Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Question number three. It is said that the greatest strength of Hinduism is its catholicity, or breadth of outlook, broadness of vision, but that this is also the greatest weakness in that there is very little common prescribed religious observances which are obligatory for all as in other religions. Is it necessary and possible to outline certain basic minimum observances for all Hindus.
Prabhupāda: So far Vedic religion is concerned, it is not for the Hindus. That is to be understood. The sanātana-dharma. It is for all living entities, all human beings. It is called sanātana-dharma. That I have already explained. The living entity is sanātana, God is sanātana, and there is sanātana-dharma. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). And where Kṛṣṇa is described sanātana in the Eleventh Chapter. Do you remember? He is described as sanātana. Sanātanam. So actually, the Vedic system is called sanātana-dharma. Not Hindu dharma. This is a wrong conception. The sanātana-dharma is meant for all living entities, not the so-called Hindus, Muslims, Christians. For everyone. That is sanātana-dharma. These are later misconceptions, Hinduism and this ism, that ism, that ism. Actually, it is called sanātana-dharma, or varṇāśrama-dharma. That is meant for everyone. But because it was being followed regularly in India and Indians were called by the Muslims on the other side of the River Sind, or Sindu, and they pronounce Sind as Hind. Therefore they called India as Hindustan, means on the other side of Sindu, or Hindu River. Otherwise, it has no Vedic reference. So this Hindu dharma has no Vedic reference. The real Vedic dharma is sanātana-dharma, varṇāśrama-dharma. First of all he has to understand this. Now that sanātana-dharma, or Vedic dharma, being distorted, not being obeyed, not being carried properly, it has come to the understanding of Hinduism. That is a freak understanding. That is not real understanding. We have to study sanātana-dharma or varṇāśrama-dharma. Then we'll understand what is Vedic religion.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So is there anything obligatory or prescribed for all people who follow this religion, that a minimum observance that they must do?
Prabhupāda: Yes, sanātana... The sanātana... Every living entity is eternal, sanātana. God is eternal, and we can live with God in a place which is called sanātana-dhāma. So this reciprocation is called sanātana-dharma. So Vedic religion means this sanātana-dharma, not Hindu dharma, or Muslim dharma, or this dharma. Read it.
- tvam akṣaraṁ paramaṁ veditavyaṁ
- tvam asya viśvasya paraṁ nidhānam
- tvam avyayaḥ śāśvata-dharma-goptā
- sanātanas tvaṁ puruṣo mato me
Rādhāvallabha: Your are the supreme primal objective. You are the best in all the universes. You are inexhaustible and You are the oldest. You are the maintainer of religion, the eternal Personality of Godhead.
Prabhupāda: This is wanted. Kṛṣṇa is eternal, we are eternal, and the place we live, exchanging our feelings, that is eternal. And the system which teaches this eternal system of reciprocation, that is called sanātana-dharma. That is meant for everyone.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So what daily prescribed religious observances would one who is aspiring for this sanātana-dharma, what would they do? What kind of daily prescribed religious observance? Because the complaint is that within this Hinduism, or let's say sanātana-dharma, there is such a breadth, there is so much variegatedness in different types...
Prabhupāda: So why do you go to variegatedness? Why don't you take the real purpose of religion from Kṛṣṇa? Kṛṣṇa says, "This is real dharma," sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ... (BG 18.66)." Why don't you take that? Why are you going to variegated things or varieties under the name of so-called Hinduism? Why do you go there? Why don't you take the advice of the sanātana, Kṛṣṇa? You don't take what is sanātana-dharma, what sanātana God says, and you say, "How we can come to the right point, avoiding so many varieties?" Why you go to the varieties? Take to this one consciousness, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ. Why don't you do that?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: How can people practically do this on a daily basis?