SB 1.2 - The dharma of a living being

In answer to the first question of the sages regarding what is the highest good for people in general, Suta Gosvami says that the supreme occupation for all humanity or the highest good for all people is that men attain to loving devotional service (prema bhakti) unto Adhokṣaja. Such devotion should be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self. Prema bhakti to the Lord is not caused by anything other than itself, cannot be obstructed and satisfies the mind completely. People desire intimacy, but because of being self centered, which places them in the position of exploiter, their attempts to find intimacy on the physical, emotional, or intellectual levels push true intimacy away. On the other hand, serving Kṛṣṇa feels true because it is deeply pleasing to the soul.

The Vedas prescribe two different types of occupation for the human beings. One is called the pravṛtti-mārga, or the path of sense enjoyment, and the other is called nivṛtti-mārga, or the path of renunciation, which is superior. The material existence of the living being is a diseased condition of life. Actual life is spiritual existence, or brahma-bhūta existence. Material life is temporary, illusory and full of miseries, and cessation of miseries is called happiness. Thus the path of progressive material enjoyment is inferior. But devotional service to the Lord, which leads one to eternal, blissful and all cognizant life, is called the superior quality of occupation. Devotion mixed with material gain is an obstruction to the progressive path of renunciation. Material enjoyment only aggravates the symptoms of diseased life and increases its duration. Therefore devotional service must be pure in quality, without the desire for material enjoyment.

The root meaning of dharma is that which sustains one’s existence. A living being’s sustenance of existence is to coordinate his activities with his eternal relation with Lord Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the central pivot of living beings and is the eternal form among all living beings or eternal forms. Each and every living being has his eternal form in spiritual existence, and Kṛṣṇa is the eternal attraction for all of them. Kṛṣṇa is the complete whole and everything else is His part and parcel. The living beings are servants of Kṛṣṇa, and this relation is transcendental and completely distinct from our experience in material existence. This relation of servant and served is the most congenial form of intimacy. When one engages in loving service to the Lord even in the conditional state of existence, one will gradually get the clue of actual life and become completely satisfied.