“The real aim of life is to mitigate distress, and one can do this very easily by following the principles of Shastra [scripture].”
This is a quote from Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.15.14
[This chapter of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “Instructions for Civilized Human Beings,” relates a conversation between the sage Narada and King Yudhisthira. Yudhisthira asks Narada—one of the primary authorities on Vedic knowledge—how a common man may achieve the perfection of life. Here Narada explains the differences between actual dharma, or duty, and various other kinds of activity.]
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]. But if one performs the prescribed duties for his particular asrama or varna, why are they not sufficient to mitigate all material distresses?
It is indicated here that everyone should strictly follow the principles of varna and ashrama as given in the shastra. In the Vishnu Purana (3.8.9) it is said:
purusena parah puman
visnur aradhyate pantha
One should focus upon the destination for progress, which is to become Krishna conscious. This is the aim and end of all varnas and ashramas. However, if Vishnu is not worshiped, the followers of the varnasrama institution manufacture some concocted God. Thus it has now become fashionable for any rascal or fool to be elected God, and there are many missionaries who have concocted their own gods, giving up their relationship with the real God.
In Bhagavad-gita it is clearly said that one who worships the demigods has lost his intelligence. Nonetheless we find that even an illiterate person who has lost all intelligence is elected God, and although he has a temple, it has meat-eating sannyasis, and many polluted activities go on there. This type of religious system, which misguides its poor followers, is strictly forbidden. Such pretentious religions should be stopped altogether.
The original system is that a brahmana should actually become a brahmana; he should not only take birth in a brahmana family, but must also be qualified. Also, even if one is not born in a brahmana family but has brahminical qualifications, he must be considered a brahmana. By strictly following this system, one can be happy without extra endeavor.
Sva-bhava-vihito dharmah kasya nestah prasantaye. The real aim of life is to mitigate distress, and one can do this very easily by following the principles of shastra.