Complaint: You are an Exploiter
There is one question that has always left me wondering. You always say that we must do our duty so we can look after our homes and our families. Doing our duty means working for and alongside other sinners. And the government whom you often refer to as fools pay us our salaries. Out of these salaries you expect a donation to do your humble work. You have guessed my question already, haven't you? Don't tell me the answer...I give you my money, and because I give you my hard-earned cash out of the goodness of my heart, then that money somehow becomes clean money so you can travel the world, eat and board free of charge and don't have to undergo the daily stress that I alongside many have to endure before we earn that cash. Not only that, you expect a percentage to be given to your good cause each month. Isn't that exploitation? Isn't that what the government calls tax, you call offerings?
What a sad world we live in when we can trust no one, not even those who pretend to be God's messengers. May you have good health and good sleep after a long hard day's work.
An angry but confused and aspiring devotee.
Answer: If This is Exploitation, What is Loving Service?
Ordinary citizens work 40, 50, or 60 hours a week on the condition that they are paid some money for their work. If they are not paid, they will not work. My typical work week is 126 hours of work for which I am not paid a single penny. Devotees all over the world are very eager that I come to their country to enlighten them in the science of bhakti. Because of this eagerness they cover the cost of my airfare. They give me a place to sleep, sometimes a mattress on
the floor. They also provide me with my meals.
I can also add that even though I am offered nice hot vegetarian meals on the airplanes I never accept them because they are not prepared by devotees. I bring my own simple vegetarian prasadam such as chapatis and subji with me on the plane even though I have to eat such meals cold.
In spite of the tremendous sacrifice I am making of my entire life in the service of God and humanity and the toll that all of this traveling is taking on my 62 year old body, you accuse me of being a pretender and an exploiter. This goes to show that being a messenger of God is often a thankless task. Jesus was crucified for being a messenger of God. It appears that you would like to see me crucified also.
Today I have been working since 3:00am. Now it is after 10pm and I have not still not taken my evening meal because I have been so busy in preaching the entire day. It will be after 11pm before I take some rest after having put in a 20 hour work day for which I received zero remuneration. And you call this exploitation. If this is exploitation, what is loving service? Sometimes we see that drunkards, drug addicts, and women hunters are shown more appreciation than those who are trying to save the suffering humanity from the cycle of birth and death. What can be done? We must repay such hatred with love.
If you would like to be a devotee, kindly note that Krishna only accepts as His devotees those who are the devotees of His devotees. If we cannot appreciate the devotion of someone who has dedicated his entire life to spread the glories of Krishna all over the world, Krishna will never accept our devotion.
You have failed to note that all wealth, no matter how gained, is Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and is therefore meant to be engaged in the service of the Lord. And thus you object to the seeing the goddess of fortune being engaged in the Lord's service.
Kindly try to open your heart and appreciate the compassion of those who are truly your well-wishers.