Dharma means it is translated into English as "religion." And religion means a kind of faith. But so far the Sanskrit word dharma is there, it does not mean a kind of faith. It is a fact. It is a fact. Faith, you can believe for some time and again you can reject. That is faith. But what is fact, that cannot be changed. Just like water, water is liquid. That is a fact. It is not a kind of faith, it is a fact. You cannot make water solid. As soon as you talk of water, you have got immediate knowledge that it is a liquid thing. Similarly, if you take stone, the quality of stone, it is hard, it is not liquid. If somebody says, "I have brought some liquid stone." Is it possible? No, what is this nonsense. So dharma means that quality which cannot be changed. As soon as you take water, it must be liquid. If... You can say that water sometimes becomes ice, very hard. But that is not the unnatural, uh, natural state. Ice is there, but it is trying to come to the natural state to become again liquid. Again liquid. Because liquidity is the natural stage of water. It cannot be changed. Similarly dharma means, the exact word, Sanskrit, those who are Sanskrit scholars here, they will understand. Dharma means you cannot change. That is not possible. In any circumstances, you cannot change.
So here it is said, kaumāram ācaret prājño dharmān. Dharmān bhāgavata. So dharma, which is generally translated into English, that is one for everyone. It is not that we are Hindus, somebody else Christians, somebody else Buddhists, "we have got different faith," "we have got different faith." What is depending on faith, that is not dharma, that is not religion. The quality which you cannot change, that is religion. Therefore, the definition of dharma is given in the Vedic literature: dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Dharma means the codes or the laws which is given by God. This is the simple definition of dharma. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Just like law. What is that law? Law means the codes or the order given by the state. That is law. You cannot manufacture law at home, that "I have manufactured something." So at the present moment the so-called religion is going on in the name that it is religion but it is manufactured by some concoction and it is being supported by persons that "You can manufacture your own religion." No, that you cannot. You cannot manufacture your own religion. Religion means the codes given by God. Just like law means the order given by the state. Just like the law is "keep to the right." That is given, the order is given by the state. You cannot say, that "Now I have made a law, keep to the left." That is not possible. Nobody will be pleased or nobody will accept that. So dharma you cannot change.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha (SB 7.6.1). "My dear friends, from the beginning of your kaumāra age, as soon as you are on the age of ten years,"... Of course, he was preaching when he was five years old. Actually, education begins, that is the Indian system, from five years. Up to five years, the children are not bothered with any kind of education. They play and become free. But as soon as he is five years old, he's sent to the school. And actual education begins from tenth year. So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "My dear friends, that, you try to be educated in religion, especially in the Bhāgavata religion." Bhāgavata religion means the Science of God, to understand what is God. So why it is so urgent? That is replied here. Durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma. This human form of life is very rarely obtained.
As I have explained, that, there are 8,400,000 species of life. But unfortunately, there is no proper education how the living entity, what is that living entity and how it is transmigrating from one body to another? Tathā dehāntara-prāptir. In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find, dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā tathā dehāntara-prāptir (BG 2.13). Kṛṣṇa says, the authoritative knowledge, that, as the soul, dehi, the proprietor of the body. We do not know whether I am this body or I am the proprietor of this body. That knowledge is also lacking. Big, big professors, they do not know. I was talking in Moscow, one big professor, Professor Kotofsky, he said: "Swamijī, after this body's finished, everything is finished." This is their knowledge. Blunt knowledge. No, it is not finished. We get from the Vedic literature, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). Nityo śāśvato yaṁ na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācit. The soul is eternal. Soul is eternal and soul does not take birth. The body, we get a new body, that is called birth. And when this body is annihilated, that is called death. So birth and death is in reference with the body, not with the soul.
I don't think in any university throughout the whole world there is such educational department where this science is handled. The soul. Whether I am this body or I'm not the body. I am not this body; that is the fact. The example is given. What is that? Dehino asmin dehe, in this body there is the proprietor, the soul. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). Within this body, there is proprietor. And he's changing bodies. Just like the same soul in a childhood body, in a boyhood body, in a youth-hood body. Then again in a body like me, an old body. So all the previous bodies, they are now finished. Although I know I am soul, I know that I possessed a childhood body, I possessed a boyhood body, I possessed a youthhood body, that those bodies are not existing. They are finished. But I am existing. I know. Therefore this is very simply formula Kṛṣṇa gives. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā (BG 2.13). This body is changing, but the soul is eternal. Nityo śāśvato yaṁ purāṇo. Although it is very, very old. Because soul is the part and parcel of God. As God is existing eternally, similarly, the soul is also existing eternally. This is a great science.
Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja is requesting, "My dear friends, you try to learn this science," dharmān bhāgavatān iha, "from this very childhood life." Because this human form of life, he says that, durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma. Mānuṣaṁ janma. This form of body... We have got by evolutionary process. It is a chance given by the nature to understand what is God. This is the main business of this body. Not that economic development. That is not the business of human body. Sense gratification. Sense gratification is there in the animals. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye (SB 5.5.1). The human form of life is not meant for to live like the dogs and the hogs. They are busy always for maintaining the body. They are busy. They have no other business. They cannot understand. If I bring some dog in this meeting and try to make him understand, "Please note that you are not this body." It is not possible for them to understand. But a human being, he may be educated like dogs and hog, but if he's given reasonably the, as Kṛṣṇa is giving that the soul is the proprietor of this body and he is as he's changing in this body He's a child-child means he has got a child's body. Baby means he has got a baby's body. Young man means he has a youth's body. So this body has been changed. Similarly when this body is useless, no more can be used, then he transmigrates to another body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir.
Now what kind of body he's going to get? Because I have already explained. There are 8,400,000 different forms of body. So the answer is he can get any of these forms. There is no guarantee that he will again get the American body or Englishmen body or Swiss body—not like that. That will depend on nature. That is not in your hand. As soon as you change your body, the next change will be offered by nature according to your desire. So in this life we are creating different types of desires. Therefore, we find different types of bodies. This is nature's work. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (BG 3.27). Don't think that you are independent. None of us are independent. We may think independently that "There is no God, there is no nature's work, we are everything." That crazy statements may be there, but there is good management, beyond our conception. As you see there is good management in the natures—exactly in due course of time the sun is rising, the moon is rising, the seasons are being changed, the water is there in the ocean, it is not transgressing the limit, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean. There is full control of the material nature. And behind this material nature, there is God. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni (BG 3.27). Prakṛti, nature is working, but nature is working under the direction of God. That we get information from this Vedic literature.