Pradyumna: Translation = "Prahlāda Mahārāja said = One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life, in other words, from the tender age of childhood, to practise the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary, like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete..." [break]
Prabhupāda: ...the mother of Prahlāda Mahārāja [indistinct] of her residence in Nārada Muni's āśrama. So he instructed her. And later on, as women usually forget, she could not utilize the instruction of Nārada Muni. But the child was within the womb of his mother. He heard it from Nārada Muni and became a great devotee. This is the history of Prahlāda Mahārāja's birth. There are many other things. If you read this Seventh Canto, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam... So anyway, somehow or other, he became a great devotee of the Lord. But he was born in a family of atheists. His father, Hiraṇyakaśipu, was atheist number one, but the child was a devotee. Such thing happens. The father is devotee and the child is a demon, and sometimes the father is a demon but the child is a devotee. Everyone comes with his own karma. It doesn't mean that because the father is atheist, therefore the child has to become an atheist; or the father is a devotee, therefore the child has to become a devotee. No. Everyone is responsible for his past deeds. So Prahlāda Mahārāja was a devotee, but his father did not like that the child should be trained up as a devotee. That was the misunderstanding between the father and the son, and the whole history of Prahlāda Mahārāja's life is a description of misunderstanding between the father and the son. The father did not like that the son should be a devotee, but Prahlāda Mahārāja would not give up his devotional service.
So that city was full of nondevotee class of men, asuras. There are two classes of men everywhere = asura and sura, devatā and asura. In Sanskrit language, those who are devotees, they are called devatā---demigod or godly persons. And those who are nondevotees, they are called demons or asura. These two classes of men are always there in this material world. Mostly they are demonic, atheist, and few of them are devatā. But there are two classes. In the śāstra it is said, dvau bhūta-sargau loke 'smin daiva āsura eva ca [Bg. 16.6]. There are two classes of men---godly and atheist. Viṣṇu bhakta bhaved daiva āsuras tad viparyaya. Those who are devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all-pervading God, they are called devatā, or demigod, and those who are nondevotee, viparyaya, just the opposite number. Viparyaya means the opposite number, nondevotee. They are called asuras.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja, because he was devotee, although he was five years only old, he was taking opportunity of preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness, even during his tiffin hour in the school. So this talking of Prahlāda Mahārāja happened when the teachers in tiffin hour went away. The teachers did not like, because Prahlāda Mahārāja's father's strict order was that "This boy is inclined to become a devotee. Please take action that he may not become a devotee." So teachers were afraid. His father was a very powerful king. So teachers also did not allow to talk anything about God. But still, he took the opportunity. When the teachers are gone out of the class and the students are free, he would stand up on his bench and speak about God. So he's speaking, "My dear friends, kaumāra ācaret prājñaḥ." The other boys, they said, "Prahlāda, let us come and play. Why you are talking of God now? When we shall become old, you can talk of God." So Prahlāda Mahārāja said, "No, we should learn about God kaumāra." Kaumāra means from five years to ten years. Somebody says up to fifteen years. Anyway, kaumāra ācaret prājñaḥ [SB 7.6.1]. Prājñaḥ, if one is intelligent enough, then he should learn about God from the very beginning of life.
Actually, teaching begins, according to our Vedic system, everywhere, teaching begins at the age of four or five years. Either you teach about material things or spiritual, teaching must begin at the age of four and five. So Prahlāda Mahārāja said that "My dear friends, it is not that we have to wait up to our old age, because there is no guarantee of life. Where is the guarantee that we shall become old? We may die tomorrow or today. There is no guarantee. Therefore immediately we shall begin how to learn bhāgavata-dharma." Kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān. Dharmān, dharma means religion. And specially, he has specifically, Prahlāda Mahārāja says, dharmān bhāgavatān. Dharma, religious, religion. Dharma means bhāgavata-dharma. The other dharma cannot be dharma. Therefore you'll find in Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Mam. Kṛṣṇa is bhagavān. If you follow the instruction of Bhagavān, Kṛṣṇa, that is bhāgavata-dharma.
There may be other dharma, just like deśa-dharma or samāj-dharma. There are many other dharmas---brahma-dharma, this dharma, that... But that is not dharma. Real dharma means bhāgavata-dharma. That is real dharma. Otherwise, why Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja? Mām ekam. He is Bhagavān. You'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā, it is said, bhagavān uvāca. Whenever you find the instruction, bhagavān uvāca. Bhagavān, bhāgavata-śabda. The original word is bhagavat. So from bhagavat, this sound bhagavān also comes. And from bhagavat, bhāgavatam. The same root is bhāgavat-śabda. So Kṛṣṇa says..., Kṛṣṇa, in the Bhagavad-gītā, He says that yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata, tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham [Bg. 4.7] = "When there is discrepancies in the matter of understanding religious system, at that time I incarnate, I come." Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir. Now this dharma, one can say there are so many dharmas, in the different dharmas. But dharma cannot be different. Dharma, religious system, cannot be different. If it is... Dharma means from the Bhagavān.
Just like law. Law means it is given by the government. You cannot manufacture law. Law means government law. Not that privately you have manufactured some law, that will be accepted as law. No, that is not law. Similarly, dharma means which is given by God. That is dharma or religious system. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. In the Vedic injunction you'll find, dharma means the law which is given by God. So you must know what is God and what order He is giving. That is dharma. Otherwise, it is not dharma. Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra [SB 1.1.2] = "In this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, kaitava-dharma..." Kaitava means cheating, "...a cheating type of religious system, is completely kicked out in this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam." Dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satām [SB 1.1.2]. It is for the best person. Unless one is the best person, he cannot take up this dharma, bhāgavata-dharma. This very word is there, for whom the bhāgavata-dharma is meant for. So in the beginning, so that others may not be misled that "Dharma means whatever I accept, that is dharma..." They are preaching now in India, yata mat tata path: "Whatever you accept, that is dharma." No. Dharma means bhāgavata-dharma. Whatever Bhagavān says, or God says, that is dharma.
And God is one. There cannot be different Gods. If God has got competitors, then He is not God. There cannot be Hindu God, Muslim God, Christian God, or other conception of God. God is one. God cannot be Hindu, Muslim, Christian. So... And His order is also one. That is the instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says, God says, that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Real dharma is to surrender unto God. And surrender and to follow His instruction and become a lover of God. Then it is dharma. It is perfectly clear. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. In another place it is said, dharma..., sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. That is first-class religion. What is that? By which one can learn how to love God. This is the definition = How to love God. We have learned to love so many things, but when we love God, that is real religion. And that is first-class religion. It does not matter whether you are Hindu, Muslim, Christian or this or that. There are so many dharmas. But the thing is whether you have learned how to love God. Then it is perfect.
sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yenātmā samprasīdati
[SB 1.2.6]
That love of God should be without any motive. Motive means generally we go to temple, church, with a motive = "God, give us our daily bread." Or somebody goes to temple, comes here, "Kṛṣṇa, I am in need of this thing. Kindly give me." This is also good, because he has come to God. That is confirmed in this Bhagavad-gītā:
catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
janāḥ sukṛtino 'rjuna
ārto jijñāsur arthārthī
jñānī ca bharatarṣabha
[Bg. 7.16]
If one is in need of some money or need of some material necessities, and if he begs or if he prays to God, "Please give me," he's also considered as pious. But real religious system is to understand that God is great; I am His servant. I am supported by Him; it is my duty to serve Him. This is religion. This is called bhāgavata-dharma, to understand this philosophy, that "God is the supreme master and I am His eternal servant. My duty is to serve God." That's all. This is religion. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]. And God comes to demand this, that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. This is real religion. We have manufactured so many religious systems, but God says that this is religion. Otherwise, why He would say, sarva-dharmān parityajya: "Give up all other types of religion"? So bhāgavata-dharma means to accept the Supreme Lord, God, as the great, and we are all His servants. Our duty is to carry out the orders of God. So here is the order of God = sarva-dharmān parityajya... So where Bhagavad-gītā ends, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins there, from that point.
So here is another instance. Prahlāda Mahārāja, he is teaching that kaumāra ācaret prajño dharmān bhāgavatān iha [SB 7.6.1]. Iha, in this life, our only duty is to understand the bhāgavata-dharma, how to serve God. That is the only business. There is no other business. That is the only business of human life. In another place it is stated, tasyaiva hetoḥ prayeteta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ [SB 1.5.18]. Prahlāda Mahārāja also says here that durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma: "My dear friends, you have got this human form of body after many millions of years." Durlabha, "very rarely." That is nature's law. We are in the cycle of birth and death, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma [Bg. 4.9]. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir: after death we shall get another body. But we do not know what kind of body we are going to get. There are 8,400,000 different types of body, and the life begins from the grass, from the ground. We have seen so many grass, and gradually the grass is eaten by some animals or insects, and then there is semina. Then the same semina becomes insect. From insect to bird, bird to beast, from beast to animals. It takes millions and millions of years to come to the form of human being. This is evolution. They do not know it, but that is the process. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja says, durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma. You must understand that this human form of body you have got after many millions of years. Don't waste it like animals. If we utilize this human form of body just like cats and dogs, what is the difference between my life and dog's life? Therefore he says, durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ tad apy adhruvam arthadam.
So anyone can say, "This material body is there, even to the dogs and the cats, and what is the difference? Let us enjoy." No. Arthadam, in this life, in this human form of life, you can fulfill your mission. Arthadam. You can understand what is the value of life. So don't waste it. Begin bhāgavata-dharma immediately. And what is that bhāgavata-dharma?
śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyam
sākhyam ātma-nivedanam
[SB 7.5.23]
Bhāgavata-dharma means beginning is hearing. That's all. Śravaṇam. You simply hear about God. You haven't got to do anything. God has given you the ear. You simply hear about God. That is the beginning of bhāgavata-dharma. It doesn't require that you have to pass M.A., Ph.D. examination, then you'll understand God. No. Very simple thing. What God says, Kṛṣṇa says, in the Bhagavad-gītā, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto [Bg. 18.65], you hear it from Bhagavad-gītā. God says, Kṛṣṇa says, that "You simply think of Me." Is it a very difficult task? Here is God, Kṛṣṇa. Either you say the image of God... We take God as He is. It is not image of God, but God Himself. He has come here in the form which you can see. God is everywhere, but unfortunately we haven't got eyes to see Him.
God is everywhere. Eko 'py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭim yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham [Bs. 5.35]. God is everywhere, even within the atoms. But we have no eyes. The part of God, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7], the little portion of God is there in you and me, the living force. But we cannot see that. So we haven't got eyes to see God. We cannot eyes to see my father, mother. We are seeing the body. When the father dies, we cry, "My father has gone." Where your father has gone? Here he's lying. But he has not seen a man who is his father. Therefore our present eyes are not fit to see spiritual thing. We are fit to see stone, wood, like that. Therefore Kṛṣṇa, out of His great kindness, He has appeared before you. You are thinking it is stone. It is not stone---Kṛṣṇa. But because you cannot see except stone, He appears like stone. This is called Deity worship. Kṛṣṇa is so kind that because you cannot see anything except stone and wood or something material...
The material is also Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is everything. God is everything. Bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca [Bg. 7.4]. What is this material world? Kṛṣṇa says, "This bhūmi, this land, āpaḥ, the water, the ocean, that is My energy." There is no difference between the energy and the energetic. Just like the sunshine is the energy of the sun. The sunshine is also heat and light, and the sun is also heat and light. Similarly, this bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca, these material things are the energy of Kṛṣṇa; therefore these energies are also Kṛṣṇa. So if we study about bhakti-mārga, about Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, then we shall gradually understand. Therefore Prahlāda Mahārāja says that "Begin to understand bhāgavata-dharma, what is God, what He is like, what is His relationship with Me."
Why you should understand God from the beginning of life? That is explained here = because the human life is meant for understanding God. The cats and dogs, they cannot understand God, but although he has got this material body like us, the cats' and dogs' body and my body, if we make analysis, there is some blood, there is some muscle, there is some bone, there is some urine and stool. You'll find in the dog's body and in my body. Although these material things I am not; I am different from this muscle or blood or air, whatever it is composition. I am different. That also we can analyze what is this body. This body, first of all, you analyze that when there is no breathing, the life is lost. Do you think that breathing is life? No. Analyze it. What is breathing? It is a air only, little air. Do you mean to say when this breathing is stopped you can inject some air by some machine and life will come? No, that will not come. Therefore air is not life. Neither the blood is life, neither the bone is life, neither the muscle is life. Life is different from all these things. That you have to learn. That is called bhāgavata-dharma.
So, in this way... This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, don't think that it is a sectarian religious system. No. It is a science, bhāgavata-dharma, the science of Kṛṣṇa. Try to understand the science of Kṛṣṇa. We have got so many books to educate people about this science. Not that simply we are talking sentimentally. It is... Everything is scientific reason, philosophy. But the simple method is so easy to perform that anyone can understand very easily. What is that? Sarva-dharmān parityajya... [Bg. 18.66]. What Kṛṣṇa says, you accept. Then you will understand what is bhāgavata-dharma, what is God, what you are, what is this world, what is the relationship, why you should become a devotee of God. Everything is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Try to understand this bhāgavata-dharma and be happy in your life.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya Prabhupāda. [end]