What to do if focusing more in the devotion gives poverty & difficulty?

What to do if focusing more in the devotion gives poverty & difficulty?

A devotee asked like this:

“Prabhu, please do not be offended by my questions. You advice (correctlty!) that one must take care of studies and be prepared for the material life, all the while also performing devotional service to the best of one’s ability.

Yes, you have dedicated a lot of time to help devotees who have problems. It affected your business. Shouldn’t ISKCON have helped you then? You should have the basic needs (prasadam en shelter as well as some seva in an ashram) and you should have continued with e-advising the devotees over the internet? Is this not so Prabhu?

Also, when you advice devotees to keep working in cities, and support to ISKCON, where is then the progress of the mission of Srila Rupa Gosvami? There are so many stories about Srila Prabhupada, when he said, become self-reliant. Do not rely on money and the economy. Isn’t this so Prabhu?”

REPLY:

Ha Ha.  Very interesting question.

First, all the visitors to ISKCON do not continue there because the standard of their Conecpts is high without a compromise. So, all the visitors would not like to hear uncompromised concepts with strict rules. Many are casual devotees.

However, those who seriously wish to practice a devotional way of life will stay there. That is why, we can’t see a packed  crowd as seen in some popular temples that do not teach the scriptures but encourage just taking   the darshan and devotion with the expectation of some benefits.  Srila Prahupada never said that you will get this much of material benefits if you follow their teachings.

(SERVING KRISHNA USING YOUR JOB/ CAREER – USEFUL TIPS! READ HERE!)

I did not say that focusing more in the devotion gives poverty & difficulty in my business.  I said that it was affected because I failed to balance my devotional services and my business. This is the fact.

It was my mistake only. I was thinking that the devotees will be upset if they do not see my posts on any day. So, I took pains voluntarily and tried to satisfy them. I forgot that I have to maintain myself also, to follow my own devotional life and to help others.

However, for the first seven years since the year 2011, I was spending my time and money for this service and I did not try to generate sufficient revenues. Later, my business came down because of my inability to focus on it as I was focusing only on this service.  When  I found managing my life difficult,  I started to accept support for this service and started Horoscope Service.

Why I have explained these things here?

Because of the above reasons, ie from my own experience, I started to feel that one should not depend on devotional service alone for managing his genuine needs. He has to work, earn and also perform devotional service.

(CAITANYA’s BOLD ADVICE FOR BALANCING DEVOTION & FAMILY! READ HERE!)

I learnt in my life that we should allocate time for everything. Out of 24 hours, Srila Prabhupada recommended just two hours of devotional practices like chanting and worshiping. He did not recommend 24 hours practice.

Similarly, I too should have planned my time for this service just for one hour every day  and Posting twice or thrice a week.  In the year 2012, I announced break for once a week on sundays. But, since the devotees expected daily posts because I had practiced them so, I could not escape and had to spend many hours daily.  Preparing every post after thinking of all relevant points require more than two hours.  Checking the messages and mails and taking down all of them in the file takes 30 minutes daily. Then, posting every reply/ article with suitable links take more than 30 minutes. Then, posting in the social media takes another 15-20 minutes. After that, following the site’s availability, comments, replying them, etc., makes me engaged throughout the day.

Thus, e-preaching is not easy to manage if we like to do it with a pattern properly.

This severely impacted my personal life.  Day by day, I was reducing my time in my business and hence suffered severe setback.  Even  at that I did not wish to stop this service to the devotees of Krishna that may make me guilty.

(Serving Krishna even when we struggle in (or) for life! My Own Experience! READ HERE!)

Krishna repeatedly says that one should perform his duties assigned to him according to his nature.   I have been allowing my business to decline as I failed in balancing my time for business and preaching.

It was my mistake only. How can ISKCON be responsible and support me for my fault of not balancing my business and preaching properly? They did  not pressurize me to quit my business and come to them.  If I go to  them and request for a full time service in the temple, they may give and feed me. Or, If I join their online team, they may accept me.  They may feed me till I am able to work. That’s all they can do? Will they keep me when I become bed ridden? Practically, it is not possible. We should make our own arrangements for our last hours.

So, managing his personal life and career is the responsibility of every devotee.  We should make all arrangements for managing our last periods of life also.  We should not depend on any organization for our maintenance of last period. It won’t happen. We will be on road side if we do not act wisely. We should have some optimum level of savings.  You need not save for many generations.  But, you can save atleast for your last period.  This is advisable.

That is why, I am constantly preaching in our media to the devotees to concentrate in their studies, career and family for 22 hours and follow devotional practices in the remaining two hours.  Even if you preach Krishna Consciousness to atleast two of your family and friends, it will be good.

(USING OUR STUDIES AS SERVICE TO KRISHNA! SIMPLE TIPS! READ HERE!)

Now, I have taken this service as full time skipping my business. I feel happy for having taken this decision daringly.  Because, I have firm faith on Krishna that He will allow the sincere services to flourish that is happening now.

I have hundreds of testimonies to prove that hundreds of devotees have taken Krishna Consciousness because of this service. We have given thousands  of counselling so far to the people with different problems in devotion and personal life.  Though my personal and professional life faced a set back because of my more focus on this service, I firmly believe that Krishna should have been pleased with this service because my writings have helped hundreds of followers of our media.

Krishna does not give material comforts for all. If He chooses a devotee to keep closely with Him, some times, that devotee’s devotion gives poverty & difficulty in life, because that makes that devotee to aim to go out of this painful material life. If Krishna allows more problems to attack a devotee, that means, He is taking steps to make that devotee go back to Him as early as possible. Otherwise, he will not detach from material desires to be eligible to escape from these material planets.

This is how I take all my sufferings.

You said about how to fulfill the mission of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Going to that state is the final target. First, we should help the devotees to get a taste in following Krishna Consciousness.  If we start to speak what Srila Rupa Gosvami said even now, they will not even continue their devotion because they will have real responsibilities in his family. I can’t write to desert all of them for the sake of following what Srila Rupa Gosvami said.  They will come to that stage in future. Right now, we are planting the seeds of Krishna Consciousness and watering that. When the conditions become apt for attaining perfection, they may come to the stage of pure devotion as said by Srila Rupa Gosvami.

Sowing the seeds and watering is very important.  It will grow automatically when the conditions become favourable.

(How Krishna reacts to one’s preaching of false concepts and manthras? READ HERE!)

A father just sends his seeds into the womb of his wife and go. What happens? With no efforts from outside, that seed grows and becomes a child.

Service to Krishna is also like that. We need the people to sow seeds of Krishna Consciousness in the heart of the people.  All people will not come to the state of what Srila Rupa Gosvami said in Nectar of Devotion. As said by Krishna Himself, only one in thousands will even think of Krishna.  Others will achieve atleast in their next birth(s). But, this seed will never go waste and it will continue birth after birth.

Why do you rush to go back to Krishna within this birth? Just follow the devotion sincerely. If some lacking is there because of your personal family background, Krishna will give a wonderful next birth with a cooperating surroundings, from where you will definitely go back to Krishna.

Just aim for becoming a pure devotee. Krishna will fulfill it in whatever way He customizes for you.

Leave everything to Krishna and be relieved. Just keep on developing attachment with Krishna,

(How to  help your family members without material attachment? READ HERE!)

That’s all.

Hope this helps you to deal if devotion gives poverty & difficulty in life.

Author: RAJAN

RAJAN from Tamil Nadu, India, a Life Patron and an Initiated Devotee being in ISKCON for nearly three decades, serves anonymously to avoid Prominence and crowd as an insignificant, Humble and Neutral Servant for all the devotees of Krishna! He promotes Social media forums and this blog-website as e-satsangha (e-forums) blessed with Lakhs of followers, to give Spiritual Solutions for all the Material Problems of the devotees since 2011! He writes friendly and practical tips to practice devotion (i) without hurting the followers of other paths, (ii) without affecting the personal and career life, and (iii) without the blind, superstitious and ritualistic approach! He dedicates all the glories and credits to his Guru and Krishna.

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