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The challenge was that "If you are servants of Dharmaraja, then explain what is dharma." It doesn't matter whether a man is civilized or uncivilized or good-looking or bad-looking, but if he has got proper guide, then he can speak the right thing

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Expressions researched:
"the challenge was that" |"If you are servants of Dharmaraja, then explain what is dharma" |"It doesn't matter whether a man is civilized or uncivilized or good-looking or bad-looking, but if he has got proper guide, then he can speak the right thing"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

The Yamadūtas were not very advanced so far their position was there. They were very odd-looking and not to be supposed very civilized—uneducated—but how they are explaining about dharma? Because the challenge was that "If you are servants of Dharmarāja, then explain what is dharma." It doesn't matter whether a man is civilized or uncivilized or good-looking or bad-looking, but if he has got proper guide, then he can speak the right thing.


Pradyumna: "The Yamadūtas replied: That which is prescribed in the Vedas constitutes dharma, the religious principles, and the opposite of that is irreligion. The Vedas are directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, and are self-born. This we have heard from Yamarāja."

Prabhupāda:

śrī-yamadūtā ūcuḥ
veda-praṇihito dharmo
hy adharmas tad-viparayaḥ
vedo nārāyaṇaḥ sākṣāt
svayambhūr iti śuśruma

So here is explanation by the Yamadūtas. The Yamadūtas were not very advanced so far their position was there. They were very odd-looking and not to be supposed very civilized—uneducated—but how they are explaining about dharma? Because the challenge was that "If you are servants of Dharmarāja, then explain what is dharma." It doesn't matter whether a man is civilized or uncivilized or good-looking or bad-looking, but if he has got proper guide, then he can speak the right thing. This is the . . . Yamarāja ūcuḥ. They're not manufacturing anything. They're saying iti śuśruma. Iti śuśruma, "We have heard it from our master." This is knowledge. They are not expected to manufacture something speculative. They are neither educated nor very civilized nor . . . Nothing of the sort. But they are talking of the source of religion, how they have heard it from the authority, Yamarāja. Yamarāja is authority. In the śāstra it is said that,

tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayor vibhinnā
nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam
dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ
mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ
(CC Madhya 17.186)

So dharma, the path of religiosity, is very confidential. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. Then how I shall accept what is dharma, what is religion? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. You just follow the footsteps of authorized persons. Then you understand what is dharma. You cannot manufacture. So here is the same system. The Vedic system is the same: either you hear from the direct Vedas or scriptures following the Vedas.