If devotees don’t help the needy because of fear of being bound by good karma, aren’t they sacrificing basic humanity for spirituality?

by Chaitanya CharanJuly 20, 2013

From Sushant:

    Today, in my college, a handicapped child came in search of help with his father.He sits in a wheel chair and he said that he needed an amount of 2 lakh rupees to continue his medical treatment which his father could not afford himself alone.He expressed that he wants to go to school,play and do all activities like we do but cannot due to his helpless condition.So,students as well as the staff started contributing some amount of money that they could to help this child.I too wanted to contribute some money but then I was reminded about your answer podcast that even this good karma will bind me and make me suffer.So I did not make any contribution.
            After coming home,I was feeling so much guilty.I could have extended my little help to that poor child but I didn’t.

Isn’t it unfair?Aren’t we neglecting the basics of humanity for the sake of our spiritual advancement?

About The Author
Chaitanya Charan
  • Vivek Kulkarni
    July 20, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Thank you pr! Following is story of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati suggesting similar principle:

    Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada was traveling through Orissa with some of his disciples. One day as he was coming back from the Sakshi Gopal temple, some beggars asked for alms from the married men who accompanied Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, but none of them gave anything. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, seeing this, stopped, sat down and started to talk about the duties of married men. During his chat he said:

    “If married men think: ‘I must not give any of my money, which I consider reserved for Krishna, to the poor and deprived’, then they are really showing symptoms of wretchedness, cruelty, and lack of compassion for others. They should not consider that giving charity to the poor is a fruitive activity. This kind of mentality will make their hearts hard and they will suffer from greed. As a result of this they shall not want to spend their money even on the devotional service of the Supreme Lord, which is the ultimate goal in life. This will invite offenses in service.

    To save us from this kind of deceit and sinful concept, Sri Gaurasundara used to give money and other things to the poor people during His pastimes as a married man. The money we have, we have only gotten by the Lord’s grace. If we give some of it to the mendicant poor people, then it is not a waste of money rather it is its correct use. Serving prasadam to others is the necessary duty of every married Vaishnava. Even if these people have become poor by their karma, even so they are still a part of the Lord’s family. Therefore it is definitively the solemn duty of every honest married man to help them.”

    :Reproduction of a conversation with Major Rana N. J. Bahadur at Armadale, Darjeeling on June 14, 1935. Originally published in The Harmonist (Vol. XXXI, No.21) on June 27, 1935.

  • Trivikrama Das
    July 20, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Does that mean prabhu that If devotees were to do charity, then that good karma will not bind them? Since you suggested that devotees should do acts of charity(wherever possible, spiritual or material), does it mean that the charity done by devotees will not bind them?
    I once heard in H.H. Radhanath Maharaj’s lecture that he suggested that you tell the recipient of the charity to recite ‘Hare Krishna’, then that charity is spiritualized. What should be our consciousness that will make this act of charity spiritual and not bind us?

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