Vairagya, Salaries, and Political Etiquette

Prabhupada: Niskincanasya. One who has decided that “This world is useless. I have to take birth repeatedly and accept different types of bodies and suffer.” Body means… Those who have understood this fact and disgusted, so bhakti line is for them. One who has the tendency to enjoy this material world, and they are taking advantage of God, “Give me good wife, give me good work, good meal, good enjoyment,” they are not in the bhakti line. They are in the very nascent stage.

Tamala Krsna: Nescient stage?

Prabhupada: Lower stage. Vairagya-vidya-nija-bhakti-yogam [Cc. Madhya 6.254]. That… There is one verse written by Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. What page I don’t… Siksartham. The bhakti-yoga, nija-bhakti-yoga… Bhakti-yoga means devotion to Krsna. And that is vairagya-vidya, how to learn, renounce this world. Otherwise why Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave up His grhastha life? He’s the same person. Why Rupa Gosvami gave up their ministership? By their personal behavior they are showing this is not required. This is vairagya-vidya. So under the circumstances, those who have no vairagya, they cannot live in the temple. They are taking advantage of the temple facilities for their sense enjoyment. Do you understand?

Tamala Krsna: Yes, I do.

Prabhupada: So that should be stopped. So to live with wife, together as a grhastha, and enjoy grhastha life, at the same time to live in temple, this should be discouraged. Temple is meant for brahmacari and sannyasi, our, mainly, not for grhastha, because they have got inclination to enjoy. To live with wife means enjoyment. They’ll have sex. This should be discouraged. But one who is absolutely required, they also cannot be allowed to live together. It is badly done(?). Suppose if one is grhastha, he is in devotional service, but he has no money to look after his wife. In that case the wife can live in the temple but separately with women, not together. Together living is very disturbing. It is not at all recommended. Give this point. At least, this should not be encouraged.

Tamala Krsna: Generally in our temples, within the temple building no grhasthas live together, but in the temple compound, that is to say, around the temple, there may be other buildings. There they live together. But it’s…

Prabhupada: No, I am speaking, within the temple.

Tamala Krsna: I think practically all over the society that has been stopped, the grhastha living together with wife. I don’t think there’s any case like that. But in the adjoining buildings they might be…

Prabhupada: Adjoining buildings… But the temple should not provide them with salary to enjoy their life. That is same thing.

Tamala Krsna: Generally the temples are providing them with apartments, like that.

Prabhupada: But that is temple.

Tamala Krsna: Yeah.

Prabhupada: Just like we have got so many tenants. They are living in their own. But they have no connection with the temple, neither the temple is paying them or… No, they are earning their own way.

Tamala Krsna: In other words, if the temple provides an apartment, it’s the same as paying a salary.

Prabhupada: Hm?

Tamala Krsna: In other words, giving an apartment is the same thing as providing a salary.

Prabhupada: All right, apartment can be… But what is this? They are given high salary. Because his service is essential — “All right, you take apartment.”

Tamala Krsna: But not…

Prabhupada: You take prasadam. But why salary? Where is the question of salary? Where is vairagya, renouncement? So in all circumstances the salary process should be stopped. One who wants salary, he can work outside.

Tamala Krsna: Actually, even if you don’t give a salary, if you give an apartment and you give food and you give all these other things for someone to maintain his household life…

Prabhupada: Because his service is essential.

Tamala Krsna: But that has to be determined very strictly.

Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. Whether his service is absolutely required? So you give him.

Tamala Krsna: That is the factor. That point must be clearly acknowledged.

Prabhupada: Hm hm. So he’s trying to practice… Because sevonmukhe, if he gives service, then gradually he’ll renounce. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah [Brs. 1.2.234]. God realization means service. The more you give service to the Lord, the more you become advanced in devotional… So one who is giving service, dedicated life, so maybe… But no salary. They may live in the temple, woman separate, man separate.

Tamala Krsna: They’re… But the actual thing is that they’re being, living together in an apartment, and the temple is paying for that apartment. They’re not living separately in the temple. They’re being…

Prabhupada: That is to be discouraged. What do you think?

Giriraja: I agree.

Prabhupada: In Los Angeles it is very freely going on. In the name of Vaisnavism they are drawing salary, living comfortably, having sense enjoyment. This is not good, not at all. So you all high officers, you think over it and do the needful.

Tamala Krsna: Vairagya should be cultivated.

Prabhupada: Vairagya… Caitanya Mahaprabhu says clearly that niskincanasya bhagavad-bhajanonmukhasya. The bhagavad-bhajana, to become devotee of the Lord, means he’s disgusted with this material world. For him, bhagavad-bhajana. Just like if I become disgusted with something, I require some change, similarly, bhagavad-bhajana is for him who is absolutely disgusted with this material world. And anyone who has got little interest in material enjoyment, he’s not fit for bhagavad-bhajana. He’ll have to accept again this material body, either he becomes Brahma or becomes an ant in the stool, according to his karma. Karmana daiva-netrena jantur deha-upapattaye [SB 3.31.1]. He’ll have to develop certain type of body according to his desire of enjoyment. This is nature’s law. Then where is the question of going back to home, back to Godhead? Why so many varieties of life? There is Brahma, and there is ant in the stool. So vairagya-vidya-nija… Vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah [SB 1.2.7], janayaty asu vairagyam. And vairagyam means jnanam ca. When one is in full knowledge that “To remain in this material world is useless for me” — jnanam — “I am simply wasting my time by repetition of birth and death,” then he can have vairagya. “Stop this!” If this sense is not awakened, there is no bhakti. It is not so easy. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54]. That is vairagya. So vairagya-vidya… Otherwise why big, big persons, they renounced everything? Bharata Maharaja, young man, the emperor of the whole world, gave up everything. Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally teaches, young man, good, beautiful wife, young wife, so affectionate mother, so much honor in the society, Nimai Pandita, so beautiful body… Tyaktva sudustyaja-surepsita-rajya-laksmim [SB 11.5.34]. Surepsita. Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s position was, even the demigods, they desired such family life. But He still gave up. That is teaching. Therefore Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya says, vairagya-vidya-nija-bhak…, siksartham: “to teach others.” He understood that in order to teach others vairagya-vidya… He is the Supreme Person. Vairagya-vidya-nija-bhakti-yoga-siksartham ekah purana-purusah: [Cc. Madhya 6.254] “That He was, Supreme Lord. Now He has appeared as Sri Krsna Caitanya.”Sarira-dhari: “He has accepted one body as Sri Krsna Caitanya.” So these things should be stopped, that they should live comfortably with husband and wife, children, and take salary from the… You decide. This is not to our… Besides that, in our BBT it is clearly written that “Fifty percent for printing book, and fifty percent for…” So you cannot violate this. Those who can give voluntary service, “Welcome.” Otherwise we don’t require. At least they should not be given any salary. That is very bad. This is against principle.

 (from Conversation: Vairagya, Salaries, and Political Etiquette — April 28, 1977, Bombay)

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