Real vs Cheating Religious System
By Subhag Swami
There are two kinds of dharmas-- 'kaitava', meaning cheating religious system, and real religious system. That is the subject matter of Srimad Bhagavatam.
dharmahprojjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaranamsatam
sadyohrdyavarudhyate 'trakrtibhihsusrusubhis tat-ksanat
"Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart." - [Srimad Bhagavatam1.1.2]
Real Religious System
To teach people the real religious system, Suta Goswami has explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam(1.2.6):
"The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self."
Concocted religious Systems
In this regard, there is a story told by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. In India, especially in Bengal sometimes, many ladies duringa marriage ceremony say 'This is dharma; that is dharma.' They say so many things, but it has nothing to do with the scriptures. The story goes like this. In that marriage ceremony, there was a cat creating problem, (running here and there) and trying to eat some food without being noticed. One mother-in-law in that group noticed this. So, she broughta box made of bamboo, and put the cat inside it so that the cat could not come out. So, later on, they started doing this in every marriage ceremony - putting a cat in a box. If they didn't find a cat, they would then bring a cat and put it inside a bamboo box. They made this as a ritual. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura says that they (people) think this is religion, dharma. If any grand-mother or mother-in-law says something, others just follow it. This is their (concocted) dharma. This is nonsense. So, people can make many things up and think that this is dharma. This has nothing to do with the scriptures.
"Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanishads, Puranas and Narada-pancaratra is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society."
All these scriptures can tell us what is real dharma. If something does not tally with these, then that must be concocted dharma. Kita-patang, In Bangladesh, there are so many of such examples. In every district, they come up with a god, which is not in the scripture. They can do anything and everything. They say 'Haribol! Haribol' and eat anything. This is not said in the scripture.
In Bhagavad Gita 7.28, Lord Krishna says:
yesam tv anta-gatampapam
bhajante mam drdha-vratah
"Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated, and who are freed from the duality of delusion, engage themselves in My service with determination."
Have you given up all sinful activities, like eating meat, fish and eggs, having illicit relationships, gambling or intoxication? Then Krishna will accept your service, not otherwise. Otherwise, chanting and dancing have no value. This is called kaitava dharma.
Editing: Ramanand das
Transcription: Bhakta Anirvan