Just I wish to thank you ladies and gentlemen for your coming here, participating in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This movement is not a new thing or something concocted, but it is authorized and very old movement. There was a meeting about five thousand years ago in a place which is called Naimiṣāraṇya. That Naimiṣāraṇya is still there in India. There is a railway station which is called Nimsar. It is near Lucknow, in the northern part of India. Those who have gone to India, they may know this place. This is very old place. And still, if you go, you will find there immediately a spiritual atmosphere. There are many places in India where, if you go, you will find immediately a spiritual atmosphere.
So this verse I am just now quoting is the verse given by Sūta Gosvāmī, the president of the meeting. In that meeting many learned scholars, brāhmaṇas, they assembled to discuss about Kṛṣṇa. The question was that "After departure of Kṛṣṇa from this planet, dharma and jñāna"—dharma means religious principles, and jñāna means knowledge—"these two things, who has taken care of them?" Dharma-jñānādibhiḥ saha. Actually, human society should be concerned with two things: dharma and jñāna. Dharma means the characteristic. The meaning of dharma translated in English is not adequate. Dharma means which cannot be given up. The so-called dharma, or religion... Suppose I am Hindu and somebody is Christian. This is called faith. The dictionary meaning is: "Religion is faith." So faith can be changed. "I believe in Christian religion." So it can be changed next day—I accept Hindu religion or Muslim religion. But actually, dharma cannot be changed. The example is given: just like water. The characteristic of water is liquidity. So you cannot change this quality of water, liquidity. Similarly, stone is solid. You cannot change the quality of solid. This unchangeable quality is called dharma. That is really Sanskrit significance. Now, you can argue that water sometimes becomes solid, ice. That is conditional. Under certain conditions, the water becomes solid, but immediately it begins to become liquid. It melts. The tendency is to melt, not to keep solidity. So this consistency of keeping water in liquid form is called dharma.
So as everything has got some particular characteristic, similarly we living entities, we must have some particular characteristic. And what is that? That is dharma and jñāna, to understand. Jñāna means knowledge: "What I am? Am I this body, or I am something else?" But if we study, if we meditate on this body... You study every part of your body. Take for example this finger. If you think, "Am I this finger?" the answer will be "No, it is my finger." Similarly, you study any part of your body. You will find that the part of body belongs to you. You'll say, "It is my leg, my hand, my hair, my nose." So many things, "my." Then where is the "I"? That is called jñāna. That is knowledge. Everything is "my," but where I am? Where I am?
Besides that, so far I am concerned, I do not want so many things. So many things. Just like I do not want to become old, but old age is forced upon me. I must become old. I do not want to die. Then death is forced upon me. I do not want to take birth. These are all very troublesome business. We have forgotten birth, death, old age, and disease. But when we are within the womb of our mother, it is very precarious condition. Any medical man knows. We have to live there in this way, in a packed up bag, practically without any air. Airtight condition. Just imagine. Now just at the present moment if you are put into the airtight condition, you will die within three minutes or three seconds. The medical opinion is that. But in the womb of our mother we have to live for clear ten months or more than that in that airtight, packed-up condition. Just imagine how much troublesome condition was there. That is practical. We may have forgotten.
So many things we have forgotten, but that does not mean the trouble was not there. Just like in our childhood so many things happened. We might have forgotten, but that does not mean the trouble was not there. The trouble was there. Similarly, at the time of death, the trouble, or the miserable condition, is so acute that we have to give up this body. Sometimes when man becomes very much upset, he commits suicide. He cuts his own throat. Why? He cannot live in this body. Similarly, I, you, every one of us, we have the trouble at the time of death, at the time of birth. Birth and death. We are living entities, we are living soul. Birth and death takes place of this body. The body takes birth and the body is vanquished. Death means sleeping for seven months. That's all. That is death. The soul is... When this body is unfit for living, the soul gives up this body. And by superior arrangement the soul is put again into the womb of a particular type of mother, and the soul develops that particular type of body. Up to seven months the soul remains unconscious. And when the body is developed, again consciousness comes and the child wants to come out of the womb and he moves. Every mother has experienced how the child moves at the age of seven months within the womb.