Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s instruction that the prostitute should distribute to the brāhmaṇas all the property she had at home is very significant. Haridāsa Ṭhākura never advised the prostitute to give charity to the so-called daridra-nārāyaṇas (“poor Nārāyaṇas”) or any other such persons. According to Vedic civilization, charity should be given only to the qualified brāhmaṇas. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 18.42):
- śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
- jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam
The brahminical qualifications are truthfulness, control of the senses and mind, tolerance, simplicity, knowledge, practical application of transcendental knowledge in one’s life, and full faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Persons engaged in pursuing spiritual understanding have no time to earn their livelihood. They depend completely on the mercy of the Lord, who says in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.22) that He personally carries to them all their necessities (yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham).
The Vedic civilization recommends that one give charity to brāhmaṇas and sannyāsīs, not to the so-called daridra-nārāyaṇas. Nārāyaṇa cannot be daridra, nor can daridra be Nārāyaṇa, for these are contradictory terms. Atheistic men invent such concoctions and preach them to fools, but charity should actually be given to brāhmaṇas and sannyāsīs because whatever money they get they spend for Kṛṣṇa. Whatever charity one gives to a brāhmaṇa goes to Kṛṣṇa, who says in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.27):
- yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
- yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam
“Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform—do that, O son of Kuntī, as an offering to Me.” Everything actually belongs to Kṛṣṇa, but so-called civilized men unfortunately think that everything belongs to them. This is the mistake of materialistic civilization. The prostitute (veśyā) had earned money by questionable means, and therefore Haridāsa Ṭhākura advised her to distribute to the brāhmaṇas whatever she possessed. When Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī retired from family life, he distributed fifty percent of his income to the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas. A brāhmaṇa knows what the Absolute Truth is, and a Vaiṣṇava, knowing the Absolute Truth, acts on behalf of the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Generally one earns money by many questionable means. Therefore at some time one should retire and distribute whatever one has to the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas who engage in devotional service by preaching the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.