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My respectful obeisances to all Vaishnavas. One important issue is being introduced by me by the mercy of my beloved spiritual master Srila Prabhupad.
Only devotees who are chanting atleast 16 rounds, following four regulative principles & reading Srila Prabhupad's books atleast 1 hour daily, are requested to address the issue.
(1) Generally we speak that we should not listen SB through the mouth of a "professional" Bhagvatam reciter. What does it mean? If he will not charge money for his seven days discourse on Bhagvatam, then how should he manage his family finances? if he only charge "basic living amount", is it alright?
(2) If he does not charge any money formally for reciting Bhagvatam but accepts voluntary donations by listeners, is it alright?
(3) Because generally voluntary donation is not enough for maintaining his family & he also cannot charge money from people because it is non-scriptural idea, he leaves his Bhagvatam recitation & starts working in a factory with taking care of his personal sadhana. Is it better to work in a factory than charging basic living amount from greedy & lusty people of the world?
I request to all Vaishnavas to forgive me if my perception is not fully mature & realistic.
Its not possible that person charge for Srimad Bhagavatam lessons, and at the same time do not offend true devotees of Lord, no matter what such person do latter with the money. That's my personal opinion.
As the mercy of Lord Krishna was unavailable for unqualified ones like Shakuni, despite Lord was personally present in front of them. Similar to that, one can not enter into true Srimad Bhagavatam without being qualified.
By understanding that, Vaishnava should avoid hearing the Bhagavatam from the lips of materialists, but from those faithful ones who rather starve and sleep under tree, then be offender of Lord and His true devotees.
Hare Krsna PRabhuji,
One should not hear SB from professional reciter - what does this mean? Professional reciter means one who charges for reciting the SB. Then that person will speak to the gallery, as per the audience, and not the absolute truth. You are saying then how will he maintain his family? You know how much they are charging for 7 days recitation nowadays? Its around a crore, plus fooding and lodging for the entire team (the main reciter, with his team of musicians, assistants and other priests to recite all the shlokas in those 7 days). Fooding is the richest and most expensive food available. Not only family, entire extended family can live luxuriously in the amount being charged nowadays.
Regarding charging a nominal amount, it amounts to the same thing - that again is asking for money for services rendered - the services being the recitation of Srimad Bhagawatam.
How will be maintain his family? Have faith in the lord, if he is spending his time in taking the lord's name and spreading it, then the lord will personally take care of him and his family. If the faith is not there, then what is the use of preaching?
Accepting voluntary donations from listeners is not an issue. He can do that.
Yes, it is better to work in a factory, take care of personal sadhana, do preaching in free time (need not be 7 days SB, it could be 2-4 hours a week, as per convenience) than to take money for spreading the name of the lord. If one wants to preach the name of the lord, there are so many ways in which one can do - it need not strictly be the 7 days Bhagawatam only. Let him take few hours a week, as time permits and continue for years till he completes one cycle and start all over again. Lots of people will be benefited and inspired. They will understand that it is possible to do devotion alongwith one's prescribed duty of maintaining a family by earning and they will be better placed to accept the path. Otherwise, in India, people think if we get on this path, we have to leave job, family etc, scaring themselves and their families, which is not required.
Radha Rasamayi DD
Hare Krishna Mataji,
Thanks. Your answer resolved my doubt very systematically. Now I am clear about not adjusting professional gains in preaching. Preaching should be only for Krishna's pleasure.
HG RR Mataji has correctly answered this.
Just to add, When SP says one should not hear from professional receiters, it is for his followers as listeners of SB. We need not think what the reciter needs to do for living. That's not for us to bother. And as far as followers of SP who are reciters of SB, they dont charge money. They always welcome u for free katha.
There r some senior grihasthas in Iskcon who only preach, no job. they dont depend on temple. They give lectures in congregation and in temples. Krsna maintains them and they may have past savings.
We can donate Lakshmi/ clothes to SB reciters. But they cannot charge.