That is the test. As soon as he has become Kṛṣṇa conscious, he has fully surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. Immediately he becomes the greatest mahātmā. Sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. A mahātmā like me, because, simply by changing dress... That is another thing. Because sometimes this dress gives us good opportunity for easy livelihood. That is another thing. But those who take this dress for begging and for fulfilling the hungry belly, that is..., that mahātmā is different thing. He is not mahātmā; he is durātmā. My Guru Mahārāja used to say that if one is inclined to collect money by showing Deity, it is better to become a sweeper in the street. It is better to become a sweeper in the street, because he's earning his livelihood honestly. And this man who is keeping a temple and doing all nonsense, simply by showing Deity, collecting some money, this class of men, they're most sinful. You cannot do so. You cannot take other's money. You'll be debtor. Therefore gradually, because this class of men are developed at the present moment, they have become... In Vṛndāvana there are so many temples, they have become, made a business by showing temple, collecting money. This is not good. There must be... Temple means people should come, people should learn the science of God. That is temple. Not that to make a business of temple.
My Guru Maharaja said that instead of earning livelihood by showing the Deity in the temple, it is better to take the profession of a sweeper in the street and live honestly
Advaita Ācārya was always absorbed in thoughts of how to deliver the fallen souls of the entire world. "The entire world is full of nondevotees," He thought. "How will they be delivered?"
Śrīla Advaita Ācārya sets the standard for ācāryas in the Vaiṣṇava sampradāya. An ācārya must always be eager to deliver the fallen souls. A person who establishes a temple or maṭha to take advantage of people’s sentiments by using for his livelihood what people contribute for the worship of the Deity cannot be called a gosvāmī or ācārya. One who knows the conclusion of the śāstras, follows in the footsteps of his predecessors and endeavors to preach the bhakti cult all over the world is to be considered an ācārya. The role of an ācārya is not to earn his livelihood through the income of the temple. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura used to say that if one earns his livelihood by displaying the Deity in the temple, he is not an ācārya or gosvāmī. It would be better for him to accept service even as a sweeper in the street, for that is a more honorable means of earning one’s living.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Conversations and Morning Walks
1972 Conversations and Morning Walks
If one saintly person do not be disturbed by people's unhappiness, he is not saintly person. He is not saintly person. If he is simply satisfied that "I have got a temple, I am getting good income, let me eat and sleep." My Guru Maharaja condemned this process. He said that to earn livelihood by showing some temple and collecting money and eat and sleep, better to become a sweeper in the street and earn his livelihood instead of earning livelihood in this so-called spiritual way. So practically all over the world a class of men, a priestly class of men, they have made it a means of earning livelihood, temple achar(?), taking money from people and enjoying, and then become drunkard. In your country, five thousand drunkard priests were consolidated in a hospital for treatment. They're getting money. So there is possibility, we are opening temples, public is contributing. But if we become easy-goer, "Now money is coming, let us eat sumptuously and eat, eat and sleep, and if possible drink also." But, of course, we are restricting. But naturally when one man becomes idle, idle brain is the devil's workshop.
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Yes. If by the dress of sannyāsī, you take some money and eat and sleep, then it is transcendental fraud. (SP laughs) (Hindi) Just like others are toiling, and we are getting money by some dress. That's all. They are getting money by laboring hard, and we are getting money... In India, mostly the sannyāsīs, they do that. The priests also, they do that. This is our profession, just... My Guru Mahārāja said that ṭhākura dekhiye pāya rasta karache, rastaye 'yandiya jīvika badram karam bhari (?). Instead of earning livelihood by showing the Deity in the temple, it is better to take the profession of a sweeper in the street and live honestly. He said like that. The sweeper is working hard toiling and getting some money and living. This is honest living. But just like in Vṛndāvana, all the Goswamis. They have got their Deity. People are coming, contributing.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Yaśodānandana: Instead of requesting ten paisā, they may be requested to offer something to the Deity.
Prabhupāda: Why? Nothing. Let them come and see. That's all.
Yaśodānandana: (break) Our Deity is not beggar.
Prabhupāda: No. He is bestower. He gives everything. If anyone voluntary gives, that's all right. You should not ask. (break) ...instead of doing this. (Bengali) He said like that. "By showing the Deity to earn livelihood is condemned. Better become a sweeper, municipal sweeper, and sweep the road and earn money." He said like that. That is better, honorable. He is working and getting money, instead of making a good show of Deity and earn money. This is not required. If you want to earn money, go, work according to your capacity and earn money. Don't cheat people. That is Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī.
Guru-kṛpā: Śrīla Prabhupāda, what about, say, many of your Godbrothers? They also have disciples, and they also are properly initiated by a proper spiritual master, and they give the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
Prabhupāda: The thing is the spirit, real service of preaching, stopped. Formality is going on, but the real business.... Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement means āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra ei deśa (CC Madhya 7.128). That is stopped. Do you follow? The formalities is there, but the real life of Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement is preaching. Otherwise why Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra ei deśa. Tāra means preaching. Yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa-upadeśa' (CC Madhya 7.128). And that is stopped. They are satisfied if they could construct one temple and beg some rice from the neighborhood: "Sir, we have got some temple," that's all. They are satisfied. The spirit of preaching forward-pāpī tāpī jata chilo, hari-nāme uddhārilo—that is stopped. So by hari-nāma, by chanting, by this way, to live little peacefully in the temple and eat and sleep, that much they have got. If that is the success, that success they have got. And this was condemned by my Guru Mahārāja, that "To earn some money by showing Deity in the temple and eat and sleep—better you become a sweeper in the street and earn your honest livelihood and live." This is cheating. This was condemned. To construct a temple.... Just like the Vṛndāvana Gosvāmīs are doing. They thought that "This is our business. Some innocent people will come here and offer some.... Bas, that's our good income." According to the temple's popularity, they think, "This is our success." Therefore they are deteriorating. So that is not success. Success is his who is pushing forward the preaching method. That is his success. And if we think that "By showing a temple Deity we get some money and rice and cloth and just peacefully live here. Don't bother about going to Fiji and all over..." (laughs) That much success they have got. But that is not Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma, sarvatra pracāra. What they are doing for that? That is point.
|Compiled by||Labangalatika +|
|Completed sections||ALL +|
|Date of first entry||September 12, 0009 JL +|
|Date of last entry||September 12, 0009 JL +|
|Total quotes||6 +|
|Total quotes by section||BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 1 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 1 +, Conv: 4 + and Let: 0 +|