(translated into Spanish by Hrdayananda dasa:)
dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam
vedyam vastavam atra vastu sivadam tapa-trayonmulanam
srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah
sadyo hrdy avarudhyate 'tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat
So dharma means, generally, a kind of faith, dharma. But actually dharma does not mean that. Faith, you may have faith, and others may not have, but that is not fact. That is fact which is accepted by everyone, either he may have faith or may not have faith. In Sanskrit language, the Vedic literature, dharma means the codes or the law given by God. So one may have faith, or one may not have faith. It doesn't matter. The codes or law given by God, that is a fact. Just like the law given by the state. One may not have faith, or one may have faith, but it must be accepted. For example, just on the street we see, "Keep to the right." This is the law given by the state. So you may believe it or not believe it; you have to carry out. So it cannot be changed in any circumstance. Therefore dharma does not mean a faith. It is compulsory. So the compulsory law is that God is great, and we are subordinate or servant of God. You may believe or not believe; the God's law will apply upon you forcibly. Exactly like the state law, you may have faith or no faith; you must accept it. Otherwise it will be forcibly imposed upon you. So dharma, as it is explained in English dictionary, "a kind of faith," that is not proper meaning. Dharma means that you are obliged to obey the laws given by God. Just like our material condition, birth, death, old age and disease. So one may say that "I do not believe in death. That is false." You may believe or not believe; you have to die. Similarly, one may believe or not believe; he has to take birth. Death means to give up this body and accept another body. That is very nicely explained in the Bhagavad-gita, tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. Just like a child. He must accept the body of a boy. The boy, he must accept next the body of a youth, and the youth must accept the old man's body. This is the law of God. You must accept it. And just when this body is no more practically usable, then you have to accept another body and begin a new life. This is the law of nature, or the law of God. Nature is dull, material. Nature cannot work automatically without the incentive or manipulation of God behind nature. Foolish people think that nature is working automatically. That is their ignorance. Nature is working under the direction of the Supreme Lord. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita,
Lord says that "Under My superintendence the material nature is working, and therefore so many wonderful changes are going on." So nature is working under the order of the Supreme Lord, and we are under the stringent laws of nature. Therefore we are obliged to carry out the natural sequences. Just like I already explained, from childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood, youthhood to old age, these are natural laws. And after mature old age, you have to change this body and accept another body. So if we say that "I have no faith in the orders of the material nature. I avoid it," that is not possible. So therefore this dharma means you may have faith or may not have faith; you have to abide by the laws of nature. People therefore say, "As sure as death." I may think or you may think that "Don't care for death. There will be no death," but it will happen. Therefore the conclusion is that you cannot manufacture any laws of religion.
Man-made religion has no value. So man-made religions, there are so many religious system, the Hindu religion, Christian religion, Mohammedan religion or this religion, that religion. That is a kind of faith. But religion means the order or the laws given by God. Therefore here it is said, dharmah projjhita-kaitavah atra. Kaitavah means cheating type of religious system. Real religion means "God is there. I am there. God is great. I am subordinate. I must abide by the laws of God." This is religion. At the present moment, under the spell of illusion in this material condition, we have forgotten our real religion. Real religion means to revive our consciousness -- we say, "Krsna consciousness" -- or God consciousness, by which we agree to abide by the laws of God. So Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita at the end, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. He says that "You have manufactured so many religious system. So you give up all these. You simply surrender unto Me." Therefore real conclusion is, real religion means, to surrender unto God. It is explained in another place of Srimad-Bhagavatam,
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
"That is first-class religion." What is that? Sa vai pumsam paro dharmah. "First-class religion," yato bhaktir adhoksaje, "which teaches us how to surrender to God and love Him." Ahaituky apratihata yayatma suprasidati. Ahaituki means without any motive. Apratihata, without any checking. Yaya atma suprasidati: "If you come to that platform, religion, then you become fully satisfied." Generally, there are four principles in the human society, namely dharma, artha, kama, and moksa, means first of all become religious, and then you solve your economic problem, and then satisfy your senses, and then become one with God. Those who are following the Vedic principles, they think like that. Not only they, others also, the so-called religious system, they also think like that. Just like the Christians. They go to church, "O God, give us our daily bread." So this bread-supplying business is like that: "God simply supplies bread, and we eat and we enjoy." Similarly, the Hindu system also there is: "O God, give me some money. I am very poor. I am suffering from disease. Please cure it." And so everywhere you will find some motive in religiosity. So religion does not mean to solve the economic problem.
Therefore at the present moment they are becoming Godless because now people are advanced in education and knowledge. They think that "If I have to ask bread from God, so why shall I go to God? Let me earn money very nicely, and I can purchase bread. Why shall I go to church?" On account of this motivated religion, the communists are taking advantage, and they are preaching Godlessness. In communist country the innocent village people, they go to church and ask for bread, and when they come out of the church, the communist leader ask them, "Have you got bread?" So they say, "Now ask bread from us." So they ask bread, "O, communist leader, give me bread." So they supply immense quantity of bread: "Take as much as you like." So then they ask, "Who has supplied you bread?" They say, the communist leader. In this way they propagate, "Now there is no use of going to the church for asking bread from God." And they also practically see that "We, in the church we asked for bread. There was no supply of bread. And as soon as I prayed bread from the communist leader, there are so many breads." But the innocent people, they do not know that this communist leader has supplied bread not from his father's stock; it is from the stock of God. So they are innocent people. They do not know that actually bread is supplied by God because the ingredients of bread, namely the food grains, the wheat or the pulses, that is not made by communist leader. That is made by God.
Therefore the conclusion is that if we approach God for some material benefit, we may be cheated at some time. Therefore it is said, dharmah projjhita atra kaitavah: "This kind of motivated religious system is completely thrown away from this Srimad-Bhagavatam." Intelligent persons should know that "God is supplying food to so many living entities. Why He shall not supply me?" There are 8,400,000 forms of living entity. Out of that, only 400,000 forms are human body. So eight million means there are fishes, there are trees, there are plants, there are insect, there are birds, beasts, and in this way, eight million. They are getting all their foodstuff supplied by God. This morning we were walking on the, in the park. We saw. So many fruits are thrown on the street. That means the birds have eaten them, and they have thrown so many. So God supplies immense bread or eatable things without any asking. In a African jungle there are hundreds, thousands of elephants. They eat, at a time, huge quantity of food. But still, they are supplied by God. Actually, even from practical point of view -- I have traveled all over the world -- there are immense place. We can produce foodstuff for supplying food, ten times of the whole world population. So therefore there is no need of approaching God with a motive for material supplies or material satisfaction.
In the Vedic literature we get information, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam, eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. God, the description of God, is given there that "He is also living entity like us. He is also eternal like us." Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. But what is the difference between Him and us? That is described, eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman: "That one God is supplying all the necessities of these many." So we should not approach God for economic satisfaction or for bread or for wood or for anything necessary for our life. God has arranged food for everyone, the aquatics, the birds, the beasts, the trees, the elephants or the other, four-legged animals, and why not for human being? Human being also, those who are uncivilized, still living in the forest, they have no arrangement for economic development, or they do not know, but they have got also food. Therefore sastra says,
tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido
na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah
tal labhyate duhkhavad anyatah sukham
kalena sarvatra gabhira-ramhasa
"One should try for developing God consciousness, not for anything else, because happiness and distress, they come automatically." We haven't got to try for it. Happiness, everyone aspires for happiness. Nobody aspires for distress, but distress is forcibly come upon you. Similarly, the sastra says, "As distress comes without any desire, similarly, happiness also will come without any endeavor." So long we are in the material world, the so-called happiness and distress will come and go, but our, the human life, the endeavor should be how to find out or revive our relationship with God. That is our main business. They are just like seasonal changes, happiness and distress. Matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah. Just like there is winter season. It is pinching cold. That will also not stay. And the scorching heat, that will also not stay. It comes and goes. Therefore, so long in the material world we are, the so-called happiness and distress will come and go. Don't bother about it. You simply try for reviving your Krsna consciousness, or God consciousness. So human being has misunderstood the mode of life. They are simply busy for maintaining this body whole day and night. So we should conclude like this, that "If God can supply eight million types of different lower animals, then why shall not God give the necessities of life to the human society?" So don't execute your religious principle for some material benefit, but try to revive your relationship with God and try to love Him. That type of religious system is there in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, that there is no motive but how to love God. That is stated. "This type of religion means to love God" is stated here, sivadam tapa-traya unmulanam. Sivadam means all auspicity, and the three-fold miserable condition of life is completely uprooted.
On account of this material body, we have got three-fold miseries within this material world. One is called adhyatmika. Adhyatmika means miserable condition due to this material body and the mind. The... another miserable condition is adhibhautika: miserable condition offered by other living entities. And the third miserable condition is which is offered by the nature, just like earthquake, famine, pestilence and so many other things on which we have no control. We have no control in any kind of miserable condition, especially the miserable condition offered by nature. We cannot avoid it. So therefore here it is said that if you take up this religious system -- means how to love God -- then you will be transcendental to all this miserable condition of material existence. And these information, these practices, are given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam which is compiled by, not by any ordinary person, but srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte, the greatest sage, Vyasadeva. He has given us. In ordinary literatures they are full of mistakes and cheating and illusion and imperfectness.
Every conditioned soul, as we are, we have got four defects, namely we commit mistake, we are sometimes illusioned, and sometimes we do not know properly anything, and still, I give my thesis, "Perhaps, it may be..." What is this knowledge "perhaps"? That means cheating. One hasn't sufficient knowledge and "perhaps, maybe" -- he is giving knowledge. And above all of them, we should know that our present material senses are imperfect. For example, just like we are very much proud of our eyes. We say, "Can you show me God?" But our eyes are so long perfect as long the light is. It is conditional. Therefore every sense now we are possessing, they are not perfect. So we acquire knowledge by using our different senses. Therefore, because they are imperfect, whatever knowledge we gather by speculation, that is imperfect. So if we take knowledge from such personalities who are liberated, then that knowledge is perfect. This is the process of acquiring knowledge in Krsna consciousness movement -- that we receive knowledge from the perfect person. Now, here it is said that because it is given by the perfect person Vyasadeva, we should take knowledge from this Srimad-Bhagavatam. And the proof is that we have now become Godless, we have no information of God, but if you read Srimad-Bhagavatam, then immediately you will realize God. Just like you can see in reality that these boys, these girls who have joined this Krsna consciousness movement, because they are reading Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, they are now gradually realizing what is God and what is his relationship with God. So unless we realize God and our position, and we become lover of God, there is no question of peace in the mind. Therefore it is recommended here that if you want real peace in the mind, try to understand what is God, what is your relationship with God, and act accordingly. You will be immediately peaceful. As soon as you become peaceful, your life is successful. Thank you very much.
Hrdayananda: [break] ...you could explain something of what the scientists are always talking about, mutation and variation, and how one species evolves from another species.
Prabhupada: By the mind, intelligence and ego. At the time of death, you think of what you have done all through your life. So the mental situation at the time of death will carry you to the different form of life as your mental situation. We do not see the mind, intelligence, although we say that "I have got mind. You have got mind. You have got intelligence. I have got intelligence." So but we do not see it. It is very subtle thing. But after the destruction of this gross body, the subtle body carries me to another gross body. we have got practical experience. The mind is so forceful that you are sitting here, and within a second, you can go to your home or homeland, which may be ten thousand miles away, immediately. The example is given: just like from a garden, rose garden, the flavor is carried by the air, and it is transferred to another place. So in this life, whatever mental creation we are doing or creating, that will be carried in the next life, and according to that, nature will give us a body. So if we think of dog, maybe we are transferred to the dog's body. If I think of God, then I shall be transferred to a god's body. So we have scattered our love for so many things in the material world. We have to collect everything and transfer everything for loving God. That is successful life. So if we think of God, then how we become purified, and next we become transferred to the kingdom of God. And if we think of material things, then again we shall be transferred to another material body.
This Krsna consciousness movement is for educating people how to think of God constantly. And if we practice like that, then, after giving up this body, we are going to get a body which is exactly like God. This body is called sac-cid-ananda. Sat means eternal, cit means full of knowledge, and ananda means full of bliss. This body, this material body, is just the opposite number. It is neither eternal, neither full of knowledge, neither full of bliss. And if we develop Krsna consciousness or God consciousness, then next body we shall get a body... (end)
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.2 -- Caracas, February 23, 1975