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Bhagavad Gita Today September 24, 2019

Tue, 2019-09-24

Why things are the way they are, and what we can do about it.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 16.1-3

PURPORT (excerpt):

The next item is charity. Charity is meant for the householders. The householders should earn a livelihood by an honorable means and spend fifty percent of their income to propagate Krishna consciousness all over the world. Thus a householder should give in charity to institutional societies that are engaged in that way.

Charity should be given to the right receiver. There are different kinds of charity, as will be explained later on--charity in the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. Charity in the mode of goodness is recommended by the scriptures, but charity in the modes of passion and ignorance is not recommended, because it is simply a waste of money. Charity should be given only to propagate Krishna consciousness all over the world. That is charity in the mode of goodness.

Then as far as dama (self-control) is concerned, it is not only meant for other orders of religious society, but is especially meant for the householder. Although he has a wife, a householder should not use his senses for sex life unnecessarily. There are restrictions for the householders even in sex life, which should only be engaged in for the propagation of children. If he does not require children, he should not enjoy sex life with his wife.

Modern society enjoys sex life with contraceptive methods or more abominable methods to avoid the responsibility of children. This is not in the transcendental quality, but is demoniac. If anyone, even if he is a householder, wants to make progress in spiritual life, he must control his sex life and should not beget a child without the purpose of serving Krishna. If he is able to beget children who will be in Krishna consciousness, one can produce hundreds of children, but without this capacity one should not indulge only for sense pleasure.

Sacrifice is another item to be performed by the householders, because sacrifices require a large amount of money. Those in other orders of life, namely brahmacarya, vanaprastha and sannyasa, have no money; they live by begging. So performance of different types of sacrifice is meant for the householders. They should perform agni-hotra sacrifices as enjoined in the Vedic literature, but such sacrifices at the present moment are very expensive, and it is not possible for any householder to perform them.

The best sacrifice recommended in this age is called sankirtana-yajna. This sankirtana-yajna, the chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, is the best and most inexpensive sacrifice; everyone can adopt it and derive benefit. So these three items, namely charity, sense control and performance of sacrifice, are meant for the householder.