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 What is religion?
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Bhaktin Silvana
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Inserito il - 03/03/2013 : 03:55:02  Mostra Profilo  Rispondi Quotando
"What is Religion?"
Purport by His Divine grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada founder Acarya of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness.
Prabhupada: Today's subject matter is "What is Religion?" So we are reciting some verses from the Sixth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, where the subject matter, dharma, is discussed. It is said that dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Dharma, it is Sanskrit word, and the English translation, generally, it is made as "religion." Religion is accepted as a kind of faith. But faith may be wrong or right -- according to the different time, persons, climate, condition, so many consideration.
But Srimad-Bhagavata says, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam. Dharma, or religion, means the law given by God. Simple formula. As there are laws given by the state, similarly, the supreme state, supreme governor is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. God means the supreme being, supreme person. So... Or the supreme authority. Supreme means the greatest authority. As in a state the greatest authority is the government, similarly, throughout the cosmic manifestation, throughout the whole creation, there must be some supreme authority. So that supreme authority is God, and whatever He gives, the rules and regulation, that is called religion. You cannot change it. That the law whimsically, you cannot change. Then you will be punishable. Similarly, the laws or the words (are) of the regulative principles given by God. That is religion. And if you do not follow it, then you'll be punished.
Actually, the Sanskrit word dharma means the constitutional position. We may try to understand what is the meaning of dharma. Just like fire. Fire means there must be heat and light. Without heat and light, there is no meaning of fire. If you say that we have got fire but there is no heat and no light, so what kind of fire it is? So that fire and light of, heat and light of fire is to be understood as dharma. You cannot change it. This is no possibility. Otherwise, there will be no meaning. Water, water is liquid. Any water, any parts of the world, when you take water, it is liquid; therefore this liquidity is the dharma of water. You take anything. Actually, dharma means characteristic -- anything you take. Just like I am speaking before this microphone. So if it does not produce the sound, then what kind of microphone it is? The sound production from the microphone is the dharma, is the religion, natural characteristic.
So what is the natural characteristic of human being? The natural characteristic is that we serve the superior. That is natural characteristic. Either you become Religion A or B .., nobody can say that "I do not serve any superior." Nobody can say. One must serve. That is dharma. Faith, ritualistic -- I am today Religion A ; I can accept the ritualistic process tomorrow of the Religion B; or a they may take another ritual -- but his business, to serve the superior, that does not change. Either you become Religion A or B it doesn't matter. It is not that Religion A , they only serve in the office; the Religion B do not. No. The service is there. So actually the service is his dharma, not this rubberstamp, "Religion A Religion B No. That is designation. Actual dharma means the characteristic. If you take sugar, if you taste sugar, it is sweet. The sweetness is the characteristic of sugar. That is dharma. If you take chili, it is very hot. If you take a chili and if it is sweet, you immediately say, "Eh, this is not good chili," because there is no dharma. So dharma means characteristic. Here in the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that,
veda-pranihito dharmo hy adharmas tad-viparyayah
vedo narayanah saksat svayambhur iti susruma

Therefore we have to understand dharma from scriptures. Veda, veda means the book of knowledge. Veda means knowledge. Vetti veda vido jnanam. Jnana. So we have to take knowledge from authorized scriptures ( the eternal scripture no beginning ) , authorized lawbook. A big lawyer means who is quite aware of the laws of the state. Similarly, a religious person means who knows completely, at least partially also, the laws of God. That is dharmic. That is dharma. So what is God? You have to understand. Then what does He say? You have to understand, then you can execute actually what is religion. If you do not know what is government, what is the laws of the government, how you can become a good citizen? That is not possible. A good citizen, good citizen means who abide by the laws of the state. Similarly, a religious person means who abides by the order of God. This is dharma.
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