Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Hyderabad, April 18, 1974

Pradyumna: Translation: “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 pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje ahaituky apratihata yayatma suprasidati [SB 1.2.6]

Atma suprasidati. Atma sometimes means this body, atma means the mind, and atma means the soul also. So generally, people are interested for the satisfaction of the body. Indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah [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. Aham brahmasmi: 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 sastra, and actually it is so. In the sastra it is said,

yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma ijya-dhih yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah [SB 10.84.13]

Go-khara. Go means cows, and khara means ass. Yasyatma-buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke: “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 brahmana,” 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 Krsna 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 Krsna 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 Krsna 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 pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. Adhoksaja. God’s another name is Adhoksaja, “beyond,” I mean to say, “material conception.” Adhah-krta aksaja-jnanam yatra. Aksaja 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.

vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi hastini suni caiva sva-pake ca panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]

Pandita, one who is actually learned, sama-darsinah, he does not see that “Here is a learned brahmana and here is a dog.” He knows that in the dog also the same spirit soul is there, and here is a learned brahmana, the spirit soul is there. So he is acting on account of possessing different body. Panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]

Therefore yato bhaktir adhoksaje, when one is transcendental to the material senses, then bhakti begins. Yato bhaktir adhoksaje. Bhakti is not ordinary thing. In the Bhagavad-gita it is also said,

brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati samah sarvesu bhutesu mad-bhaktim labhate param [Bg. 18.54]

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 adhoksaje ahaituky apratihata. 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 adhoksaje, with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there should not be any business. Ahaituki. That is called ahaituki, 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-gita it is said,

catur-vidha bhajante mam janah sukrtino ’rjuna arto jijnasur artharthi jnani ca bharatarsabha

Four classes of men who are distressed… One class, distressed, and one class who is in need of money, artharthi, wants some material enjoyment, and another, jnani, and jijnasuh—four classes of men are interested in the subject matter of understanding God. But the condition is sukrtina. 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-gita says, catur-vidha bhajante mam sukrtino ’rjuna. Sukrtina: “whose background is pious life.” In another place Krsna also says,

yesam tv anta-gatam papam jananam punya-karmanam te dvandva-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam drdha-vratah [Bg. 7.28]

That bhajana, this bhagavad-bhajana, is not for ordinary class of men. They must be very elevated.

Therefore here it is said, sa vai pumsam paro dharmah. Para and apara—these two words are there, para and apara. Para means spiritual, and apara means material. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita in another place, apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakrtim param. Apara, this material nature, bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh, this earth, water, fire, air, mind, intelligence, they are material. Bhinna me prakrtir astadha. Apareyam. But they are apara. Apara means material, inferior. There is another, spiritual nature. What is that? Jiva-bhuta, that living entity. Living entity’s para. So Krsna is also para. So when the living entity engage himself in the service of the supreme spiritual, Krsna, that is called paro dharmah, 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 pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [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, srama eva hi kevalam. 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 pumsam paro dharmah. It doesn’t matter. The result… Phalena pariciyate. 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 pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. Adhoksaje, the Supreme Lord, cannot be seen by these eyes. He cannot be understood by these eyes. Atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih [BRS. 1.2.234]. Indriya, our present senses, are blunt senses. By these senses, we cannot understand what is the meaning of Hare Krsna maha-mantra. But it is so powerful, if you go on chanting Hare Krsna maha-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 Krsna, 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 Krsna. Still we are going that. So this Hare Krsna maha-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 Krsna movement. This is Krsna 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 sastra has given the injunction,

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha [Adi 17.21]

In this age any religion you follow, you cannot strictly follow the rules and regulation and process. But if you chant this maha-mantra Hare Krsna… Harer nama harer nama harer namaiva 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 nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha.

Therefore our only request is that anyone who has got little taste for spiritual life, you chant this maha-mantra, Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And in many places of the sastra it is recommended that,

krte yad dhyayato visnum tretayam yajato makhaih dvapare paricaryayam kalau tad dhari-kirtanat

In the Satya-yuga, they were all saintly person. So that time it was possible to meditate. Krte yad dhyayato visnum. That also Visnu, meditation on Lord Visnu. Krte yad dhyayato visnum tretayam yajato makhaih. And in the Treta-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. Krte yad dhyayato visnum tretayam yajato makhaih, dvapare paricaryayam. In Dvapara-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-kirtanat. What you attained in the Satya-yuga by meditation, what you achieved in the Treta-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-kirtanat, by chanting this Hare Krsna mantra.

So if you regularly chant this Hare Krsna maha-mantra, then the result will be ceto-darpana-marjanam [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-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam. 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 Krsna comes, your blazing fire of material existence will be extinguished. Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha… [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 Krsna. That is the process. Samsara-davanala-lidha-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 pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktih [SB 1.2.6], simply by being situated in the devotional service of the Lord. Yato bhaktih. Bhakti required.

So there are many instances in the sastras. If you refer to the sastras… Bhagavad-gita is the essence of all Vedic literature. You read it carefully. And we are presenting Bhagavad-gita as…, without any malinterpretation. We don’t interpret. We present Bhagavad-gita as it is, and it is working. So I am requesting also in India that you read Bhagavad-gita as it is. You understand what is the science of God. Your life will be successful.

Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)