So dharma means, the conclusion is, dharma means that our constitutional position is to serve. But our service being misplaced, we are not happy. Actually, we are serving not any person, but we are serving our different types of desires—kāma krodha lobha moha mātsarya—like that. That dharma, when it is reverted, transferred to the service of the Lord, that is called real dharma.
- sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
- yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
- yayātmā suprasīdati
- (SB 1.2.6)
That service to the Lord should be without any desire, material desire. Spontaneous. "God is great. He is my supporter, maintainer." We should always remember that. Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. Actually, God is supporting. Now, at the present moment in India, especially in this part, there is scarcity water. Why? If we are independent of God, we can take advantage of the sea water. There is sufficient water. God also supplies water from the stock of sea water. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ (BG 7.8). One who cannot understand immediately the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, he can try to understand Him by His different potencies. Just like He says that "I am the taste of the water." Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya, taste of water. Or the sweetness of water. So there is sufficient supply of water in the oceans and the seas. Then why we are in scarcity of water? Because that taste of the water should be changed by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise, you cannot use. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You can also change, by distilling the sea water or ocean water, but it will not be as tasteful as it is done by God. Or you can say "nature." The same water, taken from the ocean, transferred, transformed into cloud, the cloud is distributed, and water, rain, falls, you get nice distilled water, tasteful water. So if you are going to challenge, "There is no existence of God," then you can do it. Why don't you do it? Why you are so much in scarcity of water? I do not think any scientist can very boldly answer that "Yes, we can do, and we can defy the existence of God, or the mercy of God." That is not possible. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ (BG 7.8). Kṛṣṇa says that "I am the shining of the sun and the moon." Now, there, there are so many great scientists, and expert in chemical composition, making chemical composition. Why not make a small sun on the head of the Ahmedabad City so that you save so much expenditure of electric light? They will say, "Oh, the composition of the sun is like this, that"—so many theories. But why not prepare one? If you know the composition, make it, a sample sun, and see that it is shining.
So they, there are many, so many theories for avoiding God consciousness. But that's not very practical. Therefore in the Kali-yuga, it is said, dharma satyam, the truth is neglected, the dharma is neglected. It is reduced. Another place in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said,
- prāyenālpāyuṣaḥ (sabhya)
- kalav asmin yuge janāḥ
- mandāḥ sumanda-matayo
- manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ
- (SB 1.1.10)
This is summarized, summarization of the kind of people in this Kali-yuga. What is that? Alpāyuṣaḥ. Their span of life is shortened. Here also it is said, āyuḥ, āyur balaṁ smṛtiḥ. Bodily strength, span of life, and memory reduced. Formerly, there was no need of book. Therefore our Vedic literatures are known as śruti. The student will hear from the master, from the teacher, śruti. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet, śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12). Simply by hearing, they'll remember. That was going on up to the date of Vyāsadeva, five thousand years ago. There was no writing principle. There was no need of writing. People were so much powerful in their memory, they could immediately remember everything by hearing once from the teacher. Then Vyāsadeva, when he saw the Kali-yuga is coming, people's memory will be not so sharp, then he wrote all these Vedic literature. He's called Veda-vyāsa. Vedic knowledge was already there by tradition, by hearing, but he chronologically wrote all these Vedas. So there are so many symptoms. I may explain some of them. Kālena balinā rājan naṅkṣyaty āyur balaṁ smṛtiḥ: "These things will be reduced: dharma, truthfulness, cleanliness, and forgiveness, and mercifulness." People are not very merciful now. Especially in the Western countries, if one is attacked by another, people will pass. Nobody will care for that. He may be killed. People do not show any mercy. And kṣamā. Kṣamā means forgiveness. That is also being reduced. Memory reduced, merciful reduced, span of life reduced, bodily strength reduced, health is reduced. This is the symptom of Kali-yuga.
So... Vittam eva kalau nṛṇāṁ janmācāra-guṇodayaḥ. Formerly, there were divisions. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). The four social divisions: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. And they were calculated according to guṇa and karma, quality and work. Brāhma ṇa means he must be truthful, he must be very clean. Satya śaucam. He must be controlling his mind, controlling his senses. Śamo damas titikṣa. He must be tolerant. Titikṣa ārjava. He must be simple. Ārjava, jñānam. He must have full knowledge. Vijñānam, practical application in life. Vijñānam āstikyam. Āstikyam means to accept the Vedic principle as truth. That is called āstikyam. Theism. It is translated as "theism," but it is not. Āstika, āstikya means to have firm faith in the Vedic instruction. That is called āstikyam. But that is a fact. What is stated in the Vedas, they are true. We can save our time. For example, just like the cow dung. The cow dung is said in the Vedas as pure. So if we accept cow dung as pure, we don't require to make research. But actually it is pure. The other day I was passing through a cow shed in Hyderabad. So, so much cow dung stocked there. So I was asking my students, "Suppose so much human stool was stocked here. Could we pass through it?" No, it is not possible. But it was pleasant to pass through. So this is a fact. If we argue that animal stool... (aside:) Stop. Stop him. Don't make noise. ...the animal stool is impure, but when the Vedas says the animal stool of the cow is pure, so this is, this true. Similarly conchshell. Conchshell is the bone of an animal. So according to Vedic instruction, if you touch the bone of an animal, you become impure. But the bone of an animal which is conchshell, it is kept in the Deity room. So Vedic instruction is so perfect. Why this animal bone is pure, why this stool of animal is pure, that is already known. You don't require to make any research. You simply accept and get the fact. This is Vedic truth.
So that is called āstikyam. Āstikyam means to accept the Vedic instruction as it is. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. There is no need of interpreting. If we accept it, the truth, as it is, then we are benefited. In the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa says that "I am the Supreme." Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7). "My dear Dhanañjaya, Arjuna,..." Arjuna is called Dhanañjaya. That's a background, how he became a dhanañjaya. So mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat: (BG 7.7) "There is no more superior person than Me." So we accept that way. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not only we accept—all the authorities, whom we accept as authority. Just like Vyāsadeva. He is the authority of the Vedas. He accepts Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nārada accepts the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Of course, that is long, long, ages ago. In the recent years, all the ācāryas, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Śaṅkarācārya, all of them accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So what is the difficulty for us to accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead? There is no difficulty. If you do not accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you must present somebody else, that "Here is another person..." Then we have to compare whether Kṛṣṇa is actually Supreme Personality of Godhead or the another person. Because there is definition of God: aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47).
So the present need of human society, because they're reducing their good qualities, satya śamo dama titikṣa ārjava... (BG 18.42). And money is becoming the most powerful thing. As it is stated here: vittam eva kalau nṛṇāṁ janmācāra-guṇodayaḥ. Formerly, if one is qualified brāhmaṇa, he may be a poor man, but a brāhmaṇa, when approaches a king, the king will stand up and offer him... Even Kṛṣṇa, when He was King of Dvārakā, Sudāmā Vipra, His friend, he came. Immediately He stood up and gave him His own seat. So because he was a qualified brāhmaṇa... So everywhere qualified brāhmaṇa was respected by the qualified kṣatriyas, vaiśyas. But now, there is practically no qualified brāhmaṇa, neither a qualified brāhmaṇa is respected. Vittam eva. But if one has got money, then he'll be respected. This is the symptom of Kali-yuga. Vittam eva kalau nṛṇāṁ janmācāra-guṇodayaḥ. If one has got money, Sethji, he may be not educated, without any good qualification, but somehow or other he has got money, he'll be respectful, not a qualified brāhmaṇa. Then dharma-nyāya-vyavasthāyāṁ kāraṇaṁ balam eva hi. Now justice, nyāya... Nyāya means justice, dharma and religious principle. Dharma-nyāya-vyavasthāyām, to establish justice, anyone who is powerful, he will get justice. You bribe. Nowadays... Of course, we do not discuss these things. Everyone knows. Justice can be purchased in this age. Balam eva hi. Dāmpatye ratir, ratir abhirucir hetur māyaiva vyāvahārike. These are the symptoms. Dāmpatye, husband and relationship, husband and wife, means sex power. We have practically seen in the Western countries, as soon as there is some disturbance in the sex relation of husband and wife, there is divorce. So that, these are the symptoms. Strītve puṁstve ca hi ratir vipratve sūtram eva hi. So man and woman should be united in marriage relationship simply on sex urge, not on the religious principle. That we have seen. And sūtram, vipratve sūtram eva hi. And if anyone, somehow or other, gathers a sacred thread—not sacred, even not sacred; thread—he becomes a vipra. Liṅgam eva āśrama-khyātāv anyonya āpatti-kāraṇam, avṛttyā nyāya-daurbhalyam. If you go to the court, court of justice, if you have no money, then you cannot get. Suppose you have to claim from somebody, say, some few thousands of rupees, first of all you have to deposit the stamp fee, five percent, and the pleader's fee. So you have to push good money after bad money. So these are the symptoms. There are many symptoms. In this way, the conclusion is... This is the description given by Śukadeva Gosvāmī to Mahārāja Parīkṣit. There are many other symptoms. Our time is short. The king, the government, that is also stated. Government will be simply taxing. And people, being harassed in famine and taxation, they'll give up their hearth and home, will go to the forest and hills. And gradually, time will come when the ages will be reduced so much that a person twenty to thirty years old will be considered as great, grand old man. These are the symptoms of Kali-yuga.