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We should be always alert to test our advancement, how we are making advancement. Because unless we become first-class devotee, there is no question of our being relieved from this material condition of life. That is not possible

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"we should be always alert to test our advancement, how we are making advancement. Because unless we become first-class devotee, there is no question of our being relieved from this material condition of life. That is not possible"

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

We should be always alert to test our advancement, how we are making advancement. Because unless we become first-class devotee, there is no question of our being relieved from this material condition of life. That is not possible.
Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- Rome, May 24, 1974:

So in the Naimiṣāraṇya, the resolution was made like this, svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya. So everyone has got his dharma, particular duty: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya. So one must be intelligent enough whether by his, by the discharge of his particular duty he has satisfied Kṛṣṇa. Then he has satisfied Kṛṣṇa. Just like the different parts of the body, their duty is how to keep this body fit. That means to keep the body satisfied. Fit means when everything, all the metabolism, organization of the body, is going nicely, then it is fit. And as soon as there is some discrepancies in the regular process... There are so many processes going on within the body. Kapha-pitta-vāyuḥ. There is very good mechanical arrangement. So the brain means to keep this mechanical arrangement very busy and going on nicely. That is brain. That is brain." When I shall eat, when I shall not eat, when I shall sleep, when I shall..." These things are necessities but brain requires how to adjust them. Eating, sleeping, mating and sense gratification, er, protection, that is required, but it requires brain how to transact all this business. Therefore the brain is required, and everyone has got his duty. And the resultant action, how the things are going on nicely, successfully, what is the test? The test is saṁsiddhi... (break)

But business is how to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). Hari-toṣaṇam. This is very natural. Just like in a big office, some many clerks are waiting. The business is that everyone should be ready to satisfy the office routine work, or satisfy the managing director. But how one can see the managing director is satisfied or not? Immediately in the office, in every department, there is a superintendent. So if the superintendent is satisfied, you must know the managing director is satisfied. Similarly, you are under the direction of your spiritual master. If you see that the spiritual master is satisfied, then you should know that Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. That is confirmed by Viśvanātha Cakravartī: yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. And yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi: If the spiritual master is not satisfied, then you are gone to hell. Yasya aprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi. Because who will recommend to Kṛṣṇa the promotion and so many things?

So therefore our business is to see. It doesn't matter whether you are acting as a śūdra or brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya. It doesn't matter. If by your actions, sva-karmabhis tam abhyarcya. If by your action Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then your life is successful. It doesn't matter in what position you are. It doesn't matter, if Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. This is the principle of life. That is real dharma. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān pa..., mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. So whether we have surrendered to Kṛṣṇa and satisfied Him? This is our business to see. In this way... And this chapter is very important. We may discuss.

So dharma is actually under the protection of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You cannot manufacture dharma. Because we do not know what is dharma. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Dharma means to abide by the orders of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It doesn't matter whether you are Hindu, Muslim or Christian. That is explained in the sixth verse. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharma yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). The verse, we read. Paro dharmaḥ. Paro dharmaḥ means the best, best, supreme dharma. Yato bhaktir adhokṣaje. It doesn't matter whether you are Hindu or Muslim. Whether you are interested to satisfy God? That is first-class religion. Otherwise, it is third-class, fourth-class or whatever... Whether your interest is to satisfy God. Then it is first-class. It doesn't matter. By the name it doesn't go away. Therefore we find, actually those who are advanced in religious principle, they are all devotee. (break) ...faithful. Just like Lord Jesus Christ-devotee. Similarly, Muhammad also, they were devotee. They never declared that "I am God." Did Muhammad say like that? No. Servant of God. Similarly, Jesus Christ said, "Son of God." So it is very good. It doesn't matter. If we remain son of God or servant of God faithfully, then it is first-class religious system.

But it is very difficult to say, but bhāgavata-dharma, that which is called bhāgavata, simply relationship with Kṛṣṇa... In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you will find no other topics except to establish the original relationship with Kṛṣṇa, and therefore it is first class. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje ahaitukī (SB 1.2.6), without any... In the material field... What can be done? Some way or other, although it is..., in the Bible it is said... They go to church for asking bread. But that is not paro dharmaḥ, because there is hetu, some cause. But this cause... Similarly in the Muhammadan religion also, just to be promoted to the heavenly kingdom more. No. That is not first class. First class means ahaitukī, without any cause. Not that "I shall go to church, I shall go to mosque, I shall go to temple for asking something from God." That is not first class. That is good in this sense, that these rascals have at least come to pray to God. So much it is. But such kind of prayer does not make the first-class religion. The prayer, as offered by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye: (Cc. Antya 20.29, Śikṣāṣṭaka 4) "My dear Lord, I do not want any amount of money," na dhanam, "or any number of disciples or followers," na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sun..., "neither any beautiful wife."

So, so many so-called incarnation of God, they come for money, for beautiful wife, and many followers. So that is not wanted. That is not religion. Religion means without wanting all these things. Na dhanaṁ na janaṁ sundarīṁ kavitāṁ vā jagadīśa kāmaye. Not for any material... Ahaituky apratihatā. "Oh, I am a poor man, I cannot love God. I cannot enhance my devotional service." No. Devotional service is so nice, apratihatā, it cannot be checked by any material condition. That is dharma. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). This is re... This is test how much I am religious, how much I am devotee. This is the test.

So we should be always alert to test our advancement, how we are making advancement. Because unless we become first-class devotee, there is no question of our being relieved from this material condition of life. That is not possible. That is not possible. Ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati.