Dharma, occupational duty, there are two kinds of occupational duties according to Vedic system, pravṛtti and nivṛtti. Pravṛtti means propensities, material propensities. We have come here within this material world to enjoy material resources. That is called pravṛtti. And when we come to the platform of understanding that I am not this body, I am soul, then my occupational duty changes. At the present moment we are all working on the platform of bodily concept of life but when you come to the platform of understanding that ahaṁ brahmāsmi, I am not this matter, I am spirit soul, then my occupational duty changes. Not... That is my real occupational duty, because I am really spirit soul. Therefore,
- brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
- na śocati na kāṅkṣati
- samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
- mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
- (BG 18.54)
When we come to the platform of brahma-bhūtaḥ... At the present moment we are jīva-bhūtaḥ. We are thinking that I am this body, but when you come to the platform that I am Brahman, I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, or God, then my duty changes. That is called bhakti. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām (BG 18.54). When, after being brahma-bhūtaḥ, after being liberated from material concept of life, that is called brahma-bhūtaḥ, ahaṁ brahmāsmi.
So sometimes people say that bhakti, devotional service is for less intelligent class of men. No. It is the one who has become highly intelligent, he can take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyante (BG 7.19), after many, many births of cultivation of knowledge... Everyone is cultivating knowledge but when his ultimate goal of knowledge is achieved, that is to understand Kṛṣṇa, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ (BG 7.19), one who understands. That is the ultimate goal of knowledge. So here is also the same thing explained, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. Dharma, every human...
First of all, dharma is meant for the human society. The animal society, they have no, nothing to do about religion, neither they know what is religion, what is this body, what is soul. It is not their business. Dharma is the business of the human society. Therefore in any human society, there is a kind of dharma, religion. It doesn't matter whether it is Christian religion, or Hindu religion, or Buddha religion, or Muhammadam religion, some sort of religious propensities are there. Because without this propensity, dharma, religious, he is not a man, he is animal, because animal has no sense of religion. Dharmeṇa hīna paśubhiḥ samāna, anyone who has no religion, it doesn't matter what kind of religion he has got, but he must have some religion. Without religion he is animal. Dharmeṇa hīna paśubhiḥ samānāḥ.
So now, at the present moment, they are rejecting religion. Everywhere, all over the world. We have to... Travelling all over the world, the only scarcity is sense of God, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, God consciousness. They have practically rejected God consciousness. So that will not make him happy because he cannot become happy imitating the animals. Now they are imitating animals, becoming naked. That is they, that is their advancement of civilization, to become naked, nudist. So actually decline, from human life they are decline to animal life. Because two kinds of life, animal life and human life but if they do not take to the proper position of human life, cultivation of knowledge and religion, then they are animals so gradually they will decline to animal life. So we should not decline, we should make progress, that is human life.
So progress means to make progress in religious concept of life. That is progress. Not, that is not progress, material comforts, that is not progress. Material comforts according to the body, that is already settled up, deha-yogena dehinām. As we have got body, a particular type of body given by nature, the machine... Just like your comfort of driving car is estimated according to the car you have got. If you have got a very nice costly car, then it drives very comfortably, but if you have got a less costly, cheap car, then you are not so comfortable. Similarly our comforts and discomforts are already settled as soon as you have got a particular type of body. There is no necessity to improve it. We cannot improve it. For example, just like a hog, he has got a particular type of body, he can eat stool. You cannot improve his eating process by giving him halavā, that is not possible. Therefore śāstra says, deha-yogena dehinām. Our material comforts, standard of material comforts, are already settled up by the body which you have got. Therefore our business is: if you are not in the bodily concept of life, then our business is how to make spiritually advanced. Bodily comforts of life, we cannot improve. That is not possible. We can improve our spiritual advancement of life. That is given to us.