Dharma is translated in English as "religion," but actually, it does not convey the real import of dharma. As I have many times explained in these meetings, that dharma means some particular characteristic which you cannot change

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"but actually, it does not convey the real import of dharma. As I have many times explained in these meetings, that dharma means some particular characteristic which you cannot change"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Dharma is translated in English as "religion," but actually, it does not convey the real import of dharma. As I have many times explained in these meetings, that dharma means some particular characteristic which you cannot change. That is called dharma.
Lecture on SB 1.2.5 -- Montreal, August 2, 1968:

So this Sūta Gosvāmī, the speaker, is congratulating the assembly on account of their inquiring about Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa-sampraśnaḥ. Yat kṛtaḥ kṛṣṇa-sampraśnaḥ: "You have inquired on a very nice subject matter, about Kṛṣṇa and about dharma." Yat kṛtaḥ kṛṣṇa-sampraśnaḥ, bhavadbhir loka-maṅgalam. This kind of question is very auspicious for everyone. When we inquire about Kṛṣṇa and we speak about Kṛṣṇa, we are both benefited. So he was very glad when he was questioned about Kṛṣṇa and about dharma, because those who have read Bhagavad-gītā, they know that Kṛṣṇa appeared for two purposes. One purpose is dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya, for reestablishing religious principles. And paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām (BG 4.8), to give protection to the sādhus. Sādhu means those who are devotees of God. They are called sādhu. And the nondevotees, they are called duṣkṛtām. Duṣkṛtām means those who are always engaged in sinful activities. They are called duṣkṛtām. Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām.

So two purposes. Kṛṣṇa's appearance is means for two purposes. So the question was that,

brūhi yogeśvare kṛṣṇe
brahmaṇye dharma-varmaṇi
svāṁ kāṣṭhām adhunopete
dharmaḥ kaṁ śaraṇaṁ gataḥ

"Kṛṣṇa appeared for reestablishing the religious principles, but after His disappearance, who has taken charge for this department?" That was their question. So Sūta Gosvāmī is congratulating them, that "This question is very auspicious," loka-maṅgalam. Loka means this world, and maṅgalam means auspicious. So first of all he is explaining what is dharma. Dharma is translated in English as "religion," but actually, it does not convey the real import of dharma. As I have many times explained in these meetings, that dharma means some particular characteristic which you cannot change. That is called dharma. Dharma does not mean a particular type of faith. Faith is different thing. Faith is followed blindly or by social custom or something else. Faith is different. But dharma, either you change social custom, country, time, space, it cannot be changed. That is dharma.

So that dharma is enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya: "For the matter of reestablishing the principles of dharma." There is difference of understanding between dharma and "religion," although the Sanskrit word dharma is translated into English as "religion." Religion in the dictionary it is explained as faith, but dharma is different. Dharma you cannot change. In whichever condition you are, you have to follow the special characteristic. And that I have already explained. That special characteristic is that every living entity is engaged in service for others, every living entity. Human being, birds, beasts, animal—every living entity is giving service to somebody else. That is dharma.