After visiting the temple, the Lord accepted prasādam (food offered to the Deity) at the house of a Deccanist (southern) brāhmaṇa with whom He was acquainted. While sitting alone at the brāhmaṇa's home, the Lord was visited by Rūpa Gosvāmī and Vallabha. From a distance the two brothers fell down on the ground to offer obeisances, and they chanted many Sanskrit verses from the scriptures. When the Lord saw Rūpa Gosvāmī offering obeisances before Him, He became very much pleased and said, "My dear Rūpa, please get up." The Lord then informed Rūpa Gosvāmī of the causeless mercy of Kṛṣṇa upon him, for Kṛṣṇa had just delivered him from the materialistic way of life, which is based simply on pounds-shillings-pence.
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SB Canto 3
For his income a devotee should be satisfied with what he earns without great difficulty. He should not eat more than what is necessary. He should live in a secluded place and always be thoughtful, peaceful, friendly, compassionate and self-realized.
Everyone who has accepted a material body must maintain the necessities of the body by acting or earning some livelihood. A devotee should only work for such income as is absolutely necessary. He should be satisfied always with such income and should not endeavor to earn more and more simply to accumulate the unnecessary. A person in the conditioned state who has no money is always found working very hard to earn some with the object of lording it over material nature. Kapiladeva instructs that we should not endeavor hard for things which may come automatically, without extraneous labor. The exact word used in this connection, yadṛcchayā, means that every living entity has a predestined happiness and distress in his present body; this is called the law of karma. It is not possible that simply by endeavors to accumulate more money a person will be able to do so, otherwise almost everyone would be on the same level of wealth. In reality everyone is earning and acquiring according to his predestined karma. According to the Bhāgavatam conclusion, we are sometimes faced with dangerous or miserable conditions without endeavoring for them, and similarly we may have prosperous conditions without endeavoring for them. We are advised to let these things come as predestined. We should engage our valuable time in prosecuting Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In other words, one should be satisfied by his natural condition. If by predestination one is put into a certain condition of life which is not very prosperous in comparison to another's position, one should not be disturbed. He should simply try to utilize his valuable time to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness does not depend on any materially prosperous or distressed condition; it is free from the conditions imposed by material life. A very poor man can execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness as effectively as a very rich man. One should therefore be very satisfied with his position as offered by the Lord.
Another word here is mita-bhuk. This means that one should eat only as much as necessary to maintain the body and soul together. One should not be gluttonous to satisfy the tongue. Grains, fruits, milk and similar foods are allotted for human consumption. One should not be excessively eager to satisfy the tongue and eat that which is not meant for humanity. Particularly, a devotee should eat only prasāda, or food which is offered to the Personality of Godhead. His position is to accept the remnants of those foodstuffs. Innocent foods like grains, vegetables, fruits, flowers and milk preparations are offered to the Lord, and therefore there is no scope for offering foods which are in the modes of passion and ignorance. A devotee should not be greedy. It is also recommended that the devotee should be muni, or thoughtful; he should always think of Kṛṣṇa and how to render better service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That should be his only anxiety. As a materialist is always thoughtful about improving his material condition, a devotee's thoughts should always be engaged in improving his condition in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; therefore he should be a muni.
The next item recommended is that a devotee should live in a secluded place. Generally a common man is interested in pounds, shillings and pence, or materialistic advancement in life, which is unnecessary for a devotee. A devotee should select a place of residence where everyone is interested in devotional service. Generally, therefore, a devotee goes to a sacred place of pilgrimage where devotees live. It is recommended that he live in a place where there is no large number of ordinary men. It is very important to live in a secluded place (vivikta-śaraṇa). The next item is śānta, or peacefulness. The devotee should not be agitated. He should be satisfied with his natural income, eat only as much as he needs to keep his health, live in a secluded place and always remain peaceful. Peace of mind is necessary for prosecuting Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
The next item is maitra, friendliness. A devotee should be friendly to everyone, but his intimate friendship should be with devotees only. With others he should be official. He may say, "Yes, sir, what you say is all right," but he is not intimate with them. A devotee should, however, have compassion for persons who are innocent, who are neither atheistic nor very much advanced in spiritual realization. A devotee should be compassionate towards them and instruct them as far as possible in making advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. A devotee should always remain ātmavān, or situated in his spiritual position. He should not forget that his main concern is to make advancement in spiritual consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and he should not ignorantly identify himself with the body or the mind. Ātmā means the body or the mind, but here the word ātmavān especially means that one should be self-possessed. He should always remain in the pure consciousness that he is spirit soul and not the material body or the mind. That will make him progress confidently in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
SB Canto 7
One who is too attached cannot understand that he is wasting his valuable life for the maintenance of his family. He also fails to understand that the purpose of human life, a life suitable for realization of the Absolute Truth, is being imperceptibly spoiled. However, he is very cleverly attentive to seeing that not a single farthing is lost by mismanagement. Thus although an attached person in material existence always suffers from threefold miseries, he does not develop a distaste for the way of material existence.
A foolish man does not understand the values of human life, nor does he understand how he is wasting his valuable life simply for the maintenance of his family members. He is expert in calculating the loss of pounds, shillings and pence, but he is so foolish that he does not know how much money he is losing, even according to material considerations. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita gives the example that a moment of life cannot be purchased in exchange for millions of dollars. A foolish person, however, wastes such a valuable life without knowing how much he is losing, even according to monetary calculations. Although a materialistic person is expert in calculating costs and doing business, he does not realize that he is misusing his costly life for want of knowledge. Even though such a materialistic person is always suffering threefold miseries, he is not intelligent enough to cease his materialistic way of life.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu called Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi "father," and He gave him the title Premanidhi. Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi later became the spiritual master of Gadādhara Paṇḍita and an intimate friend of Svarūpa Dāmodara's. Gadādhara Paṇḍita at first misunderstood Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi to be an ordinary pounds-and-shillings man, but later, upon being corrected by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he became his disciple.
A Vaiṣṇava must be very alert not to waste even a second of his valuable lifetime. This is a symptom of a Vaiṣṇava. But association with pounds-and-shillings men, or viṣayīs, materialists who are simply interested in sense gratification, pollutes one's mind and hampers such continuous remembrance of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore advised, asat-saṅga-tyāga—ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra: a Vaiṣṇava should behave in such a way as to never associate with nondevotees or materialists (CC Madhya 22.87). One can avoid such association simply by always remembering Kṛṣṇa within his heart.
"If you simply say, "I do not remember," I shall take care of the rest. By argument, I shall defeat the young brāhmaṇa."
The son of the elderly brāhmaṇa was an atheist and a follower of the Raghunātha-smṛti. He was very expert in dealing with pounds-shillings-pence, but he was fool number one.
Although Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya supposedly took birth in a śūdra family, he is not to be considered a śūdra, for he was a great advanced devotee. Indeed, he was on the transcendental platform. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore embraced him. Out of spiritual humility, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya presented himself as a śūdra (rāja-sevī viṣayī śūdrādhama). Even though one may engage in government service or in any other pounds-shillings-pence business—in short, in materialistic life-he need only take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a very simple process. One need only chant the holy names of the Lord and strictly follow the principles forbidding sinful activity. In this way one can no longer be considered an untouchable, a viṣayī or a śūdra.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's business was the deliverance of the most fallen. How, then, could He reject the King? The more fallen a person is, the more he has the right to be delivered by the Lord—provided, of course, he surrenders unto the Lord. Mahārāja Pratāparudra was a fully surrendered soul; therefore the Lord could not refuse him on the grounds that he was a worldly pounds-shillings man.
"I shall not meet the King at the request of all the devotees, but I shall do so if Dāmodara will give his permission."
From the spiritual point of view, a sannyāsī is strictly forbidden to see materialistic people, especially a king who is always engaged in counting pounds, shillings and pence. Indeed, the meeting between a sannyāsī and a king is always considered abominable. A sannyāsī is always subjected to public criticism, and a small fault on his part is taken seriously by the public. People actually expect a sannyāsī to preach and not take part in any social or political matters. If a sannyāsī is subject to public criticism, his preaching will not be fruitful.
Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya informed the King, "The Lord is very satisfied with you. By pointing you out, He was teaching His personal associates how to behave with mundane people."
Although outwardly the King was a mundane man interested in money and women, internally he was purified by devotional activities. He showed this by engaging as a street sweeper to please Lord Jagannātha. A person may appear to be a pounds-and-shillings man interested in money and women, but if he is actually very meek and humble and surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is not mundane. Such a judgment can be made only by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His very confidential devotees. As a general principle, however, no devotee should intimately mix with mundane people interested in money and women.
Although Rāmānanda Rāya was a householder, he was not under the control of the six kinds of bodily changes. Although apparently a pounds-and-shillings man, he advised even persons in the renounced order.
Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya externally appeared to be a gṛhastha who was under the influence of the external, material energy, not a self-controlled brahmacārī, vānaprastha or sannyāsī. Gṛhasthas (householders) who are under the influence of the external energy accept householder life for the purpose of sense enjoyment, but a transcendentally situated Vaiṣṇava is not subjected to the influence of the senses by the Lord's material rule of the six kinds of bodily changes (kāma, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and mātsarya), even when he plays the part of a gṛhastha. Thus although Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya acted as a gṛhastha and was accepted as an ordinary pounds-and-shillings man, he was always absorbed in the transcendental pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Therefore his mind was spiritually situated, and he was interested only in the subject of Kṛṣṇa.
Instead of becoming a so-called renunciant, Raghunātha dāsa, following the instructions of the Lord, returned home and played exactly like a pounds-and-shillings man.
""My consciousness is impure because I accept all these goods from people who are interested only in pounds, shillings and pence. Therefore by this kind of invitation I get only some material reputation.""
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "If you all adopt the renounced order and lose interest in dealing with pounds, shillings and pence, who will take charge of maintaining your large family?"
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura comments that one should always remember that he is eternally a servant of Kṛṣṇa. Whether one is engaged in material activity involving pounds, shillings and pence or is in the renounced order, he should always think that he is an eternal servant of God, for that is the real position of the living being. Both taking sannyāsa and dealing in pounds, shillings and pence are external affairs. In any condition, one should always consider how to please and satisfy Kṛṣṇa.
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Teachings of Lord Caitanya
Rāmānanda Rāya very much appreciated the Lord's touching a man of wealth. Generally a king, governor or any politician is always absorbed in thoughts of political affairs and pounds-shillings-pence; therefore such persons are avoided by sannyāsīs. Lord Caitanya, however, knew Rāmānanda Rāya to be a great devotee, and so He did not hesitate to touch and embrace him. Rāmānanda Rāya was surprised by Lord Caitanya's behavior, and he cited a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.8.4): "Great personalities and sages appear in the homes of worldly men just to show them mercy."
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
The students are... Formerly, they were in the guru-gṛha, spiritual master's place, and they had to undergo severe types of regulation. So a brahmacārī is expected to go to every householder and beg. There was no system of schooling, there was no system for payment. The spiritual master, the teacher, he did not accept any payment in pound shilling pence. That was not accepted because mostly brāhmaṇas, they used to become the teachers. So they were not accepting any salary. The brāhmaṇas are forbidden to accept any service.
So the whole yoga system means to make the mind strong. Not to deviate from the Supreme. That is perfection of yoga system. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18). One should fix up, just like Ambarīṣa Mahārāja fixed up his mind only on Kṛṣṇa. And there was a fight between a great yogi, aṣṭāṅga-yogī, Durvāsā Muni. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, he was a king, he was a householder, he was pound shilling man. Householder means he has to take account of pound, shilling, pence. Dollars, cents. King, he was actually king. So Durvāsā Muni was a great yogi. He was envious of this king. That, "How is that, I am so great a yogi, I can travel in the space, and this man is ordinary king, he cannot show such jugglery of yoga system, but still people honors him most. Why? I shall teach him some lesson." So he picked up some quarrel with the king, that's a long story, I shall state it some other day, so after all he was defeated. And he was directed by Nārāyaṇa to take shelter of the feet of the king, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. These instances we see from authoritative scripture. But he was simply keeping Kṛṣṇa in his mind. And he defeated the greatest yogi.
Just like a person who is serving some boss. Oh, he's always thinking of that boss. Oh, I have to attend there at nine o'clock and that boss will be displeased. He's thinking for some purpose. That sort of thinking will not do. Then therefore He says, bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. "You just think of Me with love." When the master, when the, I mean to, when the servant thinks of the master, there is no love. He's thinking for pound-shilling-pence. "Because, if I do not attend my office, just at nine o'clock, oh, there will be late, and I shall lose two dollars." Therefore he's thinking of, not of the master, he's thinking of that pound-shilling-pence. So that sort of thinking will not save you. Therefore He says, bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. "You just become My devotee. Then your thinking of Me will be nice." And what is that bhakti? Mad-bhaktaḥ. Devotional... Devotion means service. Mad-yājī. You render some service to the Lord. Just like we are engaged here always. Whenever you'll come you find us engaged some duty. You see. We have manufactured some duty. Just to think of Kṛṣṇa only.