Mar 192020
 

       sri visnuduta ucuh
yuyam vai dharma-rajasya
  yadi nirdesa-karinah
bruta dharmasya nas tattvam
  yac cadharmasya laksanam

 “The blessed messengers of Lord Visnu, the Visnudutas, said: If you are actually servants of Yamaraja, you must explain to us the meaning of religious principles and the symptoms of irreligion.” (SB 6.1.3) The Yamadutas had challenged, “Who are you, interfering in our business? We have come to arrest him.” So, the counterchallenge was, “You said, ‘We are servants of Dharmaraja. It is his jurisdiction. This person is impious. So this is in the jurisdiction of Dharmaraja. He has to try the case and give him punishment—criminal department, law and order. So you cannot interfere with us.’ ” Therefore the challenge was replied by the Vishnudutas, “If you are actually representatives of Dharmaraja, who tries the cases of dharma and adharma, first of all explain what is dharma and what is adharma.”

This is very nice challenge. Suppose if you say, “We are Krishna conscious persons,” one may challenge you, “First of all, explain what you know about Krishna.” That is quite natural. If you do not know about Krishna, you have no right to say that “I belong to the Krishna consciousness movement.” You have no right to say. So, your position is like that. Simply if you have tilak and kanthi [neck beads], that does not mean that you belong to the Krishna consciousness movement. Any cheater can do that. You must know the philosophy. If one challenges, you must reply. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung a song indicating these cheaters. He says, eo ta’ eka kalira cela: “Here is a servant of Kali.” What kind of cela [disciple]? Nake tilaka galaya mala. “He has got a tilak and galaya mala [neck beads]. Bas. That’s all.” He does not know what is the philosophy. If you do not know the philosophy of Krishna consciousness, if you simply mark your body with tilak and kanthi, then you are not proper servant; you are not qualified. So tilak, mala is necessary. Just like a policeman. A bogus man, if he dresses like a policeman, is not a policeman. He must know what is the police law, criminal law, who is to be punished, who is not to be punished, what is criminality, what is innocence. All these things he must know.

—Srila Prabhupada, talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.38, June 4, 1976, Los Angeles

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