We misunderstand the meaning of religion. Religion (is) generally understood as a kind of cult and faith. But in the Vedic literature, religion means the characteristic

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Expressions researched:
"we misunderstand the meaning of religion. Religion generally understood as a kind of cult and faith. But in the Vedic literature, religion means the characteristic"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Our project is not exactly religious. You have taken by it because we misunderstand the meaning of religion. Religion generally understood as a kind of cult and faith. But in the Vedic literature, religion means the characteristic. Just like sugar is sweet, that is its religion. If sugar becomes pungent, that is not sugar's characteristic. Similarly, a human being must be God conscious. So that God consciousness is religion. Because in the human form of life one can understand what is God, and if he does not become, he remains an animal.
Press Interview at Muthilal Rao's House -- August 17, 1976, Hyderabad:

Prabhupāda: Our project is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Come here, live peacefully, keep your body fit, and work for yourself, you produce your own food, you produce your own cloth, don't be very much anxious for artificial necessities, and save time, and be advanced in spiritual life.

Interviewer (3): Some sort of religious epithet.

Prabhupāda: It is not exactly religious. You have taken by it because we misunderstand the meaning of religion. Religion generally understood as a kind of cult and faith. But in the Vedic literature, religion means the characteristic. Just like sugar is sweet, that is its religion. If sugar becomes pungent, that is not sugar's characteristic. Similarly, a human being must be God conscious. So that God consciousness is religion. Because in the human form of life one can understand what is God, and if he does not become, he remains an animal. Animal cannot understand. So therefore his business is how to athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is not our manufactured word, this is the Vedānta words. Atha, now we have got this human form body, based on that transmigration of the soul after millions and millions of years, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19), you have got this human form of life, now it is your business to inquire about the Absolute Truth. This is the business of human life. And āhāra-nidra-bhaya-maithuna, how to eat, how to sleep, how to enjoy sex life and how to defend, that is animal business. If you remain busy with these four principles of bodily necessities of life, āhāra-nidra-bhaya-maithuna, then you remain on he animal platform. Beyond that, when you inquire about God, that is human life. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. So we are trying to raise him from this animal life to human life. This is our business.