Mr. President, Rotarians, Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly inviting me to speak before you on the subject matter "The Present Need of the Human Society." At the present day... According to our Vedic calculation, this is called Kali-yuga. Kali means disagreement and fighting, kālaḥ. So in this age, a slight disagreement will cause some fighting, some misunderstanding. And practically, this is the age of misguidance; therefore it is called Kali-yuga. So in different Purāṇas, the symptoms of Kali-yuga is described. Śāstra. Śāstra means tri-kāla-jña. Śāstra is not ordinary book. Therefore our Vedic literatures are known as apauruṣeya, "not written by ordinary human being." Ordinary human being, who is called, according to śāstra, conditioned souls, they are conditioned by so many, nature's law. So the imperfectness of the conditioned soul are described as that a conditioned soul is sure to commit mistake; however great he may be, he'll commit mistake. And... "To err is human," they say. And he may be illusioned. Not may be. He's illusioned. Illusioned means accepting something for something else. Just like we accept this body, material body, as self. That is the conception of the general people at the present moment, especially. "I am this body." "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am śūdra." Like that. Bodily conception of life. This is illusion. Actually, I am not this body. But because we are lacking knowledge, imperfect, insufficient knowledge, therefore we are accepting this body as self. This is called illusion. And the other imperfection is that we have got a cheating propensity. Cheating propensity means I do not know something definitely, but I present my theories as if I know perfectly. This is cheating. And the last is imperfectness of the senses. All our senses are imperfect. Take, for example, the eyes. We see under certain conditions: when there is light, sunlight or electric light, we can see. We cannot see what is beyond this wall. We cannot see which is very long distantly placed. We cannot see even the nearest, eyelid. Therefore our seeing power is conditioned. Similarly, all other senses.
So we cannot have perfect knowledge by our imperfect senses. But at the present moment, especially in this age, we are accepting so many philosophers, scientists, although we know that their senses are imperfect. This imperfectness is increasing. We are not becoming liberated from imperfectness. But we are increasing due to this Kali-yuga. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Twelfth Canto. It is said there:
- tataś cānu-dinaṁ dharmaḥ
- satyaṁ śaucaṁ kṣamā dayā
- kālena balinā rājan
- naṅkṣyaty āyur balaṁ smṛtiḥ
"With the progress, advancement of this Kali-yuga, these following items..." What is that? Now, dharma. First thing is dharma. People will decrease in the conception of dharma, religion. Religion. Religion does not mean a kind of faith. Religion, as I, I think, the other day I described here, the characteristic, the characteristic of the human being, of the living being—to serve. Actually, we are serving, every one of us. We are serving somebody. So everyone is serving. That is his characteristic. Just like a person now, today, is Hindu. Tomorrow he changes his faith, but the service continues. He cannot change the characteristic of service. You may be Hindu or you may be Mussulman, or you may be Christian—you must be serving somebody. Or maybe... Not maybe; actually—who is superior to you. This is called dharma. According our Vedic principles, the dharma is the principle given by God. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). You cannot manufacture dharma. Therefore Kṛṣṇa, He's giving you dharma, what is dharma. He advents, He appears: yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata, tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham (BG 4.7). He says, "When there is discrepancies in the principles of dharma, then I appear, I advent Myself."
So in the Bhagavad-gītā He is giving us the principles of dharma. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). He said to Arjuna, "Because you are My very dear friend, I am giving you the most confidential information, that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja." This is dharma. Dharma, satyam, truthfulness. That is also reduced, being reduce. Dharma means to become devotee of the Lord. That is practically not reduced. It is practically nil. And people have manufactured so many dharmas, dharma without the principle of God consciousness. So, according to Vedic principle, that is not dharma. Vedic principle says, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). That is first-class religion which teaches people how to become devotee of the Supreme Lord. Paro dharmaḥ. Paraḥ means transcendental. There are many kinds of dharmas, and according to Vedic system, there are twenty different types of books, viṁśati-prakāśa-dharma, given by different sages. But the conclusion is that that is first-class dharma which is convenient for becoming a devotee of the Lord. In the Bhagavad-gītā also, the same thing: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). In another place, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, it is said, dharmaḥ projjita-kaitavo atra. Atra, Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, Bhāgavate, projjhita. Projjhita means prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa ujjhita, very cleansely swept away. That means it is taken away, projjhita. Just like we sweep very nicely, cleansely, our room, similarly all types of cheating religion is wiped out, swept away. Dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo atra (SB 1.1.2).
So dharma means, the conclusion is, dharma means that our constitutional position is to serve. But our service being misplaced, we are not happy. Actually, we are serving not any person, but we are serving our different types of desires—kāma krodha lobha moha mātsarya—like that. That dharma, when it is reverted, transferred to the service of the Lord, that is called real dharma.
- sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
- yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
- yayātmā suprasīdati
- (SB 1.2.6)
That service to the Lord should be without any desire, material desire. Spontaneous. "God is great. He is my supporter, maintainer." We should always remember that. Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. Actually, God is supporting. Now, at the present moment in India, especially in this part, there is scarcity water. Why? If we are independent of God, we can take advantage of the sea water. There is sufficient water. God also supplies water from the stock of sea water. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ (BG 7.8). One who cannot understand immediately the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, he can try to understand Him by His different potencies. Just like He says that "I am the taste of the water." Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya, taste of water. Or the sweetness of water. So there is sufficient supply of water in the oceans and the seas. Then why we are in scarcity of water? Because that taste of the water should be changed by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise, you cannot use. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You can also change, by distilling the sea water or ocean water, but it will not be as tasteful as it is done by God. Or you can say "nature." The same water, taken from the ocean, transferred, transformed into cloud, the cloud is distributed, and water, rain, falls, you get nice distilled water, tasteful water. So if you are going to challenge, "There is no existence of God," then you can do it. Why don't you do it? Why you are so much in scarcity of water? I do not think any scientist can very boldly answer that "Yes, we can do, and we can defy the existence of God, or the mercy of God." That is not possible. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ (BG 7.8). Kṛṣṇa says that "I am the shining of the sun and the moon." Now, there, there are so many great scientists, and expert in chemical composition, making chemical composition. Why not make a small sun on the head of the Ahmedabad City so that you save so much expenditure of electric light? They will say, "Oh, the composition of the sun is like this, that"—so many theories. But why not prepare one? If you know the composition, make it, a sample sun, and see that it is shining.