Our Service is Voluntary
(Click to enlarge photo of disciples bowing to the spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada)

"I have no objection to paying you something monthly for doing the Hindi translating work, thereby freeing you to devote your time 100% in this way, but I am hesitating for one reason only, that it is the common understanding of Krsna Consciousness or the science of devotional service rendered to Krsna that we shall serve Him spontaneously and without any desire for compensation for our service. Our service to Krsna is voluntary and we are interested only that He shall be pleased, not myself. Therefore the advanced devotee is ready to serve Krsna under all conditions of difficulty or scarcity, never mind other things, because he knows in his mind that by giving his full attention and energy to Krsna, that the Supreme Personality of Godhead will not disregard this and make him to suffer. No, Krsna is not like that. If He sees His devotee sincerely and seriously trying to serve Him, He is prepared to give His devotee anything and everything to mitigate any suffering conditions. That is mature understanding and realization of Krsna Consciousness.

Of course, I can understand that you are a married man, with wife and children, but so are many of my students, and what will they think if I give you money for your devotional service? But I do not give them any money? They will think something discrimination. 'Oh, he is Indian boy, therefore Prabhupada is giving him some special favor,' like that. I do not want to set such example. It is not that I cannot pay you, I am easily able to pay you, and I am willing to pay you in principle, only I do not want to create any example which may be mistaken by other students. So under these circumstances, if you do not want to give your time and energy full time for translating and editing the Hindi work, unless there is some compensation of money, then what can I do? All of these American and European boys and girls, they have had enough of money, they are sons of millionaires and rich men of America, still they do not ask me for one farthing for their work. They could go out and make thousands of dollars a month as educators and skilled professional men, still they prefer to live with me and eat only a little rice from the floor, and sleep on the cold ground without cover, that is their advanced realization of spiritual life."

(Srila Prabhupada Letter, date unknown)

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