Canto 7: The Science of GodChapter 15: Instructions for Civilized Human Beings

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.15.13

dharma-bādho vidharmaḥ syāt

para-dharmo 'nya-coditaḥ

upadharmas tu pākhaṇḍo

dambho śabda-bhic chalaḥ


dharma-bādhaḥ — obstructs the execution of one's own religious principles; vidharmaḥ — against the principles of religion; syāt — should be; para-dharmaḥ — imitating religious systems for which one is unfit; anya-coditaḥ — which is introduced by someone else; upadharmaḥ — concocted religious principles; tu — indeed; pākhaṇḍaḥ — by one who is against the principles of Vedas, standard scriptures; dambhaḥ — who is falsely proud; — or; śabda-bhit — by word jugglery; chalaḥa cheating religious system.


Religious principles that obstruct one from following his own religion are called vidharma. Religious principles introduced by others are called para-dharma. A new type of religion created by one who is falsely proud and who opposes the principles of the Vedas is called upadharma. And interpretation by one's jugglery of words is called chala-dharma.


To create a new type of dharma has become fashionable in this age. So-called svāmīs and yogīs support that one may follow any type of religious system, according to one's own choice, because all systems are ultimately the same. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, however, such fashionable ideas are called vidharma because they go against one's own religious system. The real religious system is described by the Supreme Personality of Godhead: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaḿ śaraṇaḿ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. The real religious system is that of surrender to the lotus feet of the Lord. In the Sixth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in connection with Ajāmila's deliverance, Yamarāja says, dharmaḿ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam: [SB 6.3.19] real religion is that which is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just as real law is that which is given by the government. No one can manufacture actual law at home, nor can one manufacture actual religion. Elsewhere it is said, sa vai puḿsāḿ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje: [SB 1.2.6] the real religious system is that which leads one to become a devotee of the Supreme Lord. Therefore, anything opposed to this religious system of progressive Kṛṣṇa consciousness is called vidharma, para-dharma, upadharma or chala-dharma. Misinterpretation of Bhagavad-gītā is chala-dharma. When Kṛṣṇa directly says something and some rascal interprets it to mean something different, this is chala-dharma — a religious system of cheating — or śabda-bhit, a jugglery of words. One should be extremely careful to avoid these various types of cheating systems of religion.

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