hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ
tato 'dhanaṁ tyajanty asya
"The Personality of Godhead said: If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him. In this way he suffers one distress after another."
"As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 10.88.8): yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ. Lord Kṛṣṇa says that He takes everything away from the devotee whom He especially favors when that devotee is overly attached to material possessions. When everything is taken away, the devotee feels helpless and frustrated in society, friendship and love. He feels that his family does not care for him any longer, and he therefore completely surrenders unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord. This is a special favor granted by the Lord to a devotee who cannot fully surrender to the Lord due to a strong bodily conception. As explained in Caitanya-caritāmṛta (CC Madhya 22.39): āmi-vijña, ei mūrkhe 'viṣaya' kene diba. The Lord understands the devotee who hesitates to engage in the Lord's service, not knowing whether he should again try to revive his material life. After repeated attempts and failures, he fully surrenders to the lotus feet of the Lord. The Lord then gives him directions, and, attaining happiness, he forgets all material engagement."
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 5.14.10, Purport)
"Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura explains in this regard that the very word hariḥ means 'one who takes away.' If one connects himself with Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord takes away all his miseries, and in the beginning the Lord also superficially appears to take away all his material possessions, reputation, education and beauty. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 10.88.8), yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ. The Lord said to Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, 'The first installment of My mercy toward a devotee is that I take away all his possessions, especially his material opulence, his money.' This is the special favor of the Lord toward a sincere devotee. If a sincere devotee wants Kṛṣṇa above everything but at the same time is attached to material possessions, which hinder his advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, by tactics the Lord takes away all his possessions."
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 8.19.32, Purport)
"When one is bereft of all his possessions, he is certainly reduced in bodily luster. But although Bali Mahārāja had lost everything, he was fixed in his determination to satisfy Vāmanadeva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gītā, such a person is called sthita-prajña. A pure devotee is never deviated from the service of the Lord, despite all difficulties and impediments offered by the illusory energy. Generally men who have wealth and opulence are famous, but Bali Mahārāja became famous for all time by being deprived of all his possessions. This is the special mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead toward His devotees. The Lord says, yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ (SB 10.88.8). As the first installment of His special favor, the Lord takes away all the possessions of His devotee. A devotee, however, is never disturbed by such a loss. He continues his service, and the Lord amply rewards him, beyond the expectations of any common man."
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 8.21.28, Purport)
"For a materialistic person, material wealth and opulence are only illusory. Actually they are not possessions but entanglements because by enjoying the material world a conditioned soul becomes more and more entangled by incurring debts for his present enjoyment. Unfortunately, a conditioned soul considers property for which he is in debt to be his own, and he is very busy acquiring such property. But a devotee considers such property not real property but simply an entanglement in the material world. If Lord Kṛṣṇa is very pleased with a devotee, He takes away his material property, as He states in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.88.8): yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ. 'To show special favor to a devotee, I take away all his material property.' Similarly, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says:
dhana mora nityānanda, rādhā-kṛṣṇa-śrīcaraṇa
sei mora prāṇadhana
'My real riches are Nityānanda Prabhu and the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.' He further prays, 'O Lord, kindly give me this opulence. I do not want anything but Your lotus feet as my property.' Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has sung in many places that his real property is the lotus feet of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Unfortunately, we are interested in unreal property and are neglecting our real property (adhane yatana kari' dhana teyāginu).
Sometimes smārtas consider Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī a śūdra. But Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī here especially mentions svarūpa-rūpa-raghunāthadāsa. Therefore one who considers the lotus feet of Raghunātha dāsa to be transcendental to all divisions of the caste system enjoys the riches of actual spiritual bliss."
(Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi 13.124, Purport)
"Kṛṣṇa said that 'When I make one especially favored, then I take away all his riches to make him niṣkiñcana.' Niṣkiñcana means one becomes almost poverty-stricken. Nobody cares for him. Then he become fully surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. Just like Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says,
hā hā prabhu nanda-suta, vṛṣabhānu-sutā-juta,
koruṇā karoho ei-bāro,
narottama-dāsa koy..., koruṇā...
nā ṭheliho rāṅgā pāy,
tomā bine ke āche āmāra
This position is very nice, niṣkiñcana. 'I have lost everything. I am now not cared by my family, my friends. So everything I have lost. Therefore I am forced to come to You, surrender. So don't kick me, kick me out. Please give me shelter, because I have no other shelter.' Tomā bine ke āche āmāra: 'There is nobody else to take my care except Your Lordship.' This is called niṣkiñcana.
So actually that is the position. So long we shall think that 'For my protection, this arrangement is there for my protection. This arrangement is there,' that is not niṣkiñcana. Niṣkiñcana means when I'll think... I'll be actually under the understanding that 'I have no other protection except Kṛṣṇa,' and then I fully surrender, that is the best qualification for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore it is said, naivārhaty abhidhātuṁ vai tvām: 'Unto You.' 'Who are You?' Akiñcana-gocaram: 'You can be understood only by a person who has lost everything.' Who has lost everything. That... The Kuntī's purpose was that 'When we lost everything, You were with us. And now we have got kingdom, we have got prestige, we have got so many things, now You are going away to Dvārakā?' So tvām akiñcana-gocaram.
So this is Kuntī's realization. Janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrībhir edhamāna-madaḥ... (SB 1.8.26). Therefore for spiritual advancement, if one is interested, they should not be too much attached to material things if you want to advance in spiritual life. Janmaiśvarya... Because this will be entanglement. The more and more we shall think, 'This is mine. This is mine.' Ahaṁ mameti (SB 5.5.8). This is illusion. Nothing belongs to him, but by illusion he will think, 'This is mine. This is mine.' Just like we have got this nice, grand building in this district. If we think, 'This is my building' or 'My building,' then there will be mishap. My Guru Mahārāja said, personally. He said that 'When we were living in a rented house, if we could collect two hundred, three hundred rupees... We were living very nicely at Ultadanga. And since then J. V. Datta has given us this marble palace, Gauḍīya-Maṭha, there is friction between our men: 'Who will occupy this room? Who will occupy that room? Who will be proprietor of room?' Tīrtha Mahārāja... Kuñjabābā was giving one tablet, that 'This is...' Everyone is planning in different way. So Guru Mahārāja said... He was personally instructing me that 'If I could sell this marble of this temple and secure some money, and if I could print some books, that would have been better. That would have been better.'
Therefore I am so much after books. If we forget our position -- if we become pound-shilling man, property man -- then Kṛṣṇa will be finished, because Kṛṣṇa is akiñcana-gocara. Therefore we should always remember that we possess this nice house not for our comfort, but people will come, because they are not accustomed... If we would have invited people, 'Come and sit down on this Māyāpur ground,' no, there was no possibility. Therefore we must possess Kṛṣṇa's temple very nice so that people will come, and we shall preach. That is philosophy, not that because we have got this nice house, therefore we should be very much attached. Attachment must be there -- for Kṛṣṇa's service. The temple must be very cleansed. The establishment must be very nice. What for? For attracting devotees. This is the purpose. Not for our personal benefit. That is the way. My Guru Mahārāja introduced these big, big palaces, temple. That is the contribution of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. Because the Gosvāmīs, they worshiped Kṛṣṇa in a different method -- going to Vṛndāvana, living underneath the tree, and one night underneath one tree, next night, next tree. This vairāgya is not possible for the Western people. Therefore we require this building. That is the contribution. Unless they live comfortably, it is not possible. And we have to preach all over the world."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Mayapur, October 6, 1974)
"Yes. I have got my practical experience in this connection. Yes. That is Kṛṣṇa's special favor. I do not wish to narrate, but it is a fact. (laughs) It is a fact.
My Guru Mahārāja ordered me when I was twenty-five years old that 'You go and preach.' But I thought, 'First of all, I shall become a rich man, and I shall use that money for preaching work.' So that's a long history. I got good opportunity for becoming very rich man in business. And some astrologer told me that 'You should have become like Birla.' So there was some chances, very good chances. I was manager in a big chemical factory. I started my own factory, the business was very successful. But everything was dismantled. I was forced to come to this position to carry out my order of my Guru Mahārāja. Akiñcana-vittāya. When everything was finished, then I took Kṛṣṇa, that 'You are the only...' Therefore Kṛṣṇa is akiñcana-vitta. When one becomes finished of all his material opulences... And now I am realizing that I have not lost; I've gained. I've gained. That's a fact. So to lose material opulences for Kṛṣṇa's sake is not loss. It is the greatest gain. Therefore it is said, akiñcana-vitta. When one becomes akiñcana, nothing to possess, everything finished, then Kṛṣṇa becomes the only riches for such person. Because he's devotee. Just like Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says,
hā hā prabhu nanda-suta, vṛṣabhānu-sutā-juta
karuṇā karaha ei-bāra
narottama-dāsa koy, nā ṭheliha rāṅgā pāy
tomā bine ke āche āmāra
(Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura)
This position, that 'Kṛṣṇa, except Yourself, I have nothing to claim. I have nothing, no possession. So don't neglect me, because You are my only possession.' This position is very nice. When we do not depend on anything material, simply depend on Kṛṣṇa, that is first-class position of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is addressed: akiñcana-vittāya. 'When one becomes impoverished materially, You are the only wealth.'"
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, April 19, 1973)
Devotee: Even the way you went to America in the beginning. You couldn't take money...
Devotee: ...so you had some books...
Prabhupada: Some books. Yes.
Prabhupada: That intelligence gives me, Kṛṣṇa, "You do this." (laughs) Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam. Yes. And in my materialistic life, He was taking away my intelligence. Just like this Bose, Bengal Chemical agency, I should have accepted immediately. Such a big concern. Simply by sitting, I would have brought ten thousand rupees per month in those days. But there was no good intelligence. I thought, 'No, I cannot accept your terms. You must accept...' Because I was at that time young man, puffed-up, no brain, no sober brain. They were so attracted with me, they would have given later on all facilities. But I did not accept. Similarly, Smith Stanistreet, they were also very good company.
Prabhupada: Smith Stanistreet, an English company. They gave me an agency. So some of my enemy... He was my..., he was my employer, but he gave information that I am also manufacturing now drug and chemical works. So they informed them that "He's pushing his own goods, not your goods." They... He wanted that agency. Yes. In this way, because as soon as you come in the... Even in the spiritual field, my Godbrothers are envious. You see? So as soon as you become successful, there will be many enemies. That is natural. That is the sign of success. In your business, if there are many enemies, competitor, that means you are successful. So anyway, Kṛṣṇa has brought me to the right path. So I may not fall down. That's all. (laughter)
When I was reading this verse, that yasyāham anugṛhnāmi hariṣye tad dhanaṁ śanaiḥ (SB 10.88.8), Kṛṣṇa said that "When I show somebody My special favor, I take away all his money," I became shuddered: "So Kṛṣṇa will take my all money? If He is spe..." (laughs) And actually that happened. He took my all money, all family, all friends and everything. (laughs) And He asked me, "Go to America. You'll get many money, much money, many friends. You go ahead. Come here." Yes. That was His intention. And I was sticking to limited money, limited friends, limited society. This is special favor.
Devotee (2): Just like in Bombay you mentioned that Lilavati Munshi... There was one house...
Devotee (2): ...and you were trying to get that house...
Prabhupada: Yes, and she took away.
Devotee (2):: ...and you were prevented.
Prabhupada: She took away. Because I was trying to organize a League of Devotees from that house, and Kṛṣṇa wanted, "What is this nonsense? You are stick here, in Jhansi? You come here, in open field." That was Kṛṣṇa's intent. But I thought that "Even Kṛṣṇa took away this?" This Lilavati Munshi.
Devotee: Now her institution is...
Prabhupada: But my intention was to start this movement.
Prabhupada: I was simply planning in different way. Therefore Kṛṣṇa's favor. I never deviated from this plan. Since I heard it from my Guru Mahārāja, I've simply planning how to do it successfully. But I thought at that time that "I'll be able to do it if I get some money. Let me do some business for the time." That I was thinking. But Kṛṣṇa said, "Even if you are pauper, you try; you'll get everything." But I thought, "Without money, how this can be done?" That was difference of opinion with Kṛṣṇa, argument. And I was dreaming also, Guru Mahārāja asking me, "Come on." So I was going. So I was, "Oh, I have to go? I have to take sannyāsa?" (laughs)
Devotee: You, you dreaming?
Prabhupada: Yes. Guru Mahārāja said, "Come. Come with me." I was going. But that... Many things happened before this. Yes. And at last it became, in America.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New Delhi, November 3, 1973)
"So I was at that time a fool, but I opined like this. And I accepted him as my spiritual master immediately. Not officially, but in my heart. That was in 1922. Then, in 1923, I left Calcutta on my business tour, and I made my headquarter at Allahabad. Allahabad is about five hundred miles from Calcutta. So I was thinking that 'I met a very nice saintly person.' That was my thinking always. So in this way, in 1928, there was a Kumbha-melā. At that time, these Gauḍīya Maṭha people came to Allahabad to establish a center there, and somebody else said, somebody informed them that 'You go to that Prayag Pharmacy.' My drug shop was named as Prayag Pharmacy. My name was also there. 'You go and see Abhay Babu. He is religiously... He will help you.' These Gauḍīya Maṭha people, they came to see me. So, 'Sir, we have come to you. We have heard your good name. So we want to start a temple here. Please try to help us.' So because I was thinking of these Gauḍīya Maṭha people, that 'I met a very nice, saintly persons,' then as soon as I saw them, I was very much engladdened: 'Oh, here are these persons. They have come again.'
So in this way, gradually, I became attached to these Gauḍīya Maṭha activities, and by the grace of Kṛṣṇa, my business also was not going very well. (laughter) (laughs) Yes. Kṛṣṇa says, yasyāham anughṛṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ (SB 10.88.8), means if somebody wants to be actually devotee of Kṛṣṇa, at the same time keeps his material attachment, then Kṛṣṇa's business is He takes away everything material, so that cent percent he becomes, I mean to say, dependent on Kṛṣṇa. So that actually happened to my life. I was obliged to come to this movement to take up this very seriously. And I was dreaming that Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura is calling me, 'Please come out with me!' So I was sometimes horrified, 'Oh, what is this? I have give up my family life? Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura is calling me? I have to take sannyāsa?' Oh, I was horrified. But I saw several times, calling me. So anyway, it is by his grace I was forced to give up my family life and so-called business life. And he brought me some way or other in preaching his gospel.
So this is a memorable day. What he desired, I am trying little bit, and you are all helping me. So I have to thank you more. You are actually representative of my Guru Mahārāja (starts to cry)... because you are helping me in executing the order of my Guru Mahārāja. Thank you very much."
(Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati's Disappearance Day Lecture, Los Angeles, December 13, 1973)