There are five branches of irreligion, appropriately known as irreligion [vidharma], religious principles for which one is unfit [para-dharma], pretentious religion [abhasa], analogical religion [upadharma] and cheating religion [chala-dharma]. One who is aware of real religious life must abandon these five as irreligious. SB 7.15.12.

Greetings from rained-in New Govardhan –


1) Irreligion or vidharma.

Religious principles that obstruct one from following his own religion are called vidharma.

To create a new type of dharma has become fashionable in this age. So-called svamis and yogis support that one may follow any type of religious system, according to one’s own choice, because all systems are ultimately the same. In Srimad-Bhagavatam, however, such fashionable ideas are called vidharma because they go against one’s own religious system. SB 7.15.13

2) Religious principles for which one is unfit or para dharma.

Religious principles introduced by others are called para-dharma. Wfw: Imitating religious systems for which one is unfit.

3) Pretentious religion or abhasa

A pretentious religious system manufactured by one who willfully neglects the prescribed duties of his order of life is called abhasa [a dim reflection or false similarity]. SB 7.15.14

4) Analogical religion or upadharma.

A new type of religion crated by one who is falsely proud and who opposes the principles of the Vedas is called upadharma. Wfw: concocted religious principles.

and 5) Cheating religion or chala-dharma

Interpretation by one’s jugglery of words is called chala-dharma.

Misinterpretation of Bhagavad-gita is chala-dharma. When Krsna directly says something and some rascal interprets it to mean something different, this is chala-dharma — a religious system of cheating — or sabda-bhit, a jugglery of words. One should be extremely careful to avoid these various types of cheating systems of religion. SB 7.15.13

The real religious system is described by the Supreme Personality of Godhead: sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. The real religious system is that of surrender to the lotus feet of the Lord. Therefore, anything opposed to this religious system of progressive Krsna consciousness is called vidharma, para-dharma, upadharma or chala-dharma. SB 7.15.13.

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