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Becoming religious

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)

SB 11.21.15, Translation:

A mantra is purified when chanted with proper knowledge, and one's work is purified when offered to Me. Thus by purification of the place, time, substance, doer, mantras and work, one becomes religious, and by negligence of these six items one is considered irreligious.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

CC Madhya 11.99, Translation and Purport:

“Anyone who worships Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu by congregational chanting should be understood to be very intelligent. One who does not do so must be considered a victim of this age and bereft of all intelligence.

Rascals propose that anyone can invent his own religious process, and this proposition is condemned herein. If one actually wants to become religious, he must take up the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. The real meaning of religion is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.3.19–22):

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 1.21-22 -- London, July 18, 1973:

Not this rascaldom, daridra-nārāyaṇa. Just like one rascal has manufactured this daridra-nārāyaṇa. The poor man has become Nārāyaṇa, and the goat Nārāyaṇa is killed for their feeding. Not this kind of sādhu. Suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām. A sādhu will not allow any kind of killing. See in the Christian religion, it is first injunction is "Thou shalt not kill." If you want to become religious... They are simply killing, and still, they are claiming "Christian." What kind of Christian? Simply their business is killing. So it is very difficult to find out a Christian, although they are claiming, I am "Christian." It is very difficult. Because their business is killing. And Lord Jesus Christ ordered, first order is, "Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not covet." Who is following?

Lecture on BG 1.21-22 -- London, July 18, 1973:

It is not so easy thing that "I do everything, whatever I like." Some rascals preach that "Oh, religion has nothing to do with your eating. You can eat anything you like, and still you become a religious man." This is all nonsense. Nobody can become religious man if he is attracted by sinful activities. It is not possible. You must stop sinful activities. That is first condition.

Lecture on BG 2.32 -- London, September 2, 1973:

Sometimes we are accused that we go to preach amongst the richer section. The richer section, of course there is no king, but actually this Bhagavad-gītā was meant for the richer section who used to control—the kings. Because if the king is educated nicely in spiritual affair, if he knows what is the purpose of kingdom, what is the purpose of ruling, then all the citizens automatically become religious, purposeful. And if the king is a rascal, the leader is a rascal, naturally all others will follow, and they will become rascals. Therefore, in the Bhagavad-gītā, in the Fourth Chapter, you'll find that Kṛṣṇa was teaching, first-off, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). He taught this philosophy to the sun-god.

Lecture on BG 3.1-5 -- Los Angeles, December 20, 1968:

You people, you try to understand the gifts of Caitanya Mahāprabhu by your philosophical understanding. Not blindly, philosophically. And vicāra karile citte pāibe camatkāra. If you are actually a wise man, then you'll find it is sublime. And if you simply stick to your own religious ritualistic principles, don't try to understand the philosophy of everything, then you become a fanatic. So we should not become religious fanatics, nor dry mental speculators. Both these classes of men are dangerous. They cannot make any advance. The combination. You should be religious, but try to understand each and every line philosophically.

Lecture on BG 4.12 -- Vrndavana, August 4, 1974:

People want to become religious because they think... This is also fact. By becoming pious, religious, you get material happiness. That's a fact. Janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrī (SB 1.8.26). Four things you can get by pious activities. You get birth in very nice family, aristocratic family, or brāhmaṇa family, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya family, or rich family, janma. Or rich nation.

Lecture on BG 4.13 -- Johannesburg, October 19, 1975:

ake any religious system, but you must know what is the aim of religion, not that simply profess, "I am Christian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim." But what is the purpose of becoming religious? That you must know. That is intelligence. Simply don't be proud by saying that "I am Christian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim." That's all right. You have got some type of designation. But Bhāgavata says that system of religion is perfect. What is that? Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje: (SB 1.2.6) "That religion, that system of religion, is perfect." Sa vai puṁsāṁ paraḥ. Paraḥ means perfect, without any defect. What is that? Yato bhaktir adhokṣaje: "By which, by becoming follower of such religious system, if you become a devotee of God, that is perfect." He does not say that you become a Hindu or you become a Muslim or you become a Christian or Buddhist or any other thing.

Lecture on BG 7.1 -- Nairobi, October 27, 1975:

Religion means to know God. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). One must know God, and one must know what God desires. That is religion. Just like you must know your government, and you must know what government wants, expects from you. If you do that, then you are a good citizen. And if you don't know what is government, if you do not know what government desires, expects from you, then what is the meaning of your good citizenship? There is no meaning. Similarly, to become religious without any clear understanding of God is bogus, is cheating. That is cheating. That is not religion.

Lecture on BG 9.2 -- New York, November 22, 1966:

So out of many thousands of persons who are in the knowledge what they are or what he is, some of them are actually liberated. Liberated. And out of many thousands of people who are liberated, they can understand what is Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa understanding is not very easy job. But Kṛṣṇa is so kind because He knows that in this age, in this age of Kali, it will be very difficult for persons to become liberated under the process—first to become civilized, then to become religious, then to perform this charity, sacrifices, then come to the platform of knowledge, then, after coming to the platform of knowledge, you come to the platform of liberation, and after being liberated, you can know what is Kṛṣṇa.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 1.1.2 -- Caracas, February 23, 1975:

Ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati. Ahaitukī means without any motive. Apratihatā, without any checking. Yayā ātmā suprasīdati: "If you come to that platform, religion, then you become fully satisfied." Generally, there are four principles in the human society, namely dharma, artha, kāma, and mokṣa, 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.

Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- London, August 27, 1971:

Actually, if people become religious, then the economic development... Economic... You require some money to maintain yourself. So they will never be dishonest. Dishonest. In India still there are merchants, they would not take profit more than twenty-five percent, highest. There is no question of black market. "Now, I purchased this for one dollar. Oh, I am getting demand. I must charge five hundred times." No. That is irreligious.

Lecture on SB 1.2.8 -- Bombay, December 26, 1972:

So people have become so much foolish that they do not see the defects of the material..., materialistic way of life. They think only that the time, the small duration of life, if you can somehow or other gratify your senses, that is perfection of life. This is called ignorance, mūḍhaḥ. That is described in the śāstras: sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). Go-kharaḥ means animal, like cows and asses. This is not life. So religious life, dharmasya hy āpavargasya. One should become religious or accept religious principle to stop this pavarga, the different kinds of hard struggle for existence. To stop, that is the purpose of dharma. But generally people execute dharma to get some artha. Dharma artha. Artha means some material profit.

Lecture on SB 1.2.9 -- New Vrindaban, September 7, 1972:

So apavarga, dharmasya hy āpavargyasya. To make it nullified. No more hard labor, no more frustration, no more fearfulness, no more death. That is real problem. So to become religious, dharmic, means how to nullify these five principles of material existence. In the material world, you have to work very, very hard. You cannot think that "Oh, I am so great man. I'll not work.

Lecture on SB 1.2.9 -- New Vrindaban, September 7, 1972:

So dharma means... To accept any kind of religion or faith means to nullify these five kinds of vargas. Hard work, foaming, fearfulness, frustration, and ultimately, death. That is the purpose of dharma. Dharmasya hy āpavargyasya. (aside:) Why you are making cut-cut? What is this sound? Who is doing that? Don't do it. Dharmasya hy āpavargyasya. To become religious means how to counteract these five principles. That is dharma. Dharmasya hy āpavargyasya. Na arthāya hi upakalpate. Not that by executing dharma, "I shall go to temple..."

Lecture on SB 1.2.9 -- New Vrindaban, September 7, 1972:

Anyone who has no religion... It doesn't matter what religion he's following, he must follow some religion. It doesn't matter whether Christian religion, Hindu religion, or Buddha religion, and this religion. It doesn't matter. He must have some religion. Then he is human being. And religion means... Generally, they understand that "If I become religious, pious, then my life will be nice. I'll get my subsistence." Actually, that's fact.

Lecture on SB 1.2.9 -- New Vrindaban, September 7, 1972:

Either you become poor or rich, you have to undergo the tribulations of this material existence. Because you are rich man, you cannot avoid death. Because you are rich man, you cannot avoid hard working. Because you are rich man, you cannot avoid fearfulness. So the same thing is for the poor man. He's also working hard. It may be that he's not getting more money; you are getting more money. But getting more money, you have to work like ass and dog. So you cannot get out of these principles, either you become rich or poor. Generally, they understand that "By becoming religious, I shall be rich." That is fact; you can become. But what is the benefit? Suppose you are rich. Do you think that you will not die? Do you think that you will not be attacked by any disease? Do you think that you will not become old? So what is the benefit? But real religion means to nullify these principles. Dharmasya hy āpavargyasya nārtho 'rthāyopakalpate. Not that becoming religious I become richer, I become, I get so many material benefits. No. That is not. But you can say that "We require some money for existence." Yes, that's a fact, that's a fact.

Lecture on SB 1.2.9 -- Vrndavana, October 20, 1972:

Dharma, to become religious, the purpose is to go up to the point of mukti. Dharma artha kāma mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90). Gradually. Gradually, step by step. But generally, people stuck up for some material gain. Ārtaḥ arthārthī jñānī jijñāsuḥ. Four kinds of people approaches the Supreme Personality of Godhead for evolution, but the, those who are going to the Supreme Person for some material gain, as soon as their material gain is finished, they also finish worship. "Now I have got the money. There is no need of worshiping."

Lecture on SB 1.2.24 -- Vrndavana, November 4, 1972:

So those who are actually advanced in civilization, those who are in the platform of goodness, their aim is how to go back to home, back to Godhead. That is their business. It is not that to take to religious life for some material gain. Dharmasya hy āpavargyasya na arthaḥ arthāya upakalpate (SB 1.2.9). We have discussed these verses. To become religious means to become free from material entanglement. Not that to take to religious life means to, I mean to say, to develop economic condition. Generally, people take to religious to make economic development very easily. Therefore at the modern age the educated public, they are not interested in religious life because they think that in primitive stage the people were taking to religious life for economic development.

Lecture on SB 1.5.9-11 -- New Vrindaban, June 6, 1969:

There are twenty viṁśati dharma-śāstrāḥ. This Manu-saṁhitā, Parāśara Muni's law, and social custom, this, that. So many there are. These are originally by different sages, but Vyāsadeva made it, compiled it just for proper use. People can understand them. So he has explained all these books for use of the human society undoubtedly. How to become religious, how to develop economic position, how to understand what is liberation, how to satisfy restrictedly sense gratification. Just like in books, in Vyāsadeva's books, you will find these different kinds of... Just like those who are eating flesh. That is also given direction by Vyāsadeva, in the tāmasika-purāṇa, Purāṇa for the persons who are in ignorance.

Lecture on SB 1.7.7 -- Vrndavana, April 24, 1975:

This is the principle, that you cannot keep men in their impious activities, at the same time he becomes religious or God conscious. That is not possible.

Lecture on SB 1.8.26 -- Mayapura, October 6, 1974:

We are rotting in this material world. We have to cross over the nescience ocean, and go to Vaikuṇṭha. That is bhagavad-bhajana. Bhagavad-bhajana does not mean to increase our material possessions. That is dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣa (SB 4.8.41). These are material things. People become religious to increase their economic condition better, dharma artha, generally.

Lecture on SB 1.16.36 -- Tokyo, January 30, 1974:

Just like in religious system, in any religious system, the killing of animal there is. In every religious system, there is. But why there is this killing of a living entity? It is not good. But why in the religious system there is permission for killing animal? So that is explained. The explanation is, that a person who is a staunch meat-eater, he cannot give up meat-eating, so... At the same time he wants to be religious. This is the position. For such person it is enjoined, just like in Vedic system, "All right, if you want to eat meat, at the same time you want to become religious, then you worship Goddess Kālī. You cannot worship Viṣṇu." Because he's a meat-eater he cannot approach pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān. The Supreme Personality is the supreme pure. So this meat-eater is impure. He cannot approach the pure. That is not possible.

Lecture on SB 2.4.2 -- Los Angeles, June 25, 1972:

Pradyumna: (reads synonyms) Translation: "Mahārāja Parīkṣit, as a result of wholehearted attraction for Lord Kṛṣṇa, was able to give up all deep-rooted affection for his personal body, wife, children, palace, animals, horses, and elephants, treasury house, friends and relatives, and his undisputed kingdom."

Prabhupāda: So this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Upadhārya matiṁ kṛṣṇe. So it is a great sacrifice. It is not like that, dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣa. No. It is above. People are generally become religious to get some material benefit. Dharma artha. And as soon as he gets material benefit, he enjoys his senses, kāma. Dharma artha kāma. And when he fails to satisfy his senses, then he wants to become one with the supreme. That's mokṣa. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is above these four principles, dharma, artha, kāma, mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90). Kṛṣṇa consciousness is transcendental.

Lecture on SB 2.4.3-4 -- Los Angeles, June 27, 1972:

Material thought means these fruitive activities. "I shall work very hard, and I shall get so much wealth, and for this purpose I can go to church and temple. If God gives me millions of dollars, then I am ready to go there." So real purpose is sense gratification. "If I take to religious principles, then I'll get more money without any hard work, and if I get more money, then I'll be able to satisfy my senses." This is called dharmārtha-kāma. And there is another stage, which is called mokṣa, liberation. So people are not interested for liberation. They want to become religious for material benefits. But that is not the real purpose of life. Material benefit, you cannot get more than what you are destined to have; that is already fixed up.

Lecture on SB 3.25.22 -- Bombay, November 22, 1974:

Because in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in the introductory verses, Vyāsadeva says, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsarāṇām (SB 1.1.2). "This, this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is not ordinary type of religious system, because from this Bhāgavatam, kaitava, cheating type of religion, is completely swept away, kicked out, thrown away." Dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra (SB 1.1.2). And upon this the great commentator Śrīdhara Svāmī, he says, atra mokṣa-vāñchā api nirasta. Because we know dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90). So Śrīdhara Svāmī says that dharmaḥ projjhita... Because people are becoming religious for mokṣa, liberation. So Śrīdhara Svāmī says that up to the end of mokṣa-vāñchā, desire for liberation, that is also rejected. The... Because mokṣa is also not our ultimate goal of life. Mokṣa means to get relief from the material bondage. But if you do not get engagement of spiritual life, then mokṣa is also cheating because you'll fall down again.

Lecture on SB 3.25.37 -- Bombay, December 6, 1974:

The material position is one wants to become religious, dharma. Why? Now, he can get material opulence. Oh, why material opulences? Now, because he can gratify his senses, kāma. And when he is frustrated, then he wants mokṣa. Dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa. Generally, people are very much attached, those who are human being. Not the cats and dogs; they do not know anything. But those who are elevated in the living condition, they want to become religious or economically very prosperous, dharma artha, and good facilities for sense enjoyment. And then, after enjoying all these thing, either by frustration or by further development, they wants mukti.

Lecture on SB 3.26.47 -- Bombay, January 22, 1975:

Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura therefore sings, golokera prema-dhana, hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana, rati nā janmilo kene tāy. This sound coming from the spiritual world, golokera prema-dhana, by chanting, by hearing this sound, we shall develop our original dormant love for God. That is wanted. Premā pum-artho mahān. In the material world we are accepting dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣa (SB 4.8.41) as very important. Puruṣārtha. Dharma, to become religious, and by becoming religious, we develop our economic development. Dhanaṁ dehi, rūpaṁ dehi, yaśo dehi, dehi dehi. Kāma. Why dehi dehi? Now, kāma, to fulfill our desires, lusty desires. Dharmārtha-kāma, and when we are disgusted or unable to fulfill desires, then we want mokṣa, to become one with God. This is the four kinds of material business. But spiritual business is premā pum-artho mahān. To achieve love of Godhead, that is the highest perfection. Premā pum-artho mahān.

Lecture on SB 6.1.39 -- San Francisco, July 20, 1975:

But after this Vedic period, so many religious system has come out. Up to five thousand years before, the Vedas were accepted all over the world, Vedic civilization. Then later on, gradually, they, the Christianity has come, the Muhammadanism, Islamism has come, Buddhism come, and now there are so many other, this samāja, that samāja, this religion, this religion, this religion. Because that means people are getting out of the touch of the Vedic civilization. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we are trying again to bring them to this Vedic civilization. Here it is stated, veda-praṇihito dharmaḥ. If you take to the Vedic principles of life, then you become religious. And what is that Vedic principle? Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15). Kṛṣṇa says, "Vedic principle means to know Me, Kṛṣṇa." Vedaiś ca sarvaiḥ. Veda-praṇihito dharmaḥ. And what is Veda? Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ. So... "But there is Vedānta?" Yes. Vedānta-kṛd vedānta-vid aham: "I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I know what is Vedānta.

Lecture on SB 6.1.39-40 -- Surat, December 21, 1970:

Viṣṇudūta, representative of Lord Viṣṇu, challenged the Yamadūta that "If you are representative of Yamarāja, who is supposed to be one of the authorities of religion, then you must explain what is religion, dharma, and what is nonreligion, or adharma, because, according to this principle, one is punished or rewarded. If you become religious, then you are rewarded, and if you are irreligious, then you are punished."

Lecture on SB 6.2.5-6 -- Vrndavana, September 9, 1975:

An animal cannot make distinction what is right or what is wrong. That is not possible. Therefore it is said, dharmeṇa hīnā paśubhiḥ samānāḥ: "One who is ignorant of dharma-adharma, he is no better than paśu." Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca sāmānyam etat paśubhiḥ narāṇām. Āhāra, eating. I eat, the dog eats, the cat eats. I sleep, the dog sleeps, and the cat sleeps. I have sex desire, I satisfy it. The cats and dogs also satisfy it. And I am also afraid of my enemy; the cats and dogs are also afraid of enemy. Then where is the difference between cats and dogs? The difference is that I can be trained up to become religious; the cats and dogs cannot be trained. That is the difference. Dharmeṇa hīnā paśubhiḥ samānāḥ. So if I don't take education and enlightenment how to become religious, I do not know how to distinguish between right and wrong, then yathā paśu—then I am as good as animal.

Lecture on SB 7.6.1 -- San Francisco, March 3, 1967:

Generally, people understand eating, sleeping, mating and fearing. That is the lowest grade of life. A little higher grade of life, they try to understand about some religious principle, and they are generally become religious for some gain, some material gain. Just like in the churches or in the temples they go. They ask some benefit from God, "O God, give us our daily bread." Or somebody goes to temple, asks some benefit. So dharma, artha, kāma. Why they ask some benefit? Now, just to satisfy their senses, that's all. They have no other aim. Dharma artha kāma and mokṣa. And when they are dissatisfied or frustrated in sense gratification, then mokṣa, they want to become one with God. So dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣa (SB 4.8.41). These are the general demands.

Lecture on SB 7.9.7 -- Mayapur, February 14, 1976:

So you should be ambitious. Our goal of life. That is the, Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission, prema pum-artho mahān. He doesn't say, dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣa (SB 4.8.41). He never says. To become religious, that is not, but that is the beginning, because without religion, everyone is animal, cats and dog. So religion is the beginning, dharma, artha, but generally...

Lecture on SB 7.9.8 -- Seattle, October 21, 1968:

Religion means God's law. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). That is religion. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā we understand Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: (BG 18.66) "You give up all other things. Simply you become Kṛṣṇa conscious." This is religion. This is the order, this is the word. So to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is to become religious, is to remain in goodness, and is to make progress and advancement in self-realization. Everything is complete. There is no comparison of any religion with Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We can challenge any religionist, "Come and see, and test and compare." So the same advertisement: "You all, in '69, match this." So nobody can match Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is so nice.

Lecture on SB 7.9.46 -- Vrndavana, April 1, 1976:

Prabhupāda: The life is meant for tattva-jijñāsā. The dharma-artha-kāma mokṣa... (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90). The dharma means to become religious. Why religious? Yes, we require the necessities of life in a regulative principle, dharma-artha-kāma, and to satisfy... We have got senses to... We have to satisfy. Otherwise we shall become unhealthy. Just like sex life. Sex life is required also for healthy condition—for ajitendriyāṇām. But one who is jitendriya, one who has conquered over the sensual activities, for them it is not required. Therefore it is recommended to, I mean to say, train the children to become brahmacārī. Brahmacārī. That means to control the senses.

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, November 1, 1972:

People are busy for dharma artha kāma mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90). Some of them are busy to become religious. Of course, without religious life, there..., there is no human society. Dharmeṇa hīna paśubhiḥ samānāḥ. Unless a society takes to religiosity, it is not human society. Therefore we see any civilized human society, there is a kind of religious system. It doesn't matter whether it is Hinduism, Christianism, or Buddhism, or Muhammadanism, but there must be a religious system. Without this system, that human society is not considered as human society. That is animal society.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.124-125 -- New York, November 26, 1966:

It is Vedic version, dharma, to make them religious. Therefore every civilized nation has some sort of religion. Religious... Because without becoming religious, there is no possibility of peace and prosperity. So this is one of the aim of human society, religious.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1971 Conversations and Morning Walks

Conversation with Journalists -- August 18, 1971, London:

Prabhupāda: Well, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not so easy. First of all, you were talking about the Christian religion. I say that Christian religion or Hindu religion or Muslim religion, there may be different religions, but what is the aim of religion? That you should understand. The aim of religion is to know God. If you profess some religion, but if I ask you what is God, if you cannot explain, then what is the use of your becoming religious?

Conversation with Journalists -- August 18, 1971, London:

Journalist (1): Probably none. But people like to have, or seem to like to have a religion.

Prabhupāda: They don't like. They don't like God. They don't like God. As soon as somebody speaks of God, "They say they are crazy." So actually there is no Christian, no Hindu, no Muslim. All demons. That's all.

Journalist (1): How do you stop that?

Prabhupāda: Well, become religious. If you are really Christian, that is all right. But you are not Christian because you are violating the orders of Lord Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed his life and he says that he atoned for your sins, but you are not stopping your sinful life, and still you are claiming to be Christian. The fun is going on. Actually there is no Christian. Otherwise Christian religion is very nice religion. Yes.

Journalist (1): Do you think that you can help large numbers of people in this country understand that...

Prabhupāda: I can help everyone provided he takes my help. If you refuse my help, how can I help you?

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Interview -- July 5, 1972, New York:

Prabhupāda: Prospect Park. There is big gate, because there is a killing picture.

Devotee: Yes. Praising the soldiers.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee: Praising the soldiers.

Prabhupāda: So, in this way... Of course soldiers killing and ordinary killing is not the same, but my point is that..., that God gives you the law that you shall not kill. Now if..., if you are violating that law, then how you can become religious? That is my question.

Guest (1): Grace is, is nonviolence, nonkilling.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Guest (1): That is part of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, isn't it?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- December 12, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Why these politician says, "In God we believe, we trust"? Why this nonsense?

Umāpati: They fear theocracy. They fear being ruled by a priestly class. That is a very old fear in the west.

Prabhupāda: No, no, that's all right. But if the politicians, administration, trust in God, that becomes religious. How they separate? Currency note is economic problem. So how they are mixing with God? They are contradictory. You cannot separate God from any field of activities. And religion, they do not know what is the meaning of religion. Our definition of religion is to abide by the order of God. So does it mean, the politicians they do not abide by the orders of God? Then why do they write, "In god we trust"?

Karandhara: Well before, traditionally...

Prabhupāda: Not before or now. What we are speaking on the actual fact, that how they are writing, "In God we trust." As soon as you bring in God, that is religion. That is general meaning.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- April 8, 1974, Bombay:
Prabhupāda: Brahma-bhūta. That is called brahma-bhūta stage. Na śocati na kāṅkṣati. This happiness and distress is the cause of śocati and kāṅkṣati. Kāṅkṣati means desiring to have something. This is distress. And lamenting for something, that is also distress. Actually, this is the material position. When we haven't got the things, we desire it. That is also distress. And when it is lost, that is also distress. But by illusion, they take it. When they get it, they think that it is happiness. This is māyā. Actually, to get the things, he has to undergo so much hard... A man is given credit... Suppose he was a poor man. He has now become multi-millionaire. He is given credit. But he does not see that he has simply passed through distress. But he... By illusion, he's thinking that he's happy. He's also thinking, and others also thinking, that "He has become happy." But actually it is distress. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (chants japa) (break) ...people become religious not for attaining the transcendental stage, but for material benefit, dharma, the artha. Artha means material opulence, that. They... These four things: dharma artha kāma mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90). And why they want artha? To satisfy their senses. Dharma artha kāma... And when they're again baffled, they want mukti, to become one with the Supreme. These are the four different tastes of the material. All, all of them are baffling and illusory. The so-called religiosity with a view to get some material profit... That comes everywhere. Just (as) in Christianity, the religion means, "O God, give us our daily bread." Material profit, similarly, in anywhere, they go for material benefit. Therefore this kind of religion, it is also good, but it not first-class. The first-class religion is sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6), when one is awakened to the devotional service of the Lord, ahaitukī apratihatā, without any cause, and without being impeded. So ahaitukī apratihatā... That is, that stage is required. Not that "My sense gratification is not done here. Oh, let us give up this company." That is sense gratification.
Morning Walk -- April 20, 1974, Hyderabad:

Pañcadraviḍa: These things, they are also in (sic:) Manu-saṁhitā?

Prabhupāda: That is for... Manu-saṁhitā forbids completely. Manu-saṁhitā is not religion. It is moral principles for conducting society. Religion is how to become devotee of Kṛṣṇa. That is religion. That is natural. (break) "...shalt not kill," this is expectation. "Someday, in future, one may become religious." That's all. Because by killing, killing, they are going downer, down. So if they stop killing, some day they will be able to understand what is religion. Sukṛti. Because, without being freed from all sinful activities, nobody can understand what is God. Therefore about God, in India they can understand very easily. In other countries they cannot. Very few because always engaged in sinful activities, all forbidden sinful activities. Just like you said that gambling has been introduced in religion. Killing has been introduced in religion. What is that religion? The more they take to the sinful activities, the more they become implicated—again birth and birth and birth and birth. Unless one is completely free, he cannot understand what is God. Yeṣam anta-gataṁ pāpam. You know this verse? The Bhagavad-gītā, yes.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with writer, Sandy Nixon -- July 13, 1975, Philadelphia:

Father: Well, I guess I'm missing the point. My question was what does the Hare Kṛṣṇa consciousness have to offer that other religions don't have to offer as far as...

Prabhupāda: This is offering that you want to be religious, so you try to understand religious principles from God. Because if one is lawyer, if one wants to become a lawyer, he must learn laws which is given by the government. He cannot become a lawyer at home. Similarly, if you want to become religious, you must learn what is religion from God. You don't manufacture your own religion. That is not religion. This is the first principle. But if I do not know what is God, what is the order given by God, then what is religion? That is going on. Everyone is manufacturing his own religion. This is the modern method, that religion is private. Anyone can accept any type of religion. That is liberalism, is it not?

Jayatīrtha: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Just convince him.

Room Conversation with writer, Sandy Nixon -- July 13, 1975, Philadelphia:

Guest: Swami, what about those who practice one of the other religions in...?

Prabhupāda: There is no other religion. I have repeatedly said. Religion is to abide by the orders of God. Nobody knows what is God, and nobody knows what is the order of God. Or even if one knows, he does not carry it. So how there can be religion? If you abide by the state laws, then you are lawful, but if you do not abide by the state laws, how you can become lawful? If you violate the laws, how you can become lawful? If you follow religion, then you must follow strictly the religious principles. And if you have no business to follow the religious principles, how you can become religious? Is it possible?

Room Conversation with writer, Sandy Nixon -- July 13, 1975, Philadelphia:

Guest: I understand what you're saying. You're saying you cannot do practices and commit sin, right?

Prabhupāda: Yes. There are, in every religion, there are principles. If you don't follow them, then how you become religious? Therefore this is my question. So nobody is following religious principles at the present moment. Therefore practically there is no religion. Everything is finished. We are trying to revive. If you follow religious principle, then it doesn't matter whether you are Christian or Mohammedan or Hindu or Buddha. Then you are religious. But if you do not follow any religious principle, then how you become religious?

Father: Does that mean to say that you can't live a happy life without being religious?

Prabhupāda: Yes, certainly.

Conversation with Professor Hopkins -- July 13, 1975, Philadelphia:

Prabhupāda: That is stated in few verses, you find out this. Dharmasya hy āpavargyasya (SB 1.2.9).

Brahmānanda: In the First Canto?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Dharmasya hy āpavargyasya nārtho 'rthāyopakalpate. The first thing is that people become religious. Just like in your Christian religion they go to the church to get some material profit. "Oh God, give us our daily bread." This is material profit. Similarly, Hindus or Muslims, they become religious, dharma artha kāma mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90), the material activities. Those who are actually advanced... Those who are not even human beings, their philosophy is different. Those who are human beings, their dharma, religion. Then artha, economic development, and then kāma, sense gratification, and then mokṣa, liberation. These four things are taken as general activities. So Bhāgavata says your dharma... Religious principle means the ultimate goal is how to become liberated, not artha. Artha means economic development. So then question may be if you do not, if we are not economically developed then how we shall live? The Bhāgavata says that you can make economic development as far as it maintains your body and soul together. Not that making whole life economic development and real purpose of life forget. This is foolishness. So dharma, artha. Dharma means, religious advancement means how to get out of this material condition. Not that I go to temple and chant, "God, give me millions of dollars, and this, and that." This is not possible. It is good that one has gone to God to ask some help, that much credit is there.

Room Conversation -- December 14, 1975, New Delhi:
Prabhupāda: Bahūnā janmanām ante jñānavān mām... This is wisdom. And if we do not get this wisdom, simply like animals we continue to lord it over the material nature, by acquiring money. Dharma, artha, kama. Then we are spoiling our life. Separate times we become religious for being promoted to higher standard of life, economic development, big, big scheme, plans, how to make gorgeous city, buildings, roads, cars, slaughter house, scientific, how to cut throat very scientifically. These plans are going on. Some of them are trying to be religious to go to the heaven because he has heard, and that's a fact also, that heavenly planets the standard of living is more opulent, hundreds and thousands times, the sex enjoyment, is hundred and thousand times better. So by so-called religious functions and sacrifices, they are engaged the same, how to satisfy the senses. The dog is also anxious to satisfy his senses. As soon as he finds a female dog, he wants to make friendship with her and have sex. On the street, never mind. And similarly the demigods they are also engaged in the same business. In a different standard only. The business is the same. Āhāra-nidr-bhayam etam. So if one wants to continue this business then he'll continue this material body and if he wants to stop this business, come to his original position, then he makes real progress. But nobody is interested in advancement of spiritual life. Generally they take to religion, religiosity, for material happiness. Artho 'rhati. I am distressed, I have no money, or I am suffering from some disease; you'll find all these. So all of them go to the sādhus only for this purpose.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Conversation with Clergymen -- June 15, 1976, Detroit:

Prabhupāda: So where is that institution who is teaching these things?

Kern: He said that the monastery did not teach this. I don't know if you can generalize about all monasteries.

Prabhupāda: I don't say monastery. I'm speaking that this is the way of training. Even a third-class born or fourth-class born could become a first-class man. This training should be given. There must be an institution how to become peaceful, how to become truthful, how to become honest, how to become religious, how to become believer in God. Why not this institution? They have opened institutions how to learn to deal the hammer, technology. But if, in the society, there is no first-class man on this basis, then who will guide? If there is no brain, then who will guide the hand or the leg?

Press Conference -- December 16, 1976, Hyderabad:

Prabhupāda: He is going on in the name of religion, but he does not know what is religion. So that we are detecting. You can say like that. This is our business.

Guest (3): It was an allegation by an important...

Prabhupāda: It is allegation. And they are so fools that the Americans, they have come here to become Vaiṣṇava and starvation and they have become religious. They have no food there, and they have come to me and they have no dress, they have... And this boy is English boy. He is giving me massage as if he's a poor man's son. This is... Is he poor man's son? Why he is giving massage? We are Indian, poor Indian. He is not in need of money. He even buys his own cloth. The other day I was chastising him, "Why you are purchasing? You take." "No, I have got money." Just see. This is their position.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Ratan Singh Rajda M.P. 'Nationalism and Cheating' -- April 15, 1977, Bombay:

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So the leaders of government, they are encouraging like that. Instead of encouraging honesty and work according to the varṇas, cātur-varṇyam, they are doing like this to become...

Prabhupāda: There is no honesty all over the world. It is a forgotten. "These are primitive," they say, "Now, the honesty, to become pious, to become religious. These are simply primitive idea." We have to open this. That is a specific subject matter of that... But we have to write very nicely. Everything is based on tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13).

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The rascals also argue that... The materialists argue that we're being cheated.

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The materialists' argument is that we are being cheated by being promised something imaginary.

Prabhupāda: We are not discussing that, but you are cheating—that is practical. You are cheating. Your government is cheating, giving a piece of paper, cheating me that "You get hundred rupees."