Smart Quote of the Day, December 1, 2020

Complexity: 
Easy

"… although there are so many hospitals and other foundations and institutions for the poor, according to the three modes of material nature a class of poor men is always destined to continue. Even though there are so many charitable institutions, poverty has not been driven from human society."

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This is from the Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.19.41

[This chapter of the Srimad-Bhagavatam is entitled, " Lord Vamanadeva Begs Charity from Bali Maharaja." This chapter describes how Lord Vamanadeva (Krishna, disguised as a dwarf) asked for three paces of land in charity, how Bali Maharaja agreed to His proposal, and how Bali Maharaja's guru forbade him to fulfill Lord Vamanadeva’s request.]

TRANSLATION

The utterance of the word "om" signifies separation from one’s monetary assets. In other words, by uttering this word one becomes free from attachment to money because his money is taken away from him. To be without money is not very satisfactory, for in that position one cannot fulfill one’s desires. In other words, by using the word om one becomes poverty-stricken. Especially when one gives charity to a poor man or beggar, one remains unfulfilled in self-realization and in sense gratification.

PURPORT (excerpt):

Maharaja Bali wanted to give everything to Vamanadeva, who had appeared as a beggar, but Sukracarya, being Maharaja Bali’s familial spiritual master in the line of seminal succession, could not appreciate Maharaja Bali’s promise.

Sukracarya gave Vedic evidence that one should not give everything to a poor man. Rather, when a poor man comes for charity one should untruthfully say, “Whatever I have I have given you. I have no more.” It is not that one should give everything to him.

Actually the word om is meant for om tat sat, the Absolute Truth. Omkara is meant for freedom from all attachment to money because money should be spent for the purpose of the Supreme.

The tendency of modern civilization is to give money in charity to the poor. Such charity has no spiritual value because we actually see that although there are so many hospitals and other foundations and institutions for the poor, according to the three modes of material nature a class of poor men is always destined to continue. Even though there are so many charitable institutions, poverty has not been driven from human society. Therefore it is recommended here, bhiksave sarvam om kurvan nalam kamena catmane. One should not give everything to the beggars among the poor.

Read the full Purport

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