That religion is best which helps someone, the religionist, to develop love of God, Godhead. If you put to test all kinds of religion in this formula of Srimad-Bhagavatam, you'll understand which religion is best. You haven't got to ask anybody

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Expressions researched:
"That religion is best which helps someone, the religionist, to develop love of God, Godhead. If you put to test all kinds of religion in this formula of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, you'll understand which religion is best. You haven't got to ask anybody. Simply by testing how much one has developed love of Godhead. How much one has learned to love Kṛṣṇa or God"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1969 Conversations and Morning Walks

That religion is best which helps someone, the religionist, to develop love of God, Godhead. If you put to test all kinds of religion in this formula of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, you'll understand which religion is best. You haven't got to ask anybody. Simply by testing how much one has developed love of Godhead. How much one has learned to love Kṛṣṇa or God. If, following any type of religion, if you get this result, then you have performed your religious principle very nicely. This is the answer.

Naraṁ caiva narottamam devīṁ sarasvatīṁ. Sarasvatī, the goddess of learning. And Vyāsam, and then Vyāsadeva, who is the master of Vedic literature. One after another. This is... Vyāsaṁ tato jayaṁ udīrayet. Then he is... He was questioned by the audience that what is the most important religion in this age? That was their question. There are many types of religious principles. So what is the best one for this age? So he is replying that question. Munayaḥ sādhu pṛṣṭo 'haṁ bhavadbhir loka-maṇgalam SB 1.2.5 . "You have put very nice question, because you have put the question that 'What is the best religion for the people of this age?' " Yat-kṛtaḥ kṛṣṇa-sampraśno yenātmā suprasīdati. "And you have, you are very much anxious to understand the activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa. It is very nice. By this discussion everyone will become actually peaceful and satisfied." So the answer, "What is the best religious principle?" He is answering. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje SB 1.2.5 . "My dear brāhmaṇas..." in that meeting all the audience were great learned sages and brāhmaṇas. So he is addressing them. That is the best form of religion which performing one becomes elevated to devotional service of the Lord. Not religious formalities. One has to test by the result. Phalena paricīyate. You are Christian, I am Hindu, or he is Mohammedan. That's all right. You are very good, I am very good, he is very good. But what is the result of your following religion? Have you attained love of God? Simply I go the church, I go to temple, and I do all kinds of nonsense, I have no love for God, I have love for my māyā and I go simply..., that is useless. Religious principle means... It doesn't matter whether you are Hindu or Christian or Muslim or anything. It doesn't matter. Just see Bhāgavata. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo SB 1.2.5 . That sort of religion is nice, best, by which you can develop love of Godhead. It doesn't mention that "This religion is best, that religion is best." That religion is best which helps someone, the religionist, to develop love of God, Godhead. If you put to test all kinds of religion in this formula of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, you'll understand which religion is best. You haven't got to ask anybody. Simply by testing how much one has developed love of Godhead. How much one has learned to love Kṛṣṇa or God. If, following any type of religion, if you get this result, then you have performed your religious principle very nicely. This is the answer. And what kind of love? Ahaitukī, without any cause. "Oh, I love God because I want something from Him." Generally, as they love God, distress, they want something. "My dear Lord, I am very unhappy. Please help me." That is also good. That is not bad. That is accepted in Bhagavad-gītā. But that is not pure love. Pure love means there is no reason. "Why I am loving Kṛṣṇa? Oh, there is no reason. I love Kṛṣṇa. I want Kṛṣṇa." This is love. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu says... You have got this translation in my first book, that, that Advaita has quoted that śloka in his sermon.(?) "Whatever you do, You are my Lord. I don't mind whether You put me into distress or You put me into happiness. Or if You don't help me in realizing You. It doesn't matter. Still, I love You. Whether I am going to hell or heaven, it doesn't matter. But I love You." Just like Cowper said, "England, with all thy fault, I love you." This is love. This is material, crude. Ahaitukī apratihatā. Apratihatā means that business, "I love Kṛṣṇa," cannot be stopped. "I could not love Kṛṣṇa because I was busy in doing this thing or that thing, or because..." So many reason we can put forward. No. Love of Kṛṣṇa cannot be stopped by any material reason. That is love. Nobody can say that "For this reason I could not love Kṛṣṇa." There is no reason. There is no impediment for anyone. Any circumstances. So any religious principle which helps a person to love Kṛṣṇa and God, in that way, without any reason, without any impediment... Just like flow of the river. There is no impediment in this world which can stop the flow of the river. Or the waves of the Pacific Ocean. There is no power in the material world which can stop the waves going on, going on, going on. You see? Similarly, that is the best type of religion. Now just see how Bhāgavata is liberal in the description of religion. Religion... You are religious, you are very pious man—how it will be tested? How much you have developed love of God. That's all. Without any reason, without any impediment. This is test of best religion. Vāsudeve... (aside:) Guru dāsa, you can hear? Yes.

vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānam ca yad ahaitukam
SB 1.2.7

Now, what is the purpose of religion? Why human society...? In human society, why there is some sort of religion? The animals, they have got no religion. Therefore if human society gives up the process of religion... Doesn't matter what religion he professes. It doesn't matter. If he doesn't care for religion, that society is no better than animals. That is animal society. Because animals, they have got no religion. So human society, if they have no religion... Must have some religion. It doesn't matter whether Christian or Buddhism or Hinduism or anything. A human being must follow. That is civilized. That is the behavior of civilized world. At the present moment they are neglecting. But in every country, either there may be temples or churches or mosque, people were very religious-minded before this age. I was very much satisfied when I came to New York... no, not only New York. First of all, I went to Pittsburgh, Butler. In that Butler County there were at least one dozen churches, very nice churches. That's a small county. So I was very much satisfied. "Oh, the American people are very religious. They have got these churches." And I saw on Sunday people were attending churches. And in New York also I saw. They may understand or not understand, but that religious spirit is there. You are responding to my appeal because you have got that spirit. Otherwise, why should you come and waste your time with me? So religious principle must be there in the human society. And what is the purpose? Why? The religious principle means that this material life is not happy. And we are searching after happiness. So real happiness is not in this world. You take any, I mean to say, messiaḥ. You take Lord Jesus Christ or Buddha or Lord Caitanya or Kṛṣṇa, or anyone you take. Nobody says that "You make adjustment here and live peacefully." No. Nobody says. You know that. So religious principle means to know that this is not the place to live happily. This is the principle aim of teaching religion. We are trying to live here, making things nicely adjusted, peace and prosperity. That will never be possible. This is foolishness. So religion means, religiously trained mind means he will know that "This is not the place for me. I should (with)draw my attachment for this place, and I must know what is my necessity. I am a spirit soul. I am not this body. Therefore bodily necessities are not all my demands. I must have spiritual necessities also. So all this means that I must give up my attachment for this body and I must develop my spiritual needs." That is the purpose of religion. So here it is stated that vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ SB 1.2.7 . All these religious principles can be achieved immediately if you place your love unto Kṛṣṇa. Vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ. Bhakti-yogaḥ means devotional... If you try to serve, in devotional service, Kṛṣṇa, then all these principles of religions will automatically come. You will know that "I am not this body, I am a spirit soul. I have... The material attachment is useless for me. My real business is spiritual advancement of life." Everything will be clear if you simply execute devotional service of Kṛṣṇa.