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Nobody can say that "Because I am poor, I cannot serve God." No. God can be served both by the poor and the rich without any difficulty, because it is not material affair

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"God can be served both by the poor and the rich without any difficulty, because it is not material affair"


Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

If you want to render service to God, it cannot be checked at any circumstance. Nobody can say that "Because I am poor, I cannot serve God." No. God can be served both by the poor and the rich without any difficulty, because it is not material affair.
Lecture on SB 1.2.5 -- Montreal, August 2, 1968:

Now everyone can test which one is first-class religion because by the result of such activities one will be able to render service to the Supreme. When you render service to somebody, unless you understand something about him, you cannot render service. That is not possible. You cannot render service in the air. You must have some understanding, that "Here I am actually rendering service." That is realization. If I say that "You do something like this, blindly," you cannot do it for long time. On my request you can do it for some time, but unless you understand why you are doing, whether you are deriving any benefit out of it, you cannot prolong that activities. Therefore the religion or the process of transcendental activities by which one can render service to the Supreme Lord, that is first-class religion. This is the definition given by Bhāgavata. Don't try to understand, "This is Christian religion," "This is Hindu religion," "This is Muhammadan religion," or "This is something other," but try to understand whether that process of religion is teaching you how to love God. That is the test. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). Bhakti means rendering service.

So when one learns how to render service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, direct service, then that is the ultimate goal of religious principles. In the Bhagavad-gītā also, the Lord says, sarva-dharmān parityajya: (BG 18.66) "You give up all types of religious principles." Sarva-dharmān. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: "Simply just surrender unto Me," because this is religion. Anything which does not teach how to surrender to Kṛṣṇa of God, that is not religion. Therefore I said in the beginning, there is some difference of meaning between "religion" and dharma. Religion and dharma. Religion is a faith, but dharma is the original characteristic of the living entity. And here Kṛṣṇa says that "You give up all types of faiths," because we have created so many faiths within this world, according to time, circumstances, country, atmosphere, everything, we have got different faiths. But Kṛṣṇa says it is not the question of faith; it is the question of actual relationship. Because every living entity is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, and the duty of part and parcel is to render service to the whole, therefore Kṛṣṇa came to establish this type of religion, this first-class religion. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). So any religion.

Now, you should understand Kṛṣṇa as God. When we speak of Kṛṣṇa... Last week I explained that if there can be any name of God... There are many thousands of names of God. Somebody says, "God has no name." Yes, God has no particular name because, as I explained, God's name is ascertained according to His activity. Just the other day I explained. God appeared as the son of Nanda Mahārāja, so He is called son of Nanda. That is another name, Nanda-nandana. Nanda-nandana means one who gives pleasure to Nanda. So everyone's son, child, gives pleasure to his parents. So Kṛṣṇa, by His activities, childhood activities, He gave pleasure to His father and mother, Yaśodā and Nanda. Therefore He is known as Yaśodā-nandana, Nanda-nandana. He was lover of Rādhārāṇī; therefore He is called Rādhā-ramaṇa. In this way, Kṛṣṇa has got different names, or God has got different names, according to His activities. But His real name is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. He attracts everyone. Kṛṣṇa attracts both the nondevotees and devotees. Devotees are very much attracted to Kṛṣṇa to render service, and nondevotees are attracted to Kṛṣṇa to kill Him, but everyone is attracted. Somebody is attracted to vanquish God. That is also another attraction, indirect attraction. If I always think of my enemy, "How shall I vanquish him?" that is an attraction. And if I think of somebody, of my friend or somebody, "How shall I make him happy?" that is also attraction.

So there are two classes of men in this world. One class is trying to serve God, another class is trying to kill God. There is no third division. So those who are trying to kill God, that is an attraction. And those who are trying to serve God, that is also attraction. Therefore God is all-attractive. Just try to understand whether this definition is complete, that Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. Therefore Bhāgavata says, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). There may be many Gods, according to our conception. God means all-powerful, or full of... Our definition, in the Vedic śāstra: God means full of all opulences. There are six kinds of opulences: to become rich, to become very powerful, influential, very much famous, very beautiful, very wise, and very much renounced, unattached. The six kinds of opulences, when they are found in fullness somewhere, that is God. This is the definition of God, these six kinds of opulences.

We have seen many rich men, but if you find out somebody, that nobody is richer than him, then he is God. We have seen many men, wise men, but if you find out somebody—nobody is wiser than him—then he is God. In this way, the six opulences, when they are full represented in one person, he is God. He is Kṛṣṇa. When Kṛṣṇa was present on this planet, He exhibited all these opulences in fullness. Nobody could conquer Him. Nobody was richer than Him. Nobody was beautiful. In the history of the world, you cannot compare with Kṛṣṇa anybody has more rich, more beautiful, more wise, in this way. Therefore, Bhāgavata ascertains, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam: "The original Personality of Godhead is Kṛṣṇa." So the Bhāgavata-dharma is: if anyone is taught how to love Kṛṣṇa, that is first-class religion.

Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). What kind of bhakti? Now, there are sometimes motive. If I want to render some service unto you in this material world, I make friendship with you, I flatter you, I invite you at home to give you something to eat. But generally there is some motive, that "If I can make friendship with this man, I'll execute such-and-such motive through him." Here it is said that when you render service to God, or Kṛṣṇa, there may not be any motive. That is not service. That is not pure service. If you have got some motive, that "I will render service to God or Kṛṣṇa for this purpose, for this particular purpose," then it is not very first-class religion. If you want to serve God with some motive... Motiveless, ahaitukī, no cause. Ahaituky apratihatā. Apratihatā means it cannot be checked. If you want to render service to God, it cannot be checked at any circumstance. Nobody can say that "Because I am poor, I cannot serve God." No. God can be served both by the poor and the rich without any difficulty, because it is not material affair.

When there is material transaction, if I want to purchase something, then I must have the requisite money to purchase. It is conditioned. But if you want to render service to God, or Kṛṣṇa, there is no condition. Therefore ahaituky apratihatā: "It cannot be checked." Because I am born in particular type, particular time, or particular country, I cannot render service to Kṛṣṇa—that's not a fact. Anywhere, any part of the world, any part of the universe, any man, in any condition, he can serve Kṛṣṇa. There is no impediment. Ahaituky apratihatā. And when that type of religion is followed, to serve the Supreme Absolute without any motive, and without any impediment, then you will be happy. Yayātmā suprasīdati. You are wanting happiness, peace. So if you try, if you learn how to love Kṛṣṇa without any motive and without any impediment, then you will be happy. This is the program of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, to make everyone happy. Ātmā, yayātmā suprasīdati. Prasīdati means fully satisfied. Yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ.

There are many examples. Just like Dhruva Mahārāja. He went to worship God with a motive. His father did not accept him on the lap. His stepmother insulted him, that "You cannot sit on the lap of your father because you were not born in my womb." (noises) (aside:) Stop that. So he went to worship God in the forest with a motive. He was a kṣatriya. He was determined that "I must have my father's property." And everyone thinks like that, some motive. But his mother advised that "Your determination... Your, this promise can only be fulfilled if Kṛṣṇa helps you. Otherwise, it is impossible." So he went to worship Kṛṣṇa. But actually, when he met Kṛṣṇa face to face, he said, svāmin kṛtārtho 'smi varaṁ na yāce: (CC Madhya 22.42) "My dear Lord, simply by seeing You I have become satisfied. I don't want anything more from You." That is the result of pure devotion. Even one goes to God with a motive, but if he actually becomes a devotee, he becomes motiveless, no more motive. Simply by association, simply by serving God, he is so satisfied that he has no more demand, "Sir, I want this." That is recommended here. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharma yato bhaktir adhokṣaje. If we can promote ourself, elevate ourself, to the standard of loving God without any motive, without any return... Sometimes we go to God for some return. That is motive. So no. God should be loved, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught us, āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu māṁ marma-hatāṁ karotu vā adarśanāt (CC Antya 20.47).

Sometimes... Just like Dhruva Mahārāja went into the forest to see God. But here Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches, marma-hatāṁ karotu vā adarśanāt: "If You break my heart perpetually by not being present before me." He doesn't say that "We want to see God." Doesn't matter. "Why I shall see God? He is busy. Why shall I call Him to become present in my presence? No. Although I am broken-hearted... I would have been pleased to see God, but doesn't matter if He does not come." That is pure devotion. "Oh, I served God so many years, and still I could not see Him. Oh, give up this job. Let me go to māyā." That is not devotion. That is motive. I wanted to serve God with a motive. As soon as the motive is not fulfilled...

One German friend, my Godbrother, he said, in the last war, in the First World War, every, all manpower went to the active field. So the sister, generally women, left. Women means sister, mother, or wife. So they went to church: "My husband may come back. My brother may come back," or "My son may come back." But nobody came back, so they become atheist. Because they went to the church with some motive and the motive was not fulfilled, they became atheist. Therefore this type of devotion is not pure devotion. Motive... God is not meant for supplying your orders because He takes service. He does not serve anybody. So if we want to bring God for our service, we may be disappointed because God does not agree to serve anybody. He is the master, supreme master. How you can expect that God will come to serve you? But God supplies everyone's necessity, but if you want more than your necessity, that is a different thing. That may not be supplied by God.