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Balancing spiritual and material duties

How can I do everything for Krishna and do nothing for personal gain when bills must be paid and children fed?

Our Answer:

The key is to develop the habit of thinking of the Lord as the proprietor of your body and home, and thinking of your family members as His eternal servants. Then you can perform the activities of maintaining them as service to Krishna.

The reason Krishna discourages work for a fruitive result—action with view to a personal outcome—is because such action results in our receiving another temporary, miserable, material body. In the Bhagavad-gita, 3.9 Krishna recommends work as sacrifice for Lord Vishnu—the Supreme Person.

He also makes it clear, in Chapter 2, verses 12-30, that we are spiritual souls; in other words, we are not these bodies. When we understand that, we won't want to excessively strive for any selfish, temporary pleasure.

Some practical ways to begin developing the habit of seeing everything in your world as Krishna's property are:

Offer all the food you prepare to Krishna.

Get together with your family members and chant Hare Krishna in the evening or morning.

If you haven't already, you may want to obtain Deities of Krishna and perform some daily worship.

"The best process for making the home pleasant is Krishna consciousness. If one is in full Krishna consciousness, he can make his home very happy, because this process of Krishna consciousness is very easy. One need only chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, accept the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Krishna, have some discussion on books like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, and engage oneself in Deity worship. These four things will make one happy."

(Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 13.8-12, Purport)