa. These are the three positions = karma, jñāna, yoga, bhakti---gradual evolution. Because spiritual knowledge also gradually evolves. Nirviśeṣa-brahman, antaryāmī paramātmā and ṣaḍ-aiśvarya-pūrṇa-bhagavān---these are the different stages of self-realization, or spiritual advancement. Karma, jñāna, yoga and bhakti. Yoga means bhakti-yoga, or the preliminary, primary stage of bhakti-yoga. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said,

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

There are different types of yogīs, but the first-class yogī is he who, now, mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā, Kṛṣṇa says, "who is thinking of Me always," mad-gata, śraddhāvān, "with veneration, love and faith." Bhajate.

So to think of Kṛṣṇa is also bhajana. There are different process of bhajana. To hear of Kṛṣṇa, that is also bhajana. Just like you are hearing. And to speak about Kṛṣṇa. I am speaking; you are hearing. Similarly, when the speaking and hearing is finished, then you think of Kṛṣṇa, or by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, you think of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa being absolute, all these different processes are also the same, one and the same. There is no difference between chanting and hearing or remembering or worshiping in the temple. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam, arcanam [SB 7.5.23]. The temple worship is called arcana. Vandanam, offering prayers. The Christians, the Muhammadans, they offer prayer. Of course, not to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but impersonal feature or some idea. But that prayer is also one of the processes of bhakti. Anyone who accepts the supremacy of God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he..., his process of worship has to be considered in the category of bhakti-yoga. The more and more you become purified by executing the bhakti-yoga process, then you come to the real platform.

That is stated here, that dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsām [SB 1.2.8]. It doesn't matter what kind of dharma. Actually, dharma is one, the occupational duty, the characteristic. The characteristic means that God is great and we are subordinate. That is the injunction of the Vedas. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. We have to understand that singular number. God is singular, nitya, eternal, cetana, living entity. He is also nitya and living entity, but the chief, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām. And we are plural number, nityānām, cetanānām. So the... We are plural number, living entities. But He is singular number. Why? What is the difference between these two nityas and two cetanas? God is not dead stone. God is like you and me. He is a living entity, but the chief living entity, singular number. Just like we have got leader. There are many hundreds and thousands of followers, but there must be one leader. You follow any cult, you have to accept one leader. Either you follow this philosophy, that philosophy, it doesn't matter. But you have to follow a leader. But Kṛṣṇa is the supreme leader, leader of the leaders.

That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā = mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjayaḥ [Bg. 7.7]. Leaders there are, gods are, there are. God means controller. There is controller always. So there are many gods. Anyone is god, because he is, somehow or other, he is a controller; a leader also. But we are meaning the supreme leader, the supreme controller. That is Kṛṣṇa. Leader you have to accept. But... Controller you have to accept. But nobody is supreme leader or supreme controller. That is Kṛṣṇa. Every leader is also controlled by some other leader. But Kṛṣṇa is such a leader that He is not controlled by any other leader. That is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat [Bg. 7.7] = "There is no more superior leader."

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ

[Bs. 5.1]

That is the statement of the Vedic literature = the supreme controller, the supreme leader, is Kṛṣṇa. Sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. Kṛṣṇa is not formless. When Kṛṣṇa was present on this planet, He is not formless. He has His form. And what is that form? Sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. Ānandamaya-rasa-vigraha. Ānanda-cinmaya-rasa. That is not this vigraha. That we have to understand. Our vigraha, our form, at the present moment, material form, that is not sac-cid-ānanda. Sat means eternal, cit means full of knowledge, and ānanda means full of blissfulness.

So as soon as we think of one body, we think comparing our body. So similarly, by our foolishness, if we think of Kṛṣṇa's body like one of us, then we become mūḍha. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam [Bg. 9.11]. Because Kṛṣṇa comes in the human form like a human being, therefore we should not take Kṛṣṇa as one of us. Then we become mūḍha, rascal, fool. Or in other words, one who thinks of Kṛṣṇa having a body like us---that is the Māyāvāda philosophy---he is a mūḍha. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. These are the statements of Bhagavad-gītā. How you can misinterpret? This is plain thing, that symptom. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ. These are the words used in the Bhagavad-gītā. It is not our manufactured word.

People may be very unhappy or angry, but we have to quote from these scriptures. These are the... Anyone who does not surrender to Kṛṣṇa, he is within these categories. What are they? First of all duṣkṛtina. Duṣkṛtina means simply engaged in sinful activities. Kṛti. Kṛti means meritorious. But duṣkṛti: badly meritorious. They are using their brain for something atrocious, simply planning how to do harm to others. That is called duṣkṛtina. For his own sense satisfaction he is plan... This is called asura. Āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ. Asuras, they are simply planning for his own sense gratification. And devotees, they are simply planning how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa's senses. That is the difference---how Kṛṣṇa will be satisfied. Both of them are planning, but one is planning for his own sense satisfaction and the other is planning how to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa. This is the difference between asura and deva. There are two classes of men = deva and asura. Dvau bhūta-sargau loke daiva āsura eva ca [Bg. 16.6]. Āsuras tad-viparyayaḥ. Viṣṇu-bhaktaḥ bhaved daiva āsuras tad-viparyayaḥ [Padma Purāṇa]. Those who are devotees of the Lord, servants of the Lord, they are called deva, or demigods. Āsuras tad-viparyayaḥ. And the asuras are just opposite. Just like Hiraṇyakaśipu, Prahlāda, Prahlāda, the father and son. Prahlāda is deva because he is devotee of Kṛṣṇa. And Hiraṇyakaśipu, because Prahlāda is devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he's trying to always tease him. Although he is a five-years-old boy, his son, his beloved son, but since he became Kṛṣṇa conscious, he became the enemy of the asura, Hiraṇyakaśipu. This process is existing from very, very time immemorial, two classes.

Therefore to become devotee is sometimes very troublesome, because even the father become enemy. This is the position of the devotee. But still, you have to become devotee. That is your success of life. But the warning is there, that as soon as you become a devotee, you become enemies of so many, especially nowadays. You know that recently I was refused entrance in Africa. The government did not allow me to enter. What is my fault? Because I am a devotee. This is my fault. So we are meeting so many dangerous position. In Bombay our temple construction has been refused by the Commissioner of Police. Why? Now, because we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. They have openly written that "The bhajana, nuisance." You see? This is our position. Bhajana... The Kṛṣṇa says, Bhagavān says, that catur-vidhā bhajante mām [Bg. 7.16]. This bhajana word is there. "Four kinds of people can be engaged into bhajana." Who are they? Sukṛtino 'rjuna: "Whose background is very, very pious activities." Now, at present, bhajana is nuisance. Bhajana is stated in the Vedic scripture that it is performed by the pious men, and now, at the present circumstances, bhajana is nuisance. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ [Bg. 9.14]. These are the statement of Vedic scripture. Who is mahātmā? Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ [Bg. 9.13]. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ. These are mahātmās. Nitya-yukta upāsate. But at the present moment... Not at the present moment; from time immemorial this is going on. As soon as you become devotee, as soon as you are inclined to take part in bhajana, you will have so many enemies. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended that you tolerate. Still, you cannot give up your bhajana and Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is not possible. Tolerate. Tṛṇād api. What is the process of toleration? Yes.

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

[Cc. Ādi 17.31]

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we are teaching to become sukṛtina, to make his life successful by understanding Kṛṣṇa.

Then this verse explains, [child crying] dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena-kathāsu yat [SB 1.2.8]. [aside:] Please take the child. So this formula is that you may execute your occupational duties first class, svanuṣṭhitaḥ, as it is prescribed. Very nicely, regularly, faithfully you are discharging your occupational duty. But if it does not awaken your dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then it is useless. Śrama eva hi kevalam. Because the human life is meant for awakening Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Our consciousness is now polluted. Just like the rainwater. As soon as it falls down on the ground, it becomes muddy. Otherwise, the rainwater is distilled water, very nice, clear, crystal water. But as soon as it touches the ground, it becomes dirty immediately. Similarly, originally, we are all Kṛṣṇa conscious, because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7]. Kṛṣṇa says, "All these living entities, they are My part and parcel." Just like the son is the part and parcel of the father, for crude understanding, so we are also similarly part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa.

mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ
jīva-loka sanātanaḥ
manaḥ ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi
prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

As soon as it comes in touch with this material world, it is contaminated. The same example = just like the rainwater falling from the sky is crystal clear distilled water, but as soon as it comes in touch with the ground, it becomes muddy, dirty.

So at the present moment our Kṛṣṇa conscious..., our consciousness is dirty. Abhadra. It is stated in Bhāgavata in one place, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ, hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi [SB 1.2.17]. Abhadrāṇi, the dirty things within the heart, hṛdy antaḥ-sthaḥ, within the heart. We have got so many dirty things within the heart. Now, how it has grown? Due to our contact with this material nature. This is our disease. In another place in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgaḥ asya sad-asad-janma-yoniṣu [Bg. 13.22]. Sad-asat means nice body or very abominable body. You may get a very nice body---learned, scholar, beautiful, very aristocratic---or you may take a body of the worm of the stool. You see. You have to change your body, and there are 8,400,000 different forms of body.

So why one has taken the body of the worm of stool and why, why one has taken the body of Lord Brahmā or Indra, Candra, Varuṇa or rich man, very nice man, beautiful man? Why? Why these differences of body? Because the kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya [Bg. 13.22]. As you are associating with the modes of material nature, sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa... There are three guṇas. Sattva-guṇa, if you associate with sattva-guṇa, then ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthāḥ [Bg. 14.18]. If you remain in sattva-guṇa... Sattva-guṇa means brahminical qualification. Satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjavam, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.42]. If you remain on the platform of brahminical qualification, that is called sattva-guṇa. And less than that, śauryaṁ tejo balaṁ yuddhe cāpalāyanam, kṣatriya qualification---that is modes of passion. And others, remaining, they are in the modes of ignorance, do not know what is the value of life, what is next life, what is spiritual realization, why you are suffering. Nothing. No knowledge. That is tamo-guṇa.


ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā
madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ
adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ

This is our position. Therefore there is dharma. In the civilized human society, there is dharma. Either you take it as characteristic or a faith, but a civilized nation has a kind of dharma, either Christian dharma or Hindu dharma or Muhammadan dharma. Anyone. Dharma means some relationship with God. That is dharma. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. That is another definition of dharma: "Dharma means to abide by the laws of God." So everyone is trying to abide by the laws. Mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ sarvaśaḥ pārtha [Bg. 4.11]. Sarvaśaḥ pārtha. That is also stated in the Bhagavad... Everyone is trying to approach. Here the ultimate injunction is that dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena kathāsu yaḥ [SB 1.2.8]. Viṣvaksena is another name of Kṛṣṇa.

So by executing the process of dharma, if one does not come to the point of understanding Viṣvaksena, or Kṛṣṇa, then what is that? Now, notpādayed ratiṁ yadi. Rati means attachment. Attachment. If one is not inclined to hear about Kṛṣṇa after executing his dharma, occupational duty, whatever he may be... Actually, occupational duty is meant, according to Vedic civilization = brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. Brāhmaṇa has got his occupational duty, kṣatriya has got his occupational duty, vaiśya has got his occupational duty, and śūdra also, occupational duty. So when it is described dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ, sva means "own." So one must be either a brāhmaṇa or a kṣatriya or a vaiśya or a śūdra. Or nowadays one may be a medical man, an engineer or a businessman, or this or that. Everyone has got some occupational duty, either you take this way or that way. But it is very systematic.

When we think of in terms of Vedic civilization---the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra---this is very scientific. Because a class of men, very intelligent, very pure, ideal class of men, brāhmaṇa, must be there. That is Vedic civilization. People will see and learn. Because ultimately, human life is meant for elevating to the standard of spiritual consciousness. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. So unless in the society there is an ideal class of men, brāhmaṇa, how people will learn it? That is necessary. You cannot say, "Let us all become technologists, śūdras, that you can get money for purchasing wine and meat." But the ideal life is lost. Ideal life is lost. There must be. Just like if you want to keep your body fit for everything, there must be brain. If you say that "There is no need of brain. We simply want legs," so how..., what is this body? A dead body. There must be the head, there must be the hands, there must be the belly, and there must be the legs. So brāhmaṇa is the head of the society, brain of the society, and the kṣatriyas are the arms of the body, and the vaiśyas, the belly of the body. The stomach and the belly must be kept in order. If you do not eat, if you do not digest your food, the brain will not also work, hand will not also work.

So for proper upkeep of the human society there must be a brahminical class, brāhmaṇa class, the kṣatriya class. They are all equal, because my hand is as much important as my brain. But although comparatively my brain is more important than my hand, that is comparative. But you require the brain. So at the present moment, why the society is chaotic condition? Because there is no brāhmaṇa. That is the defect. So society must be divided in the material stage of this brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. And gradually, everyone should be educated to become brāhmaṇa. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Brahma-bhūtaḥ. Then he will understand what is bhakti.

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām

And when you attain to the stage of bhakti, then your life is successful. This is the process.

Therefore it is said that you may go on with your so-called occupational duties, but if you do not come to the platform of spiritual understanding, then it is śrama eva hi kevalam---it is simply waste of time. It is simply waste of time. Because you do not catch up the ideal of your mission, simply work like the animals and die. Dharmaḥ sva... The bodily concept of li... Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13]. Simply thinking that "I am this body, and my only business is to satisfy the senses of the body. Not only my body, but my son's body, my grandson's body, my relative's body." This is going on under different names---socialism, this "ism," that "ism"---expanded bodily concept of life. This is animal civilization. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13]. Because the animal also doing that. A cat is thinking that "I am this body. I must secure my food anywhere. A mouse, anywhere." A dog is also thinking like that. If human being also thinks like that, then what is the difference between cats and dogs? He may be very much proud that "I am discharging my duties very faithfully," but here Bhāgavata says, dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena kathāsu yaḥ, notpādayet: "If you do not develop your Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you are simply wasting your time." This is the verdict.

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

So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is simply trying to educate people that "Don't waste your time. You have got this human form of life luckily, after many, many births, bahūnāṁ jan..., bahūnāṁ sambhavanti. After many, many births' evolution. But don't waste your time. Just try to awaken your dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness." The Kṛṣṇa consciousness is there within you; simply you have to awaken it. And what is the process? That awakening will take place simply by chanting and hearing. Śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya There is a verse in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta = nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-bhakti sādhya kabhu naya [Cc. Madhya 22.107]. Kṛṣṇa-bhakti, your devotion for Kṛṣṇa, your attachment for Kṛṣṇa, is there because you are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Just like a small child. He is... [break] ...problems will be solved this way. No, that will not be solved. Śrama eva hi... Simply wasting time by laboring for nothing. You take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, take to the instruction of Kṛṣṇa as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. The your economic problem, social problem, political problem---all human society will be solved. It is practical.

So if we take it seriously... That is our propaganda. We are requesting not only the Hindus or Indians, but we are requesting everyone all over the world, "Take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and try to understand." We are therefore publishing so many books. We are very fortunate. I am very glad to inform you that we are selling our books very nicely outside India. All over the world we are selling our books not less than forty to fifty thousand rupees daily. So our books are being well received, because in the Western world, outside India, they never heard of this idea that God can be approached personally, we can talk with Him, we can live with Him, we can play with Him. These new ideas, of course, novel to the Western world. Therefore they are taking very careful attention. So why not India? Do not waste your time this way, that way. And the process is very simple. Process is very simple. We are recommending the followers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness... Just now I received one letter from Jaipur. They wanted my guidance. The guidance is not very difficult. It is very simple thing. First of all try to become sinless = no illicit sex life, no intoxication, no meat-eating, no gambling. Observe these four regulative principle and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra as far as possible, at least sixteen rounds. Then see how your life changes.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya. [applause] [end]