Welfare Work

Published on April 27th, 2023 | by Madhudvisa dasa


The Best Welfare Work

“One who is beyond duality and doubt, whose mind is engaged within, who is always busy working for the welfare of all sentient beings, and who is free from all sins, achieves liberation in the Supreme.” (Bhagavad Gita 5.25)

All over the world we see that religious organizations are busy with so many different programs of welfare work for the benefit of the poor, the sick, the young and the disadvantaged. In India this is also very prominent. There they have a very bogus and unauthorized concept of “daridya Narayana seva.” It means “service to the poor Narayana.” It is such a nonsense concept. They think that Narayan has become poor and if they serve the poor then they will be serving Narayana. So on the basis of this daridya narayana seva all the religious organizations in India are very much interested in serving the poor.

“In Kali-yuga there is a scarcity of food almost every year, and thus philanthropists spend lavishly to feed the poor. For this they invent the term daridra-narayana-seva. This is prohibited. One should distribute sumptuous prasada, considering everyone a part of the Supreme Lord, but one should not juggle words to make a poor man Narayana. Everyone is related to the Supreme Lord, but one should not mistakenly think that because one is related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he has become the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. Such a Mayavada philosophy is extremely dangerous, especially for a devotee. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has therefore strictly forbidden us to associate with Mayavadi philosophers. Mayavadi-bhasya sunile haya sarva-nasa: if one associates with the Mayavada philosophy, his devotional life is doomed.” (Srila Prabhupada from Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.15.6)

There are so many attempts all over the world by religious and philanthropic organizations to feed the poor but still there are so many poor people who are hungry. So what does this mean? For so many years so many organizations are spending billions to feed the hungry but there are still so many hungry people. The reality is that we experience things in this world according to our karma. Karma means work and every time we perform any type of work there will a reaction to that work and in the future we have to enjoy or suffer that reaction. If it is good work we will enjoy the results of it in the future and if it is bad work then that will cause us to suffer in the future.

So the hungry people are actually suffering from the hunger as a karmic result for sinful activities they have performed in the past. It is caused by their own sinful activities, and it is the arrangement of Krishna, the arrangement of the material nature — we all have to suffer and enjoy the reactions to our activities in the past. There is nothing we can do about this and it is not possible for the religious and philanthropic organizations to improve the situation either.

“Fifty years ago, when I first came to Bombay, at that time I was grhastha. I saw there were persons lying down care of footpath, and fifty years after, we are seeing the same thing is going on. No change. There is a class of men who must lie down care of footpath. There are so many institutions, daridra-narayana-seva. But why there are daridras still? That means you cannot change. It is not possible. It is not possible. Just like a man who has done something criminal and he is in prison.

Can you take him out? It will be another criminal action. If you try to take him away from the prison house by some means, then you’ll be punished and he’ll be punished, both. This is the law state. Similarly, how you can surpass the stringent laws of nature and the laws of God? That is not possible.” (Bhagavad Gita 13.21 Prabhupada lecture)

So this is the fact, this material world is a place of suffering and we will suffer here. And we can not stop the suffering of others no matter what we try to do, at least not on the mundane platform by trying to feed the poor people, etc.

Therefore this mundane welfare work is useless. It does not work, the hungry and poor people remain and the people who are trying to feed and give them money are also sinful in the same way as a man who tries to free the prisoners because they are suffering becomes a criminal himself and he will not be successful. Rather, even if he is able to free a few prisoners, the police will find him and they will also find those escaped prisoners and they will all be put back in the prison with much longer sentences this time…

Only a person who is fully Krishna conscious can be said to be engaged in welfare work which is truly beneficial for all living entities. When a person knows that Krishna is the fountainhead of everything and when he acts in that spirit he acts for everyone.

The sufferings of humanity are due to forgetfulness of Krishna as the supreme enjoyer, the supreme proprietor, and the supreme friend.

Therefore, to act to revive this Krishna consciousness within the entire human society is the highest welfare work. One cannot be engaged in first-class welfare work without being liberated in the Supreme. So the real beneficial welfare work is to awaken everyone’s dormant Krishna consciousness and this is the purpose of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s Sankirtan movement.

In this Kali-yuga the people are very unfortunate, fallen and greatly sinful. So in this fallen age Krishna is so merciful that He, in the form of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is giving the highest spiritual advancement to anyone at all who simply agrees to chant:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rare Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

So in one sense this age of Kali is a very difficult time for spiritual life but actually, because of the mercy of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu it is now a very good time for spiritual life, because Krishna has made everything very easy for us. All we need to do is chant Hare Krishna. It is so very simple:

kaler dosa-nidhe rajann asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet

“This age of Kali is an ocean of faults, but there is one great benefit. Simply by Krishna kirtan, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, one can become purified of all material contamination and return back home, back to Godhead.”

So the greatest welfare work is to spread this Krishna kirtan all over the world on the other hand a person engaged only in trying to improve the physical welfare of human society cannot factually help anyone. Temporary relief of the external body and the mind does not solve one’s actual problems. The real cause of one’s difficulties in the hard struggle for life is one’s forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Lord.

So the true welfare work which is beneficial for all the living entities of this universe is to popularize the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra all over the world.


About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna." I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can. That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental! That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!

124 Responses to The Best Welfare Work

  1. SuryaRavi says:

    Hare krsna Madhudvisa Dasa, I am slowly realising the imortance of krsna consciousness,But the big problems of Misunderstandings,Poor knowledge of Krsna consciousness ,pressure of Family,Relatives and social community .

    Here are some questions by me,and i want you to explain them very clearly for proper progress of krishna consciousness with out any blood sucking obstacles.

    1. How to deal with Non devotees by Neophytes,-In regarding to preaching, Srila prabhupada said that BEHAVE IDEALLY OR DONT PREACH,When Non devotee relatives disturb me,How i can convince them about superiority of krsna consciousness over all so called Religions ?.They are very egoistic people and always disturb me saying about their worship of all demigods,and blame Lord krsna on his marrying 16108 wives and Rasa lila.-.If i say them what srila prabhupad said about Lord krsna in his Books,they simply laugh and wont listen

    2.Will the worship of Demigods,Supreme lord Vishnu and Religious rituals work,in kali yug?
    Due to lack of hearing mantras of demigods or supreme lord vishnu from Authorised Brahmins having parampara from lord krsna or from demigods,and also the bogus brahmins in present temples of India-I think it will never work,will u clarify me on this topic.I also saw in one temple of lord vishnu where Pujaris are distributing grain prasad in Ekadashi days

    3.Authority of many scriptures?
    -I think its better only to read all original books of srila prabhupad and nothing else because after Vyasadev wrote all scriptures,many persons in old days say 5000 years ago to present day were victims of four sinful activities of kali yuga,and they cannot interpret or write without following four regulative principles. Srila prabhupad also said that -KALAU SUDRA SAMBHAVAH,In kali yuga every one is SUDRA.Vyasadev wrote Srimad Bhagavatam after going many purificatory process and Tapasya. SO called Brahmins even If they followed the regulative principles, they twisted and interpreteted the scriptures to suit their own personal whims.
    So many scriptures were Burned,destroyed by Early muslim invaders for many centuries,so it remains a doubt of scriptural authority after this bloody massacre by Invaders .In south india many of the people at that time were Mayavadis execpt for RAMANUJA and MADHVA sampradayas.Even if by case scriptures remain uninterpreteted,The Colonial Rule by Britishers Under the Advice of T.MACAULEY selected MAX MUELLER,and so many scholars planned many destructive ways to completely destroy Indian culture by twisting and changing the ideas in our scriptures.Bristhers also paid high salaries to Brahmins in those days to change the meanings of scriptures.sanskrit -English dictionary was also prepared by such a bogus Brahmin under the advice of Britishers.

    4.what about So called Hinduism today?

    Many yagas(Fire sacrifices), Religious Rituals,worship of Demigods with out Authorised Brahmins that too with out the authority of scriptures had performed by many billions of people ,but i hardly observed any change in society,community or whole society up to till date.But krsna consciousness propagated Early by SANKARACHARYA in his BHAJA GOVINDAM teachings, RAMANUJACHARYA and MADHVACHARYA Both in south India,LORD CHAITANYA MAHA PRABHU IN West Bengal and SRILA PRABHUPADA In western countries, has tremendous impact on societies well being and changed the demoniac consciousness of many people,and later many thousands became devotees of Lord krsna.-
    If there is any misunderstanding here ,can u point it out?
    I need proper explanation on the use and importance of Religious rituals,Demigod worship,Fire sacrifice without qualified Brahmins.

    5.Lastly can u write articles about How Beginners can guide their way solidly in krsna consciousness ,How to deal with Non devotee people,When and How to preach,Explain the philosophy of krsna consciousness when Non devotees challenge on debate
    How to begin krishna consciousness is present in RUPA GOSWAMI’S “NECTAR OF INSTRUCTIONS”-(2ND AND 3RD VERSES ) A very valuable Book written by Srila prabhupada,but the problem is,in 2nd verse Rupa Goswami says,ones devotional service is spoiled if we associate with Non devotees.Can u explain me how to deal with Non devotees.

    • Hare Krishna Surya Ravi

      You have the correct idea, but if you want to ask me a question better to just ask one, five big questions and you expect me to reply elaborately…

      Actually to tell you the truth I can see you have a lot of realizations and you know most of the answers to these questions, of course it is very good to engage in Krishna katha. What I am trying to do on Krishna.org is to encourage everyone to read Srila Prabhupada’s books. All your questions are so nicely answered by Srila Prabhupada’s books so much better than I could answer them. So if you read Srila Prabhupada’s books you will find all the answers to all your questions and so much more.

      But I will try a little to answer some of your questions:

      1) As far as preaching we have to understand it is totally useless to try and speak to someone who doesn’t want to hear what we have to say. The process of making spiritual advancement is submissive inquiry from a person who is qualified to answer the question. So if we are thinking of preaching the first thing we have to do is become self-realize persons ourselves. We have to know the answers ourselves and be living them, then our life itself will become a great example for others to follow. As far as trying to convince family members and others attached to the Hindu hodgepodge, don’t try to ‘defeat’ them. It is not possible. They have their idea and they think you have your idea, they will never give up their idea and accept your idea. That is not the way of preaching. Materialists, non-devotees, they are not able to understand Krishna consciousness or appreciate the philosophy. You need to feed them Krishna prasadam, let them hear the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, engage them in some service to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, sell them Prabhupada’s books and encourage them to read the books, etc. And in this way, gradually, they will make some advancement in Krishna consciousness and only then, when they are ready to hear from you, can you preach the philosophy of Krishna consciousness to them.

      2) Deity worship does not work in Kali-yuga unless it is accompanied by sankirtan, the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. Sankirtan is the yuga-dharma, not Deity worship.

      3) Yes. It is destructive to our spiritual life to read too many books on different subject matters. We should only read Srila Prabhupada’s books. And yes, Indian culture was destroyed by the British more than the Muslims. Muslims destroyed temples, broke Deities and burned books, but could not shake the Krishna culture in the hearts of the Indian people. But the British were more intelligent and they have been successful in getting almost all Indians to totally abandon the traditional Vedic culture altogether. It is very sad, the British were very successful in this regard whereas the Muslims failed.

      4) Hinduism today is useless. Hindusim is basically invented by Ramakrishna. It is a nonsense concocted philosophy that has no fidelity to the Vedas. So Hinduism is as useless as any other distorted perverted religion like Christianity, Islam, etc. All these so-called religions, although in there original essence there are many nice ideas about worshiping and serving God, have been distorted over time and are now more-or-less useless. Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita ‘Give up all varieties of religion and surrender unto Me.’ So this is what we need to encourage the people of Kali-yuga to do.

      5) I do not need to write the books. Srila Prabhupada has already written the books. I am simply crying: “Please read Srila Prabhupada’s books…” As far as not associating with non devotees we just don’t associate with them. Of course in the course of our daily activities we have to associate with some non-devotees but we need to structure our lives in such a way that every action we take is for the service of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. So if we are building a temple for Krishna, for example, we need cement, so we have to go out and purchase the cement, so we have to associate with some non-devotees to purchase the cement, but that cement is for building Krishna’s temple, so the whole activity is in the service of Krishna and it is purified. When we go out to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books, we are selling them to non-devotees, so to sell them Prabhupada’s books we have to talk to them. But we do not associate with them actually. We give them our association to get them to purchase Prabhupada’s books, but we do not take their association. We speak to them about Krishna, we glorify Srila Prabhupada and his books, and we convince them to purchase the books. But we don’t engage with them otherwise. If they want to tell us about there mundane activities we do not let them, if they want to take us to the hotel for drinking beer with them we won’t go with them, etc, etc. So we have to learn this art of giving our association to the non-devotees to convince them to purchase Prabhupada’s books without taking their association… It is a great science and Srila Prabhupada is giving all the details in his books…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  2. madhav says:

    You are right Madhudvisa prabhu, It is not good to criticise parents and accuse them of Materially oriented .Its my mistake on my part to blame them, and i am sorry for it.I asked them to hear prabhupad japa, and kirtans,initially they were reluctant but after hearing Srila prabhupad japa and lectures,they are appreciating Krishna consciousness and slowly realizing the importance of God conscious life.

  3. madhav says:

    Hare krsna Madhudvisa dasa,I am having a very deep rooted problem,which seems to be a big obstacle for krsna consciousness.The present day family members are quite bit more materialistic in their ideas,in india this problem is almost everywhere.Currently My family members and relatives are totally materially oriented in their hearts,mind and life,and they simply accuse me,blame me ,if i take to krsna consciousness.My father and my mother blames and accuses me heavily if i chant the glories of lord ,and they say that satisfying the mother ,father,and relatives is my prime duty and Guru,God is secondary.Physically i am very weak in health and i am trying to get job ,for living in krishna conscious atmosphere.Do u think that, we can be in the krsna conscious in this circle of family and relatives?

    • Hare Krishna Madhav

      Yes. You can be Krishna conscious anywhere. And you can not expect that being Krishna conscious will be easy anywhere in the material world. There will be always so many demons against the devotees. And the family members are almost always materialistic demons.

      This is the material world, practically everyone here, including ourselves, are materialistic demons. So when we try to become Krishna conscious everyone will be against us.

      But do not think that it will be any easer anywhere else. It will be difficult, from the material point of view, anywhere. Of course generally leaving family is recommended, and that is generally a good idea, but these days there is no association of devotees to take shelter of. So it is probably better in your case to stay with the family and become Krishna conscious there. Just ignore them, but be polite to them and do not go out of your way to disturb them or directly criticize their demonic ways. Just go on with your chanting of Hare Krishna, no matter what they say. If they tell you to stop agree with them at the time but don’t stop of course. Be very polite and friendly with them but totally ignore any of their instructions that will be bad for your advancedment in Krishna consciousness.

      They will be purified by your association to the degree that you can become a pure devotee of Krishna.

      If it becomes totally impossible and you have to leave then you can leave of course. There are plenty of places actually still in India where a sadhu can take shelter.

      The point is if ware are actually ever to become Krishna conscious, we have to become very serious about it, and develop a great deal of dedication and determination, and push on no matter what opposition we face from materialistic demons, including the family members. Chant Hare Krishna, cook and offer to Srila Prabhupada and distribute prasadam to the family members, let them hear you chant Hare Krishna and if you can encourage any of them to read some of Srila Prabhupada’s books that will be the best thing for them.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  4. gowri says:

    Hare Krishna !!!
    Thank you for being wit me thru ur daily info. As mentioned in ur mail I m chanting daily, spreading d info to chant to others, now pl clarify my next step to progress in spiritual path. I left all d pride, ego, angry everything, nowadays i m not getting angry, i m able to control my possessiveness, angry. so as per ur confirmation also it is understd dat i am a realized soul. let me please now knw wat next i hv to do.

    • It is good news.

      The thing is you have to keep on chanting the Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds a day, keep on strictly following the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication; and read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day and follow all the instructions you find Srila Prabhupada giving you as you read his books.

      The problem is in the material world we are completely surrounded by non-devotees. And association with non-devotees is very detrimental to our advancement in Krishna consciousness. Actually everyone is against Krishna consciousness and everyone is trying in one way or another to divert us from the path of Krishna consciousness. It is like we are tiny fish trying to swim up a waterfall. The water is tumbling down and we want to swim up. It is very easy to give up trying and ‘go with the flow’.

      Unfortunately, in the material world, those who go with the flow are going to the darkest regions of Hell for practically eternal suffering. So we do not want to go to Hell, we want to go to Krishna. And that can be quite a struggle at times in the material world.

      So we have to become determined to be Krishna conscious at all times, in the good times when we are feeling Krishna conscious, and in the bad times where we are totally disturbed by maya.

      Not that being a devotee is always easy. Sometimes it is a very great battle. We have to fight the battles and come out victorious. Of course if sometimes we fail then we have to pick ourselves up again and get ourselves again properly situated in Krishna consciousness and continue with our devotional service.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  5. JAYANTHI says:

    Dear Sir, Hare Krishna

    Sir, iam taking treatment for cancer, i just dont know how to get rid of this decease

    Iam very much devotive of . Lord krishna . Several occaasion i have vistied to guruvayur temple also. Iam chanting Hare Krishna Maha mantra also. Please guide me how ican be very health so that i will be able to serve God with full strength. Sir Please gudie me and send a mail to me

    • Hare Krishna Jayanthi

      Everybody is diseased. Having a material body means having disease. There is no way of getting rid of it. We have to make the best use of a bad bargain. We have to fully utilize whatever time and energy we have in the service of Krishna under the direction of a pure devotee of Krishna.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  6. P. Sarada says:

    By chanting the name of God we get relief and happiness. It is true according to me. In Mahabharatham it is written that When Karna went to swargam there were no food for him, but there were enough gold and money which cannot be eaten. Then he asked to God what is the reason for that. Then God said that karna has not given food to anyone hence there is no food for him and God also said that as karna has shown the place where food was given to people to a stranger by his forefinger, he can destroy the hungerness by drinking his forefinger. Hence giving food to anyone in Temples etc. are doing for remembering this event. This is the story widespread in our country. Hence this activity is going on without any difficulty. But we can chant and make chant the name of God almost all time in our life.

    Hopping that and thanking you

  7. Shreeja Rajshekar says:

    In bagavageeta Krishna says our mind is like a horse we need to control does this mean we are two different individual trying to control each other

    • Hare Krishna Shreeja

      It is a very intelligent question. Yes. The mind acts separately to the intelligence and the soul. The mind is not exactly a separate person. But the mind is very intimately connected with the senses of the body. So the mind comes up with plans for sense gratification and submits them to the intelligence and the intelligence accepts these plans or rejects them. So you can actually perceive this when the mind puts ideas of sense gratification into your head and then the intelligence has to reject them most of the time.

      So there is often a sort of fight going on between the mind and the intelligence.

      So this is how it is working and if you just observe how your mind and intelligence is working you will see this is a correct description.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  8. Shyam says:

    Extremely interesting! Here we may see the difference of point of view between christian conceptions ans vaishnava sharp ans conclusive knowledge of Gîta…

  9. Varsha Chari says:

    Very nice and correct explanation of human suffering.. One should always remember Krishna and chant Mantra “HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE, HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE” …..

  10. punya prasad says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa Suffering and pleasure is not much concerned to me I want to remember and chant Krishna name If someday if i face death i want to die chanting Lord Krishna But i need to ask something out of curiousity i am not asking out of jealousy and i am not envious of their material possesion The people who are commiting illict sex, addicted to sex alcohol, have no compassion for others are gifted with good health, wealth, wife\ husband. They are first to go to temples to wash away their sins and doing all sort of promises rituals and asked materialitic things demi gods, to offer something to demi gods like bali lamps if their wishes are fullfilled. even if i suffered i will view suffering will make me near to Lord Krishna And one more thing by the mercy of Lord Krishna i am not inclined to others which are not to be done But about celibacy i am not married and i as my nature of goodness i dont want to use female body as source of pleasure Now my question is i dont want to marry and how can i overcome desire of sex From the social understanding one can leave things if he or she had already used them Examples are Tulsai Das [ sex ] Gautam Buddha [ riches and wife] One who had all types of women can renounce desire of sex easily As sanyas come after enjoying family life I am not attracted to Buddhism and other philosophies Moreover i am concerned about chanting Krishna name I respect Swami Prabhupada But mentioning his holiness name, Is it necessary

    • Hare Krishna Punya

      Actually in the material world everyone is suffering. And sex means suffering. More sex means more suffering. That is the way of the world. The apparently best thing in the material world, sex, is the cause of the greatest suffering in the material world.

      That is just the way. We have to give up sex life to make spiritual advancement. If we can not give up sex life then we can get married and have sex within marriage.

      The only way to give up sex life is by experiencing a higher taste. So we have to become Krishna conscious and experience the higher taste of Krishna consciousness and once we have tasted that we will no longer be attracted by sex. That is a high platform for us but it is possible. But only if we become actual devotees of Krishna. And we can only become actual devotees of Krishna by surrendering to and serving and accepting as our spiritual master a pure devotee of Krishna.

      It is not possible to become Krishna conscious without surrendering to an serving a bona fide spiritual master, a pure devotee of Krishna. It is only by the mercy of the bona fide spiritual master that we can get the mercy of Krishna. There is no other way to get the mercy of Krishna.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  11. claude dalessandri says:

    Nice inspiring article prabhu.
    At this moment I am daily endeavouring to chant 16 rounds and read Srila Prabhupada’s books as much as possible.It has been a struggle(not easy) but I am gradually getting better.
    I had a idea that if I started distributing the original Prabhupada’s books as devotional sevice, will this help me become more steady in daily chanting 16 rounds etc.?
    Also I live in Melbourne,Australia and am wondering if there are any book distributors I may associate with?
    Thank you for the article.It got me thinking.Hare Krsna

  12. Girijashankar Soni says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhuji.
    This also a good letter. In this letter you said if we help to a poor given any kind, then we are also punish by the material nature. but we given food to poor,such food offering to lord then then food become a PRASAD. So this condition we are also get punish by the law of nature.

    • Hare Krishna Girijashankar

      Giving food to the poor is pious activity. It means generally you get good karma for this. But a devotee does not want good karma. Because karma means the reactions to our work. So as the result of feeding the hungry we may generate some good karma but that forces us to take birth in the material world again to ‘enjoy’ the results of that good karma. So generating good karma is not good actually because that perpetuates our bondage in the cycle of birth and death (samsara).

      But giving charity can be in the three modes of material nature also. If we give money to a poor man and he spends it on alcohol and gets drunk then that is charity in the mode of ignorance and the result of such charity is not good.

      But if we cook a nice offering and offer it to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and then distribute the Krishna prasadam to the poor that is all-auspicious. That is the best charity. Everyone will benefit transcendentally by accepting the Krishna prasadam. And the poor will be fed and their hunger will be satisfied. So this prasadam distribution is the best welfare work and the perfect thing for this Kali-yuga. And if the prasadam distribution can be also combined with Kirtan, the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, then it is even more perfect.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  13. reena says:

    Hare krishna Prabhu,
    In the biography of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, it was mentioned the following,”during his tour when he and his followers were returning from a darshan of Sakshi Gopala, he noticed that his householder followers refused to give some alms to some poor people who were requesting help. He then sarcastically described their attitude as,”Money should not be given to poor, distressed people.. if it is given it will be karma kanda.” Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur was criticizing the attitude of his disciples who were thinking that it was beneath them as transcendental vaishnavas to give charity to the poor as though this were a continuing activity within the realm of karmic activity.
    He stated that this type of consideration by the householder disciples expresses miserliness, and a lack of affliction at other’s distress. From this attitude the heart becomes attacked with niggardliness, and as a result, the tendency to spend money even for Vishnu’s service which is the means for ones own interest disappears. Therefore offence in service(seva-aparadh) is invited. In order to guard against all these hypocritical, sinful deliberations, Sri Gaurasundara in his pastimes, used to give help to the lowly distressed people. Even earned wealth is obtained by the mercy of God. It is not incorrect use of wealth if some portion of mercy is given to the requesting poor people.. it is its proper use!!! Even though poor people have obtained this miserable state through the fault of their karma, they are still God’s people. Therefore, to give them wealth is a compulsory duty of the well to do people.” At the same time it is also stated that,” to think of the poor people as Narayan is only blindness to truth and terrible spiritual offense!!!”
    Therefore, Prabhu when you are stating in your articles and comments that we must not help the distressed except by distributing prasadam and chanting hare krishna is little disturbing to me since, as per the words of Bhakti Sidhaantha Saraswati Thakur, I dont think even he suported your argument.. It is rather like a disease of Vaishnav disciple(forgive me if I am too harsh) to avoid helping the needy by giving explanation of this karma kanda. Although I completely agree with you that calling the poor people as Narayan is a great offence, but not serving the needy simply on the basis of karma kanda is merciless on the part of a person.. Thanks.

    • Hare Krishna Reena

      If you think I am saying the wrong thing then you do not need to read what I am saying.

      I am repeating the Vaisnava Siddhanta and it is not a ‘disease’ as you suggest.

      There is no point in serving the poor or giving a certain percentage of your money to the poor. That is useless from the spiritual point of view.

      And it is completely different from giving some poor person some small donation. That is a different thing.

      So what I have said is correct, what Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has said is correct, and there is no contradiction. I am repeating what Srila Prabhupada has said. And Srila Prabhupada also would give something to some poor beggar who asked for it.

      So you are attached to the bogus Hindu ideas preached by the Ramakrishna mission and others of “Daridra-Narayana’. This concept of ‘poor Narayana’ and the Hindus think they are serving God by giving money to the poor because the poor are god is totally bogus. Totally wrong. Totally offensive.

      So if you do not believe I am saying the correct things read Srila Prabhupada’s books and you will find he is saying the same things and if you do not believe Srila Prabhupada then there is no hope for you.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • reena says:

        Hare Krishna Prabhu,
        I was not promoting or thinking on the lines of the Mayavadi philosophy of mundane social work and the misconception of “service to man is service to God.” I was only expressing the idea of helping the poor and distressed when they approach us. In your article you have not stated this. You have stated that helping the distressed other than feeding them Krishna prasadam is mundane social welfare work and its Karma Kanda. I only intended to mention that to you.. You have misunderstood me that I am promoting some kind of Mayavadi philosophy. I was just seeing the thin line between mundane social work and helping the poor in their necessities as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati said.. I am very sorry you got me wrong Prabhu. Thanks

        • We have no particular interest in helping the poor.

          Everyone is poor. Our business is to give spiritual help and we give that to everyone, rich and poor alike. Not that we are particularly interested in helping the poor.

          You need to read Srila Prabhupada’s books and understand that the only thing that will help people is to give them Krishna consciousness. That is what everyone is missing. Rich and poor alike.

          There will always be rich and poor. We can not change that. There is no point trying to change it. People are rich and poor according to their karma. But we can give both the rich and the poor Krishna consciousness. That is the only real welfare work. The best welfare work and the only welfare work devotees are interested in.

          So you have not understood that the missing point is Krishna consciousness and it is Krishna consciousness that we have to distribute to both the rich and the poor.

      • Nishikanta says:

        Hare Krishna prabhuji
        In your comment u said “Srila Prabhupada also would give something to some poor beggar who asked for it.”.So does that mean we can donate if someone asks us to?But if the person to whom we are donating uses it in some wrong way then will that not incur bad ‘Karma’ for us or do we leave that upto Lord Krishna?
        Prabhu u have not replied to my previous question please give me some reply.

        • Hare Krishna

          You have to use common sense. We do not donate to anyone on principle. Laksmi belongs to Krishna and has to be used in the service of Krishna. So best thing is to donate the poor man some small book from Srila Prabhupada and encourage him to read it and assure him that the solution to all his problems is in the book. Also we should cook and offer to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and distribute Krishna prasadam widely. This is the business of the householders. To distribute prasadam.

          So this is the best way. Feed people with Krishna prasadam and get them chanting Hare Krishna and get them reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. This is our only business.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  14. Siddharth Patel says:

    I have a question.
    I am a beginner in spiritual life. I know that God is all pervading. So whenever I try to worship Krishna, a thought comes that Krishna is just a form of all pervading supernatural power. So I am not able to concentrate on any form of Lord. On the other hand, it is difficult to worship all pervading God. How do I overcome this problem?

    • Get some pictures of Krishna and concentrate on the form of Krishna starting from His lotus feet. And chant Hare Krishna. Krishna will reveal Himself to you depending on your sincerity and purity. We can only see Krishna by Krishna’s mercy. Not by our own strength. And we can only get Krishna’s mercy by getting the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna. So realistically if you want to see Krishna you have to first realize that Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna and surrender to him and serve him. We can not access Krishna directly. We can get access to Krishna only by the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  15. vivek kumar says:

    hare krishna prabhuji,
    i m a new (trying to be)devotee ..IN my past i have been very addictive to the 4 anarthas ,which now i am trying to control. i have been with girls …and i have almost left that but,one girl whom i know a bit is very very frustated (i came to know recently)..so,right now i feel like she is very reciptive and hence can take up KC and I felt bad because similar has been my condition ,i called her and just told her to subscribe fr this letter …is it ok . i know her just through a site (thats it).

    ,\she dont know anything about spirituality (KC)..and the only reason that she may take it up is bcz she is frustated by the material world..

    The thing i want to ask is does she require something else than this to begin with or is it ok? and
    she is a girl so does she need a different kind of trainnig or newletter becz girls have different mentality.?

    hare krisna!
    your servant
    vivek kumar

    • Hare Krishna Vivek

      Yes. Girls have a different mentality and are generally not so able to appreciate philosophy as men can. And men are very distracted in the presence of beautiful young girls so the whole situation creates a lot of problems for spiritual advancement.

      So the best thing for you really is not to worry about the girls so much and calling the girls but try yourself to become a pure devotee of Krishna.

      As far as the process of Krishna consciousness it is the same for everyone, girls and boys. Krishna consciousness is on the spiritual platform, not on the bodily platform.

      This idea of girls and boys, it is only the body. Inside the spirit soul is there and there is no difference in the spirit soul of a girl and the spirit soul of a boy. One can be in a man’s body in this life and take birth in a woman’s body in the next life or the other way around so this idea of girls and boys is based on the bodily concept of life only and we have to transcend the bodily concept of life and see everyone as parts and parcels of Krishna, as spiritual souls trapped in a material body.

      But while we are still on the bodily platform if we are in a young boy’s body associating with a young girl may create many problems for our spiritual life. Of course we can not avoid it completely. The world is full of girls. What to do about that. So what we have to do is to become a little advanced in Krishna consciousness and we need to be able to taste a little transcendental bliss on the spiritual platform. Once we have experienced some of this transcendental spiritual bliss we will never be satisfied with material sense gratification again.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  16. Narendra Nath Dutta says:

    I have the following questions

    1) If poverty if because of past Karma why are some country very rich without poverty and some very poor? Does it means that in some country all did very good Karma and in some country they did very bad Karma ?

    2) India is called Punya Bhumi still it has many poors? Why it is called punya bhumi if people of this country did soo many bad karma in past?

    3) Vedas say “Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti” But still people fight in his name? Some say Krishna is everything and others say different name? Does name really matter?

    • Hare Krishna Naredra Natah

      As far as poverty of people and countries. Certain countries are more opulent materially and India is more opulent spiritually. So one gets a body in the material world in a situation according to his karma. So if one has performed many pious activities but only for the purpose of material enjoyment then he can take birth in a very wealthy family in a very wealthy country. If one has performed many pious activities for spiritual advancement then he can take birth in India.

      India is Punya Bhumi, the land of pious activities, but the people of India today have become very sinful and they are now suffering because of that. In the past, when India was actually full of pious people, India was an incredibly wealthy country. In the days of the English East India Company India was the ‘crown jewel’ among all the countries in the British Empire. India was full of gold and jewels and all sorts of natural wealth. There was plenty of food production and a peaceful and spiritual lifestyle. India was certainly the most pious and the most wealthy country in the world.

      But since the British time Indians have given up the pious activities and taken on the sinful ways of the British and other Western people. So now India is no longer punya bhumi, and therefore India is now poor and the Indian people are suffering, simply because of a lack of Krishna consciousness…

      Krishna has many names but in this age of Kali-yuga the only way to make actual spiritual advancement is by chanting the name of Krishna. So yes. The name is very important and the name is Krishna.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Narendra Nath Dutta says:

        I’m still not clear by your explanation
        1) India is poor today because England Thief took everything with them, but as per history people were poor during England rule also?
        2) If India is currently not the Punya Bhoomi then where is it since India is spiritually much better than other countries that only follow material world
        3) Lord Krishna has many names, why only name “Krishna” is to be used.

        • India is not poor because the English took everything. India is poor because they have given up spiritual life and instead taken to material life. So this materialistic life is not punya. Not pious. So the poverty of India comes from India rejecting the Vedic culture. While India was following the Vedic culture India was not poor and they were exporting riches to the whole world.

          India is currently not punya-bhumi, the land of pious activities, because not it is full of sinners. So now India is the land of sinners. But still within the hearts of the Indians the spiritual culture is there. It can be reawakened in India more easily than anywhere else in the world. So it is not really very hard for the Indians to revive their spiritual culture and again transform India into punya bhumi. India is still of course a very pious land and India contains all the tirthas and sanctified holy places and rivers and so much facility for the people to make spritual advancement. India is for this, spiritual advancement. India is not for technology and materialism. It is for the cultivation of spiritual life.

          Yes Krishna has many names but the main name is Krishna. It is this Krishna name and particularly the Hare Krishna mantra:

          Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
          Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

          That is particularly suitable for reviving the spiritual culture of the people in this age of Kali. In Kali-yuga actually Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu often quotes a verse from the Brihan-Naradiya Purana that in this age of Kali, the only way, the only way, the only way for spiritual advancement is chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. So in this Kali-yuga, the current age we are going through, the only practical way for spiritual advancement is chanting the Hare Krishna mantra.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  17. Sean says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. I have a question regarding helping devotees or people who are aspiring to be devotees(pure of course or people who want to be pure).

    Prabhuji if some devotee or a person aspiring to be a pure devotee has some material difficulties in life should we help them materially(food water, shelter) also since their goal is Krsna or to be a pure devotee of Krsna? or at least until they can support themselves. What do you say?

    Actually what can a devotee or a person aspiring to be a devotee who seriously have these serious material difficulties of things like food, water, shelter or clothing do?

    • Hare Krishna Sean

      We should start temples Prabhu and the people who want to seriously become Krishna conscious and who agree to strictly following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxicaiton] and agree to getting out of bed before 4:00 AM in the morning to attend the Mangal-aroti and agree to go out on the sankirtan chanting and book distribution parties every day can live in the temples and there they will get sumptuously fed with Krishna Prasadam. So obviously we will supply these sincere devotees with whatever they need to serve Krishna.

      And the temples will of course distribute sumptuous prasadam to all the visitors to the temples.

      Our welfare work is to distribute prasadam and the holy name of Krishna. That is the best welfare work.

      But we have no interest in mundane food and clothing distribution.

      People are in a particular position of suffering or apparent enjoyment as a result of their karma. We can not change that. This idea that one can help people by giving them food, clothing, etc., is bogus. Everyone is enjoying or suffering according to their karma and we can not change that by mundane welfare work. It can only be changed by spiritual welfare world, the distribution of Krishna consciousness, which means Prasadam, the Hare Krishna mantra and Srila Prabhupada’s books. That is our business. That is what we do. We distribute Srila Prabhupada’s Books, Krishna Prasadam and the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantara. That is all we are interested in distributing and these are the only things that will actually help the people.

      Mundane welfare work is only for sense gratification. It is maya. It is for the sense gratification of the recipients of the welfare and it is for the sense gratification of the givers of the welfare. They are doing it because it is ‘good karma’ and they know as a result of giving this mundane welfare they will be able to enjoy their senses more in the future. It is all totally material, totally mundane and totally entangling, generating so many karmic entanglements that will trap us suffering in the material world for unlimited lifetimes in the future. So devotees will never have anything to do with this mundane welfare work. It is material, not spiritual. We are not interested in saving the dress of the drowning man, we are interested in saving the man himself.

      The best welfare work is distributing Krishna Prasadam, Krishna Kirtan and Prabhupada’s books. This is the only welfare work that will actually help the people.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Sean says:

        Would you like to administer the temple if I or anyone who opens a temple invite you to come and be administer how the temple should be run and all the daily affair should go on in a temple.

        • No. If you open a temple you have to take the responsibility to administer it yourself…

          Opening a temple is not a very easy thing. First we have to surrender to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and become pure devotees of Krishna and in such a surrendered state we will just do what Srila Prabhupada and Krishna want us to do. So that surrender is necessary. And it may be that what Krishna wants us to do is completely different from what we want to do. So we have to give up what we want to do and surrender to what Prabhupada wants us to do. It may be that Prabhupada wants you to go out on book distribution, not start a temple.

          Really temples are not for Kali-yuga. Sankirtana is for Kali-yuga. What Prabhupada established was centers where the devotees who wanted to live in the association of devotees and perform devotional service 24 hours a day could do that. These are not temples in the traditional sense of the term. They are places where Lord Caitanya’s army can live and get strength so every day they can go out onto the streets of the great cities of the world and drop the bombs of Prabhupada’s books on the heads of the conditioned souls and thus awaken the dormant love of Krishna that is present in everyone’s hearts and inundate the world with the flood of love of God…

          So it is not temples we want to establish, it is SANKIRTAN PARTIES that we need to establish. A Sankirtan party can exist without a temple, but the temple can not exist without a sankirtan party.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Sean says:

            Why are temples not for Kali-yuga. Is the process of self-realization which is meditation on Visnu is for Satya-yuga, sacrifices(yagnas) is for treta-yuga, the worship of the deities within temples is for dvapara yuga and sankirtana for kali-yuga.

            And when you mean material world you mean the conditions of kali-yuga. Not necessarily other yugus like satya-yuga, treta-yuga, dvapara yuga. Because in the other yugas especially satya-yuga does not seem like there is suffering because everyone is brahmanical. They also go though birth, old-age, disease and death. But for them they can tolerate these miseries better than us and have the best life one can have in the material world.

          • The process of Temple Worship is not for the Kali-yuga. The Yuga-dharma of Kali-yuga is Sankirtana-yajna. The congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. This does not require a temple. Anywhere a group of devotees can gather and chant Hare Krishna, dance in ecstasy and respect sumptuous Krishna prasadam.

            In Kali-yuga there is no interest in temples, churches, etc, but everyone will like to chant Hare Krishan and dance in ecstasy with the pure devotees and relish Krishna prasadam. This is the process of religion or yuga-dharma for Kali-yuga.

            In the Kali-yuga the only purpose of the temples is to act as a base and inspiration for the sankirtan parties. The public in Kali-yuga has no interest in the temples. They are interested in the sankirtan parties chanting Hare Krishna in the streets and other public places. The temples are for the sankirtan parties to live in, to get inspiration and strength from, and a base from which they can go out every day and drop the bombs of Srila Prabhupada’s books on the heads of the conditioned souls, thus awakening their dormant love of Krishna and spreading the ocean of Lord Caitanya’s mercy all over the planet.

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

  18. Issac says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. I have been chanting Hare Krsna mantra while walking and saw a cat(wild cat in our development) and went towards it so that it can hear. It ran away and got into past someone’s house gate so i stopped running after it to make the cat hear Hare Krsna mantra.

    Anyways my question is do i advance in Krsna Consciousness or get spiritual karma if they is any concept like that by chanting Hare Krsna and reading books aloud myself and also advance from people, cats, ants, worms and other countless living entities big or small.

    I mean it sounds similar to people doing good pious actions to get good karma so that they can benefit and/or enjoy in life.

    Well it is the same with chanting Hare Krsna, reading Srila Prabhupada books or anything that any person can hear or just about any other devotional activities(including hearing activities and just one more thing just came in mind which is taste.)

    Although one more thing i want to be really honest about. Some of my intention of advancing in Krsna Consciousness or getting spiritual karma is so that i can neutralize my bad karma, if i do some sinful activity in the future also get neutralized to the degree i have spiritual karma and to be successful or get success or acheive good results in my activities(especially the ones i do for Krsna).

    • Hare Krishna Issac

      Yes. It is very, very good to chant Hare Krishna loudly and read Srila Prabhupada’s books loudly. You benefit yourself from hearing. Of course we always chant Hare Krishna loudly but often devotees read Prabhupada’s books in their minds. But that is no where near as effective in making advancement in Krishna consciousness as reading Prabhupada’s books aloud. Krishna consciousness does not really happen in the mind. Krishna consciousness is awakened by hearing and chanting. So as we hear and chant the Hare Krishna mantra we should also chant and hear Srila Prabhupada’s books by reading them aloud and hearing them ourselves. So you see this loud chanting of Hare Krishna and loudly reading Srila Prabhupada’s books is good for yourself. And it is also good for any other living entity who is fortunate enough to hear it.

      But the other living entities will hear it automatically if you chant and read loudly. It is not a good idea, for example, to chase after a cat chanting Hare Krishna so the cat will benefit by hearing you chant Hare Krishna. If you just chant Hare Krishna the cat will hear you anyhow and may even stay and listen for a while if you don’t chase after it. All the trees will benefit, all the plants, the grass, the insects. Every living entity will benefit from hearing your chanting of Hare Krishna and reading of Srila Prabhupada’s books. And this is preaching and you do get benefit from this of course.

      But we do not perform devotional service to get some benefit for ourselves. Of course in the beginning that may be our motivation. But as we make some advancement in Krishna consciousness we develop some loving relationship with Krishna and then our motivation for performing devotional service is only to please Krishna, to serve Krishna. We do not want anything for ourselves, we just want to make Krishna happy. That’s all. Of course Krishna is already happy. He does not need us to make Him happy. But still Krishna is very pleased with us if we do decide to use our little independence to serve Him and glorify Him. He likes it. So that is what we want. We want to do the things that Krishna likes and that is the only reason we are doing them. For Krishna’s pleasure, not for any benefit for ourselves.

      Of course we will benefit ourselves, even though that is not the reason or the motivation behind us performing devotional service. By taking to Krishna consciousness our past sinful reactions [karma] will be nullified. And if we transform our lives so we are always working for Krishna, always serving Krishna then we will not create any new karma. Because service to Krishna is completely spiritual, completely transcendental. It does not generate any karma.

      You probably know that one of the ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra is “Not to commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting Hare Krishna.” So this is actually a very serious offense. It is very offensive to think that “Now I am chanting Hare Krishna so now I can commit some sinful activities and I will be protected by the chanting.” That is committing sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy names. This offensive chanting, while not completely useless, will not be very effective.

      So we have to surrender to the idea of following the four regulative principles. [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] We really have to convince ourselves that we will never do any of these things ever again and chant Hare Krishna with that mood. Of course it is possible we may accidentally fall down due to inattention or bad association, so such accidental falldowns will be counteracted by our chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. And if we should fall down then all we have to do to recover from this is just get back into our normal routine of chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and following the four regulative principles and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. That is all. Then everything is corrected.

      So accidental falldowns will be counteracted by our chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, but not purposeful falldowns. We can not plan in advance that “I am chanting Hare Krishna now and later I will do some sinful action and I will be protected.” No. That is committing sinful activities on the strength of the holy name and that will never be forgiven. That is a very great offense…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Issac says:

        Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. You said devotees often read Srila Prabhupada’s book in their minds. Is it something I should be concerned about. To be honest I read everything aloud never much of a person who reads in my mind. And plus I have read or heard that I should read aloud the books as I will hear and that will beneficial just like that and also beneficial because I am hearing. So really it will be beneficial both just like that and because I am hearing which will also be beneficial in terms of hearing.

        • Yes, it is best to read Prabhupada’s books aloud. You get much more benefit that way than by reading them in your mind. Because when you are reading aloud you are chanting and hearing and these are the two main processes to become Krishna conscious: sravanam and kirtanam and you will also be remembering Krishna (smaranam) so that is thee of the nine process in reading aloud. But if you read in your mind it is only sravanam, remembering, which is no where near as powerful as sravanam kirtanam visnu smaranam, all together. So best to read Prabhupada’s books aloud…

      • Issac says:

        Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. Are trees alive in the winter even though a lot of them shed leaves to hear the Hare Krsna mantra which will benefit them?

        • Of course trees are alive in the winter… Are you alive when you are asleep? Yes. Chanting Hare Krishna is good for everyone, not just the trees, but even the birds and little insects. Chanting Hare Krishna is good both in the winter and in the summer.

  19. Rohit says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. I want to reply to what you said which is this.

    ” No one works very hard to achieve misery and suffering, but the misery and suffering come of their own accord. Similarly there is no need to work hard for happiness and enjoyment for the happiness and enjoyment will also come of their own accord according to our karma. We only need to work hard for becoming Krishna conscious. That is the only thing which can actually change our situation. Otherwise we will just enjoy what we are meant to enjoy according to our karma and suffer what we are meant to suffer according to our karma. This can not be change, except by becoming Krishna conscious. So there is no point trying to change it. That will be a futile effort. We need to use all our time and energy for becoming Krishna conscious.

    In studying what if I study somewhat, not with full concentration and not to my best ability and as that is what affects the results on the test most of the times.(Sometimes you are fortunate to get 100 or good marks with these types of behavior and and all.) I mean most of the times with doing my best and studying somewhat and not concentrating I get bad marks. So is it still my karma really or exactly or fully that got me that result on the test or this not doing best with full concentration action that also had a part in it to get this along with my past karma? Plus me on doing my best is also due to my karma. So in that sense you can say it is all past karma then right?

    • Hare Krishna Rohit

      The people who are going to get good marks will get good marks, study or no study. The people who are going to fail will fail, study or no study.

      Not everyone can learn by studying. Someone can try very hard and spend so much time studying and still fail. And someone else, he can just listen to the lectures and understand everything and just sit down in the exam and get 100% without studying anything at all.

      Not everyone is equal. Everyone is bound by the reactions of their karma.

      We are not suggesting, of course, that you do nothing. We are suggesting that instead of wasting your life trying to get some materialistic goal that you are never going to achieve anyhow because you don’t have the karma to achieve it, instead spent your time and energy studying Srila Prabhupada’s books and chanting Hare Krishna and engaging your energy in devotional service and make your life a spiritual success and at the end of this life go back home back to Godhead and dance with Krishna. That is a truly successful life. This is the only way you can free yourself from the bondage of karma.

      The results of the test are not in your hands. Your abilities are not under your control. You have a certain type of body with a certain group of abilities and talents. And what you have is different from what others have. So somethings you can do very easily and other things you find impossible to do. But for someone else it is different. This is all set up from before our birth by our karma and we can not change it…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Rohit says:

        Hare Krsna prabhuji. I did a sin or did I. I cheated on the test at least for like 5-6 or just some questions. I have some accomodations of extra time( and other accomodations) and plus I took it in a room no one was there and thought since I am doing this test so that I can pass course and get a degree and ultimately get a job so that I can earn money for maintaining my body for Krsna’s Bhakti or service plus spend directly on krsna. So I thought it won’t be bad.

        But even I still thought it is bad as they are people aspiring or devotees who take this test and don’t care what the results are. First of all this semester I did not have the mood, Plus I was not physically well and the instructor still said I can take it till today Thursday or I will miss the test. I did prepare for the test also and plus wrote information of the papers so that I can cheat the formulas and other notebooks and textbook. So while no one was looking in the room from outside I cheated.

        Prabhuji I felt like I sinned. But what can be done. And plus since I did for krsna it is not sin right? I will get good marks like 100 almost likely but still would like to know about this.

        • Hare Krishna Rohit

          This is a very indirect service to Krishna… Cheating on an exam to get good marks so you can get a good job and make a lot of money and spend some of it for serving Krishna…

          Instead of this very indirect hope of service to Krishna in the far distant future if you don’t get caught cheating on the exams I think you should concentrate on serving Krishna now. That means now you should be chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, now you should be following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and now you should be reading Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day.

          We don’t really know if we will still be living in this body even tomorrow, what to speak of in the ten or more years into the future that you are imagining that you will be serving Krishna in.

          So the thing is that we have to organize it so we are serving Krishna now. That is the main point of our lives. And of course we also have to do something for the material part of our life like studying and sitting the exams, etc. But if you seriously become Krishna conscious now and if you actually follow the four regulative principles, particularly no illicit sex, then you will retain the semen within your body and your mind and memory and determination will become very strong and you will automatically be able to remember the things you need to for the exams without cheating. So in that way becoming Krishna conscious now will even help you pass your exams without cheating…

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Rohit says:

            Hare Krsna prabhuji. I forgot to mention. I was going to cheat anyways whether for doing for Krsna or not doing for Krsna. But i thought i myself am not very interested in studies for myself plus not prepared enough for my past karma and various obvious reasons so do it for Krsna. And prabhuji they is always chance or probability of getting caught even in situations where i think i won’t be caught because of unexpected factors. And only Krsna knows about those unxpected factors. So unless i have the mercy of Krsna(well of course i did since i was not caught) or just know i have Krsna’s mercy my chance of getting caught are always there. Do you agree? Like the teacher could have showed up unexpectingly even in the time i was sure he was away in some other class.

          • This is all useless talk. Cheating on the exams has nothing to do with serving Krishna actually. You have to read Srila Prabhupada’s books and chant the Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds a day and strictly follow the four regulative principles (no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication) and then gradually everything in your life will become correct. All the good qualities automatically develop in the body of a devotee.

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

  20. Rohit says:

    Hare Krsna. I fully agree what you say about television and i will be very determined to stop the addiction to television and games. But they is one question about television i want to ask. Is television useful if used for Krsna’s service and talks about Krsna and Krsna Consciousness related objects. And plus can television be better or as an alternative to reading books even if it is used in Krsna Consciousness to become Krsna Consciousness.

    • Hare Krishna Rohit

      Everything is good if it is used in Krishna consciousness. Everything is meant for the service of Krishna and everything, even a thing that is completely material in nature, if used in the service of Krishna becomes spiritual. So if for example you use your television to watch the Srila Prabhupada DVDs:


      Then it becomes spiritual.

      But today’s television program is completely materialistic, complete maya.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  21. vanshika says:

    Hare Krishna, Radhe Radhe Prabhu ji
    Very well said about helping the needy. By giving everyone the love of shri Krishna ji, one can really help them. Shri Krishna ji loves us and wants us to come to him, the same as we want, he guides us with the right path and we shall also utilize that path to meet him.
    Thankyou for these knowledgeable letters which help me to understand Shri Krishna ji.
    Thankyou Prabhu ji
    Hare Krishna, Radhe Radhe Prabhu ji

  22. Rohit says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. I have a question regarding debt and gratitude and favours and good will. You said if i or anyone does good karma the people who i did to become indebted and me and the people who are indebted to me have to take birth again.Well the people i do good karma towards are indebted to me.

    I want to ask about being in debt or being a debtor point of view. If i take favours or help from people without something in return is it in the ultimate sense a bad thing. Like let’s say i am in college. I cannot go to home the way i do because my mother who picks me up has problems coming to pick me up. And i ask someone to help me by dropping me to home and the person does it without anything in return. Is it unbeneficial in the long rum from being entangled in karma view of point.

    And now i want to know what is the position of a devotee. How should he act towards making a choice in the same case i mentioned above. What happens if he does take a favour. According to the purport below a devotee is not in debt or obligated to anyone. And plus all the debts in the world i have which is to forefathers(ancestors) to parents, friends, people in general, or kinsmen or humanity, or demigods, sages are ultimately debts i have to krishna to pay to right.

    “Anyone who has completely surrendered unto Kṛṣṇa, Mukunda, giving up all other duties, is no longer a debtor, nor is he obliged to anyone—not the demigods, nor the sages, nor the people in general, nor kinsmen, nor humanity, nor forefathers.” That is the indirect hint given by Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna in this verse, and the matter will be more clearly explained in the following verses.

    • Hare Krishna Rohit

      A devotee does not have any personal interest. A devotee never does anything for himself. Every action a devotee performs is something for the service and pleasure of Krishna. So because a devotee only ever works for Krishna all of his activities are devotional service therefore there is no karma generated from any of the activities of a devotee.

      Srila Prabhupada describes elaborately in his books how we can become devotees. We have to study Srila Prabhupada’s books, become devotees, and then we will never be doing anything for ourselves, we will only ever be serving Krishna, and in that way we will be on the transcendental platform, completely free from the karmic actions and reactions of the material world.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Rohit says:

        Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. Two things. 1. Last time I went to college on Wednesday they was a situation regarding doing good karma. Let me tell you. Some girl in college asked me $ 1 dollar for buying lays chips from the vending machine nearby. I was thinking if to give her a dollar since I don’t know her and more reasons if I should lend since I did not know her and plus considering my mother. Although I don’t think my mother or even knowing her was really any factor or problem. But here is the thing after reading this article I considered two things. 1. She is buying mundane food. In the present I myself have no choice but eating it but should I give her money.2. If I do good karma even if she would have not seen me again would doing good karma bind to material world. I actually sent her to a counselor I know very well and would give her the money thinking in these terms since she does not know me. So I again said I will give you $1. Anyways I feel guilty. Giving her $1 was really a problem but mundane food and good karma thing is what made me hesitant and I feel guilty since then. I felt bad not helping her when I could. And second thing. Just today I have any doubt/ question that came in my mind. Although it is about good karma and not Krsna consciousness but still if you can answer it will be good. I have come to know of cases where if you help other people those same people who help cheat and rob you. So is it still good to be good and help them even though they are chances of things like the person who I help causes harm in return. For example on a highway. Some guy is stuck and comes on the road and signal some car to stop so that he can get a lift and as soon as you help him he comes and robs you. And many other cases in life. I feel like people should help others even though they might be chances of getting harmed in return. I don’t know. I mean if I ever need help people won’t help me and mainly I won’t get help like half of the time because they might think I will rob them or something and plus me helping others. I feel like helping others even though they will cheat me. Anyways please reply and clear my doubts about this.

        • Hare Krishna Rohit

          The only way of helping others is to give them Krishna consciousness. So the real answer for the hungry girl would be to offer her some Krishna prasadam. That would solve the problem of her hunger and also be good for you because you are distributing the prasadam to her and good for her because she is then associating with Krishna in the form of prasadam.

          So that is the answer. Give the people Krishna consciousness. That is the only way we can help them. If we try and help them on the bodily platform like this, giving her $1 for buying chips, etc, then she has to pay that $1 back to you with interest and if she doesn’t then you have to take birth again in the material world and so does she so she can pay you back with interest.

          So do not be too worried about this one incident but think into the future how you can adjust your life so you are in a position to give the people you meet Krishna consciousness. That is the really valuable gift. That is the only thing that can help the people…

          All this mundane welfare work is useless. That is for karmis, not for devotees.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Rohit says:

            Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa. Just a quick question. Why do you say “she has to pay that $1 back to you with interest.” I mean i am not a bank or own or have a bank to make profit by lending her money and getting back from her with interest. I mean i get it that she should pay back $1 but why with interest because my motive is not profit like a bank who lends money in order to profit from the interest the bank charges on the money lended or loaned.

          • That is just the way it works…

          • Rohit says:

            Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. What do you mean by being too worried in the sentence, “So do not be too worried about this one incident but think into the future how you can adjust your life so you are in a position to give the people you meet Krishna consciousness.”
            Do you mean to say i should be worried or concerned about that issue at all and if i should then why. Because to me at least if not anyone else in the world being too worried and being worried are two different things on the degree i should be worried about.

            Please i don’t want to offend you and would likely ask not to take what i said as offense unless they is good reason for it. All i want to know is should i be worried at all about the incident.

            And more thing. If something bad or unpleasant happens to me through factors mainly or mostly people for instance while performing or doing things related to Krsna Consciousness and from that i cannot be able to perform or things in relation to Krsna Consciousness like for example reading information in relation to Krsna Consciousness is it because of what i think it is. Here is what i think. I think maya is fighting back no matter in what sort of circumstance i am doing actions in Krsna Consciousness and plus it happened because of Krsna will as Krsna has some plan behind it. Like for example Arjuna being in illusion or ignorance Bhagavad Gita can be acceseed for their own wellbeing as well as for all other humans’ and humanity’s wellbeing(Krsna Consciousness or Krsna bhakti) as whole(in the future or future generations).

            And like Maharaj Parikshit being thirsty and throwing the snake at the sage and his son cursing him to die in 7 days so that he can be spoken to the “Srimad Bhagvatam for future generation like Bhagavad Gita.

            I know i am not equal to Arjuna or Maharaj Parikshit anyways. I cannot even equal 1% or like 0.1% to them but still can it be true for me or anyone aspiring to be a devotee or a devotee.

          • Hare Krishna Rohit

            Yes. We have to be very concerned that we chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and that we follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and that we read Srila Prabhupada’s books every day. These things are completely essential if we want to make any spiritual advancement at all. Without these things there is no spiritual life, it is just imagination.

            We have to surrender to the process that Srila Prabhupada has given us if we want to make advancement in spiritual life. We can not expect to advance without following the instructions of Srila Prabhupada.

            But of course we are far from perfect and in the beginning we will fail in so many ways. That is not so much of a problem. Even there is an English saying that “Failure is the pillar of success.” So we will surely fail in many ways in trying to reach and maintain the proper standards of Krishna consciousness. And we do have to be concerned about this and we have to be concerned about how to avoid these failures. But if they happen, if we do fail due to falling back into our past bad habits or due to bad association, then we have to realize that we have failed, realize that we have fallen from the proper standard of Krishna consciousness and rectify ourselves. And rectifying ourselves just means again becoming firmly fixed in chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, strictly following the four regulative principles and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and following the instructions he gives us while we read his books. Simply again becoming seriously engaged in these activities will purify us and will get us back into the proper consciousness, Krishna consciousness, there is nothing else that we have to do, we have to simply get ourselves again properly situated in Krishna consciousness.

            So we do have to be concerned about acting in such a way that we will not fall down, we do have to be concerned that we are constantly engaged in Krishna consciousness, we have to be concerned about so many things. But the things in the past we can not do anything about. So there is no point in worrying about our failures and the bad things we have done in the past. There is nothing we can do about that now. That time has past. Time has moved on and we have to look forward, not backward. We have to think how we can avoid the mistakes we have made in the past in the future. But whatever we have done in the past there is no point worrying about it.

            Actually the purifying process is Krishna consciousness, so chanting Hare Krishna, following the regulative principles and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books will purify us of the sinful reactions of any bad activities we have performed in the past. But we can not get into the mood of performing sinful activities and then thinking that we can chant Hare Krishna to counteract that. That is the greatest offense, that is “Performing sinful activities on the strength of the holy name.” And that will not work.

            Anyhow it is not very strange that we will fall down sometimes and fail to maintain the proper standards. Trying to become Krishna conscious is like declaring war on maya. And she fights back. If we are trying to be Krishna conscious then maya will tempt us in so many ways and in so many ways try to get us to fall down. And you know practically everyone in the material world is a servant of maya, everyone is working for maya. So we, the few who are trying to serve Krishna, are greatly outnumbered in this material world. This is maya’s world and we are going against the grain or trying to swim up a river against the current. The tendency in the material world is everyone is on the bodily platform and everyone is engaged in so many sinful activities. So in this atmosphere it is not surprising that we fall down sometimes.

            But it is a very subtle thing. We have to give up the idea of trying to enjoy in the material world. We have to know it very clearly that there is no pleasure, no enjoyment in the material world, that the only pleasure, the only enjoyment is had by serving Krishna. That is something that has to be realized of course. And it is not that we can directly serve Krishna. We serve Krishna by serving Krishna’s pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada. So the whole thing, Krishna consciousness, is a great science and you have to learn it by reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. I can not explain everything to you here in a few paragraphs…

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

          • Rohit says:

            Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. i have come to know by my mother that my father’s will be out of job in a month and if does not get a new job he will be without a job. And in this remark he says life is difficult not easy so you prepare yourself until when we are alive or something like this. Prabhuji they is so much suffering in the this world as i have come to know from hearing about it and occasionaly when i read news but not frequently as i am not inclined to read news and plus of course from you on this site and from the Krsna Consciousness. But here is the thing what can i do about it if life is difficult. First of all myself have not experienced the world as my father as experienced which is rough. Although i myself have not come to experience that world yet(probably because i am not working). But what should i do about the “life is difficult” fact. I think my father talks about preparing for it. Although in the past he and my mother has defined it through material ways which is to to college and concentrate on this and nothing else including (Krsna Consciousness). They say if we die or something happens to us tommorrow or anytime soon where will you be. Who will support. Will Krsna Consciousness help you get food and roof or something like that. They say when they will die that time i will remember how they were after me while i was not serious and practicing Krsna Consciousness. Last semester i finally finished course with success and still i am doing. Although i am not that serious or sincere. It was like that last semester sort but still got perfect grade in the one course. Although as of present i still am in danger as i am not been very serious. even less serious than last semester. I have to put my mind into it and will do it as of now whatever i can. Last semester i passed the course perfectly and you said i was doing it without too much difficulty. I did pass the course but could have done it though better way. First of all then and even now i needed time management.Second i sacrificed doing devotional service as much as the the four things you said which is 1. Four regulative principles. 2 getting up at 4:00 am. 3. reading Srila prabhupada’s books 1-2 hours and 4. Chanting 16 rounds. I did all these things but to some extent as i but my best effort in doing the best i can and leaving the results on krsna by praying that i am doing it for you Srila Prabhupada, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-rani and Krsna so that i can finish the degree, get a job and money directly for krsna or indirectly for body which is to be used in krsna’s service and whatever else i can even directly use the knowledge of the course to serve you in the future. But still like during that time and till now i spent time on television for entertainment as till today i am addicted to it. when i don’t watch for a day i feel weird like some withdrawal symptoms or something and mind runs here and there and become unrelaxed and computer doing both playing games and or reading krsna conscious articles and comments on it when it is time to study and this makes my parents upset. Prabhuji i am in a deep hole. i remember like weeks back when i feel very enthustic to practice krsna consciousness to the stricktest level maya stops it by engaging me by making my parents tell me so many offensive things and instigating me on purpose so that i becoem angry. And being angry took out both physical and mental energy and make me feel weird in the head from the shouting and all. Maya really has it all for me. I don’t want to be prideful or anything but Maya might be putting too many obstacles like this for me because she sees that putting me though hell is the only way she can keep a grip on me and seems like she uses everything she has to. she does not give me a margin to practice krsna consciousness perfectly or sincerely. She might she me as a very determined especially when i start to practice Krsna Consciousness so that is why she does this to me. I think i can do the course without too much difficulty by Krsna mercy although if i fail i have to blame myself because i did not do the best i can. But even i do it i want to do it efficiently with the lessest time i can put and also side by side the four things you said in the beginning and until i am or fixated on it after a time and can extend to everything gradually. Also one thing some teacher/friend of mine from the past said i have the intelligence of a adult but innocence of a child. Does that mean anything in Krsna Consciousness. Because to me it seems like i have the potential to be a devotee. Potential to become a pure devotee. It might be like i have the nature of a pure devotee. But not come to that point in realization. Please these are just thoughts coming in my head for a really long time that i am able to put together all today. in some sense i don’t feel pride exactly but that this comment might be telling something of me and in terms of Krsna Consciousness. So that is why i wanted to ask.

          • Hare Krishna Rohit

            If you are addicted to television and games then you are not Krishna conscious. Somehow Krishna consciousness has slipped through your fingers and you are still living your life motivated by the illusion of maya that you can somehow be happy by gratifying your senses in the material world. But this is not possible. This material world is, as Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita, a temporary place which is full of suffering and death. Because we, the spirit souls, are eternal, not temporary, we can never be satisfied by anything that is temporary. We need permanent satisfaction. And there is nothing permanent in the material world.

            We have to become addicted to Krishna consciousness, not the television. And that requires practical action on our part. Krishna consciousness means devotional service. There is no meaning to Krishna consciousness without service. We only have our life, our time, our intelligence, our energy and our money. If we do no engage our life, our time, our intelligence, our energy and our money in the service Krishna under the direction of a pure devotee of Krishna then there is no meaning to our Krishna consciousness.

            The thing about Krishna consciousness that is a little difficult is that in the beginning we have no taste for Krishna consciousness. And the reason for that is because we are infected by the material disease. In that diseased condition our taste is for material things and we do not like Krishna consciousness. So we have to realize this. And we have to give up the materialistic things we are attached to and instead engage in Krishna consciousness. It is a great science and we have to follow it. It is not possible to become Krishna conscious without changing our lives. We have to read Srila Prabhupada’s books, hear from him, and according to his instructions modify our lives. If we are not prepared to modify our lives then we are not going to become Krishna conscious. If we are addicted to the television then we will never become Krishna conscious. If we actually want to become Krishna conscious then we have to be strong enough to give up our addiction to the television and stop wasting so much time and use that time instead for chanting Hare Krishna, reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and engaging in other Krishna conscious activities.

            So that is it really. Unless we are prepared to force ourselves to stop our materialistic activities, to force ourselves to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and to force ourselves to very seriously follow the four regulative principles (no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication) then Krishna consciousness will be impossible for us. This is called tapasya, austerity. It means voluntarily undergoing some suffering for the purpose of making spiritual advancement, this tapasya is essential. It is required. And it may hurt, it may be very difficult in the beginning. But without this tapasya there is no chance we can escape from the clutches of maya and become Krishna conscious.

            So the material world is a miserable place. It is a place full of suffering. There is nothing you can do about it. Your suffering and enjoyment is already fixed up at the time of your birth. Apart form becoming Krishna conscious there is nothing you can do to change this. It does not matter how hard you study at school. That will not change anything at all. You are already destined to enjoy a certain amount and suffer a certain amount and that will come.

            No one works very hard to achieve misery and suffering, but the misery and suffering come of their own accord. Similarly there is no need to work hard for happiness and enjoyment for the happiness and enjoyment will also come of their own accord according to our karma. We only need to work hard for becoming Krishna conscious. That is the only thing which can actually change our situation. Otherwise we will just enjoy what we are meant to enjoy according to our karma and suffer what we are meant to suffer according to our karma. This can not be change, except by becoming Krishna conscious. So there is no point trying to change it. That will be a futile effort. We need to use all our time and energy for becoming Krishna conscious.

            And we have to remember also that we can not become Krishna conscious on our own strength. Krishna consciousness is only possible by the blessings of a pure devotee of Krishna. So we have to please a pure devotee of Krishna like His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, otherwise even our attempts to become Krishna conscious will fail also….

            Krishna consciousness is a great science, we have to follow it, otherwise we can’t expect it to work. If we are addicted to television and we are not prepared to break that addiction then we will never become Krishna conscious and our lives will be totally wasted.

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

          • Rohit says:

            Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. In the past in my present life I have performed a lot of good karma. And even today I did like sharing my resources with someone in college like paper for printing. Okay this is a good karma just like minutes ago. Prabhuji I know I am like mostly asking the same thing but what I do. If I am wrong in the ultimate sense to even do good karma then how can I avoid doing it so that I do not have to take birth again. To be honest I don’t do good karma because I think I will get good reactions like so called material enjoyment but out of goodness and kindness towards others. So what type of standard should I adopt in doing actions and actions for krsna only.

          • Hare Krishna Rohit

            The process of acting in such a way that all his activities are service to Krishna is the actual process of Krishna consciousness. This is what Srila Prabhupada is teaching us to do in his dozens of books. It is a course of study and a way of life that you have to adopt. So you have to study the books. It is like you are asking ‘how can I become a lawyer’ and expecting me to explain to you in one paragraph how you can become a lawyer and you expect to become a lawyer after reading my one paragraph reply. It is not like that. To become a lawyer is a process. It requires education, you have to study the books, you have to pass the examinations, and you have to be accepted and be working as a lawyer.

            So as there is a process how to become a lawyer, there is also a process how to become Krishna conscious, and as soon as you become Krishna conscious you will not do anything except serving Krishna and in that way you will become free from the reactions of karma. But as I say becoming Krishna conscious is a process and you have to follow this process, you have to read the books, you have to follow everything. Like you have to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, you have to strictly follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling, no intoxication] and you have to read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day. This is the beginning. And once you are really seriously engaged in the process of Krishna consciousness then you will find all the answers to your questions. But at the moment you need to concentrate on chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and strictly following the four regulative principles and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. This is the solution to all of your problems. The answer to all of your questions.

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

  23. Rohit says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. You said

    “The reality is that in Kali-yuga it is not very easy to work together with other people and the actual process of Krishna consciousness, ISKCON, of living in the association of devotees, established by Srila Prabhupada is broken. So we are all trying to serve Srila Prabhupada to our best ability and naturally there will be disagreements and misunderstandings. That is the nature of the material world. ”

    What i am really want to talk is in the future when i start doing a job would hate the nor being so easy to work together with other people and the disagreements and misunderstandings.

    Is there any solution to this problem prabhuji. All i really want to know is there any solution to this disagreements and misunderstandings because i know myself. i am never good with people especially misunderstandings and disagreements because that would easily lead me to be upset and i would probably cut off from them. Anyways please if you give me the solution to this problem do. ALthough for me this is the future but i already started feeling sort of bad about it since i know myself in interactions with people of today’s times(not in work but in general, i tend to stick with people who i can get along actually i stick with people who i like or have no difficulty with. That is my nature.

    • Hare Krishna Rohit

      As you experience the material world more and more you will come to see that everyone has his own program. So as long as your program and the other person’s program are compatible then you can work together and live together nicely. But as soon as his is a little different from yours then there will be some disagreement and argument. That is the nature of this age, Kali-yuga. You can not avoid it. So ultimately even the people ‘you have no difficulty with’, you will have difficulty with them also after some time. That is just the way of the world…

      The solution to this problem is Krishna consciousness. This problem is a symptom of not being Krishna conscious. So if we can create a society of devotees who are centered around serving Krishna, pleasing Krishna, then this problem will disappear. But as long as we are not Krishna conscious we will be completely under the infulence of this potency of Kali-yuga which means hypocrisy and disagreement.

      So the answer is to become Krishna conscious.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Rohit says:

        Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. Is not all type of suffering and problems in this world are symptoms of not being Krsna Conscious.

        • Suffering and problems in the material world are the symptom of being in the bodily concept of life. As long as we are identifying with the material body, thinking “I am a man”, “I am an Indian”, “I belong to this family”, etc., then we are on the bodily concept of life and it is because of this misidentification of the self with the body that we suffer in the material world. Of course the only practical way to get free from this bodily conception of life is to become Krishna conscious…

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  24. Rohit says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. I have a question regarding philantrophy and spreading of Krsna Consciousness movement. In today’s world they are big philanthrophists like bill gates. Is it sinful to ask these philantrphists to give money to Krsna Consciousness and if they agree is it sinful to accept these non-devotees money in spreading Krsna Consciousness if by chance they agree.

    • Hare Krishna Rohit

      Yes. It is sinful to beg money from sinful people. If they give the money then we get part of the sinful reaction. But of course if one is a pure devotee of Krishna then he can engage anything in the service of Krishna. But unfortunately we are not pure devotees of Krishna. So this begging from rich men who have achieved their wealth through sinful activities is not a very good thing for us to do in general.

      Srila Prabhupada did not instruct us to do this. Srila Prabhupada instructed us to print and distribute his books and make the profits from the sales of his books the financial basis of ISKCON. And in fact when ISKCON was focused on distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books at that time huge amounts of money were flowing into ISKCON. At that time people all over the world were startled as to how wealthy Prabhupada’s ISKCON appeared to be. Even in the Indian government they were discussion how it was that ISKCON is so wealthy. They were even suspecting that ISKCON was being funded by the CIA… But of course ISKCON was being funded by the sales of Srila Prabhupada’s books. And that is what we should do now. Sell Prabhupada’s books. That is an honest transcendental business.

      So yes, it is sinful to accept money from non-devotees who have made it through sinful activities. But a pure devotee can do this, but if we do it we will be forced to suffer some of the bad reactions involved in the collection of the money.

      The thing is we can not use even a cent of the money collected for Krishna for our own sense gratification. If we do use even a cent of the collection for our own sense gratification we will go to hell. So it is a very heavy responsibility to spend Krishna’s money only for Krishna.

      In any case these foundations are godless demons and are not going to give money voluntarily for spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world.

      A pure devotee of course can engage anything in the service of Krishna. So if you become a pure devotee you can do it, but while we are not pure devotees we will suffer our share of the sinful reactions for such money collected from materialists. So it is better to simply depend on Krishna and perform sankirtan and distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books. If we surrender to this simple program Krishna will ensure that we will not starve.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  25. sonika says:

    Hare krishna Madhudvisa ji…..

    as a beginner in krishna consciousness, it is a bit difficult to understand the actual message, the meaning of krishna consciousness without any guidance. for example to understand what action and inaction is, what actual social service is? what is the actual service to the society you made it very clear to me.

    When i used to put gopi-chandan tilak, my brother used to scold me asked me to stop… i ignored ..now today is the time that he also puts chandan tilak whenever he goes out but not always…

    once i gave orange to my brother which i had first offered to krishna, after having that he continuously started going loo and started vomiting many times. I started teasing him as he had been partying over night, so prasadam is making his tummy clear. though i was not sure its because of prasadam or coincident.

    Just sharing my experience , as i dont find anyone around me who is interested in talking about krishna.

    Hare krishna…:)

  26. Pandit Dasa says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    This is a real article for today’s world. The entire world is going towards philanthropic activities. So this is a real guide to all the mundane philanthropists as to how really they need to serve the needy.

    When we see through the eyes of Bhagavatam & Bhagavad-Gita – everyone here in the material world is spiritually poor. Outwardly one might be fabulously rich but spiritually?

    We are planning to start some of these philanthropic activities; to set an example to show as to how these can be routed through Lord Krishna. Just like prasadam seva. Through this we can engage and bridge both the rich and poor. Collect the money from rich – offer the bhoga to Lord – feed the prasadam to poor.

    Similarly, we are trying to come up with spiritual models of other philanthropic activities. This tendency of the people cannot be stopped everyone is on the enjoying mood. So we should take a step ahead of them and create innovative spiritual philanthropic models – bridging rich & poor; finally pushing both the societies nearer to the Supreme Almighty Father – Lord Sri Krishna.

    Hare Krishna!

    Your servant,
    Pandit Dasa

  27. sameer says:

    I connection of helping the poor , i read ur thoughts but actually according to parbhupad one who is poor is more advantageous to clear the illusion of material world. I want to be poor but at the same stage i want to be engaged in service with respect and grace.

    Merely earning money and becoming rich is not my interest and God may make every body Poor all the time for keeping them engaged in service with respect

    i also want to add here that , our struggle for find the God is difficult because of luxuries and may god help us to become poor and more strong internally.


    • Hare Krishna Sameer

      Yes, it is true that being poor is a nice quality for making spiritual advancement and the brahmins and the sadhus voluntarily become poor for the purpose of spiritual upliftment in life. You are also correct in stating that generally being very wealthy is a disadvantage for spiritual advancement.

      But Rupa Goswami gives us the instruction of yukta-vairajya, or ‘practical renunciation’. He instructs us that actually we do not possess anything, everything belongs to Krishna. So even if we appear to have some material wealth if we truly understand that it does not belong to us, it belongs to Krishna, and if we actually use whatever wealth and material facilities we have in the service of Krishna, then it will not be an obstacle for our spiritual advancement.

      Rupa Goswami tells us that everything belongs to Krishna, so if we have some valuable thing in our possession we should understand it is Krishna’s and use it for Krishna. Not that we should throw it away thinking it is material and an impediment to my spiritual advancement.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  28. Hare krishna
    Respected dasa,

    Sir Do you Really think that we do not have to help poor people, Do not need to feed them. yes i also believe on that on the name of DARIDRA NARAYAN…But we have to Help them its all about Sharing and caring What we have extra share them who dont have…. its all like VASUDEV KUTUMB ….

    Hare Krishna…

    • Ishan das says:

      Dear Tejas, Hare Krishna!

      It is the principle of those who are devotees of Krishna to distribute Krishna prasadam, food that has been offered to Krishna.

      Your feeling for helping people is good and there is no doubt of this. But spiritual understanding is also scientific, not just sentiment.

      The laws of karma are there and you cannot change that through material good works. If someone is suffering, that is because of their karma, perhaps karma from many, many previous lives. Your desire to reduce their suffering will not change their karma, even if you give food.

      If you do good works, give food to others, the result will be that you will generate good karma for yourself. The person you are trying to help will still suffer as much as he is deserving to suffer. You will have to return to this wolrd of birth and death to receive your good karmic results. And the person you are trying to help will also be bound to this unfortunate and painful cycle of samsara.

      But if you offer food to Krishna, Krishna says in gita that He will remove your karma. “Aham tvam sarva papebhyo mokshaisyami”. That will save you from samsara. And if you distribute this prasadam to people, they also will advance in Krishna consciousness and gradually become devotees so that they can end their dance in samsara.

      So spiritual life is not sentiment. It is science and one has to learn that science by reading Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita. And then one has to practice. Again I say that your feeling is good. Now it must be combined with real knowledge so that you can help others by also distributing that knowledge.

      Narayan is not Daridra. Narayan has always Laksmi with Him. These poor people are not Narayan. These poor people, and you and I, we are all eternal servants of Narayan, but because we are not engaged in loving service to Narayan, therefore we are condemned to live in this material world where there is so much suffering. That suffering is good if it brings us to the understanding that we must become devotees of Narayan in order to leave this place and never return.

      If we do not become bhaktas, and we try to help others separately, then we are simply trying to be Narayan. That is sinful. What we will gain is karma, more birth and death. The only way to end karma is by cultivating our love for God. Then we get all credentials for leaving this place and enjoying eternal life in Vaikuntha. That is science. Not sentiment.

      Hare Krishna!

  29. krishan says:

    Hare krishna prabhu,
    I want to know about a person who earns daily wages and feeds his family, stays in temporary shed, and no security of next day. And even if one or two days he is not able to go to the work then he is not sure about food or medicine or other basic needs. So how he can devote himself to Krishna consciousness with these conditions( he is responsible for his dependents say kids below 1 year of age) and how can I make him do HARE KRISHNA and be happy?

    • Hare Krishna Krishan

      Becoming Krishna conscious has nothing to do with our material wealth or poverty. There have been pure devotees of Krishna who were extremely poor and also pure devotees who were very rich and all sorts of pure devotees in-between. The process of Krishna consciousness is the same for a poor man as it is for a rich man. You can worship Krishna without any expensive things. Krishna asks in the Gita that: “One offer Me a leaf, a flower, fruit or water.” So even a poor man can collect these things and offer them to Krishna. It is rather an advantage to be poor in many regards as when one becomes wealthy that may distract him from Krishna.

      But the thing is you say: “How can I make him do Hare Krishna and be happy?” You can not make anyone become Krishna conscious. Krishna consciousness is love for Krishna and that person has to develop that love for Krishna himself. You can help him by becoming a pure devotee of Krishna yourself and giving him your good association. You can get nice bhoga and offer it to Krishna and feed him with Krishna prasadam, that will help him to become Krishna conscious. You can have some kirtan and aroti and invite him to join in the kirtan, that will help him to become Krishna conscious. And if you can encourage him to read some of Srila Prabhupada’s books that is a very powerful way to help him become Krishna conscious. So you can see all these things are equally available to poor men and rich men. It makes no difference. But the person has to want to become Krishna conscious, and that desire to become Krishna conscious is a very rare thing actually and it can only really be invoked by the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  30. KavitaBalram says:

    Very nice article prabhu.
    The only way to our sufferings is to come out of this material cycle of birth and death and get liberated.

  31. Nila says:

    Hare Krishna,

    Thank you for clearing up this topic about weather to give the money to the poor? For the longest time I would be debating in my mind about this and I just want to thank Krishna for shedding some light on this matter. I know now that we just need to introduce people to Krishan Conciousness. The most important thing one can do to help the fallen souls.

  32. Gems says:

    Hare Krishna prabhu…
    In india there was a man.. Vivekanand..he also told about the same poor narayan philospy… Now in india a big union is following him and its name is RSS.. So…. Is it right.. Wht is ur view

  33. Amit says:

    Why even doing a lot of hard work and chanting hare Krishna i am not getting success in studies does God doesnot help in studies

    • Hare Krishna Amit

      We do not chant Hare Krishna to get Krishna to help us in any way at all. Chanting Hare Krishna is a prayer to Krishna, “Please Krishna engage me in Your service.” So a devotee just wants to be engaged in the service of Krishna, that’s all. He does not expect anything, any benefit at all from Krishna. Just being engaged in Krishna’s service is the only benefit the devotee wants.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  34. Andrew says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa!

    Thank you for your explanation.

    I thought I’d ask the question as this topic seemed to me that the donating of blood and organs can also relate to the idea of donating too and feeding the poor,where you think you are doing the right and good thing by donating in whatever form but in reality you are in fact prolonging that persons pain and suffering by not helping them in working through their Karma but just delaying it.

    It’s an interesting topic and I thank you again for explaining it to me.

  35. Andrew says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa!

    When I first came upon this I have to admit I was deeply troubled and saw not doing welfare work such as giving to the poor as a selfish act.

    But the more I read and re-read the more I came to the realisation that it’s the exact opposite, by it being a responsible and ultimately caring act,because the giving of a worldly aid is just like papering over a crack, everything looks great on the surface but underneath the problem is still there and will continue to be there.

    As Srila Prabhupada says in the Purport to Bg 11.55:

    “A devotee situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness knows that only devotional service to Kṛṣṇa can relieve a person from all the problems of life. He has personal experience of this, and therefore he wants to introduce this system, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, into human society.”

    And as Srila Prabhupada says in the purport to Bg 5.14:

    “The living entity, as will be explained in the Seventh Chapter, is one in nature with the Supreme Lord, distinguished from matter, which is another nature-called inferior-of the Lord. Somehow, the superior nature, the living entity, has been in contact with material nature since time immemorial. The temporary body or material dwelling place which he obtains is the cause of varieties of activities and their resultant reactions. Living in such a conditional atmosphere, one suffers the results of the activities of the body by identifying himself (in ignorance) with the body. It is ignorance acquired from time immemorial that is the cause of bodily suffering and distress. As soon as the living entity becomes aloof from the activities of the body, he becomes free from the reactions as well. As long as he is in the city of body, he appears to be the master of it, but actually he is neither its proprietor nor controller of its actions and reactions. He is simply in the midst of the material ocean, struggling for existence. The waves of the ocean are tossing him, and he has no control over them. His best solution is to get out of the water by transcendental Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That alone will save him from all turmoil.”

    I hope this question isn’t getting off-topic,but what is the view on giving blood at a blood bank or donating a organ such as a kidney to a family member or close friend?

    Thank you for the continuing newsletters.

    • Hare Krishna Andrew

      Thank you very much for sharing your realizations. Yes. The real humanitarian work is to distribute Krishna consciousness to the people. That is what we should do.

      As far as giving blood your energy is stored up in your blood so if you give blood you are giving your energy and actually we want to give our energy to serve Krishna and Krishna’s pure devotee. So it is much, much better to use your blood by preaching with great energy and enthusiasm the pure message of Krishna consciousness rather than wasting it in the blood bank.

      As devotees we have no interest in family and friends except if they can become interested in Krishna consciousness and we can talk about Krishna with them. That is our only desire. To associate with devotees and to talk about Krishna. So if the family and friends can not be made interested in this then we are not interested in them.

      As far as the idea that you can ‘save’ someone else by cutting up your body and giving them a part of it that is a bogus idea. We are all suffering and enjoying in the material world according to our karma. So if your friend or relative is suffering because some organ has failed or is weak in his body then that is a result of his karma and you can not change this. You are not the supreme lord and you can not adjust the workings of the material energy. The material energy will go on and work in her own way dishing out the required suffering and enjoyment to every living entity depending on what that living entity deserves and desires. You can not change this by donating an organ to your friend or family member. Of course it may appear that your organ helps them, or the transplant may also be a total failure and kill them of course, but even if it appears to be successful then you will suffer obviously because that organ is necessary for the healthy operation of your body and they will still suffer whatever they were destined to suffer. It will just come in a different way.

      The example to explain this is that if you are carrying a very heavy weight with one of your hands then that may become quite distressful and painful after some time and you may be able to get a little temporary relief by moving the weight from one hand to the other hand. So you then feel relief. But you have not changed anything actually. You have just moved the burden from one place to another. So the same thing with your friend or family member. It may appear that they get some benefit from your organ transplant but actually nothing has changed. Their karma is still the same and they still have to suffer and enjoy the same reactions. It may be that because of your organ that those reactions will come in a little different way. But they will still get the same amount of suffering and the same amount of enjoyment they are destined to get.

      So my advice is don’t chop up your body to ‘help’ friends and family members, rather surrender to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and use your body and all of your energy in the service of Krishna…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  36. Rachel says:

    Hare Krishna,

    To ignore someone’s suffering will not benefit anyone. Why not give the starving people food AND the Hare Krishna mantra? We are told we must take care of our bodies, not by starving them or overfeeding them, so if we give these people some food perhaps they will be in a healthier and happier condition and therefore be more inspired to work for Krishna. Simply giving them Krishna or ignoring them will continue the suffering, and they won’t be able to improve their karma or get rid of it entirely, because they are so focused on their basic needs. So, fill their basic needs, and they will be less worried about starving and dying, and have more time to pursue their Dharma. We shouldn’t be feeding them because we want the benefits, no, we should be feeding them selflessly because it will help inspire them to pursue a Krishna consciousness lifestyle.

    To hold back and not help them is like seeing people burning in a house and saying “it doesn’t matter if I help them, they were going to die one day eventually.” If you help them they will be more appreciative of life, grateful, and inspired. That is what we should want.

    • Hare Krishna Rachel

      You are putting yourself in the position of God. You are thinking that the people are suffering and you can save them, you can stop the suffering. This is your basic misconception. Everyone is put in a position of suffering or enjoyment according to their past activities, their karma. If they are meant to suffer they will suffer and you can not stop this suffering. You do not have the power to do that. That is why after so many hundreds of years of philanthropists feeding hungry people there are still so many hungry people. If people are meant to be hungry because of there kama they will be hungry and there is nothing you can do about it.

      Giving them Krishna consciousness of course means giving them Krishna prasadam, spiritual food. So devotees of Krishna of course do feed hungry people, but the distribution of prasadam by the devotees is a completely different thing to the distribution of food by some mundane philanthropist. Because Krishna and Krishna prasadam are non-different when one accepts Krishna prasadam he is directly associating with Krishna and this association with Krishna through the prasadam is purifying and actually has the power to change his karma.

      So when the devotees distribute Krishna prasadam to the people it is not with the misconception that by feeding people they can stop them from being hungry. No. Devotees distribute Krishna prasadam to help the people awaken the Krishna consciousness which is dormant within everyone’s heart. And if the Krishna consciousness is awakened then the other problems like hunger and any other type of suffering that is actually caused by the person’s bad karma can be solved, because Krishna consciousness has the power to change a person’s karma.

      If you just give someone food that does nothing to change their karma. So they are still going to enjoy the same amount as they are destined to enjoy and they are still going to suffer the same amount as they are destined to suffer. There is no mundane way to change this. So you are not achieving anything by this distribution of mundane food. If you are feeding people like this then the people you are feeding are meant to get fed according to their karma and you are meant to feed them according to your karma. And by this mundane food distribution program you are becoming entangled in more an more karma because everyone you feed has a debt to you that they have to pay back to you. So you will be forced to take birth in the material world again and again to receive the payment of these debts that are owing to you. So in this sense good karma is also bad. By feeding the people like this in a mundane way then you are performing pious activities and you are generating good karma. But that means you have to take birth in the material world again and again to ‘enjoy’ the ‘good karma’ but it is not good to have to take birth again, to get old again, to get sick and die over and over and over again.

      The devotee’s only interest is to give people Krishna. Because he knows well that that is the only thing that can help the people, that is the only thing that can actually solve the problems that the people are facing. So he distributes Krishna prasadam, not actually to feed hungry people, but to give all the people the opportunity to associate with Krishna in the form of prasadam and to give them the chance to awaken their dormant Krishna consciousness.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  37. Ria says:

    Hare Krishna,

    i am a little confused, about the extent of social work one should be involved in , as every other sect of society we would like to modify,is in that condition because of Lord’s wish.. could i get help?

    • Hare Krishna Ria

      As devotees of Krishna we have no interest at all in the mundane social work. All this social work and philanthropic work is based on the misconception that we can improve other people’s situation in life by our efforts. But actually here in the material world we are all suffering and enjoying the results of our past activities in this life and in previous lives. This is called karma, so the amount of suffering I am going to endure is already fixed up and the amount of pleasure I am going to ‘enjoy’ is also fixed up. Nothing on the mundane platform can change this.

      The devotee is interested in distributing Krishna consciousness to the people, that’s all. So that means distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra so they can hear the holy names of Krishna and distributing Krishna prasadam, the remnants of the food offered to Krishna. This is the real social work…

  38. Deepak A says:

    Hare Krishna,

    As the article suggests, to every action that we’ve performed in the past, we have to face a reaction in future.

    According to Science, if we perform an action on an object, we see reaction with respect to that object only. For ex. If we suppress a spring downwards, It’ll push itself upwards in reaction when released.

    Similarly, If people are hungry, as per the article, it’s the reaction of something they did in past. I would like to know what kind of action would precisely describe this kind of reaction ?


  39. Ramananda Raya says:


    I concur with Prabhuji,we should only distribute MahaPrasadji and not mundane food,even if it’s vegetarian.Only because what benefit can such food give to materialists?I have been sending parts of the Bhagavatam to all my Atheist friends in the hopes that they will wake up from the dream of samsara and come to KC

  40. pradeep vaish says:

    dear prabhu ji,hare krishna
    read your meaningful writeup,only a bhakt can understand the carmic law but to make others understand i think you should elaborate the point more.you are doing a marvellous service to sri krishna,keep,it up.

    with best regards
    pradeep vaish

    • Anybody can understand karma. It is quite simple. You do something sinful, something bad, then something bad will happen to you in the future and if you do something pious, good, then something good will happen to you in the future. That’s all. Very simple. You don’t have to be a devotee to understand that. But the only way you can get yourself out of the clutches of the three modes of material nature, the only way you can free yourself from these karmic reactions is by becoming a devotee and chanting Hare Krishna….

  41. vijaya says:

    Hare krishna Madhudvisa Dasa,
    Its for the first time in my life that I got clarity in my thoughts. Am totally satisfied with your comments. I now believe that “serving god is serving mankind”. Thank you very much for all your articles, I must confess that by the chanting of Hare krishna maha-mantra I have got a lot of purity and bliss.

  42. ABIODUN says:

    HARE KRISHNA Madhudvisa dasa, I want to thank you for all the ancient vedic wisdom you are being sharing with me i love it all may KRISNA continue to give you strength to continue HIS work once again thank you. LIGHT AND LOVE FROM MY HEART OF ALL HEARTS. ABIODUN.

  43. sanjay kumar says:

    dear prabhu
    i m agree with u, pls can you comment on akshay patra running by iskcon its doing good work, i m talking about mid day meals for poor children,
    ur servent
    sanjay kumar

    • Hare Krishna Sanjay

      There is no spiritual benefit actually in giving free meals to poor people. This is mundane welfare work and we have no business as devotees of Krishna engaging in mundane welfare work. We are interested in distributing Krishna prasadam. So if we can arrange to have actual devotees cook very nice foodstuffs and offer them to Krishna with real love and devotion and after Krishna accepts that offering then we, as devotees, are very anxious to distribute that Krishna prasadam to all living entities. Not specifically poor people. And we want to distribute the prasadam in conjunction with the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and the distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books. In this way we want to prepare and distribute Krishna prasadam in huge quantities to everyone. But not specifically poor people. Krishna prasadam is to awaken the dormant Krishna consciousness in the hearts of every living entity. Everyone nowadays is poor spiritually. So everyone needs to be able to respect Krishna prasadam, hear the Hare Krishna maha mantra chanted from the lips of pure devotees, and read Prabhupada’s books. So devotees are interested in this type of prasadam distribution program.

      As devotees we have no interest in doing “good work”. We do not accept that this “good work” like feeding hungry people has any real value in itself. The point is not feeding the people. There is no real value in feeding people in the ultimate issue. We are interested in distributing Krishna prasadam, getting them to accept the mercy of the Lord.

      As far as I am aware Aksaya Patra is a strictly non-religious organization who have to guarantee to the government that what they are distributing is not prasadam. They are clearly presenting themselves as a mundane charitable institution, and the food is not cooked by devotees, the whole thing is done by paid staff, and there is strictly no kirtan or preaching or book distribution associated with this program.

      As devotees of Krishna and followers of Srila Prabhupada we see no value in just feeding hungry people. We want to feed the spirit souls of the hungry people. We do want to feed everyone with Krishna prasadam but we do not see that a hungry person is any more a candidate for Krishna’s mercy in the form of prasadam than a rich person. As I tried to explain in the article everyone is in a particular position in the material world according to their karma. This is the arrangement of the modes of material nature which are working under the direction of Krishna. So if we think we can change this and stop the suffering of the people then we are trying to go against the arrangement of Krishna. It will not be successful. As I said so many of these organizations have been feeding hungry people for so long but the hungry people still remain.

      We want to feed all people with Krishna prasadam. We do not differentiate if he is hungry or not hungry. And we have no interest in programs specifically targeted to simply feed hungry people or to build schools to give them mundane education or to build hospitals to satisfy the needs of their material bodies. We want to have kirtan, distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books and feed everyone sumptuously with Krishna prasadam, we don’t want to be involved in mundane programs distributing ordinary mundane food to poor people for the pious benefits that come from feeding hungry people.

      It is maybe difficult to understand but we are only interested in distributing Krishna prasadam and we are not distributing Krishna prasadam to fill hungry bellies. We are doing that to awaken the person’s dormant Krishna consciousness and this is best done when accompanied by kirtan and the distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books and it is for everyone, not just hungry people…

      Another big problem for devotees being involved in these government funded programs is the government pays huge amounts of money but for that money the devotees have to follow very strict conditions that means the the devotees simply become servants of the government and are working for them, forwarding the government’s agenda. Which is economic development, not Krishna consciousness…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • sanjay kumar says:

        hare krishna prabhu,
        thanku very much for ur reply, it will help me a lot . in progress of lord krishna consciousness,,

        hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
        hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

  44. abhinav says:

    I am a surgeon and i refrained from working in a private hospital as i thought that by working in a govt. hospital i would be serving the poor. So i want to know how should we be making day to day decision in life? Will serving the poor not yield good karma?????

    • Hare Krishna Abhinav

      This idea of ‘serving the poor is serving god’ is not correct. We have to serve Krishna, not the poor. There is no benefit in serving the poor. The best service we can give the poor is for us to become pure devotees of Krishna and give them [and everyone else, not specifically the poor] Krishna consciousness. Our business is serving Krishna, not serving the poor.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  45. Robyn says:

    Further. in the previous letter it was expressed how a devotee wanted to spit at the thought of sex since he was so transcended on that level. I feel if one has transcended sex, they do not feel repulsed. They feel indifferent towards sex and not at all interested in sex, they have transcended it. To feel repulsed is the same as feeling attraction as it is still about the body.

    • Hare Krishna Robyn

      That is not correct. For a materialist he longs for sex and dreams about it, thinking that it would be so wonderful. But if the thoughts of sex come into the mind of a devotee he is disgusted by it because he is experiencing pleasure so much superior to the so-called pleasure of sex. He is not indifferent to sex, he is disgusted by it. It is like if you had become accustomed to eating meat and drinking alcohol and then someone introduced you to delicious spiritual Krishna prasadam and you were relishing that higher taste and you become a devotee, the idea of eating meat and drinking wine becomes horrible to you, disgusting, you are repulsed by it. You are not at all indifferent.

      These things, illicit sex, intoxication, meat eating and gambling are actually horrible, sinful things and a devotee is not at all indifferent to them. If these things come into his mind he is disgusted by them, not attracted to them.

      Of course sex has its purpose in marriage to have nice children and Krishna says in the Bhagavad gita that He is that sex according to the regulative principles. But apart from this one who has “transcended sex” sees the real disgusting nature of illicit sex and is repulsed by it.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy.

      Madhudvisa dasa

  46. Robyn says:

    I think it is more compassionate not to say that people who are hungry and poor are so because of their karma or sins in the past. It is much better to express it is our karma to help the poor and hungry. Karma is a complex thing. It is not black and white. I know many people who have suffered and yet up to that point (and afterwards) were the kindest and dearest people you could meet. I sometimes think perhaps they bring there suffering so that we can burn off our karma by helping. By making a difference.

    • People are hungry because of their karma and sins in the past. It would be ignorant and foolish not to accept this. It is not complex. We are suffering now because of our sinful activities in the past and we are enjoying now because of our pious activities in the past. There is nothing complex or difficult to understand about this. Just because someone is a kind and dear person now does not mean they have not done anything sinful in the past that they have to suffer the bad karma for. So many ‘kind and dear’ people are eating meat and gambling and taking intoxication and having illicit sex. The karmic reactions for these things that we just take as an ordinary part of life and horrible suffering.

      So you must know it that we only get what we deserve. If we are suffering we deserve it. And that suffering or enjoyment can not be changed by you or by any other person in any mundane way like trying to feed the poor. You can not help the poor actually by simply feeding them with mundane food. That will not change their karma and they will still get the suffering that is due to them in some way or another. But if you can give them Krishna consciousness then that has the power to change their karma. So the real welfare work is to give people Krishna consciousness…

  47. Yogesh Dewang says:

    Hare Krishna Dear Sir,

    Very rightly stated by you.I am again rejuvenated again by your mail.
    Keep sending me such wonderful thought-provoking mails which will keep me firm in Krishna consciousness.

    Your Servant
    Yogesh Dewang

  48. Harish Rana says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu ji

    Very nice lecture, got some answers also


    Hare Krishna

  49. Shiva says:

    Whilst popularising the chanting of Maha Mantra, can’t you also feed the poor.

    • We don’t have any particular interest in feeding the poor. Our interest is to distribute Krishna consciousness to everyone. From the angle of vision of devotees everyone is poor spiritually and our mission is to uplift the human society spiritually so the distribution of Krishna consciousness has nothing to do with if the person is rich or poor. Krishna consciousness should be distributed to everyone without any consideration as to whether he is rich or poor.

      One very powerful way of distributing Krishna consciousness is to distribute Krishna prasadam but that is needed by everyone, rich and poor alike. So there is no point only targeting the poor for prasadam distribution. It is needed by the rich just as much.

  50. marty (i wish i could add ananda) says:

    HARE KRISHNA to you and all. thank you, Madhudvisa, for explaning the simplicities of Krishnas de sire as to how He wants us to give to Him. Krishna seems a lot like Jesus maybe except for ones interpretation of how to give. HARE KRISHNA is kind of hard to say to, i might say, a lot of people. Please, consider me in your prayers.

  51. vijaya says:

    Hare krishna!
    does this article suggest that a philanthropist is a sinner?
    If so, can you please elaborate on what ways should a bussinessman spend his profits for getting virtues?

    • Hare Krishna Vijaya

      A philanthropist is not exactly a sinner. He is attached to the mode of goodness and generally he knows and understands karma [what you so so shall you reap] so he knows if he helps other people, if he does good for other people, then he will get good karma. In this life and in the future he will reap the benefits in the form of money and sense gratification.

      So people are generally attached to these pious works because they know for example that whatever money they give in charity will be returned to them in the future with interest. So generally people are doing this philanthropic work with ultimately a personal selfish motive. They want to perform pious activities to get get good karma so their future life will be auspicious.

      And one does get good karma and does create a relatively comfortable future for himself in the material world if he performs this type of welfare work.

      But this is not spiritual activity. It is material. Because when you help people in this way you create a debt. The people you help become indebted to you are by the law of karma are forced to pay you back for that debt. So they have to take birth in the material world again and so do you. Because you have to come back to receive the benefits that are owing to you.

      So a devotee is absolutely not interested in creating any kind of karma. Good or bad. Because good karma is also bad in the sense that it also forces us to take birth again in the material world, of course we may be able to live in relative comfort for maybe 60 or 80 years but then we have to get old, sick and die again and take birth again. The whole thing is suffering and it will never end unless we can break this cycle of creating karma, good or bad, that we will be forced to keep on taking births in the material world to enjoy or suffer forever. There is no real enjoyment in the material world. It is all suffering ultimately.

      A businessman should spend his profits in serving and glorifying the Supreme Lord Krishna. He should serve Krishna with the fruits of his business. That is exactly what Krishna instructs us to do in the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna tells us to work and perform our duties without any attraction or attachment for the fruits of our work. So that means we should keep working, keep doing our duty, but not be attached to the results, or the profit that may result from our work. And that profit should be used in the service of the Lord. It should be used for pushing on the Sankirtan movement of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

      A businessman can finance big sankirtan festivals where the chanting of the holy name of Krishna is going on and distribution of Krishna prasadam is going on in a grand scale and of course this is accompanied with the distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s books. A businessman can also help with the printing of Srila Prabhupada’s original books. At the moment many of Prabhupada’s original books are out of print. We need to reprint Prabhupada’s original Caitanya-caritamrta for example and that is 17 big volumes. It is going to cost $200,000 at least to print this. And where will we find the money for this unless some businessman wants to invest in the printing of Prabhupada’s books and that will give him the most virtues for sure.

      There is no recommendation anywhere in the Bhagavad Gita that one should use his money to feed the poor. That is not the process. The process is to serve Krishna and because everyone is part and parcel of Krishna if you can please Krishna then naturally all the parts and parcels of Krishna, all the living entities will be happy. It is like watering a tree. If you want to nourish the whole tree then you have to supply the water to the root of the tree and then automatically the energy will be transfered to all the leaves, twigs, branches, fruits and flowers on the tree. You can not try and water all the leaves independently. That is not possible and it will not work. The water has to be supplied at the root of the tree. So Krishna is the root of all existence so if as a businessman you use the profits of your business to worship and serve Krishna, and to help push on the sankirtan movement that is like watering the root of the tree and automatically because you are pleasing Krishna everything will be auspicious for you and the preaching that is facilitated by your money will make all the living entities happy in Krishna consciousness.

      This is the process, not mundane feeding the poor and service to the poor. It is service to Krishna that we need to engage not service to the poor. Of course the poor will become happy because of the sankirtan festivals and the mass prasadam distribution programs. But we are not trying to serve the poor actually we are trying to serve Krishna, trying to please Krishna, and as a result of this everyone will become happy.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!


      • Rohit says:

        Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa. you said you need $200,000 to print caitanya caritamrita. Can you tell what all the original books of Prabhupada are they that are not printed and need funding to start printing them. As of now aside from preparing to earn for my livlihood and all that i would also like to earn money for this endeavours of funding one if not as many books or even all of them through putting invest money into savings qaccount which would accumulate in time with interest and invest in other ways like stock if i am good in it so that i can earn a lot of money for the funds to start prinking book or books.

        • Hare Krishna Rohit

          The problem is I am not personally printing the books. They are being printed by others and the others who are in charge of printing the books are somewhat difficult to work with and hard to trust.

          Actually we could collect the $200,000 fairly easily. But the people who are in charge of printing the books, who have the legal authority to print the books, have no interest in doing this. It is a long and sad story.

          But I am sure ultimately everything will be successful.

          Actually what is desperately needed at this point in time is Book Distributors to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s original books.

          So what I would suggest you do is to use whatever money you have to purchase cases of Srila Prabhupada’s original books at http://www.KrishnaStore.com and go out on the streets of wherever you live or go door-to-door and sell them. That way you will make more money and you will distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books which is what we need to be doing.

          Now many, many original Prabhupada books are in print so it is better if you spend your time, money and energy distributing the original Prabhupada books that are already in print. That would be the best use of your time, money and energy.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Rohit says:

            Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. You said “The problem is I am not personally printing the books. They are being printed by others and the others who are in charge of printing the books are somewhat difficult to work with and hard to trust.”

            Can you tell me why are they difficult to work with really and hard to trust. And i thought Krishna Books Inc was printing the original books. Are they the heads of Krishna Books Inc you are talking about that are difficult to work with and hard to trust. And plus if they were difficult to work with and hard to trust then how come the books that are in print got printed in the first place.

            And you said”Actually we could collect the $200,000 fairly easily. But the people who are in charge of printing the books, who have the legal authority to print the books, have no interest in doing this. It is a long and sad story.”

            What is the long and sad story. i still don’t get it. if these people don’t have interest in printing srila prabhupada’s original books. how come these guys are willing to print the books that are in print.

            And sure i will in the mean while make best use of my time, money and energy by distributing door to door in my area prabhupada’s books that are in print.

            But still if i can get a answer to the questions i am asking that will be good. Maybe in the future i will gather people for you who you can trust and be easy to work with and have the authority to print prabhupada’s original books. (By the way is there a way that i or or someone else get the suthority to print prabhupada’s original books).

          • Hare Krishna Rohite

            The reality is that in Kali-yuga it is not very easy to work together with other people and the actual process of Krishna consciousness, ISKCON, of living in the association of devotees, established by Srila Prabhupada is broken. So we are all trying to serve Srila Prabhupada to our best ability and naturally there will be disagreements and misunderstandings. That is the nature of the material world. But in spite of Kali everything is progressing very nicely in regard to printing and distributing Srila Prabhupada’s original books, somehow or other by Srila Prabhupada’s and Krishna’s mercy…

            Yes. KBI is very sincerely printing Srila Prabhupada’s books. Everything is going on. And if you become a big distributor of Srila Prabhupada’s books that will be very pleasing to Srila Prabhupada. So please do it. That is an all auspicious path.

            Sri Caitanya-caritamrta will surely be printed. You do not have to worry about getting the authority to print Prabhupada’s books. As I already said there are so many original Prabhupada books in print now. You should be worrying about how you can distribute all these original Prabhupada books that are now available all over the world and you can organize your friends together into a big sankirtan and book distribution party. That will be very nice.

            So do not worry, if you make a grand scheme to distribute Prabhupada’s original books Prabhupada’s original books will be printed.

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

          • Rohit says:

            Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. I am very glad to hear this comment (https://krishna.org/srimad-bhagavatam-original-edition-pdf-download/#comment-70928) that Caitanya-caritamrta is being printed and will be available sometime in January.

            It is very good news that by Krsna’s mercy original Caitanya caritamrta is once again in print and will be ready in January.

  52. Balgopal das says:

    Hare Krsna Prabhu
    Thank you reminding us on the best welfare work. By this I just remembered Srila Prabhupada’s Bg purport, “trying to save the dress of a drowning man”

    • You are right Prabhu, this is the exact perfect example. And that is what all these mundane philanthropic works are, simply trying to save the dress of the drowning man without any concern for the actual man himself. That you very much…

  53. Ishan das says:

    Yes, people do not understand the all-pervasive hand of God in universal affaires.

    The primal devas are Lord Brahma who is the engineer of the material realm, Lord Shiva who is the destroyer at the time of cyclic devastation of the material creation, and Lord Vishnu, Who is present within the material nature as the all-pervasive Supersoul, the Paramatma. And shastra explains that all of material nature moves under the hand of the cosmic puppeteer, the all-pervasive aspect of lord Vishnu.

    Therefore, even the Christian Bible tells us that not a blade of grass moves without the sanction of the Supreme Lord. Similarly, the Bible addresses the law of karma as the process of “sewing and reaping”.

    Srila Prabhupada was fond of reminding us that religion without philosophy is simply sentiment. People are so often inclined to make reference to religious context, without really understanding the down to earth nuts and bolts workings of the laws of material nature.

    Before coming to Krishna Consciousness I took my birth in the Semitic gene pool. In other words, I was culturally considered as a Jew. The Jewish race is not a very elevated culture, as they openly emgage in the slaughter of cows, under the direction of their so-called priestly class, called rabbis. It is told that when Nazi Germany, under Hitler’s direction, engaged in the wholesale genocidal killing of Jews, that many Jews lost all faith in God.

    But if we look at the first part of the Bible, which is referred to as the Old Testament, we see a recorded history of one haulocost after another. The Bible tells us that when the Jews kept God’s Laws, and honored Him, there was always peace, harmony, productivity and protection for the Jewish people. But whenever Jewish spiritual culture deteriorated, then, as a nation, they were open to all kinds of devastation.

    Still, there is great reluctance among Jewish people to take responsability for the last haulocost that descended upon them. There are museums to commemorate the atrocities that the outraged Jews were subjected to. They do not see the laws of karma and the hand of God in any of this.

    Of course, the cruel hand of genocide is not directed only at Jews, but appears all over the globe as time goes on. Genocide, wars for profit, imperialistic exploitation, slavery, plagues, flood and famine, earth quakes, volcanoes, and tidal waves, all forms of karmic dispensation, to name a few……. this is the history of planet earth in the last so many thousand years.

    The rascal scientists tell us that the workings of material nature are a matter of chance, and that there is no purposeful, intelligent control of the laws of nature. But this is not a fact.

    Therefore the manus have provided the Manu Samhitas, the law books with reference to the four varnas and four ashramas, which give us the understanding of every man’s individual dharmic duties, with a view to gradual progress towards material and spiritual advancement.

    But this is Kali Yuga. The varnashram system of progressive society has already so much deteriorated. Even in Bhagavad-gita, spoken by Lord Krishna 5000 years ago, Krishna advised Arjuna:


    Translation: “My dear Arjuna, give up all considerations of dharma. Just give yourself to Me whole-heartedly, and I will protect you from all sinful reactions. Have no fear. Just do this.”

    So the question arises as to how we give ourselves to Krishna whole-heartedly. And therefore Lord Chaitanya Mahprabhu has come to deliver to us the Yuga dharma, as substantiated in the Naradiya Brihan Purana, as well as in many other places in the Vedic literatures:


    Translation: “Chanting the holy name of Hari, chanting the holy name of Hari, chanting the holy name of Hari. In this age of Kali Yuga, there is no other way, no other way, no other way, to reach the goal of spiritual realization.”

    This Krishna Nama Sankirtan, as is ushered in all over the world today, by the Hare Krishna Movement, is therefore the highest welfare work. This form of surrender to Krishna establishes love for Krishna in our hearts, thereby freeing us from all karmic reactions. Having developed love for Krishna, all material hankering and lamentation will no longer afflict us, as our hearts begin to overflow with joyful love for God. And when we leave this material body behind, we will no more be fored to return to this miserable world of birth and death.

    Therefore let us take up this congregational chanting of Hare Krishna, and return back home to the spiritual world to sing and dance with Krishna.

    For putting an authoritative understanding of these statements before us, His divine Grace, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has given us Bhagavad-gita As It Is, with translation and commentary, coming in the parampara line of disciplic succession of the Brahma-gaudiya sampradaya. Let this one book decorate our personal altars, and let its words decorate our hearts. This highest welfare is freely available to us. Those who are most intelligent will take it.

    Hare Krishna, Ishan das

  54. Jiva says:

    Gaura Nityananda bol …

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