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The real occupational duty of the living entity is called sanatana-dharma. Dharma means not religion. Dharma means the natural characteristic. That is dharma

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"The real occupational duty of the living entity is called sanatana-dharma. Dharma means not religion. Dharma means the natural characteristic. That is dharma"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

The real occupational duty of the living entity is called sanātana-dharma. Dharma means not religion. Dharma means the natural characteristic. That is dharma. We don't mean dharma is a certain type of faith. No. Faith or no faith, the characteristics must be there.
Lecture on SB 1.3.1 -- Vrndavana, November 14, 1972:

So every human being should be educated to accept this sanātana-dharma, how one can go back to home, back to Godhead. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. So sanātana-dharma is not meant for a particular class of men. It is meant for all living entities. Unfortunately, the Hindu dharma, or sanātana-dharma, they have identified. And..., as if others have no right to enter into the sanātana-dharma. No. That's not a fact. The fact is every living entity is sanātana. And the process by which a living entity is transferred to the sanātana dhāma, sanātana place, that is called sanātana-dharma. It is... Sanātana-dharma is misunderstood. Just like in India there are classes of men who call: "We are sanātanists." Everyone should be sanātanist. Sanātana-dharma is not meant for a particular class of men or country or society. Sanātana-dharma means it is meant for the living entities.

The real occupational duty of the living entity is called sanātana-dharma. Dharma means not religion. Dharma means the natural characteristic. That is dharma. We don't mean dharma is a certain type of faith. No. Faith or no faith, the characteristics must be there. Just like salt. It has got a particular type of taste. So you like it or not like it, the taste is there. It is... That is... If you think that "I have faith that salt should be sweet," no. That cannot be. You may have faith. You may create that faith that salt has the sweet taste. But that's not a fact. Similarly, if you say, "I have got my faith that sugar will be pungent." No. That cannot be. Sugar has got a particular type of taste. That will continue. You may believe it or not believe it. It does not depend. And faith means you believe, you can change it. Therefore dharma, the exact word, dharma, is different from the dictionary meaning, English dictionary, "a kind of faith. Religion means a kind of faith." We don't mean that.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). That means the so-called faith, you should give up. It is a faith. "I am Hindu." "I am Muslim." "I am Christian." Or "I am this," "I am that." This is a kind of faith. You are neither Hindu, neither Muslim nor Christian; you are servant of Kṛṣṇa. That is real characteristic. And actually we are servant. We are serving. That is our characteristic. Either he may be Hindu or Muslim or Christian, but the real business is that everyone is serving. It is not that because I am Hindu, I don't serve. Or because one is Christian, he doesn't serve. No. Everyone is serving. But he's serving māyā. He's serving kāma, krodha, lobha, mātsarya. He's serving. In this material condition, we are serving our whims, kāma. Sometimes I become angry and I serve my anger—I beat others. That means I am serving anger. I am serving my lust. I am serving my greediness.