Rupa Gosvami may utilize the devotee's money to construct a nice costly temple for the service of the Lord

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"Rūpa Gosvāmī may utilize the devotee's money to construct a nice costly temple for the service of the Lord"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

Rūpa Gosvāmī may utilize the devotee's money to construct a nice costly temple for the service of the Lord. Unfortunately, it happens that someone who is not fit to become a spiritual master may approach wealthy persons to contribute for temple constructions. If such money is utilized by unqualified spiritual masters to live comfortably in costly temples without actually doing any preaching work, this is not acceptable.

The one point is that without increasing the number of disciples, there is no propagation of the cult of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore, sometimes even at a risk, a sannyāsī in the line of Caitanya Mahāprabhu may accept even a person who is not thoroughly fit to become a disciple. Later on, by the mercy of such a bona fide spiritual master, the disciple is gradually elevated. However, if one increases the number of disciples simply for some prestige or false honor, he will surely fall down in the matter of executing Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Similarly, a bona fide spiritual master has no business to read many books simply to show his proficiency or to get popularity by lecturing in different places. One should avoid all these things. It is also stated that a sannyāsī should not be enthusiastic about constructing temples. We can see in the life of various ācāryas in the line of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu that they are not very enthusiastic about constructing temples. However, if somebody comes forward to offer some service, the same reluctant ācāryas will encourage the building of costly temples by such servitors. For example, Rūpa Gosvāmī was offered a favor by Mahārāj Mansingh, the commander-in-chief of Emperor Akbar, and Rūpa Gosvāmī instructed him to construct a large temple for Govindajī, which cost vast amounts of money.

So a bona fide spiritual master should not personally take any responsibility for constructing temples, but if someone has money and wants to spend it in the service of Kṛṣṇa, an ācārya like Rūpa Gosvāmī may utilize the devotee's money to construct a nice costly temple for the service of the Lord. Unfortunately, it happens that someone who is not fit to become a spiritual master may approach wealthy persons to contribute for temple constructions. If such money is utilized by unqualified spiritual masters to live comfortably in costly temples without actually doing any preaching work, this is not acceptable. In other words, a spiritual master needn't be very enthusiastic for constructing temple buildings simply in the name of so-called spiritual advancement. Rather, his first and foremost activity should be to preach. In this connection, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāj recommended that a spiritual master print books. If one has money, instead of constructing costly temples, one should spend his money for the publication of authorized books in different languages for propagating the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Straightforwardness in Ordinary Dealings

There is a statement in the Padma Purāṇa: "Persons who are engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness should never be disturbed by some material gain or loss. Even if there is some material loss, one should not be perturbed, but should always think of Kṛṣṇa within Himself." The purport is that every conditioned soul is always absorbed in thinking of materialistic activities; he has to make himself freed from such thoughts and transfer himself completely to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As we have already explained, the basic principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is to always think of Kṛṣṇa. One should not be disturbed in material loss, but, rather, should concentrate his mind upon the lotus feet of the Lord.

A devotee should not be subjected to lamentation or illusion. There is the following statement in the Padma Purāṇa: "Within the heart of a person who is overpowered by lamentation or anger, there is no possibility of Kṛṣṇa being manifested."