What is the standard of morality?

If we stick to the particular type of ritualism—because I confess a particular type of faith, and my faith describes this sort of ritualism, I must follow—then you stick to that, you cannot make any progress. And if you go on simply philosophizing—this ism, that ism, that ism, nonsense-ism—then also you will not be able. And if you become mundane moralist, then also you will not be able. You have to become transcendental to all these mundane principles; then it will be possible to become perfectly Krishna conscious.

excerpt from Lecture on Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila 20.125, New York, November 27, 1966:

Why so many religions?

One Religion, Like One Sun
There are two kinds of dharma: one is permanent, and one is temporary. One is spiritual, and one is material. My material dharma is that I have to satisfy father, I have to satisfy my government by paying my taxes, I have to satisfy my teachers or professors in the school by doing my homework, I have to obey all of the laws of my state; otherwise a policeman will give me a ticket. So, there two kinds of dharma, and this apara-dharma is in relationship to my material existence, or my material environment. But there is a higher dharma which pertains not to this temporary material body, but to the living force, the spirit soul. That is called para-dharma, and this is the point I wanted to make today and which is very important, that there is really only one dharma for everyone in varying degrees of development, or spiritual evolution. more

There is a philosophy which is called karma-mimamsa. Karma-mimamsa means there is no need of making your relationship with God. God is Supreme, accepted, but He is bound to give you the result of your honest work. This is another philosophy. So you work honestly, there is more or less moral principles. If you stick to the moral principle, ethics and morals, then you will be entrapped by the pride that “Oh, I am very moral. I do not speak lies. I do not steal. I treat with my neighbors very nicely. So I have no necessity to search out father. I am quite all right.” That means, this mundane moralist, if you become mundane moralist, or if you become mundane philosopher or if you stick to the ritualistic process of your particular faith, then there is no hope of reaching to the Absolute Truth. Mundane scriptural, ritualistic way and dry speculative philosophy and mundane moralists. Just like Arjuna and his brother. His eldest brother is Maharaja Yudhishthira; he was very moralist, Dharmaraja. His name was “the king of religious principles,” Dharmaraja. So Krishna Himself advised him that “You go to Dronacharya and tell him a lie, that ‘Your son is dead. Your son is dead.’ ” Now Maharaja Yudhishthira, he was a mundane moralist, so “How can I tell lie? How can I tell lie? I have never spoken lie in my life.” So there was some argument. Of course this was, fight was, some compromise was made between them in the camp. So he became a mundane moralist. He did not consider that “The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is asking me to tell lie.” So he could not transgress his moral principles so he could not become a devotee of Krishna. He considered mundane moralism, so it was not possible for him to become a Krishna conscious person. He could not take Krishna’s order as the Supreme. But Arjuna, in the beginning, he was hesitating to fight and kill his kinsmen, and when he understood that “Krishna wants this fight,” he decided, “Yes, I shall do.” This is Krishna consciousness.

So these are the principles. If we stick to the particular type of ritualism—because I confess a particular type of faith, and my faith describes this sort of ritualism, I must follow—then you stick to that, you cannot make any progress. And if you go on simply philosophizing—this ism, that ism, that ism, nonsense-ism—then also you will not be able. And if you become mundane moralist, then also you will not be able. You have to become transcendental to all these mundane principles; then it will be possible to become perfectly Krishna conscious. So it is not transgressing, because as soon as you become really Krishna conscious, then you become all: you become a philosopher, you become a ritualistic, you become actually moralist. What is the standard of morals? Can you explain? What is the standard of morality? Can you explain? Can any one of you say? Have you got any idea what is the standard of morality? The standard of morality is to obey the Supreme. That is standard of morality. Standard of morality does not mean that you manufacture something morality out of your concoction. No. Standard of morality is to obey the Supreme. That is standard of morality. Example. Example is, just like this State, the State has law that if you commit murder, then you will be hanged. It is immoral. If you commit theft, then you will be punished. But when the State says that you go and become a spy and become a thief and bring out these documents on the enemy’s camp, that is morality. If you kill a man, you will be hanged. But when the State order, if you kill an enemy, hundreds of enemy, you will be awarded gold medal. So if you stick to the principle, theft and murder, and do not follow the State order, you will be considered, what is called, tyrant, or what is that? Traitor. Traitor.

So if in our practical experience we see to obey the order of the Supreme is morality, standard of morality, don’t you think to obey the supermost supreme, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to obey Him, that is morality. That is morality. So if you stick to the mundane principle, then it will not be.

Therefore the astrologer advises the poor man, purva-dike tate mati alpa khudite/ dhanera jhari padibeka tomara hatete. In other words, that if you take this process of Krishna consciousness, devotional service, a slight attempt will give you the treasury house of that wealth. A slight attempt. Sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat. This is the only, only path. Bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yash chasmi tattvatah [Bhagavad-gita 18.55]. In the Bhagavad-gita you will find that if you actually want God, then you will have to follow this process, Krishna consciousness, and transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord. That will make you successful. Even if you execute a little percentage of this process, then you will touch at once, at least you will know, “Oh, here is the hidden box containing the treasure.” Now, gradually, you open it and then enjoy. But at once you will get information, “Here is the thing.” So this is the process. Aiche shastra kahe—karma, jnana, yoga tyaji’.

Now, Lord Chaitanya is explaining this system, different system, ritualistic, philosophical, meditation, morality, all these in shastra-kahe. Real Vedic instruction… Just like, what is Veda? Veda means the words of the Lord. That is Veda. Scripture means the words of the Lord. God says, “Let there be light.” God says, “Let there be creation.” These words are scripture. Now one who takes out… Just like sound is transmitted from a certain place, and one who catches by the machine, he gets the information. Similarly, Veda means instruction transmitted by the Supreme Lord, and there are capable personalities, just like Brahma, that capture it, and that is distributed, either in writing or by tradition, by hearing. That is scripture. The words of God. Now, here the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is personally speaking Bhagavad-gita. Is it not Veda? That is Veda. That is real Veda. Sarva-upanishade. In the Gita-mahatmya it is said, “This is the essence of all Veda.” This is Vedanta. Simply by studying Bhagavad-gita, one becomes a learned science in the science of God. So shastra-kahe. And what is that shastra? The essence of all shastra, the essence of all scripture, asks you to do—the shastra says, the Lord says—sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam sharanam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “Give up everything, just surrender under Me.” This is the most confidential part of knowledge.

So “give up everything” means there are different processes, different processes, ritualistic process, different religious processes, philosophical processes, meditation, so many. “Give up all them. Simply surrender to Krishna.” So Lord Chaitanya is stressing on that point, that aiche shastra kahe—karma, jnana, yoga tyaji’. Karma. Karma means general activities on moral principle. That is called karma. Karma means, real karma means that you have to live, so you have to work. So work in such a way that you may not be entangled. Just like honest businessman, he works, he works according to the law. He does not play any blackmailing, and he pays the proper income tax to the government and the other taxes. He does nicely. This is called work, karma. You have to live. Without working you cannot live. But you work in such a way so that you may not be entangled. That is called work, karma. Now, this work is not the solution of your human life. You can get some morsel of bread and eat and drink and sleep and just enjoy your life and die like cats and dogs, that’s all. And then you will take with you the result of your good work or bad work. That is karma. That is not solution. Then the next stage is, above this karma, this ordinary, general people, there is a class, they are thinkers. They are thinkers: “Whether this is the solution of life?” So thinkers, some of them are dry thinkers, they have no knowledge, but they think only. They do not get the source of knowledge from higher authorities; they manufacture their own way. So apart from that, those who are bona fide thinkers, they are called jnani. Jnani means that this process of karma cannot make solution of life. They push some philosophical thesis that “This is the solution of life.” They are called jnani. The others, yogis, they meditate. So what they meditate? Not they meditate falsely; they meditate, they concentrate the whole senses and put the focus on the soul and the Supersoul. So their endeavor is to make, reestablish with the Supersoul who is sitting in my heart. That is yoga system.

So all these systems can be adjusted only in one system, Krishna consciousness. That is the version of all the shastra, all the Vedas. Lord Chaitanya also confirms that aiche shastra kahe—karma, jnana, yoga tyaji’/
‘bhaktye’ krishna vasha haya, bhaktye tanre bhaji
. If you want Krishna, if you want God, then you don’t try to follow all these processes. You just try to follow devotional service to the Lord, bhakti, Krishna consciousness. That will please Krishna. Then by His pleasing, He will reveal to you. He will reveal to you. God being pleased with your sincere service and love, He will let you know. Just like Arjuna is being instructed by the Supreme Lord, and He says, “My dear Arjuna, I am speaking to you the most confidential part of knowledge.” So if we become friends like Arjuna to Krishna, then Krishna will reveal Himself, as He is revealing Himself, “I am this, I am that, I am this, I am that.” So if you actually want to reestablish your lost relationship with Krishna and God, then you have to adopt this Krishna consciousness and nothing more.

Thank you very much.

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