Bhāgavata-dharma and kṛṣṇa-kathā are identical. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted everyone to become a guru and preach the instructions of Kṛṣṇa everywhere from Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the Purāṇas, Vedānta-sūtra and similar Vedic literatures. Āryans, who are advanced in civilization, follow bhāgavata-dharma. Prahlāda Mahārāja, although merely a child of five years, recommended:
- kaumāra ācaret prājño
- dharmān bhāgavatān iha
- durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
- tad apy adhruvam arthadam
- (SB 7.6.1)
Prahlāda Mahārāja preached bhāgavata-dharma among his classmates as soon as an opportunity was afforded by the absence of his teachers from the classroom. He said that from the very beginning of life, from the age of five, children should be instructed about bhāgavata-dharma because the human form of life, which is very rarely obtained, is meant for understanding this subject.
Bhāgavata-dharma means living according to the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gītā we find that the Supreme Lord has arranged human society in four social divisions, namely brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra. Again, the Purāṇas and other Vedic literatures set forth four āśramas, which are the divisions of spiritual life. Therefore bhāgavata-dharma means the varṇāśrama-dharma of the four social and four spiritual divisions.
The members of human society who strictly follow the principles of bhāgavata-dharma and live according to the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are called Āryans or ārya. A civilization of Āryans who strictly follow the instructions of the Lord and never deviate from those instructions is perfect. Such civilized men do not discriminate between trees, animals, human beings and other living entities. paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ: (BG 5.18) because they are completely educated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they see all living beings equally. Āryans do not kill even a small plant unnecessarily, not to speak of cutting trees for sense gratification. At the present moment, throughout the world, killing is prominent. Men are killing trees, they are killing animals, and they are killing other human beings also, all for sense gratification. This is not an Āryan civilization. As stated here, sthira-cara-sattva-kadambeṣv apṛthag-dhiyaḥ. The word apṛthag-dhiyaḥ indicates that Āryans do not distinguish between lower and higher grades of life. All life should be protected. All living beings have a right to live, even the trees and plants. This is the basic principle of an Āryan civilization. Apart from the lower living entities, those who have come to the platform of human civilization should be divided into a society of brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras. The brāhmaṇas should follow the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as stated in Bhagavad-gītā and other Vedic literatures. The criterion must be guṇa and karma. In other words, one should acquire the qualities of a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra and act accordingly. This is the civilization accepted by the Āryans. Why do they accept it? They accept it because they are very much eager to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. This is perfect civilization.
Āryans do not deviate from the instructions of Kṛṣṇa, nor do they have doubts about Kṛṣṇa, but non-Āryans and other demoniac people fail to follow the instructions of Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This is because they have been trained in sense gratification at the cost of all other living entities. Nūnaṁ pramattaḥ kurute vikarma: (SB 5.5.4) their only business is to indulge in all kinds of forbidden activities for sense gratification. Yad indriya-prītaya āpṛṇoti: they deviate in this way because they want to gratify their senses. They have no other occupation or ambition. Their method of civilization is condemned in the previous verse. Kaḥ kṣemo nija-parayoḥ kiyān vārthaḥ sva-para-druhā dharmeṇa: "What is the meaning of a civilization that kills oneself and others?"
This verse, therefore, advises that everyone become a member of the Āryan civilization and accept the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should conduct his social, political and religious affairs according to His instructions. We are spreading the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement to try to establish a society the way that Kṛṣṇa wants it. This is the meaning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We are therefore presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is and kicking out all kinds of mental concoction. Fools and rascals interpret Bhagavad-gītā in their own way. When Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65)—"Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me"—they comment that it is not Kṛṣṇa to whom we must surrender. Thus they derive imaginary meanings from Bhagavad-gītā. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, however, strictly follows bhāgavata-dharma, the instructions of Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam for the complete welfare of human society. One who misinterprets Bhagavad-gītā, twisting out some meaning for his sense gratification, is a non-Āryan. Therefore commentaries on Bhagavad-gītā by such persons should be immediately rejected. One should try to follow Bhagavad-gītā as it is. In Bhagavad-gītā (BG 12.6-7) Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa says:
- ye tu sarvāṇi karmāṇi
- mayi sannyasya mat-parāḥ
- ananyenaiva yogena
- māṁ dhyāyanta upāsate
- teṣām ahaṁ samuddhartā
- bhavāmi na cirāt pārtha
- mayy āveśita-cetasām
"For one who worships Me, giving up all his activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, who has fixed his mind upon Me, O son of Pṛthā, for him I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death."