Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)
- dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
- viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
- notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
- śrama eva hi kevalam
- (SB 1.2.8)
Translation: "Duties or dharma executed by men are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Supreme Lord."
Prabhupāda: So dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsām (SB 1.2.8). Dharma generally means occupational duty. We have several times explained. (In) the English dictionary, dharma is explained as faith. So faith may be changed. But actually, what is meant by dharma, that is constitutional position, activities in one's constitutional position. This has been explained by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya-kṛṣṇa-dāsa (Cc. Madhya 20.108-109). Real dharma, constitutional position of the living entity, is to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is real dharma. Kṛṣṇa also confirms in the Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). So mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, simply unto Kṛṣṇa, surrender, that is real dharma. Otherwise it is pseudo-religious principles, pretension, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavaḥ.
There are two kinds of dharma: kaitava, cheating religious system, and real religious system. That is the subject matter of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, to teach people the real religious system. In this chapter also, Sūta Gosvāmī has explained, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). You can execute your occupational duties or religious system very nicely, but if you do not develop your love for God, Kṛṣṇa, then it is simply useless labor. It has no meaning. The test is how much you have developed your dormant consciousness for loving Kṛṣṇa. That is the test. Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra syāt (SB 11.2.42). If actually one is making progress in devotional service, he must be detestful to any other system. They are not interested. Actual interest is Kṛṣṇa, Viṣṇu. That is our actual interest. Especially when one comes to the form of a human being, his special interest should be how to approach Viṣṇu. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). Svārtha-gatim, self-interest. Everyone is inclined for his self-interest, but they do not know what is real self-interest. Somebody is thinking, "To satisfy the senses, body, that is self-interest." Somebody is thinking, "To satisfy the mind, whims of the mind, that is self-interest." Somebody is thinking, "Liberation of the self, mokṣa, mokṣa-vāñchā..." That is also not self-interest. But when one thinks in terms of serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that is real self-interest.
So na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). People do not know. (break)... svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum. Real self-interest is to become Vaiṣṇava, servitor of Viṣṇu. Viṣṇur asya devatā iti vaiṣṇava. That is real self-interest. Why people do not become Vaiṣṇava? Generally they worship various demigods-devotee of Lord Śiva, devotee of Goddess Kali, Durgā, so many. But they have been condemned by Bhagavad-gītā, spoken by Kṛṣṇa Himself: kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānā yajante anya-devatāḥ. Hṛta-jñānāḥ. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura gives his comment: hṛta-jñānāḥ naṣṭa-buddhayaḥ, "One who has lost his intelligence, they are inclined to worship other demigods." Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ (BG 7.20). Because they do not know what is his self-interest. He thinks that his self-interest is to give comfort to this body, the senses, sense-gratification. That is his misguided self-interest. Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ (SB 7.5.31). Bahir-artha-māninaḥ. Bahir-artha means external energy. This body, gross body and the subtle body, they are made of the external energy. Bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca (BG 7.4).
So people, having no information of the spirit soul, they are interested in body and mind, and they have created some concocted religious system for benefit of the body and mind. So the varṇāśrama-dharma, beginning... Dharma begins from the varṇāśrama-dharma, which is now going on in the name of Hindu religion. Actually there is no such word "Hindu" in the Vedic literature. It is a concocted word given by the Muhammadans. Real Vedic system of religion is varṇa and āśrama. Four varṇas: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra; and four āśramas: brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, and sannyāsa. So one has to execute... The brāhmaṇa must execute his system of life, satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjava, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). A brāhmaṇa must execute all these principles of life. Similarly, kṣatriya, he should be very brave, not to go away from fighting. He must have a ruling capacity. He must be charitable. In this way, kṣatriya must execute his system of life. Similarly vaiśya, he must also execute his system of life: kṛṣi-gorakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam (Bg 18.44). Agriculture, cow protection. Nowadays, either brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya or vaiśya, practically everything is lost. Nobody is executing his occupational duties. Simply śūdra, without any knowledge, without any enlightenment. Try to get some money and fill up your belly and go on sleeping, that's all. This is śūdra-karma-svabhāva-jam. Paricaryātmakaṁ karma. Therefore śāstra says kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. In this age practically 99.9% population are śūdras, because they have given up, they have forgotten everything, what is the duty of brāhmaṇa, what is the duty of a kṣatriya, what is the duty of a vaiśya. Maybe some vaiśyas are there and śūdras are there.
So even one executes his sva-dharma very nicely, but if he does not develop his Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). This is also simply spoiling the life. On the other hand, Nārada Muni gives his opinion, tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujaṁ hareḥ (SB 1.5.17), "If one gives up his occupational duty and takes shelter of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa," caraṇāmbujaṁ hareḥ, "so even he is not mature and falls down from the devotional service on account of so many reasons, still, he is not loser, whereas a person who is executing his occupational duties very nicely, but he has no Kṛṣṇa consciousness, no idea of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he doesn't get anything. He's loser." Ko vārtha āpto 'bhajatāṁ sva-dharmataḥ. Sva-dharmataḥ, keeping in his own position as a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra, if he is executing his duties very nicely, but has not developed Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then it is to be understood that he has lost everything. This is the verdict of śāstra.
So dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ, notpādayed yadi ratim (SB 1.2.8). This hearing process is very, very important. But people are not interested in hearing. They are simply busy in some other duties. My Guru Mahārāja used to say... One who was not interested in hearing, he used to call him a daṇḍavat-class. Daṇḍavat-class of men. That means simply he knows how to make daṇḍavats, that's all. (laughter) Anyone who will come to him, he would see whether he is a daṇḍavat-class of man or hearing class of man. So daṇḍavat is nice, but by offering daṇḍavat, if one does not develop the intent of hearing, śravaṇam, then he is not making very much progress. As you know, because I was little interested in hearing, my Guru Mahārāja, he accepted me as his disciple. He marked this. "This boy is interested in hearing. He does not go away." Actually, I do not know. I could not understand what he was speaking in the beginning, but still I was very much interested to hear him, out of curiosity or something like that.
So hearing is very important thing. Notpādayed yadi ratim, viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ. Kathā. Hari-kathā. This is accepted by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When He was talking with Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya on various subject matters, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya began from the varṇāśrama-dharma, sādhya-sādhana. "What is the aim of human life? How a human being executes his religious principles?" Sādhya-sādhana. So Rāmānanda Rāya began from the varṇāśrama-dharma. Actually, unless the human society comes to the category of varṇāśrama-dharma, he is not a human being; he is animal. Still, in India, because they are still inclined to the system of varṇa and āśrama, there are so many benefit for the Indians. I have traveled all over the world so many times. Because there is no varṇāśrama-dharma, how loose they are. That has been experimented. I have seen. So actually, unless one comes to the standard of varṇāśrama-dharma, he is not considered to be a human being. Therefore the Vedic civilization begins from the varṇāśrama-dharma. And in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa it is said, varṇāśramācāravatā puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān, viṣṇur ārādhyate (CC Madhya 8.58). Because the ultimate goal is to approach Lord Viṣṇu, viṣṇur ārādhyate panthā nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam.
So this varṇāśrama-dharma was proposed by Rāmānanda Rāya, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, eho bāhya āge kaha āra: "This is not feasible. Better if you know something better than this, you propose." Because Caitanya Mahāprabhu knew that in the Kali-yuga, practically the varṇāśrama-dharma will never be observed, or it will be very difficult to observe. So people by simply observing the varṇāśrama-dharma will not be able to make very much progress in devotional service. Stereotype. In this way, gradually, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya presented so many proposals. Varṇāśrama-tyāga, jñāna, jñāna-miśra-bhakti, so many ways, and Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu rejected all of them. Eho bāhya āge kaha āra. But when Rāmānanda Rāya read one version which was spoken by Lord Brahmā,
- jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
- jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
- sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
- ye prāyaśo 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyām
This verse, when Rāmānanda quoted from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, immediately Caitanya Mahāprabhu accepted, and He said, eho haya, "This is nice. This is nice." What is that? That sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ. "You remain in your position." It doesn't matter what you are. You may be Indian, you may be American, you may be European, you may be a brāhmaṇa, you may be śūdra, you may be engineer, you may be doctor, you may be fool, you may be rascal. Whatever it may be, it doesn't matter. Sthāne sthitāḥ. Don't be disturbed. Don't try to change your position. But jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. Don't try to speculate, "God is like this, God is like that." Speculator, mental speculator. Give up this habit. Just become humble, namra. Jñāne prayāsaṁ namanta. Namanta means namra. Namra, offering obeisances. Just like we offer daṇḍavats. So similarly, namanta, to surrender. In a surrendering spirit, in a humble spirit, try to hear about the Supreme from the realized souls. This is the process. San-mukharitām. Not professional. One who has actually realized, from him, if you hear, meek and humble, without speculating mentally, then by this process only, one can realize the Supreme Lord very easily. Supreme Lord is called Ajita; nobody can conquer Him. But if one adopts this process, hearing from the realized soul in an attitude of humbleness, then he can conquer the ajita. He can understand. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately accepted this process, eho haya, āge kaha āra. Eho haya "This is nice."
Therefore our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to give chance to the people in general hearing about Kṛṣṇa, that's all. Either hearing Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra or hearing Bhagavad-gītā or hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, anything you like, hear about Kṛṣṇa. Try to hear about Kṛṣṇa in meek and humble attitude. Then gradually, everything will be revealed. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). By simply speculation you cannot understand what is Kṛṣṇa, what is His name, what is His form, what is His quality, what is His pastimes. We cannot. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ. By these blunt senses we cannot understand what is Kṛṣṇa. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. But if you engage yourself in His transcendental loving service, beginning with the tongue, sevonmukhe hi jihvādau... So hearing by the ear and chanting by the tongue is the supreme method recommended by all authorities.