Pradyumna: “The supreme occupation, or dharma, for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendental Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted in order to completely satisfy the self.”
sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
Ātmā suprasīdati. Ātmā sometimes means this body, ātmā means the mind, and ātmā means the soul also. So generally, people are interested for the satisfaction of the body. Indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ [Bg. 3.42]. Body means the senses. So those who are in the lower stage of life, because in the lower stage of life one thinks that he is the body… Just like animal. Animal thinks that he is the body. But in the higher sense, when one is advanced in knowledge, then he knows that “I am not this body. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: I am spirit soul.”
So actually, as I was discussing in the press conference, this is knowledge. So long one is under the impression that he is this body, “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am South Indian,” “I am North Indian,” or “I am black,” “I am white”—so many bodily concept of life—he is animal. That is the statement of the śāstra, and actually it is so. In the śāstra it is said,
yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
Go-khara. Go means cows, and khara means ass. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke: “Anyone who accepts this bag of bones and flesh as self, he is animal.” So in the animal concept of life, “I am Indian,” “I am American,” “I am Hindu,” “I am Muslim,” “I am Christian,” because these are all bodily concept of life… Even if I say, “I am Hindu, I am distinct from Christian or Muhammadan,” that means bodily concept of life. Even if I think, “I am brāhmaṇa,” that is also bodily concept of life.
So in the bodily concept of life there is a system of religion. That religion is different from your religion and my religion, because you possess a body. Suppose Hindu… I possess a body of Christian or Muslim; therefore I think, “You are different from me; I am different from you.” But in the higher stage, when one is raised on the platform of spiritual understanding, there is no such a thing. Practically you can see. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement there are persons from every country or every religion, every cult. There are the devotees who have come from Christian group, the devotees who have come from Jewish group, from Muhammadan group, from Hindu group. You can see practically. We have got all types of devotees. But they have forgotten this bodily concept of life. Practically you see. They have, if not fully forgotten, very large percentage, they do not think. Otherwise these Americans would not have come here to take the trouble of preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness in India, after taking so much trouble. We cannot give them actually the real comforts which they enjoy in their country. Their standard of life, living, is higher than our standard of life. So why they have joined this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement? Because they have forgotten this bodily concept of life. They are no more proud that “I am American” or “I am European.” Why…? You know in the British rule, the Britishers they were always maintaining the superior complex. They were thinking because they are European… Everyone thinks. If he is in position in the material world, he thinks like that. That is not fault. That is natural.
But here it is said, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. Adhokṣaja. God’s another name is Adhokṣaja, “beyond,” I mean to say, “material conception.” Adhah-kṛta akṣaja-jñānaṁ yatra. Akṣaja means direct perception, that I see directly by my eyes, I can hear directly by my ears, or I can smell. Not by direct. Directly, because our senses are imperfect. [break] Then you can understand that we are not different.
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
Paṇḍita, one who is actually learned, sama-darśinaḥ, he does not see that “Here is a learned brāhmaṇa and here is a dog.” He knows that in the dog also the same spirit soul is there, and here is a learned brāhmaṇa, the spirit soul is there. So he is acting on account of possessing different body. Paṇḍitaḥ sama-darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18].
Therefore yato bhaktir adhokṣaje, when one is transcendental to the material senses, then bhakti begins. Yato bhaktir adhokṣaje. Bhakti is not ordinary thing. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is also said,
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
Who is eligible to execute devotional service, bhakti? Those who are engaged in devotional service, they are not in the material platform. We should understand that. Yato bhaktir adhokṣaje ahaituky apratihatā. And bhakti is not a business. Anywhere we go, there is business. “If you give me this, then I shall love you. If you satisfy my senses, then I shall love you.” Similarly, the other party, he or she also says, “If you satisfy my senses, then I love you. If there is no sense gratification, then I don’t love you.” That is business. Therefore adhokṣaje, with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there should not be any business. Ahaitukī. That is called ahaitukī, no cause. “Because God shall give me my bread…” As in the Christian church they go and say, “O God, give us our daily bread.” That is also good because he has gone to God. The atheists, they do not like to speak of God, what to speak of praying from God. That is atheist class.
But there in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said,
catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
janāḥ sukṛtino ‘rjuna
ārto jijñāsur arthārthī
jñānī ca bharatarṣabha
Four classes of men who are distressed… One class, distressed, and one class who is in need of money, arthārthī, wants some material enjoyment, and another, jñānī, and jijñāsuḥ-four classes of men are interested in the subject matter of understanding God. But the condition is sukṛtina. If he is pious, if he is sinless… Unless one is sinless, one cannot be interested in God. The more we are sinful, we are disinterested in God. Why at the present moment people are disinterested in the subject matter of understanding God? Because they are all sinful. So therefore Bhagavad-gītā says, catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtino ‘rjuna. Sukṛtina: “whose background is pious life.” In another place Kṛṣṇa also says,
yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ
That bhajana, this bhagavad-bhajana, is not for ordinary class of men. They must be very elevated.
Therefore here it is said, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. Para and apara—these two words are there, para and apara. Para means spiritual, and apara means material. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā in another place, apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām. Apara, this material nature, bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ [Bg. 7.4], this earth, water, fire, air, mind, intelligence, they are material. Bhinnā me prakṛtir aṣṭadhā. Apareyam. But they are apara. Apara means material, inferior. There is another, spiritual nature. What is that? Jīva-bhūta, that living entity. Living entity’s para. So Kṛṣṇa is also para. So when the living entity engage himself in the service of the supreme spiritual, Kṛṣṇa, that is called paro dharmaḥ, spiritual religion, not apara. Apara means material, and para means superior or spiritual.
So one has to come to the religious principle on the spiritual platform. That is real dharma. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. It doesn’t matter what religious system you are following. Because actually religion means to abide by the orders of God. That is religion. Simply definition of religion. Just like good citizen means who abides by the state laws. He does not break the state laws. Similarly, any person, it doesn’t matter whether he is Hindu, Muslim, Christian or this or that. It doesn’t matter. If he is a devotee of the Supreme Lord, then his religion system is first class. Otherwise, śrama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]. That will be stated. If you do not develop your… Generally, we have love for these material things. First of all myself, centered round my personal body, then extended in the family, then extended in the society, then extended in the community or nation. In this way we are extending. But these are all bodily concept of life. When we actually develop our love for God, that is real religion… That is first-class religion. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. It doesn’t matter. The result… Phalena paricīyate. Just like a businessman. It doesn’t matter what business he is doing. If he has got some money, then we say he is successful businessman. It doesn’t matter whether he is this business or that business. Similarly, it doesn’t matter what kind of religion you are following. If you love for God has enhanced, if you understand what is God, if you understand what is your relationship with God, and if you understand what is the end of life, what is the end of or the object of human life, then your life, is successful.
Therefore it is stated here, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. Adhokṣaje, the Supreme Lord, cannot be seen by these eyes. He cannot be understood by these eyes. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. Indriya, our present senses, are blunt senses. By these senses, we cannot understand what is the meaning of Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. But it is so powerful, if you go on chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, even without understanding, you will be purified, and one day you will understand. This is our movement. Otherwise how these Europeans and Americans… They never heard what is Kṛṣṇa, but why they have left everything? They are young boys, young girls. They could enjoy life in their county very nicely. But the name is so powerful. I started this movement simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa. Still we are going that. So this Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is so powerful. You understand or do not understand; if you go on chanting regularly, one day you will come to the platform—you will clearly understand what is the meaning of God. This is Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
So our request is therefore that if you want to be situated on the superior platform of understanding the meaning of religion, then this is the only way at the present moment, in this age. Because other processes are very difficult. They cannot… Either you follow Hindu religion or this religion, that religion, everywhere the process is so difficult that people cannot follow it nicely. Therefore the śāstra has given the injunction,
harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Cc. Ādi 17.21]
In this age any religion you follow, you cannot strictly follow the rules and regulation and process. But if you chant this mahā-mantra Hare Kṛṣṇa… Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam. It has been thrice stressed, and at the end it is said, “only, not any other.” Why so much stress? Now, kalau, in this age Kali, the age of quarrel… Kali means with slight provocation we will fight one another. That is Kali. So kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā.
Therefore our only request is that anyone who has got little taste for spiritual life, you chant this mahā-mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. And in many places of the śāstra it is recommended that,
kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ
tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt
In the Satya-yuga, they were all saintly person. So that time it was possible to meditate. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum. That also Viṣṇu, meditation on Lord Viṣṇu. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ. And in the Tretā-yuga by performing great sacrifices. That is also not possible. You cannot perform big, big sacrifices. It is very costly affair. You require so much ghee, grains, and distribution of so many things. That is not possible. Kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ, dvāpare paricaryāyām. In Dvāpara-yuga the temple worship. Now this… We have got in India, especially in South India, many temples, more than two thousand, three thousand years old. So temple worship is very old, since five thousand, six thousand years. So that is also not possible. At the present moment people are so down that they cannot also worship. It requires very vigilance, observation, that they are doing nicely. Otherwise they fall down. There are so many temples in India, they are no more taken care. Therefore somebody, they are against opening temple. That’s a fact. But still, it has to be done. Anyway… But in the Kali-yuga, kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. What you attained in the Satya-yuga by meditation, what you achieved in the Tretā-yuga by performing big, big sacrifices, and what you attained by temple worship very nicely, you can attain the same result, kalau in this age, hari-kīrtanāt, by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
So if you regularly chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, then the result will be ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12], our heart will be cleansed. Because we are in unclean heart, therefore we cannot understand what is God. But if your heart becomes cleansed, then any position, you will be able to understand what is God. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam. And as soon as your heart is cleansed, your these material tribulations, the threefold miserable condition of this material world… It is compared with the forest fire. So forest fire is not very easy to extinguish, but it can be… There is process. That is God’s arrangement. When there is rain from the sky, the forest fire is extinguished. Similarly, when mercy from Kṛṣṇa comes, your blazing fire of material existence will be extinguished. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā… [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Then real spiritual life begins. So long you are disturbed materially, there is no possibility. But these material disturbances cannot be subsided by your concocted method. It can be subsided by the mercy bestowed by Kṛṣṇa. That is the process. Saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka **. So spiritual life is real life. Material life is not real. Material life is temporary. So everyone can be situated in the spiritual life, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktiḥ [SB 1.2.6], simply by being situated in the devotional service of the Lord. Yato bhaktiḥ. Bhakti required.
So there are many instances in the śāstras. If you refer to the śāstras… Bhagavad-gītā is the essence of all Vedic literature. You read it carefully. And we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as…, without any malinterpretation. We don’t interpret. We present Bhagavad-gītā as it is, and it is working. So I am requesting also in India that you read Bhagavad-gītā as it is. You understand what is the science of God. Your life will be successful.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)