Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)
- dharmasya hy āpavargyasya
- nārtho 'rthāyopakalpate
- nārthasya dharmaikāntasya
- kāmo lābhāya hi smṛtaḥ
- (SB 1.2.9)
Translation: "All occupational engagements, or dharmas, are certainly meant for ultimate liberation. They should never be performed for material gain. Furthermore, one who is engaged in the ultimate occupational service, or dharma should never use material gain to cultivate sense gratification."
Prabhupāda: So dharma we have described. Dharma means occupational duty. Just like according to Vedic culture, we are supposed to follow the varṇāśrama-dharma. It has become very ambiguous at the present moment, Hindu dharma. There is no such thing as Hindu dharma mentioned in the Vedic literature. We don't find either in the Bhagavad-gītā or Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or any authorized Vedic literature Hindu dharma. Unfortunately, in India it has become very prominent, Hindu dharma, something hodgepodge. Real, our real Vedic dharma is varṇāśrama-dharma. That is mentioned in every Vedic literature—in Purāṇas, in Bhāgavatam and Bhagavad-gītā, in Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata.
So... Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). Kṛṣṇa says, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that "These four principles, cātur-varṇya, four varṇas: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra, mayā sṛṣṭam, it is created by Me." But people are not interested in God's creation. But without this division of human society... A class of men should be brāhmaṇa, simply interested in knowledge. Actually, that is going on. Some class of men in the human society, they are engaged in broadcasting knowledge, scientific knowledge. They are supposed to be on the brahminical qualification because to distribute knowledge mean must have good brain, must have good learning, education. Then there is question of distributing knowledge. A fool, rascal cannot distribute. Then next class, the politicians, administrative class, they are under the guidance of the intelligent class. They administer to keep the society in peaceful condition, in order. The next class, vaiśya, the productive class. There must be business, trade, production, agriculture; otherwise how man will live? And the śūdra class, general class, worker class, they have neither brain nor administrative power, nor can produce anything, but they can work under the direction of some higher authority. Paricaryātmakaṁ karma śūdra-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). Śūdras.
So here we have discussed that everyone can cultivate his particular type of occupational duty with the aim for attaining ultimate salvation. Because the human life is meant for salvation, to get free from the bondage of repetition of birth, death... But the modern civilized men or the so-called intelligent, intellectual class of men, they have no such information. Therefore they have been described in the Bhagavad-gītā as mūḍhāḥ, māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ.
- na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
- prapadyante narādhamāḥ
- āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
- (BG 7.15)
Āsuri-bhāva, āsuri-bhāva means simply sense gratification. That is āsuri-bhāva. There is no other ambition. So practically, modern society is going on on the āsuri-bhāva. They have rejected God consciousness, and they're simply interested in sense gratification. Āsuri-bhāvam āśritāḥ. Therefore, in spite of all educational advancement... They're very much proud of having big, big degrees, but Bhagavad-gītā says, māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ. Māyā has taken their knowledge, taken away. They have been stolen, because they have no real knowledge. Real knowledge is how to get freedom from repetition of birth and death. They do not believe in the next life. They think simply... Big, big professors, I have talked, especially in Russia. They think that "So long this body is there, you enjoy sense gratification to the utmost," the Cārvāka theory. This was also cultured long ago in India.
- ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet yāvaj jīvet sukhaṁ jīvet
- bhasmī-bhūtasya dehasya kutaḥ punar āgamano bhavet
"Why you are thinking of next birth? When this body is burnt into ashes, everything is finished." That is Cārvāka theory, atheistic. That is going on still. The Cārvāka class of men are always there.
So I have talked with so many big professors in Russia, and their theory is that "After finishing this body, everything is finished." But (if) everything is finished, then why you are working so hard, if everything will be finished? They... Their, their theory is different. That is asuric theory, asuric theory. They do not believe in the self, they do not believe in God, they do not believe in the next birth, although these are facts. Simply a sober brain with cool head, one can understand. But these are facts. They're taking risk only. Now, by ordinary common sense knowledge, if I say, "There is no next birth," that is not authoritative. Because authoritative knowledge is... Suppose from Bhagavad-gītā, next life is accepted. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). The beginning of Bhagavad-gītā is to teach that soul is eternal, it is migrating from one body to another, so there is next life. That is also authoritative knowledge. But if somebody says that "There is no birth," that is not authoritative. That is a layman's statement.
So a layman can put up his own theory in so many ways. Then what shall be the conclusion? The conclusion should be to take authoritative knowledge from authorities—one who is beyond the four defects of common man; one who does not make any mistake. One who is not illusioned, one who does not cheat, and one whose senses are perfect. We are devoid of all these qualifications. We commit mistakes; we are illusioned; we cheat; and at the same time, our senses are imperfect. So how we can give by speculation perfect knowledge? That is not possible. Therefore, our principle, Vedic principle, is to receive knowledge from the perfect. So-called scientists, so-called philosophers... Because basically they're imperfect, how they can give you perfect? They can speak something, "Perhaps it it like that," "Maybe like that," "Perhaps it was like that." All their theories are like that. But actual fact is different. Actual fact we get from the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, that dehāntara-prāptiḥ, tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13).