The whole subject matter of Vedas, are these three things, what is our relationship with God... First of all we must know what is God. Then we must know what is our relationship with God. And if we act according to that relationship, then our aim of life is fulfilled. Sambandha, abhidheya, prayojana. Sambandha means relationship, and abhidheya means the activities, and prayojana means the ultimate goal of life. So the ultimate goal of life is to understand Viṣṇu. Na te viduḥ.
Not nowadays. Even in... formerly there were persons, they did not know what is the goal of life. Because it is the material world. In the material world the sense gratification program is very prominent. But we do not know that by the program, karma, of sense gratification, we become entangled. Therefore that sense gratification process is regulated. In the Vedas that is regulated.
Just like our sense gratification program is loke vyavāya āmiṣa madya-sevāḥ. These are the very prominent program for sense gratification. What is that? Vyavāya. Vyavāya means sex life. Āmiṣa. Āmiṣa means eating fish and meat. Āmiṣa. And madya-sevā, intoxication. This is the general tendency of anyone who is in the material world. And in the Western world it is very prominent. In our country it was not prominent, but now the program is "Make it prominent. Eat more meat, drink wine, and work very hard." This is the program, going on. The leaders are recommending. So actual, there is tendency already. Āmiṣa madya-sevā, vyavāyāmiṣa-madya-sevā, and if we encourage them more, then they become entangled more and more. The Manu-saṁhitā says, pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ nivṛttis tu mahā-phalā. That is general tendency. But it has to be minimized, because in the spiritual position there is no such thing.
Even ordinary students who are trying to make progress in spiritual life, they are not interested, āmiṣa-madya-sevā. They are not interested. This is practical. Even these European and American boys, they were accustomed to vyavāyāmiṣa-madya-sevā, keeping boyfriend, girlfriend, and drinking, and intoxication, and gambling, and meat-eating, everything. They were accustomed from the childhood. But they have given up. Pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ nivṛttis tu mahā-phalā. That is general tendency. The Vedic civilization tries to control.
You have got tendency for sex life—make it regulated by marriage ceremony. This is Vedic civilization, not that like cats and dogs you meet together and have sex life. No. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā. Dharmāviruddhaḥ kāmaḥ, which is not against religious principles, that kind of sex life, Kṛṣṇa says, "I am that sex life." So nothing is denied. Nothing is denied, but everything should be regulated. That is human form of life. And that regulative principle begins from the varṇāśrama-dharma, four kinds of varṇas and four kinds of āśramas. Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. These are varṇas. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam (BG 4.13). This is.... This program is chalked out by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You cannot neglect it. Then the karmas will topsy-turvy.
Therefore here it is said, karmaṇy akarma yaḥ paśyet. If we regulate this system—brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra—then although they are engaged as a śūdra or as a brāhmaṇa or as a kṣatriya or as a vaiśya, still, they are not becoming entangled in such karma. That is called akarmaṇi ca karma. Karmaṇi. Karmaṇi means there must be result, but you have to make it akarma, no result, no result. And that is bhakti-yoga. This is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā.
- yas tv indra-gopam athavendram aho sva-karma-
- bandhānurūpa-phala-bhājanam ātanoti
- karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājāṁ
- govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
- (Bs. 5.54)
The very vivid example is Arjuna. Arjuna acted as a kṣatriya, but he was not entangled in the result of activities by a kṣatriya, because he was doing everything under the instruction of Kṛṣṇa. This is called akarma. If you act... The same thing. You may be a brāhmaṇa, you may be a kṣatriya, you may be a śūdra. It doesn't matter. If you act according to the order of Kṛṣṇa, by the order of Kṛṣṇa, then your karma will not entangle you. Because or you are doing according to the order of Kṛṣṇa, therefore you are performing yajña. By your occupational duties, you are performing yajña. Because yajña means to satisfy the Supreme Lord. Varṇāśrama... This varṇāśrama program is there to satisfy the Supreme according to one's quality and karma. That is called varṇāśrama.