dharmam - real religious principles, or bona fide laws of religion; tu - but; sÄká¹£Ät - directly; bhagavat - by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; praá¹Ä«tam - enacted; na - not; vai - indeed; viduá¸¥ - they know; á¹á¹£ayaá¸¥ - the great á¹á¹£is such as Bhá¹gu; na - not; api - also; devÄá¸¥ - the demigods; na - nor; siddha-mukhyÄá¸¥ - the chief leaders of Siddhaloka; asurÄá¸¥ - the demons; manuá¹£yÄá¸¥ - the inhabitants of BhÅ«rloka, the human beings; kutaá¸¥ - where; nu - indeed; vidyÄdhara - the lesser demigods known as VidyÄdharas; cÄraá¹a - the residents of the planets where people are by nature great musicians and singers; Ädayaá¸¥ - and so on.
When challenged by the Viá¹£á¹udÅ«tas to describe the principles of religion, the YamadÅ«tas said, veda-praá¹ihito dharmaá¸¥: the religious principles are the principles enacted in the Vedic literature. They did not know, however, that the Vedic literature contains ritualistic ceremonies that are not transcendental, but are meant to keep peace and order among materialistic persons in the material world. Real religious principles are nistraiguá¹ya, above the three modes of material nature, or transcendental. The YamadÅ«tas did not know these transcendental religious principles, and therefore when prevented from arresting AjÄmila they were surprised. Materialistic persons who attach all their faith to the Vedic rituals are described in Bhagavad-gÄ«tÄ (2.42), wherein Ká¹á¹£á¹a says, veda-vÄda-ratÄá¸¥ pÄrtha nÄnyad astÄ«ti vÄdinaá¸¥: the supposed followers of the Vedas say that there is nothing beyond the Vedic ceremonies. Indeed, there is a group of men in India who are very fond of the Vedic rituals, not understanding the meaning of these rituals, which are intended to elevate one gradually to the transcendental platform of knowing Ká¹á¹£á¹a (vedaiÅ ca sarvair aham eva vedyaá¸¥). Those who do not know this principle but who simply attach their faith to the Vedic rituals are called veda-vÄda-ratÄá¸¥.
Herein it is stated that the real religious principle is that which is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That principle is stated in Bhagavad-gÄ«tÄ. Sarva-dharmÄn parityajya mÄm ekaá¹ Åaraá¹aá¹ vraja: one should give up all other duties and surrender unto the lotus feet of Ká¹á¹£á¹a. That is the real religious principle everyone should follow. Even though one follows Vedic scriptures, one may not know this transcendental principle, for it is not known to everyone. To say nothing of human beings, even the demigods in the upper planetary systems are unaware of it. This transcendental religious principle must be understood from the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly or from His special representative, as stated in the next verses.