The Duties Of A Married Man
From the life of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada was traveling through Orissa with some of his disciples. One day as he was coming back from the Sakshi Gopal temple, some beggars asked for alms from the married men who accompanied Srila Prabhupada, but none of them gave anything. Srila Prabhupada, seeing this, stopped, sat down and started to talk about the duties of married men. During his chat he said: “If married men think:
‘I must not give any of my money, which I consider reserved for Krishna, to the poor and deprived,’ then they are really showing symptoms of wretchedness, cruelty, and lack of compassion for others.
They should not consider that giving charity to the poor is a fruitive activity. This kind of mentality will make their hearts hard and they will suffer from greed. As a result of this they shall not want to spend their money even on the devotional service of the Supreme Lord, which is the ultimate goal in life. This will invite offenses in service. To save ourselves from this kind of deceit and sinful concept, Sri Gaurasundara used to give money and other things to the poor people during His pastimes as a married man. The money we have, we have only gotten by the Lord’s grace.
If we give some of it to the mendicant poor people, then it is not a waste of money, rather it is its correct use. Serving prasādam to others is the necessary duty of every married vai ava. Even if these people have become poor by their karma, even so they are still a part of the Lord’s family. Therefore it is definitively the solemn duty of every honest married man to help them”.
— From a reproduction of a conversation with Major Rana N. J. Bahadur, at Armadale, Darjeeling, on 14 June 1935. Originally published in The Harmonist magazine (Vol. XXXI, No.21) on 27 June 1935.