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Good citizen

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

Training was compulsory not only to create good citizens of the state, but also to prepare the boy's future life for spiritual realization.
SB 1.5.24, Purport:

So the vedānta-vādīs initiated the boy even before he became self-controlled and was detached from childish sporting, etc. But before the initiation, he (the boy) became more and more advanced in discipline, which is very essential for one who wishes to make progress in the line. In the system of varṇāśrama-dharma, which is the beginning of actual human life, small boys after five years of age are sent to become brahmacārī at the guru's āśrama, where these things are systematically taught to boys, be they king's sons or sons of ordinary citizens. The training was compulsory not only to create good citizens of the state, but also to prepare the boy's future life for spiritual realization. The irresponsible life of sense enjoyment was unknown to the children of the followers of the varṇāśrama system.

SB Canto 7

SB 7.10.22, Translation:

My dear child, your father has already been purified just by the touch of My body at the time of his death. Nonetheless, the duty of a son is to perform the śrāddha ritualistic ceremony after his father's death so that his father may be promoted to a planetary system where he may become a good citizen and devotee.

SB Canto 9

The people were good citizens because they accepted the institution of varṇa and āśrama, which arranges society in the varṇa divisions of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra and the āśrama divisions of brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. This is actual human civilization.
SB 9.10.50, Purport:

Lord Rāmacandra ruled His kingdom exactly as a father takes care of his children, and the citizens, being obliged to the good government of Lord Rāmacandra, accepted the Lord as their father. Thus the relationship between the citizens and the government should be exactly like that between father and son. When the sons in a family are well trained, they are obedient to the father and mother, and when the father is well qualified, he takes good care of the children. As indicated here by the words sva-dharma-niratā varṇāśrama-guṇān-vitāḥ, the people were good citizens because they accepted the institution of varṇa and āśrama, which arranges society in the varṇa divisions of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra and the āśrama divisions of brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. This is actual human civilization. People must be trained according to the different varṇāśrama occupational duties. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13), cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: the four varṇas must be established according to varying qualities and work.

Throughout the entire world there are so many states, legislative assemblies and parliaments, but still the citizens are rogues and thieves. Good citizenship, therefore, cannot be enforced; the citizens must be trained.
SB 9.10.50, Purport:

Simply enforcing laws and ordinances cannot make the citizens obedient and lawful. That is impossible. Throughout the entire world there are so many states, legislative assemblies and parliaments, but still the citizens are rogues and thieves. Good citizenship, therefore, cannot be enforced; the citizens must be trained. As there are schools and colleges to train students to become chemical engineers, lawyers or specialists in many other departments of knowledge, there must be schools and colleges to train students to become brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, śūdras, brahmacārīs, gṛhasthas, vānaprasthas and sannyāsīs. This will provide the preliminary condition for good citizenship (varṇāśrama-guṇān-vitāḥ). Generally speaking, if the king or president is a rājarṣi, the relationship between the citizens and the chief executive will be clear, and there will be no possibility of disruption in the state, because the number of thieves and rogues will decrease. In Kali-yuga, however, because the varṇāśrama system is neglected, people are generally thieves and rogues.

Without this scientific division, there can be no question of good citizenship.
SB 9.11.26, Purport:

As we have seen from the previous chapter, varṇāśrama-guṇānvitāḥ: the citizens were trained according to the varṇāśrama system. A class of men were brāhmaṇas, a class of men were kṣatriyas, a class were vaiśyas, and a class were śūdras. Without this scientific division, there can be no question of good citizenship. The King, being magnanimous and perfect in His duty, performed many sacrifices and treated the citizens as His sons, and the citizens, being trained in the varṇāśrama system, were obedient and perfectly ordered. The entire monarchy was so opulent and peaceful that the government was even able to sprinkle the street with perfumed water, what to speak of other management. Since the city was sprinkled with perfumed water, we can simply imagine how opulent it was in other respects. Why should the citizens not have felt happy during the reign of Lord Rāmacandra.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Just like a man, when he is under police custody, it is to be understood that he is a criminal, he is fallen. He has fallen down from good citizenship.
Lecture on BG 1.21-22 -- London, July 18, 1973:

Fallen means when the living entities are under the clutches of this material energy. That is called fallen. Just like a man, when he is under police custody, it is to be understood that he is a criminal, he is fallen. He has fallen down from good citizenship. Similarly, we are all parts and parcels of Kṛṣṇa. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhuta (BG 15.7). So as part and parcel, our position is to live with Kṛṣṇa. Just like this is my finger, part and parcel of my body. The finger must remain attached with this body. When this finger is cut off and fallen, although it is finger, it is no longer as important as it was formerly when it was attached with this body. So anyone who is not attached with the service of the Supreme Lord, he is fallen. This is the conclusion.

What is the difference between good citizen and outlaws? The difference is a good citizen is always trying to satisfy the government by abiding the laws given by the government.
Lecture on BG 1.43 -- London, July 30, 1973:

So anyway, so as we are here, in this small government, our business is to satisfy the governor... Suppose if you decry the queen. If you say publicly in a meeting that "Queen is a prostitute." Then what will be? Immediately you will be arrested and punished. In your private house you can say. Nobody will hear. But if you say such thing nonsense in public, immediately you will be criminal. Therefore your duty is to respect the queen, to abide by the orders of the government. That is your aim of good citizenship. What is the difference between good citizen and outlaws? The difference is a good citizen is always trying to satisfy the government by abiding the laws given by the government. So therefore our ultimate goal is to satisfy the supreme government, Kṛṣṇa. Because Kṛṣṇa is the supreme. These universes, they are Kṛṣṇa's kingdom. There are many kingdoms.

To serve the state. That is your position. That is good citizenship. What does it mean, a good citizen? One who is trying to serve the state.
Lecture on BG 3.18-30 -- Los Angeles, December 30, 1968:

Every one of us individual person. So as individual person what is my position? My position is... Just like you are individual citizen of the state. What is your position? To serve the state. That is your position. That is good citizenship. What does it mean, a good citizen? One who is trying to serve the state. Take, for example, in Russia, in China. They have made the state as worshipable. Any component part of the state, citizen, is to sacrifice everything for the state. In your country also, the draftboard is calling, "Come on. You have to go to the fight." But you cannot say "No," because you are component part of the state. If you deny, then you are not a good citizen. You'll be arrested, you'll be harassed by the government. Similarly, we are component parts of the whole, supreme whole.

In the prison house sometimes the head of the country goes to visit, to see, to inspect how the prison life is going on or to give them some instruction, some good lesson, that "Why you are rotting in prison? You become good citizen."
Lecture on BG 4.3-6 -- New York, July 18, 1966:

Just like the example... We can give very tangible example. Just like in the prison house sometimes the head of the country goes to visit, to see, to inspect how the prison life is going on or to give them some instruction, some good lesson, that "Why you are rotting in prison? You become good citizen." Now, suppose the head of the state goes to the prison and to instruct the prisoners, and if the prisoners think, "Oh, he is also a prisoner. The head of the state who has come to instruct, he is also one of the prisoners, like us."

We require good citizens, good father and mother, good system of government, and pious, virtuous, cooperation between God and nature.
Lecture on BG 4.12-13 -- New York, July 29, 1966:

So human society, human society is so arranged that the people, the members of the human society, should be free from all anxiety. Therefore we require good citizens, good father and mother, good system of government, and pious, virtuous, cooperation between God and nature. Everything will be helpful for my spiritual realization, for my self-realization. If I am full of anxiety, how can I make progress in spiritual realization? It is not possible. Therefore it is the duty of the state, duty of the father, duty of the teacher, duty of the spiritual master to give chance to the small children to develop in such a way that he becomes fully realized spiritual soul at the end and so that his miserable life in the material existence is over. That is the responsibility.

This is the human life's business. He should know what is actual work and what is forbidden work. Just like a good citizen knows what is lawful work and what is unlawful work.
Lecture on BG 4.17 -- Bombay, April 6, 1974:

Four classes are divided according to quality and karma. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, karmaṇo hy api boddhavyam. What is actually work. Boddhavyaṁ ca vikarmaṇaḥ. Vikarmaṇaḥ means forbidden. This is the human life's business. He should know what is actual work and what is forbidden work. Just like a good citizen knows what is lawful work and what is unlawful work. Lawful work is executed knows what is lawful work and what is unlawful work. Lawful work is executed by intelligent citizens, and unlawful work is executed by the criminals. He has to suffer. You can cheat the man-made government by hiding yourself, so-called hiding. You cannot hide yourself from, any vikarma or unlawful work, from the eyes of the Supreme Lord. That is not possible.

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.
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. Therefore Kṛṣṇa said that "If you want to know Me," asaṁśayam, "without any doubt..." God may be personal, impersonal, or this, that, but you must know it perfectly well. Don't say, "Perhaps it may be like this. Perhaps may be like this..." That is imperfect knowledge. That is no knowledge.

Don't take anything except kṛṣṇa-prasādam. That is surrendering to Kṛṣṇa. So many we have got. So if you surrender to these principles, that means you surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Just like a good citizen surrenders to the state.
Lecture on BG 7.1-3 -- London, August 4, 1971:

Surrender to Kṛṣṇa means you have to accept things which is favorable for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Just like we restrict our students, no illicit sex, no gambling, no meat-eating, no intoxication. If you surrender to this process, that is surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Is it clear? If you don't surrender, there is no surrender. Then you are not surrendered soul. Chant sixteen rounds, and if you follow, that is surrendering to Kṛṣṇa. Don't take anything except kṛṣṇa-prasādam. That is surrendering to Kṛṣṇa. So many we have got. So if you surrender to these principles, that means you surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Just like a good citizen surrenders to the state. What does it mean? He abides by the law. That's all. He does not do anything which is against the will of the state. That's all. So you surrender to the principles; then you surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That's all.

Good citizen means who follows the laws of the state. He is good citizen. Good citizenship means strictly following the laws of the government. Similarly, first-class human being means who follows the laws of God.
Lecture on BG 7.11-12 -- Bombay, February 25, 1974:

So there is regulative principles in the śāstra, as I was explaining. (aside:) Why the boys shall talk? So we must follow the... If we want to make our life perfect, we must follow the regulative principles. Just like good citizen means... What is that good citizen? Good citizen means who follows the laws of the state. He is good citizen. Good citizenship means strictly following the laws of the government. Similarly, first-class human being means who follows the laws of God. That's all. He's first-class. And those who are simply violating the laws of God, they are third class, fourth class, tenth class. It will be explained a few verses after that na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). Those who are simply violating the laws of God, they are called duṣkṛtinaḥ, miscreants. Such class of men... There are so many classes of men. Kṛṣṇa is mentioning some of them. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ. The duṣkṛtinaḥ, those who are simply violating the laws of God, they are called duṣkṛtinaḥ. So such persons cannot come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, God consciousness. One must follow the rules and regulation, śāstra.

Just like if you are arrested by the police, then it is very difficult to get out of their clutches. But if you are a good citizen, surrendered soul to the state, there is no problem.
Lecture on BG 7.14 -- Hamburg, September 8, 1969:

Prabhupāda: "Is difficult to overcome." There are three modes of material nature: goodness, passion, and ignorance. But they are very difficult to overcome. And now, what is the solution?

Hayagrīva: "But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it."

Prabhupāda: Yes. The solution is we have to surrender unto the Supreme. Just like if you are arrested by the police, then it is very difficult to get out of their clutches. But if you are a good citizen, surrendered soul to the state, there is no problem. The police has nothing to do with you. Is it very difficult to understand? The problems are there and the problems are under the management of this material nature. So it is not possible to overcome the stringent laws of material nature, exactly like if you are once arrested by the police department, it is not very easy to come out. So mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14).

Because he disobeys the laws of the state, he is criminal. That is the distinction between a good citizen and a criminal citizen. One who does not obey the laws of the state, he is criminal. So everyone who does not obey the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is criminal.
Lecture on BG 13.6-7 -- Bombay, September 29, 1973:

And we are using everything without utilizing for Kṛṣṇa's purpose; therefore it is material. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, stena eva sa ucyate: (BG 3.12) "He is thief. He is thief." Yañārthāt karmano 'nyatra loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ (BG 3.9). As one man is criminal because he does not satisfy the state... What is the position of a criminal person? Because he disobeys the laws of the state, he is criminal. That is the distinction between a good citizen and a criminal citizen. One who does not obey the laws of the state, he is criminal. So everyone who does not obey the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is criminal. Stena eva sa ucyate. This is the verdict of the śāstra. Forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa, or God, is materialism, and not to use things for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction is criminality.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Just like good citizen means well-behaved, to abide by the state laws. So first thing is religion, to learn how to become God conscious.
Lecture on SB 1.1.2 -- London, August 15, 1971:

So even these are the problems, therefore they must be based on religion. Religion means to become well-behaved, to abide... Just like good citizen means well-behaved, to abide by the state laws. So first thing is religion, to learn how to become God conscious. This is the first business of human society. But they have rejected religion. They have become secular. Secular..., what does it mean secular? It means don't care for any kind of religion; Just work very hard for economic development day and night. This is the modern civilization. No. That is misleading. From the very beginning of life. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja advised, kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha (SB 7.6.1).

Good citizen means who are abiding by the state laws. Similarly, a devotee means who is abiding by the laws given by God.
Lecture on SB 1.1.2 -- London, August 17, 1971:

Another kaitava is that one who does not know the purpose of religion. Religion means, as we have several times explained, religion means the rules or the laws given by God. That is religion. Not the formulas. Formulas must be there, but the real basic principle of religion means the laws given by God. Just like we are living in a state, either in England or in Germany or in America or in India, there are state rules and regulations. Good citizen means who are abiding by the state laws. Similarly, a devotee means who is abiding by the laws given by God. This is the... Just try to understand. Just like a good citizen means that he is following the state law, as we do actually. When there is red light, immediately you stop your car because you have to abide by the laws of the state; otherwise you become criminal. Although there is none to look, still, you have to stop your car, "There is red light." That is obedience. And then, when there is green light, you start your car.

Just like good citizen means who abides by the order of the government. That's all. There is no difficulty to understand what is good citizen. Whatever the government gives you law, and if you follow, then you are a good citizen.
Lecture on SB 1.2.5 -- Vrndavana, October 16, 1972:

The sum and substance of religious principle is to surrender to God. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). This is religion. Religion means the order given by God. That's all. This is the simple definition of religion. If you, anyone asks "What do you mean by religion?" Religion means to abide by the orders of God. That's all. Just like good citizen means who abides by the order of the government. That's all. There is no difficulty to understand what is good citizen. Whatever the government gives you law, and if you follow, then you are a good citizen. Similarly, there is order by God, and anyone who follows that order, he's religious. Religious does not mean a kind of faith. That English translation of the word religion is not sufficient. Faith—"I believe in this, I may not believe in this"—that is different thing. But law means you must. There is no question of you believe or not believe. You believe or not believe, it doesn't matter. Law is law.

Just like good citizenship means to abide by the laws of the state, of the government. That is good citizenship. Similarly, a real religious person means who is abiding by the orders of the Supreme Lord.
Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- Calcutta, February 26, 1974:

Therefore it is said here, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. Paraḥ means Supreme. What is that? Yato bhaktir adhokṣaje, "Wherein this is taught, 'Just surrender to the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, that is first-class religion." All other religions, they are bogus. That is not religion. Just like good citizenship means to abide by the laws of the state, of the government. That is good citizenship. Similarly, a real religious person means who is abiding by the orders of the Supreme Lord. Unfortunately, they have no information of the Supreme Lord. Although the Lord, the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, is present, still, they are thinking that Supreme Lord is nirākāra. Nirākāra means to avoid. How Supreme God can be nirākāra? If the Supreme Lord is the supreme father... We have got experience: I am a person, my father is person, his father is person, his father is person... In this way, if you go to the topmost platform to find out the Supreme Person or Supreme God, why He should be imperson? Imperson is a feature of the Supreme Person, but ultimately brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11), ultimately the Absolute Truth is a Supreme Person.

Just like good citizen means who abides by the state laws. He does not break the state laws. Similarly, any person, it doesn't matter whether he is Hindu, Muslim, Christian or this or that. It doesn't matter. If he is a devotee of the Supreme Lord, then his religion system is first class.
Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- Hyderabad, April 18, 1974:

So one has to come to the religious principle on the spiritual platform. That is real dharma. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). It doesn't matter what religious system you are following. Because actually religion means to abide by the orders of God. That is religion. Simply definition of religion. Just like good citizen means who abides by the state laws. He does not break the state laws. Similarly, any person, it doesn't matter whether he is Hindu, Muslim, Christian or this or that. It doesn't matter. If he is a devotee of the Supreme Lord, then his religion system is first class. Otherwise, śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). That will be stated.

Just like law means obedience to the state, and one who obeys the laws of the state, he is good citizen, similarly, the laws given by God, one who obeys the law, he is religious or saintly person.
Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- Mauritius, October 5, 1975:

So religion is disturbed by duṣkṛtina, demons, and those who are saintly person, they execute religion. So paritrāṇāya sādhūnām. Sādhu means saintly person, devotee of God. They are sādhu. And asādhu, or demon, means persons who deny the authority of God. They are called demons. So two business—paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duskrtam: "To curtail the activities of the demons and to give protection to the saintly person, I descend." Dharma-saṁsthā...: "And to establish dharma, the principles of religion." These are the three business for which Kṛṣṇa, or God, or God's representative—or, you say, God's son—they come. This is going on. So what is religion, then? The religion is obedience to God. Just like law means obedience to the state, and one who obeys the laws of the state, he is good citizen, similarly, the laws given by God, one who obeys the law, he is religious or saintly person. So it doesn't matter what religion you are following. It doesn't matter. If you are actually obedient to the laws of God, then you are religious. It doesn't matter.

Just like a good citizen means who knows the relationship with the state. That is good citizenship. Bad citizenship means who doesn't care for the state. That is criminal.
Lecture on SB 1.2.9-10 -- Delhi, November 14, 1973:

This is the message of Bhagavad-gītā. So dharma means to understand my relationship with God. That is dharma. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Just like a good citizen means who knows the relationship with the state. That is good citizenship. Bad citizenship means who doesn't care for the state. That is criminal. They are put into the prison house. So similarly, the living entities, they are part and parcel of God. But when they are not ready or prepared to abide by the laws of God, they are put into this material world. Beginning from Brahmā, ābrahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ punar āvartino 'rjuna (BG 8.16), they are rotating in this way. So dharma means to abide by the laws of God. Just like good citizen means to abide by the state laws. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19).

Just like ordinarily, the common citizen, a good citizen, his duty is to abide by the laws of the state. That is called good citizen. And if you do not become a good citizen, then you are put into the prison house, good citizen and bad citizen.
Lecture on SB 1.7.7 -- Vrndavana, April 24, 1975:

Because our aim of life is to approach Lord Viṣṇu. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). The modern civilization, they do not know it, na te viduḥ, that what is the aim of life. The aim of life is to satisfy Lord Viṣṇu. This the aim of life. Just like ordinarily, the common citizen, a good citizen, his duty is to abide by the laws of the state. That is called good citizen. And if you do not become a good citizen, then you are put into the prison house, good citizen and bad citizen. Similarly, the aim of human life is to approach Viṣṇu. But the materialistic persons, they do not care for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but they manufacture their own plan with materialistic idea. Durāśayā ye bahir-artha... Bahir-artha, the external necessity, that is called bahir-artha. The bahir-artha and anartha is the same thing. Because that is not necessity. We are born under certain laws of the nature. Now instead of trying to improve this... That cannot be improved, because the destiny is there. If you are to enjoy a certain type of happiness, it is there already with your birth.

Government gives protection to the good citizen, and those who are rogues, punish them. Law and order.
Lecture on SB 1.8.41 -- Mayapura, October 21, 1974:

Because God is real, anything in connection with God, according to His instruction, that is real. All other things are imitation. So always remember that if somebody takes us as religionists, yes, we are religionists, but pure religionists. If somebody says socialist, we are pure socialist. If somebody says we are diplomats, poli..., yes, we are pure politicians. What is pure politicians? Politics requires violence. So annihilate the demons and give protection. The politics means two things. The state, government, what is that? Government gives protection to the good citizen, and those who are rogues, punish them. Law and order. Two things are there: maintenance and law and order. So similarly, our Kṛṣṇa consciousness is also the same thing. But so far we are concerned, because we are not in political power... Otherwise we have, would have followed the principles of Kṛṣṇa.

Just like if you are a good citizen the government cooperation is full with you. But if you are outlaw, if you are rascal, if you are criminal, no supply, you go to jail. That's all.
Lecture on SB 1.10.5 -- London, August 28, 1973:

If you directly collect water from the rain, it is distilled water, without any contamination, without any dirty things, clear, very nice. Those who have, I mean to say, traveled by ship, you'll see the ocean and sea is so clear water that up to twenty feet you can see clear water. Clear water. The stock, the ocean water, it is very clear. So everything is nicely arranged. Simply they'll work nicely when you are obedient to God. Just like if you are a good citizen the government cooperation is full with you. But if you are outlaw, if you are rascal, if you are criminal, no supply, you go to jail. That's all. Try to understand. This is the arrangement.

Just like a good citizen. A good citizen means who is acting exactly to the regulative laws. He is good citizen.
Lecture on SB 1.16.20 -- Los Angeles, July 10, 1974:

So any field of activities, if we act for Kṛṣṇa, that is called yajña. Yajña means to act for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or the supreme authority. Just like a good citizen. A good citizen means who is acting exactly to the regulative laws. He is good citizen. Even in ordinary driving car, if you exactly follow the rules and regulation of traffic transaction, if you stop when there is red light, if you start when there is green light, you don't go to the left, if you follow these rules and regulation, then there is no question of your being a criminal. But as soon as you do not follow, immediately you are criminal. You will get a ticket. Therefore the regulative life means... That is religious life, when you execute your occupational duty just according to the law. There are state laws and there are laws also. So actually, we should perform the divine laws.

When he's a civil citizen, good citizen, there is no independence, and when he's criminal, there is no independence.
Lecture on SB 2.1.7 -- Paris, June 15, 1974:

So we have no independence. As in materially also, we have no independence. In... There is no independence, either materially or spiritually. But we're falsely thinking to become independent. That is called illusion, māyā. The rascals do not know that there is no independence at all, either materially or spiritually. Just like the outlaws, they have no independence, either criminally or civilly. When he's a civil citizen, good citizen, there is no independence, and when he's criminal, there is no independence. So why he's thinking that "I shall act this work criminally and become independent"? That is not possible. And because they cannot understand it, they are rascals. What he's thinking, independence, that is illusion.

Although he's a prisoner, he can be also good citizen. There is no hopelessness. Similarly, we are now prisoner in this material world, and we have got this material body.
Lecture on SB 3.25.27 -- Bombay, November 27, 1974:

You have read in the Sixth Canto of Bhāgavata, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the Ajāmila, the vaikuṇṭha-dūta came for Ajāmila to take Ajāmila. They are also four-handed, very beautiful. That is Vaikuṇṭhaloka. But in Kṛṣṇaloka they are two-handed. So in the spiritual world there are so many varieties—four-handed, two-handed living entity. They're all nitya-mukta. They're all everlastingly liberated. So we have been just like a prisoner is. Although he's a prisoner, he can be also good citizen. There is no hopelessness. Similarly, we are now prisoner in this material world, and we have got this material body. Therefore we are changing: sometimes young, sometimes old, sometimes these boys, some But tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9), if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then, after leaving this body, you're not any more getting this material body.

Just like it is the duty of good citizen to abide by the laws of the state, similarly, dharmī, a person who is religious, means who is abiding by the laws of God. That's all.
Lecture on SB 6.1.43 -- Los Angeles, June 9, 1976:

The atheist class of men, they want that there may not be any God; they can do whatever they like. That is not possible. Just like in a small state there are so many CID, police and so many other depart..., detectives, just to find out who is transgressing the law. So in this big government of the universe, how do you think that there is no system of finding out who is culprit? So what is adharma? Etair adharmo vijñātaḥ. Adharma, irreligiosity, or transgressing the law, that is adharma. Dharma and adharma... Dharma means obeying the laws. Just like good citizens means who is obeying the laws of the state. He is good citizen. And other person who is disobeying, they are called outlaws. So what is dharma? Just like it is the duty of good citizen to abide by the laws of the state, similarly, dharmī, a person who is religious, means who is abiding by the laws of God. That's all. And who is not abiding, he is adharmi. That is the difference.

Not all the citizens were good citizens. There are many outlaws. So more or less, whoever is in this material world, they are outlaws.
Lecture on SB 6.2.16 -- Vrndavana, September 19, 1975:

So sinful activities, it is punishable. You cannot violate the laws of nature. Prakṛti is very strong. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). Just like the government has police department, military department, law courts. Why? Because not all the citizens were good citizens. There are many outlaws. So more or less, whoever is in this material world, they are outlaws. Outlaw means they do not abide by the laws of nature, and therefore they are punishable.

What do you mean by good citizen? Who obeys the laws of the state. So what is religion? Religion means to obey the laws of God. That's all. Religion.
Lecture on SB 7.9.8 -- Seattle, October 21, 1968:

It is generally said that whenever there is discrepancies in the matter of discharging religious principles and whenever there is too much prominence of irreligiosity, at that time the Lord appears. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya (BG 4.7). This is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. So because it is... Just like as soon as there is some riotous condition in any quarter or any part of the city, there is police action immediately. So this is God's kingdom, either this material or spiritual. So everyone has to obey the God's law. That is religion. Religion means... What do you mean by religion? Religion means... Just like good citizen. What do you mean by good citizen? Who obeys the laws of the state. So what is religion? Religion means to obey the laws of God. That's all. Religion. Religion you cannot manufacture, just like you cannot manufacture law. Law is made by the state. You cannot manufacture law. If you say, "I have manufactured this law," who cares for your law? Similarly, so-called religion, nonsense religion, there are so many manufactured, who cares for? That is not religion. Religion means God's law. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). That is religion.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Now the prisoner should become a very good citizen and come out of the prison house. Then he is happy.
Lecture on CC Adi-lila 1.15 -- Dallas, March 4, 1975:

Everything is arranged by the Supreme Lord for everyone's necessities of life. There is no question about that. Just like if a person is in the prison house, that prisoner has no problem for his material necessities. The government has arranged already for his eating, sleeping and, if he is sick, medical help. That is not problem. The problem is that he has become criminal by transgressing the laws of the state. Now he should become a very good citizen and come out of the prison house. Then he is happy. Similarly, in this material world, so far our material necessities are concerned, it is already arranged. There is no question of becoming anxious for getting our material necessities. It is already arranged by God.

Just like citizen, good citizen. Good citizen means who abides by the law of the state. It doesn't matter what he is. Similarly anyone, either he may be a Christian or may be Muhammadan or may be Hindu, that doesn't matter. Anyone who accepts the Supreme Lord, God, and abides by the laws of God, or laws of nature, he's called religionist or an advanced human being.
Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 6.254 -- Los Angeles, January 8, 1968:

So in the Vedic literature (it) says that without religion, without accepting religion... Dharmeṇa hīnāḥ paśubhiḥ samānāḥ. If in some society there is no religion... Religion means to abide by the laws of the Supreme. That is religion. It doesn't matter whether it is Christian religion or Muhammadan religion or Hindu religion, religion means... Just like citizen, good citizen. Good citizen means who abides by the law of the state. It doesn't matter what he is. Similarly anyone, either he may be a Christian or may be Muhammadan or may be Hindu, that doesn't matter. Anyone who accepts the Supreme Lord, God, and abides by the laws of God, or laws of nature, he's called religionist or an advanced human being. But Kṛṣṇa says, "Either advanced or not advanced, that doesn't matter. It is a kind of dress only. But I am the father." Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā (BG 14.4).

Sri Isopanisad Lectures

Just like good citizens, they are taken care of by the government directly, and the criminals, they are taken care of by the government through the prison department, through the criminal department.
Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 2-4 -- Los Angeles, May 6, 1970:

To the devotees, Kṛṣṇa takes charge Himself, and to the ordinary living entities, the charge is taken by māyā. Māyā is also Kṛṣṇa's agent. Just like good citizens, they are taken care of by the government directly, and the criminals, they are taken care of by the government through the prison department, through the criminal department. They are also taken care of. In the prison house the government takes care that the prisoners not in uncomfortable—they get sufficient food; if they're diseased they give hospital treatment—every care is there, but under punishment. Similarly, we in this material world, there is care certainly, but in, in a punishment way. If you do this, then slap. If you do this, then kick. If you do this, then this... This is going on. This is called threefold miseries.

Initiation Lectures

"Unless you become a good citizen, you'll have to be punished in this prison house." Similarly, our real position is to love God, to love Kṛṣṇa.
Initiation Lecture Excerpt -- London, September 7, 1971:

To stop death, to stop birth, is not possible unless one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Unless one (sic) does not come to the position of loving Kṛṣṇa, there's no question of freedom. That is the nature's law. We have forgotten Kṛṣṇa. Instead of loving Kṛṣṇa, we have habituated, we have developed a consciousness to love dog. Just like in your country they say, "Dog is the best friend." So instead of loving God, they have learned to love dog. But nature ways is that you have to forget loving dog, you have to come to the position to love God. That is nature's way. Therefore there is no freedom. There is no freedom. Just like a citizen becomes criminal. The criminal department, the prison, just to correct him: "Unless you become a good citizen, you'll have to be punished in this prison house." Similarly, our real position is to love God, to love Kṛṣṇa. Unless we are on that platform of loving God, the nature will give us trouble. There is no freedom. We should try to understand it. There's no question of freedom.

General Lectures

What is the greatest qualification of good citizen? American, when he thinks that "I am American citizen. I have to look after the interest of American state," that is his good qualification, or good citizenship.
Lecture -- Seattle, October 11, 1968:

To become devotee of Kṛṣṇa. That is the greatest quality. We are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. We have forgotten it. And when we come to understanding that "I am part and parcel of God," that is your greatest qualification. Simple thing. What is the greatest qualification of good citizen? American, when he thinks that "I am American citizen. I have to look after the interest of American state," that is his good qualification, or good citizenship. Similarly, when you transcend all these artificial designations, that "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am this or that..." "I am part and parcel of the Supreme," that is the greatest qualification.

The king gives you some law, and if you are a good citizen, you are to obey those laws, and you live peacefully. This is crude example. Similarly, dharma or religion means to obey the laws of God, that's all.
Lecture to College Students -- Seattle, October 20, 1968, Introduction by Tamala Krsna:

Religion means the codes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Just like in the state, there is king's law. The king gives you some law, and if you are a good citizen, you are to obey those laws, and you live peacefully. This is crude example. Similarly, dharma or religion means to obey the laws of God, that's all. It may be different according to time, circumstances, people. Just like laws in India, the state laws in India may not agree cent percent with the laws of United States. But that does not mean there is no law. And one has to abide by the law. That is the general principle. Similarly, human being, without obeying the laws of God, he is animal. Just like on the street there is signboard, "Keep to the right." A human being obeys the law, "Keep to the right," and if he does not obey, he goes to the police custody.

In the schools, colleges, we want to satisfy our professor, teachers, principal. Or as good citizen we want to satisfy our government or... Similarly, you have to satisfy somebody. That is the perfection.
Lecture at Harvard University -- Boston, December 24, 1969:

So that perfection is recommended, hari-toṣaṇam: whether by your duty, by your action, the Supreme Lord is satisfied. Just like we want to satisfy... In the schools, colleges, we want to satisfy our professor, teachers, principal. Or as good citizen we want to satisfy our government or... Similarly, you have to satisfy somebody. That is the perfection. The highest perfection is to satisfy hari-toṣaṇam. Hari means the Supreme Lord, and toṣaṇam means satisfaction. Whether by your work and duties, discharging your duty, the Supreme Lord is satisfied—that is your perfection. But this is very rare thing. At the present moment practically nobody has any information what is his relationship with God or what is God.

One function is to give protection and happiness to the good citizens, and another function is to kill the demons or the disturbing elements in the society.
Speech to Maharaja and Maharani and Conversations Before and After -- Indore, December 11, 1970:

So from historical reference we see that when the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears on this earth, in this universe, He takes pleasure to appear in some kṣatriya family. And both Rāmacandra and Bhagavān Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in kṣatriya families, and they acted as kṣatriya. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata, tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham (BG 4.7). Kṣatriya king has got two functions. One function is to give protection and happiness to the good citizens, and another function is to kill the demons or the disturbing elements in the society. Lord Kṛṣṇa, the original form of Viṣṇu... Viṣṇu has got four hands. In two hands He has got the symbol of conchshell and lotus flower, and the other two hands He carries club and the cakra, sudarśana-cakra. So He wanted that a kṣatriya king like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira should rule over the world. That is the practically basic idea of the whole Mahābhārata and Bhagavad-gītā. So we are very much concerned to preach the message of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavad-gītā. We are presenting Bhagavad-gītā As It Is without any malinterpretation.

One who follows the rules and regulation or the laws of the state, he is called good citizen, and those who do not follow, they are called outlaws or rogues or so many things.
Lecture at Christian Monastery -- Melbourne, April 6, 1972:

So in this Bhagavad-gītā we find that Kṛṣṇa is giving instruction about what is dharma, religion. He says... And at the end of His instruction He says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66), that "You give up other types of so-called religious principles. You simply surrender unto Me." So in another place in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam: (SB 6.3.19) "Religion means the codes of God." Just like the state gives us some rules and regulation to live, and one who follows the rules and regulation or the laws of the state, he is called good citizen, and those who do not follow, they are called outlaws or rogues or so many things. Similarly, religion is very simple thing. It is not cumbrous. Simple thing. If you take it simply, religion means, our definition of religion is, to accept the orders of God. That's all. It doesn't matter what religion you are following.

In a state, you have to satisfy your government; then you are good citizen. Similarly in the cosmic state, taking altogether this whole material creation, if you do not satisfy the Supreme Lord, the proprietor of everything, then it will be chaotic condition.
Lecture at Bharata Chamber of Commerce 'Culture and Business' -- Calcutta, January 30, 1973:

Just like in a state, you have to satisfy your government; then you are good citizen. Similarly in the cosmic state, taking altogether this whole material creation, if you do not satisfy the Supreme Lord, the proprietor of everything, then it will be chaotic condition. Our Vedic culture means whatever you do, it doesn't matter. You must satisfy the Supreme Lord. That is culture. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya samsiddhiṁ labhate naraḥ (BG 18.46). You can do any business. Any business means the brāhmaṇa's business, the kṣatriya's business, the vaiśya's business and the śūdra's business. That is business. Otherwise you can do any business. But business means there are different classes of business. So Bhagavad-gītā it is said that one should satisfy by his own business the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yena sarvam idaṁ tatam. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also it is said: culture means... Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ.

A good citizen, good citizen means who abide by the laws of the state. Similarly, a religious person means who abides by the order of God. This is dharma.
Lecture -- London, August 23, 1973:

Veda, veda means the book of knowledge. Veda means knowledge. Vetti veda vido jñānam. Jñāna. So we have to take knowledge from authorized scriptures, authorized lawbook. A big lawyer means who is quite aware of the laws of the state. Similarly, a religious person means who knows completely, at least partially also, the laws of God. That is dharmic. That is dharma. So what is God? You have to understand. Then what does He say? You have to understand, then you can execute actually what is religion. If you do not know what is government, what is the laws of the government, how you can become a good citizen? That is not possible. A good citizen, good citizen means who abide by the laws of the state. Similarly, a religious person means who abides by the order of God. This is dharma.

As a citizen, good citizen, you are expected. Similarly, we must know what is dharma, what is God. That is humanity.
Lecture -- London, August 23, 1973:

If you want to enter somebody's house, and if you see the signboard, "No admission without permission," you'll never go there, because you are civilized. But a cat and dog will enter. A child will enter. Therefore these laws of dharma or religious system is meant for the civilized human being, not for the uncivilized cats and dogs. No. Therefore when a civilized man, so-called civilized man, has no knowledge of God, no knowledge of the laws of God, it is simply animal society, that's all. Dharmeṇa hīna paśubhiḥ samānāḥ. They are animals. They are not to be considered as human being. This is dharma. This is religion. You cannot violate the laws of God. You cannot disobey the laws of God. You cannot say that "I do not know the laws of God." You must know. Just like a good citizen, you must know what is the law of the state. If you say in the court, "My lord, I did not know this law," that is not excuse. You'll not be excused. As a citizen, good citizen, you are expected. Similarly, we must know what is dharma, what is God. That is humanity.

Just like in the state we have got practical experience. We, if we abide by the laws of the state, then we are good citizen, peaceful citizen.
Lecture at the Hare Krsna Festival at La Salle Pleyel -- Paris, June 14, 1974:

Therefore in civilized human society, there is some system of religion. Either you call it Christianity, Muhammadanism, or Hinduism, in civilized society there must be some form of religion. And a human being is supposed to follow the principles to have complete knowledge about God and himself, to know "What is the relationship between God and me?" and what is the goal of life. So it doesn't matter whether you are Christian, Hindu, Muslim. The real purpose of life is to know God. And in the Vedic literature it is said, dharmaṁ tu sākṣāt bhagavat-praṇītam: Dharma, or religion, means the codes given by God. Just like in the state we have got practical experience. We, if we abide by the laws of the state, then we are good citizen, peaceful citizen.

Philosophy Discussions

Just like a citizen, he must abide by the order of the state. If he abides by the order of the state in an ordinary way, then he's a good citizen.
Philosophy Discussion on Johann Gottlieb Fichte:

Śyāmasundara: Any rate, he's more or less investigating just what is the nature of man without going into the goals.

Prabhupāda: That we have got. Nature of man, nature of living entity is that he's eternal servant. He is serving. Everyone is serving. Who is a living entity where in this world he can say that "I am not serving, I am absolute, I am nobody's servant"? Everyone is serving. Either he's serving māyā or Kṛṣṇa, that's all. When he is in knowledge, he is serving Kṛṣṇa and when he's foolish, ignorant, he's serving māyā. That's all. But he must serve. Just like a citizen, he must abide by the order of the state. If he abides by the order of the state in an ordinary way, then he's a good citizen. And if he (indistinct), then he will have to be forced to abide by the order of the state (indistinct). But in all cases he must abide by the order (indistinct).

Conversations and Morning Walks

1968 Conversations and Morning Walks

You are citizen of America, you have got a particular relationship with the state, and you are expected to work according to that relationship, and then you are good citizen, you are law-abiding citizen, and state gives your all protection, and you can improve to the highest perfectional stage.
Interview -- March 9, 1968, San Francisco:

Prabhupāda: The basis of this teaching is Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. I have already published my book, this Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. This book is not new. It is very old book, at least five thousand years old, and it is very widely read all over the world. In your country I have seen there are about more than twenty-five different editions, English. Similarly, there is in German language, in England, in Japan. Everywhere, all over the country this book is very widely known, Bhagavad-gītā. In other words, this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The speaker of this book is Lord Kṛṣṇa, and the subject matter of this book is what is our relationship with God. Then, after understanding what is our relationship with God, we can work accordingly. Just like you are citizen of America, you have got a particular relationship with the state, and you are expected to work according to that relationship, and then you are good citizen, you are law-abiding citizen, and state gives your all protection, and you can improve to the highest perfectional stage. Similarly, if we know our relationship with God, whom we call Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive, and that is the perfect name of God. Unless God is all-attractive, he cannot be God.

1969 Conversations and Morning Walks

Just now we tried to explain that the state functions protecting the good citizens and punishing the criminals. That should be the state business.
Room Conversation -- April 11, 1969, New York:

Prabhupāda: We shall discuss Vedānta here also. Vedānta... In Rāmānuja-bhāṣya there is... Perhaps you know, in your country. There is Rāmānuja-bhāṣya Vedānta. Madhvācārya, he has also written Vedānta-bhāṣya. Not only Śaṅkarācārya. But because the Vaiṣṇavas, they know bhāṣyam brahma-sūtrāṇām **. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the actual explanation of Vedānta. So therefore they take more interest in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam because that is the actual explanation of Vedānta. Just like in the Vedānta-sūtra, the, what is Brahman, Absolute Truth. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. The inquiry is, "What is Brahman, Absolute Truth?" The Vedānta-sūtra answers... The Vedānta-sūtra is made like that, questions and answers like that. So answer is janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). "The Absolute Truth is that from whom everything is emanating." He is the ultimate fountainhead of everything. Just now we tried to explain that the state functions protecting the good citizens and punishing the criminals. That should be the state business.

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Just like good citizen means one who satisfies the government. Law-abiding. Good citizen. Similarly, good karma means who satisfies Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord.
Talk with Bob Cohen -- February 27-29, 1972, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: So good karma means performance of the yajñas as they are prescribed in the Vedic literature. And this purpose of this yajña is to satisfy the Supreme Lord. Just like good citizen means one who satisfies the government. Law-abiding. Good citizen. Similarly, good karma means who satisfies Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord. Unfortunately, the modern civilization, they do not know what is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and what to speak of satisfying Him. They do not know. They are simply busy in material activities. Therefore, all of them are doing only bad karma, and therefore they are suffering. They are blind men and leading some other blind men. And both of them are expanding the path to hell by bad karma. Bad karma, you suffer. That is very easy to understand. If you do something criminal, you'll suffer. If you do something benevolent for the state, for the people, then you are rewarded, you are recognized, you are given title. Sometimes shot. This is good and bad karma. So... (microphone noise) ...some material happiness, and bad karma means you suffer from material distress. By good karma you get birth in good family, janma. You get riches, good money. Then you become learned scholar, you become beautiful also.

If you allow people to indulge in sinful life, how you can expect good citizen? That is not possible. Their character must reform. So we have taken from the root.
Interview -- July 5, 1972, New York:

Guest (2): What can you cure? What can you make better?

Prabhupāda: This is the cure: I am making good character. Don't you see their face? Some of them were hippies, frustrated, wretched condition. Now they are known as bright faces, serious character. They don't have any illicit sex. They don't eat meat. They don't have any intoxication. They don't engage in gambling. These are the four pillars of sinful life. If you allow people to indulge in sinful life, how you can expect good citizen? That is not possible. Their character must reform. So we have taken from the root. We are making men of character, knowledge, sincerity, God conscious. Don't you appreciate it?

Guest (2): Will they be able to function in a society as working individuals?

Prabhupāda: Yes. There is nothing prohibited. Simply you have to change your consciousness, that's all.

Just like good citizen means he knows what is the government and what is the law of government. He is following. Similarly, religious person means he must know what is God and what are the words of God.
Room Conversation and Interview with Ian Polsen -- July 31, 1972, London:

Prabhupāda: There is no religion. Strictly speaking, simply some dogmas, maybe some moral principles. That is another thing. But moral principles we have to transcend. We don't say that don't follow moral principles. But even they do not follow the moral principles. Then what is the..., where is the religion? Just like Christian religion, it is said that "Thou shalt not kill." But everyone is killing. So nobody's... Factually, religion means conception of God and the words of God, all over the world. Just like good citizen means he knows what is the government and what is the law of government. He is following. Similarly, religious person means he must know what is God and what are the words of God. So our principle is that we follow the words of God. God says, God says that "Always think of Me." So who can object to this, if he's seriously about religion? Why one should not think of God always? God says that "You think of Me." But if you have no idea of God, how you'll think of? We have God, Kṛṣṇa, here. We can think of His form. We are busy in His service. We are not only thinking; we are trying to become His devotee.

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

A good citizen means to surrender to the government law. Similarly, a religious person means who has surrendered to God.
Room Conversation -- February 26, 1973, Jakarta:

Prabhupāda: So in the Bhagavad-gītā, the religion is given that—(Aside:) you are feeling sleepy, you can go—the Bhagavad-gītā, it is said that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). That is religion. We have manufactured so many types of religion, and here God says that "You give up your manufactured religion. You just surrender unto Me." This is religion. Religion means to surrender. A good citizen means to surrender to the government law. Similarly, a religious person means who has surrendered to God. Nowadays it has become a regrettable fashion that everyone is God, when we surrender to one. And this false prestige that "I am God. I haven't got to surrender to anyone. I am God. What surrender?" This atheism is going on and spoiling the whole human society. God has become so cheap. Any nonsense can claim, "I am God." That is the defect of the modern society. There is a great necessity to understand God. If everyone is God then where is the necessity of religion? If everyone is president then where is the necessity of lawmaking? So this is going on. This is very unfortunate situation.

Good citizenship means living under the direction of the government. That is good citizenship. Similarly, human life means to live nicely under the direction of God.
Room Conversation -- February 26, 1973, Jakarta:

Guest (2): Something that we should live truly.

Prabhupāda: True living. Yes. True, just like good citizens...

Guest (2): That's right.

Prabhupāda: Good citizenship means living under the direction of the government. That is good citizenship. Similarly, human life means to live nicely under the direction of God. The cats and dogs, they cannot understand. But the human life, (pause) That first verse: imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam, vivasvān manave prāha manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt (BG 4.1).

Just like state is one, government is one, and to become good citizen means to abide by the laws of the government. That's all.
Room Conversation with British Man -- August 31, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: So the principle of killing is forbidden every religion, every religion. So the principle of religion is one. Take for example, in every religion there is acceptance of God and religion means to abide by the order of God. So how there can be two religions? There cannot be two religions. "I believe like that, we believe like that." These are man-made. But actual religion is that God is one and religion means the orders, the law given by God. That's all. Simple definition. Just like state is one, government is one, and to become good citizen means to abide by the laws of the government. That's all. Those, one who is abiding by the laws of God, he is perfect religionist. It doesn't matter whether he's a Hindu, he's a Muslim or a Christian. Whether he has got proper sense what is meant by God and what is the order of God. Then he is religionist, perfect religionist.

Other men, he's very honestly living as a good citizen, as a good family member and good brāhmaṇa, good kṣatriya. He's sticking to his own principle of life, but he's not a Kṛṣṇa conscious devotee. Then what is his gain? He'll simply take the fruits of his material activities and he'll have to accept another body according to that.
Room Conversation -- November 3, 1973, New Delhi:

Prabhupāda: Tyaktvā sva-dharmam. To live family life, peaceful life, obedient life to the fathers and mothers, this is called sva-dharma. So one gives up this sva-dharma, tyaktvā sva-dharmam, and takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness gone... Not many, a few. So Bhāgavata says, yatra kva vābhadram abhūd amuṣya kim: "What is the wrong there?" Even if he has fallen down, half-way, still there is no wrong. He has gained something. That much service which he has already given to Kṛṣṇa, that is recorded. That is recorded. That is to his credit: "So this living entity has given service." But other men, he's very honestly living as a good citizen, as a good family member and good brāhmaṇa, good kṣatriya... So ko vārtha āpto 'bhajatāṁ sva-dharmataḥ. He's sticking to his own principle of life, but he's not a Kṛṣṇa conscious devotee. Then what is his gain? He'll simply take the fruits of his material activities and he'll have to accept another body according to that. But here, as it is assured in Bhagavad-gītā that śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo 'bhijāyate (BG 6.41), this man, who took by sentiment Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but could not follow it to the end; by some way or other, he has fallen but he'll be given chance to take birth as a human being, guaranteed, in rich family, or in nice devotee family, yogi family or brāhmaṇa family. So he'll be given chance. But that man will take only the reaction of his activities. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa (SB 3.31.1). So if he has acted like cats and dogs, he'll get the cats and dogs. But here it is guaranteed, here it is guaranteed that he's going to get another human body and very nice family.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Just like good citizen means who abides by the law of the state. If he does not care for the laws, then what kind of good citizen he is? Similarly, if one does not surrender to the Supreme, then his religion has no meaning.
Room Conversation -- April 26, 1974, Tirupati:

Prabhupāda: That is religion. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Religion means the codes and the laws given by the Lord. That is religion. So if one does not surrender to the Lord, then what kind of religion it is? It is not religion. Just like good citizen means who abides by the law of the state. If he does not care for the laws, then what kind of good citizen he is? Similarly, if one does not surrender to the Supreme, then his religion has no meaning. It is simply cheating, that's all.

If you obey the state laws, then you are good citizen. But you are conditioned. How you think of freedom? That is your foolishness.
Morning Walk -- June 5, 1974, Geneva:

Prabhupāda: That is... Bad condition is good conditioning. Where is freedom? From bad conditioning you are suggesting good conditioning. That is not freedom. Just like you are in the prison house, you are badly conditioned, but the so-called freedom—you are still conditioned under the laws of the state. You are not free. But from bad conditioning to good conditioning. And if you obey the state laws, then you are good citizen. But you are conditioned. How you think of freedom? That is your foolishness. Just like a servant. He is in some mercantile firm. He is trying to seek out some government service. But he cannot be free.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Just like a good citizen means he knows the government and the government laws and he abides by it. Then he is good citizen. Otherwise he is criminal.
Room Conversation with three Trappist Monks, Psychologists from the University of Georgia, and Atlanta Lawyer, Michael Green -- March 1, 1975, Atlanta:

Prabhupāda: That is the Vedic description. The religious principles cannot be manufactured by anyone within this universe. It is the codes or laws given by God. That is religion. That means we have to know who is God, what is His desire, and we have to abide by that. That is religion. Just like a good citizen means he knows the government and the government laws and he abides by it. Then he is good citizen. Otherwise he is criminal. If he does not abide by the laws of the state, he is criminal. Similarly, if one does not abide by the orders or the codes or the laws of God, he is Satan or demon. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā (SB 5.18.12). Therefore anyone who is disobedient to God, he cannot have any good qualification. And yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate suraḥ. And one who is devotee, abiding by the orders of God, he has got all the good qualification of God's.

If you don't carry out the order of the government, then you are not a good citizen.
Morning Walk -- May 28, 1975, Honolulu:

Prabhupāda: There is no answer. The Lord says, "Thou shalt not kill." Why you are killing? Who is a Christian? If you don't obey the order of Christ, how you become a Christian? You cannot say that you are Christian if you disobey the order of Christ.

Guest (1): Yes, I know. You're right. You can't kill...

Prabhupāda: If you don't carry out the order of the government, then you are not a good citizen.

Guest (1): Now, you look like you're either English or...

Prabhupāda: We are neither English nor American. We are servant of God.

We know government and we accept the government's law and abide by it. That is good citizenship.
Garden Conversation with Professors -- June 24, 1975, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: And theology is science of God. So what is that science? You are trying to understand God, or you know God; you are going to abide by God's dictation. First of all, two things: you do not know God; you are trying to find out God. I think this is not theology; it is theosophy. Those who are trying to find out God by speculation, they are theosophist. And theologist means one who knows God and abides by his order. Just like we know government and we accept the government's law and abide by it. That is good citizenship. And those who have no government, they are trying to find out some good system of government, and that is another thing. So what is your position? You know God or you are trying to find out God? What is the theologician's position? That is my question.

The meaning of religion is to abide by the laws of God, just like a good citizen means who abides by the laws of the state, of the government.
Room Conversation with Lt. Mozee, Policeman -- July 5, 1975, Chicago:

Prabhupāda: No, no. That is the difficulty. We do not know the meaning of religion. At the present moment the human society does not know what is the meaning of religion. The meaning of religion is to abide by the laws of God, just like a good citizen means who abides by the laws of the state, of the government. Because we have no understanding of God, therefore we do not know what is the laws of God, and therefore we do not know what is religion. That is the present status of the human society. They are forgetting religion. They take religion as a kind of faith. Faith may be blind faith. Faith is not the real description of religion. Religion means the laws which is given by God, and anyone who follows the laws, he is religious. It doesn't matter whether he is a Christian or a Hindu or Muslim. If he follows the laws of God, then he is religious.

Who accepts that there is government is good citizen. And one who doesn't care for the government, does whimsically everything, he becomes criminal.
Morning Walk -- October 2, 1975, Mauritius:

Brahmānanda: What is the harm of being a cat or a dog?

Prabhupāda: That is later on. First of all you do not know; we know. That is the difference. If somebody knows there is government, he is better than the outlaws who don't, doesn't care for the government. He is better position, a good citizen. Who accepts that there is government is good citizen. And one who doesn't care for the government, does whimsically everything, he becomes criminal. And then he is punished. That is the difference.

Brahmānanda: So if we all became devotees there would be no punishment.

Prabhupāda: No. He'll be protected. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi (BG 18.66).

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Just like you, as a good citizen, you are as good as Indira Gandhi. You are Indian; you have got all the rights. But if you become criminal, you put into the prison.
Conversation with News Reporters -- March 25, 1976, Delhi:

Prabhupāda: Just like when you are diseased and the doctor gives you some vaccine and injection to cure you, to make you purified. Is it not?

Reporter (1): No, but could there be any clear-cut criterion, for example, to say that I have committed sin or I have not committed sin? What is sin?

Prabhupāda: Clear-cut criterion is that we living entity, being part and parcel, we are as good as God. But when we are under the control of the material nature, that is our diseased condition. Same example. Just like you, as a good citizen, you are as good as Indira Gandhi. You are Indian; you have got all the rights. But if you become criminal, you put into the prison. So we are in the.... Conditioned state means no freedom. It is not clear?

Reporter (1): No, sir, I just wanted you to tell me some yardstick from which one could...

Prabhupāda: But because you are suffering, that is the sign of impurity.

One who obeys this law, he's good citizen. One who disobeys, he's rascal.
Morning Walk -- May 3, 1976, Fiji:

Prabhupāda: They're envious. Sinful means that is the cause of their becoming envious. (break) ...law. Religion means the order of God. Simple definition. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Just like law, we keep to the right or left, order of the government. One who obeys this law, he's good citizen. One who disobeys, he's rascal. Similarly, dharma means the order of God. So one who obeys the order of God, he is really religious. One who does not, he's rogue, duṣkṛtina. This is simple. (break).... Christian. Now, what is the order of God? The Ten Commandments. If one abides by the Ten Commandments, he's really Christian. Take Buddhism; if he abides by the order of Lord Buddha, then he's right.

Good citizen means who abides by the laws of the state. And as soon as you break it, immediately you are irresponsible and you must be punished.
Morning Walk -- June 9, 1976, Los Angeles:

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Well, their whole plan is to avoid responsibility.

Prabhupāda: That is sinful. As soon as you irresponsible, you are sinful. (break) ...soon as you forget the simple truth that you are servant of God, you are irresponsible. Now your suffering begins. (break) ...kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā kare, nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare (Prema-vivarta). Just like as citizen of your state, you have to abide by the laws of the state. As soon as you disobey, you are irresponsible. That's all. You suffer. Good citizen means who abides by the laws of the state. And as soon as you break it, immediately you are irresponsible and you must be punished.

If you do not take education, if you remain fools and rascals, then you will suffer and create disturbance for others also. Therefore everyone must be educated, good citizens. It is good for him, good for others.
Garden Conversation -- June 23, 1976, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: Just like our Vivekananda, he prescribed, daridra-nārāyaṇa-sevā. The same thing—hospital. We kill all animals, and the hospital patient is given the meat for improvement of the health. But he does not know that this is not curing; he is become implicated in his karma. He has to be killed again, and eaten by the other animals. That he does not know. They do not accept karma-phala. Eh? The result of fruitive activities, (indistinct). But you will have to accept. There is no excuse. If you contaminate some disease, you must suffer from that disease. There is no excuse. So kriya(?) karma, you have to enjoy or suffer the result of karma. Karma-bandhana. But when you act for Kṛṣṇa, then you are mukta. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra loko yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ (BG 3.9). Karma must be there. If you work for Kṛṣṇa, then it is all right, and if you act for your sense gratification, then there is bondage. If you do not take education, if you remain fools and rascals, then you will suffer and create disturbance for others also. Therefore everyone must be educated, good citizens. It is good for him, good for others.

Religion means to understand the supreme controller and obey. That's all. Just like good citizen means he understands the government and obeys the laws of government. That's all. Good citizens.
Radio Interview -- July 27, 1976, London:

Prabhupāda: Religion means to understand the supreme controller and obey. That's all. Just like good citizen means he understands the government and obeys the laws of government. That's all. Good citizens. What is the difference between bad citizen and good citizen? The bad citizen means he doesn't care for the government—"Ah, I don't care for"—that is bad citizen. That is irreligious. If you are bad citizen, then you are irreligious. If you are good citizen, then you are religious.

Just like citizens and the government. Good citizenship means one who lives under the control of the government. Similarly, a good person is one who is God conscious and lives according to the instruction of God.
Room Conversation -- July 31, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm):

Prabhupāda: On the level of Bhagavad-gītā. God is the supreme controller. And we have to learn how to remain peacefully under the supreme controller. Just like citizens and the government. Good citizenship means one who lives under the control of the government. Similarly, a good person is one who is God conscious and lives according to the instruction of God. So there is instruction of God, we are presenting this all over the world.

Good citizenship means one who knows the laws of the state, that is good citizen. If one does not know the laws of the state, he's a fool. He's not a good citizen.
Room Conversation -- August 10, 1976, Tehran:

Prabhupāda: The government's duty is to see that nobody's encroaching on others. Similarly, God's duty is that. That everyone is God's son, you don't encroach upon other son's right, then you'll be punished. You have got right to live and the lamb has got right to live. Why should you encroach upon his living right? Because you are strong. That is not humanity. The animal is therefore benefit. Let him live and you take the fur. You can use it for your coat, but why should you kill it? The cow is giving milk like mother, why should you kill it? This is humanity, to kill the mother? So in this way we are encroaching the rights of others, and we are becoming subject to be punished by God. This is going on. You may say there is no God, but God is there, you'll be punished. The outlaw they will say, "We don't care for government." You may say so, but government will take action. You cannot avoid it. This is humanity. Good citizenship means one who knows the laws of the state, that is good citizen. If one does not know the laws of the state, he's a fool. He's not a good citizen. One who knows the law, he keeps right and left, he knows this is the order of the government, cars should be driven on the right side or left side. He is good citizen. One who does not know the law of the state, he's not a good citizen. He's a fool, rascal. What to speak of humanity.

If the citizen understands what is the law of the government and abides by it, then he's a good citizen. Similarly, any person who understands God and abides by the order of God, then he is religious.
Room Conversation with Dr. Theodore Kneupper -- November 6, 1976, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: Religion means to understand God and to follow God's order. That is religion. Just like government and government law. So if the citizen understands what is the law of the government and abides by it, then he's a good citizen. Similarly, any person who understands God and abides by the order of God, then he is religious. Why do you stand? You may be Christian; I may be Hindu; he may be Mohammedan. It doesn't matter. Everyone should understand God and the relationship with God and act accordingly. Then it is perfect religion. And if there is no conception of God, no carrying out order of the God, that is not religion. That is cheating.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Good citizen means faithful to the government. Unfortunately these rascals, they do not have any idea, the supreme controller, supreme government. They say anything automatically.
Morning Walk -- January 2, 1977, Bombay:

Dr. Patel: One ācārya has said, dharmāgnira sadācāra śruti smṛti (?)(indistinct). What is mentioned in the śruti and smṛti, that is dharma. Sadācāra.

Prabhupāda: Basic principle is that it is made by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now there are books, how to carry out the order. And the ultimate understanding, how to become faithful to the (indistinct). Just like good citizen means faithful to the government. Unfortunately these rascals, they do not have any idea, the supreme controller, supreme government. They say anything automatically.

Dr. Patel: Vaiṣṇava is a good citizen of the government of God. That is Vaiṣṇava.

Correspondence

1969 Correspondence

It is just like a king may give some rules and regulations for some criminals in prison; but for the good citizens out of the prison these rules are not necessarily applicable.
Letter to Hamsaduta -- Tittenhurst 2 November, 1969:

The real end is how to serve Krishna and sacrifice everything for Him. And to learn this transcendental art we have got so many volumes of books. So the summary is that instead of diverting our attention to read such unauthorized books, better pay our attention to more authorized Vaisnava literature. These scriptures of the Buddhists and the Christians may be the words of God, but still the are not always applicable to us. It is just like a king may give some rules and regulations for some criminals in prison; but for the good citizens out of the prison these rules are not necessarily applicable. So these Christian and Buddhist scriptures were delivered for a different class of men, and we needn't spend our time in studying their doctrines. You should read our own books over and over again and as far as possible do not try to enter into controversy. We do not concern ourselves with any other religion. Our religion is to become the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna (CC Madhya 13.80).

1971 Correspondence

It is the same example that the citizen of the state has to render service to the government in order to become a good citizen. If one does not abide by the government laws then he is put into prison walls and forced to serve the government more tediously.
Letter to Yamuna, Gurudasa -- Nairobi 17 October, 1971:

Actually our movement is so important that without taking to it, no other method, political, social, religious, or cultural, can give relief to the present chaotic status of the worldly situation. The leaders of the society must try to understand this point, that godlessness cannot give any relief to the human society. The whole world is so made that the living entity must serve Krishna; otherwise he has to serve maya. It is the same example that the citizen of the state has to render service to the government in order to become a good citizen. If one does not abide by the government laws then he is put into prison walls and forced to serve the government more tediously. So if we do not perform sacrifice, yajna, which means method of activities for pleasing the lord; as you know it is stated in Bhagavad-gita that any work not done for the satisfaction of the Lord must entangle the doer in the complication of the stringent laws of material nature.

... more about "Good citizen"
Visnu Murti +  and Serene +
July 9, 0010 JL +
September 8, 0010 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 5 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 41 +, Conv: 25 +  and Let: 2 +