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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 aham brahmasmi, I am not this matter, I am spirit soul, then my occupational duty changes

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"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 aham brahmasmi, I am not this matter, I am spirit soul, then my occupational duty changes"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

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.
Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- New Vrindaban, September 5, 1972:

So to select the path of hell and to select the path of back to home, back to Godhead, depends upon us. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ, yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam, tamo-dvāram, tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam (SB 5.5.2). Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes, vimuktes. People, the modern educated society, they do not know what is vimukti. They do not know. They know, but they do not know what is the ultimate vimukti. Just like scientists, they are trying to give us so many facilities by machine, by different processes. That is means, that is also vimukti. We are in some inconvenience, just like we are in inconvenience for transport, oh, scientist gives us some horseless carriage. That is also vimukti. We feel inconvenienced for working so the scientist has given us the car. So every attempt is being made for vimukti, for getting out of some inconvenient position. But they do not know ultimate vimukti. What is the ultimate vimukti? Ultimate vimukti is to get freedom from birth, death, old age, and disease. That is ultimate goal. The modern scientists, they are giving us so many facilities to get out of some material difficulties but that is temporary. That is not actually vimukti. Actual vimukti is to get freedom from birth, death, old age, and disease. That vimukti can be achieved from Kṛṣṇa, hariṁ vinā na mṛtiṁ taranti.

You cannot get out of it, out of these four kinds of material tribulation, without being favored by the Supreme Lord. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī mama māyā duratyayā. Mama māyā duratyayā, it is very difficult to get out of the entanglement of created by My māyā, illusory energy. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14), but anyone who surrenders unto Me, he can get out of this entanglement. So here it is stated that sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ yato bhaktir adhokṣaje, the whole human civilization is trying to get freedom from some inconvenience. The state, politics, sociology, humanity, religions, so many things. So ultimately it is taken religion is the path of vimukti, religion. Because other things are being tried by the animals. The animals also have their ways of getting out of inconvenience. They know how to do it. Just like a bird, he knows that on the land I am in danger. As soon as there is some danger, immediately flies up to the tree. He knows. So everyone knows. You will find in animal kingdom, in birds' kingdom, everyone knows how to protect. It is said, we learn from Bhāgavata that also that fish within the water, they have got so sensitive power that miles away if some enemy is coming, they can understand and they take shelter. Just like a dog can smell from distant place that somebody unknown is coming. So every animal has got special qualifications. Don't think that human being is only intelligent. No. The intelligence for these four things, how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex intercourse, and how to defend, these intelligence are there in every animal. Don't think simply human being has got this intelligence.

So vimukti, therefore they do not know what is the ultimate goal of vimukti, for getting out of the inconveniences of life. Na te viduḥ, they do not know. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā (SB 7.5.31), they are trying to adjust things by material adjustment. That is not possible. They do not know that. Adānta-gobhir. Andhā yathāndair upanīyamānāḥ, But they are being misled by blind leaders. They are themselves blind and some blind leaders. Therefore we should not accept blind leaders, we should accept a leader who is not blind. We therefore accept Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Person, Who knows everything, past, present, and future. We take His leadership or we take the leadership of His representative. That is our process. So here some of our leaders, Sūta Gosvāmī says, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ, because ultimate goal is how to get out of the entanglement of material convention.

So he says, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. Dharma means, I have already explained, dharma means occupational duty. So everyone has got occupation and he is trying to get out of the inconveniences of material existence. So here it is suggested, because the question was dharma, dharmaḥ kaṁ śaraṇaṁ gataḥ, under whose protection is dharma now existing? So he is coming to that point. First of all he's explaining what is dharma, what is occupational duty. Actually dharma means occupational duty. Religion, I have already said, it is a kind of faith. Faith can be changed, but our constitutional position, occupational duty, that cannot be changed. We are eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, but without serving Kṛṣṇa we are serving māyā. We have accepted a false occupational duty, therefore it is called māyā. Māyā means false. Just like if I have got a body of America, American body, then my occupational duty is different from the body of an Indian, or from the body of a dog or a cat. So according to the body, our occupational duties change. But real occupational duty is of the soul. When you come to that platform—the occupational duty of the soul—that is the highest class of religion. That is explained here, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ.

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.