Can a devotee lead a luxurious life after spending a part for Krishna?
A Male devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“If a devotee starts a business or get rich by some other means then after spending a share of his earnings in charity or krishna service.should he lead a luxurious life style with his remaining money along with devotion?”
Ha Ha. This is a Good question it seems.
I have, in many posts, made it clear that, a devotee will grow only if he reduces material attachments gradually. In reverse, if a devotee is really willing to grow in devotion and is following the devotional life, he will gradually feel less or no interest in material attachments.
(How One falls due to attachments as said by Krishna? READ HERE!)
This is the symptom of a sincere devotee.
If a devotee uses anything beyond his needs, he is a thief, as said by the scriptures. Why? The extra money and wealth he is holding with him is the money and wealth that should be enjoyed by others.
In India, more than 70% of money and wealth is held by just 1% of the rich people as per the Survey Report of ‘Business Today’ in January 2019. This is the trend now.
Alarming. Isn’t it?
What this means?
69% of the money, if freed, will go to the remaining 99% of the people.
This is the failure of economic reforms and globalization.
Inequality of earning and wealth is the global phenomenon, not just for India. Globally also, this trend exists with some slight differences.
(How to deal with the Material Attachment, Detachment & Devotee Association? READ HERE!)
Here a servant works for 8 hours a day in agriculture and earns just Rs.400 or 500 a day. Women are paid even less, say, Rs.350 that I have seen. The male construction workers are paid Rs.600 and women helpers are paid just Rs.350 in India.
In another side, the government servants work for 7 hours a day and earn more than Rs.50,000 per month. An Indian I.T professional working in United States earn more than Rs.4 lakhs a month.
A billionaire spends crores for a marriage. The waste remains of food is thrown out and are collected by some downtrodden persons and eaten.
Such inequalities will come down only if the persons who have excess earning use the money for others.
We can not give a definite quantum of amount to be used for others by every earner. But, he himself can decide an amount what is to be held for himself and what to be used for others.
(WHAT ARE THE RULES OF DHAAN (DONATING) TO GET THE MERCY OF KRISHNA? READ HERE!)
In my opinion, I feel that everyone can earn, live with essentials, save for himself, spouse and children’s education. Thus, he can save for his single generation to face the forthcoming expenses related to education, healthcare, residence, etc.
He can use 50% of his earning for current living and he can save 25% of his earning for his future and for his family’s needs.
He can use 15% for dues, buying useful materials and EMIs for house.
Buying more than one house, land, etc is not necessary as it will make a devotee to lead a luxurious life with unwanted belongings.
He can spend the remaining 10% for philonthropy, ie helping others and for devotional services. If that is not possible, you can make it less. But, have a habit of helping others out of your earning.
(How to follow Karma Yoga? Is aiming for a good job a materialistic approach? READ HERE!)
Once I went to a Sri Vaishnava Divyadesam (out of 108 divya desams) that had been visited by great saints and alwars. It was in a very poor condition and there was just 2-3 devotees at 6 PM. When I was talking to the priest there, they said that they are struggling to offer prasadam to the visiting devotees because of money crunch. The devotees have a habit of going only to popular divya desams thinking that only the Vishnu in those popular centers is the most powerful. I usually visit poor temples of ancient origin. So, when a part devotees come to these poor temples, they offer just Rs.2 or 5 as dakshina (gift) though they have own house, good earnings, etc. I tell you as my personal view that offering less than Rs.10 for a priest in the plate is an insult for him. Because, they have dedicated their life for the Lord. They depend on this pujari profession only. If a devotee is truly poor to afford Rs.10, he can offer less.
And, if the temple offers prasadam to all the visitors, we should be more generous. If the cost of prasadam given to us is worth about Rs.50 as preparation costs, we should support twice the amount, ie, Rs.100 or more as minimum.
I saw the pathetic condition of that temple’s priests, and donated a good amount of money to the Hundi there and also paid for the renovation project of that temple that was going on.
(I have no interest in material life after following devotion. What to do? READ HERE!)
Everyone thinks that a priest will get money from hundreds of devotees and hyence it is sufficient to offer Rs.2. My question is, should the priest not lead a comfortable life with own house? Won’t he have daughters to give in marriage that costs lakhs for a decent marriage? Won’t he get health issues? Won’t he need some savings? Let him live happily. What is the problem for us? They are living with the earning of serving the Gods. If such priests do not earn well, who will come to temple to serve?
Only because the agriculture does not give good earning, many farmers sell their lands to real estate people and quit farming. What is wrong if the farmers earn more? We cry if the rice price goes up by Rs.2. Do you know many farmers buy rice from shops even for their own use?
Before the year 2011, I was earning sufficiently in my earning business. When I found that my earning business was stage by stage affected because of this service to Krishna started in the year 2011 that took most of my time and money, I introduced horoscope service to meet my expenses. Because of my poverty that went beyond the level of bearing after I gave less attention to my business because of my time and health constraints, I introduced horoscope service and also sought for voluntary donations that are mercifully done by some devotees. I was avoiding horoscope service though I learnt it decades ago because it adds karma for me for revealing the written fate that I am clearing by chanting Gayathri Manthra every evening sufficiently as advised for the astrologers. An astrologer should clear everyday’s karma on the same day through Gayathri Manthra. Otherwise, he will suffer. And, if he gives wrong predictions, that can not be cleared with Gayathri Manthra and he should face the reactions. That is why, I do not see more than two horoscope in a day. So, I am adding and clearing karma just for my living.
So, a serving devotee can not live without money. He too may get severe ailments and spend lakhs of money. In fact, Krishna will test the serving devotees more to make them more and more pure. A serving devotee too may have to pay heavy rentals for living. For example, I too spend for rentals, websites and their hosting, security, internet, food, treatments, travel, etc. I too am supporting good cause and devotional services of others.
(Should a devotee be merciful even to cruel and clever people? READ HERE!)
What is wrong if a suffered devotee like me lead a luxurious life pressurizing for more and more money? But, I did not choose that way of life. I gently promote my services and earn something and manage the services. Somehow, the service is going on because of the support from some devotees.
At the same time, I am leading the simplest life possible. I possess only the things without which I can not live and I consider those possessions as that of Krishna gifted to me to use till I live here. I can live without air conditioner because 98% of the Indians do not have it. So, I avoid it. I can live without vehicles because none of my activities require it. So, I avoid it. Without laptop, internet, web payments, I can’t do this online service. So, I use the laptop that too the cheapest one available in the market. I use the competitively priced internet service introduced three years back. Without payments to different costs, I can’t run sites. So, I spend.
I spent heavily for my treatments last year as I was in a near death condition when the doctors gave no hope. So, now, I am serving with the approval of Krishna. I may need money for any future ailments. So, I have to save something. That is not wrong.
(Why Annadhaan (Prasadam Distribution) is the best charity among others? READ HERE!)
Thus, we should spend for essentials without considering it as spending, but an investment for service. Every devotee should take care of his/ her needs and allot a small portion for the support of devotees and really suffering people like visually and mentally challenged, abandoned elders, etc, because, I strongly feel that visually and mentally challengd people and abandoned people are the most unfortunate people to be helped by us. We should not avoid them just because they are not devotees. They are badly in need of our kindness.
So, a devotee should spend carefully only for the essential needs. Unless you sweat, walk, do physical works, your body will not remain healthy.
Though I got the health issue last year because of genetic reasons, it was my active life style, dedication to Krishna and the prayers of our devotees that avoided severe complications. So, have only essential machines and instruments.
(Why Krishna gives more problems to His devotees, but helping many non devotees? READ HERE!)
If a devotee leads a luxury life, he will later feel that he can not live without them. Their luxury life style will make them addicts to luxury. So, their Krishna Consciousness advancement will be slow.
If you think like “Oh, I have spent 25% of my earning for Krishna. So, the remaining money is absolutely mine and I can use it however I like with luxuries”, then, you are subjecting yourself to more and more material attachments.
If you ask Can a devotee lead a luxurious life, I do not object anyone using any instruments, vehicles, etc. If your job and life needs it, use them. That is why, I have used the term ESSENTIALS. Use only the essentials in need.
Save something for yourself and family. It is not wrong. If a person uses his earning only for himself without helping others even a single percentage, sorry, he is really a self entered person.
Be broad minded and also take care of your essential needs.
Hope this frank reply helps you.
(If you like to support this Service to Krishna and the servant and share the blessings received from Krishna, you can do so as said in THIS PAGE.)