Everyone should be sannyasi – even householders

Hare Krsna-
Below are two different things- a lectures and a conversation-but they both are on the same topic.
Sannyasa or renunciation of actions. In order to serve Krsna, or enter fire, as Srila Prabhupada explains, we have to become like fire or like Krsna-namely pure.
Now here below in this example he explains how one works in this material world outside the walls of some Krsna temple, where he or she may have a job or some business.
It is easy to understand if one is a bramacari or sannyasi then all his business (at least in theory) is Krsna related and therefore no reaction comes from this transcendental work.
Now what happens to the rest of us who don’t live as a bramacari, brahmacarini or sannyasi? How do we live in this world and still incur no reactions to our work?
I would think this is a good question most devotees have asked themselves at least once or twice. Srila Prabhupada, as our guru gives us that answer below.
damaghosa das
April 30 1972 Tokyo

Practically anyone who is engaged in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness business, he is a sannyāsī. Never mind what is his dress. He may be in a dress of a family man, householder, or he may be in the dress of a sannyāsī—everyone is engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service. Therefore in the essential sense, everyone is sannyāsī. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, anāśritaḥ karma-phalaṁ kāryaṁ karma karoti yaḥ, sa sannyāsī [Bg. 6.1]. The Lord Himself is giving the definition of sannyāsī. What is that? Anāśritaḥ karma-phalaṁ. Karma means action. Whatever you do, there must be some reaction. Whatever you do. You do something very pious or do something which is vicious, there will be some resultant action. But if you don’t take shelter of the resultant action, anāśritaḥ karma, karma-phalaṁ. Karma-phalaṁ means resultant action of your activities. You don’t take shelter of that action, good or bad… Kāryam: “It is my duty.” Kāryam karma karoti yaḥ: “In this way, one who acts…” Sa sannyāsī. Everyone is trying to enjoy the result of his action. Suppose you are doing some business, and you get very huge profit. So you take the profit for enjoyment. But one who does not take the profit, he is sannyāsī. He may be engaged in business. He may make profit, thousand dollars per month or more than that, but he does not take even a paisa or even a cent out of it—he is a sannyāsī. So even a man in ordinary worldly life, a businessman, or in any other occupation, he can also become sannyāsī provided he does not enjoy the profit out of it. Then where the profit will go? It will be thrown away in the street? No. It should be given to Kṛṣṇa. So the real purpose is that whatever you do, yat karoṣi, whatever you eat, yat aśnāsi, whatever you sacrifice, yad juhoṣi, yad dadāsi, whatever you give in charity…Because these things are ordinary activities. Kṛṣṇa says, kuruṣva tad mad-arpanam: “You give Me that. If you are eating, the food must be given to Me first. If you are working, the resultant profit should be given to Me. Or even loss, that is also given to Me.” Yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi yaj juhoṣi: [Bg. 9.27] “And whatever sacrificing,” dadāsi yat, “whatever you give in charity, so give it to Me.” This is sannyāsa. There is no, I mean to say, prohibition to act in any way. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna, he was a warrior, fighter, but he fought for Kṛṣṇa; therefore he is a sannyāsī. Although he appears to be a householder, fighting for his own interest, but he was declining to fight for his own interest. When Kṛṣṇa convinced him that “This fighting is arranged by Me, Kṛṣṇa, and I want this fighting,” then Arjuna fought. He understood that “It is to be fought for Kṛṣṇa, not for my self interest.” And because he fought for Kṛṣṇa, he is a sannyāsī.
In the above statements Srila Prabhupada explains nicely the entire principle of renunciation, which doesn’t necessarily  mean wearing saffron cloth. Working in renunciation or without karmic reaction simply means
whatever we do, do it for Krsna and give Him that result-good or bad.
Now one may think–“I am doing everything for Krsna already-I dedicate my home, my spouse, my kids, my car,my bank balance-it all is Krsna’s”
Yes it all does belong to Krsna and here below is how Srila Prabhupada explains we translate that understanding into practical action-by giving at least 50% of our income to God. Then all our work is authorized by guru and God. Otherwise,if that is not done, then we are not sannyasi but grhamedhi. We are not renounced, but attached to the results. And those results bring us back time and time again to another material body.

It is not so easy to become Vaisnava, as Srila Prabhupada many times explains.

Feb 3 1975 Hawaii conversations
Devotee (1): Śrīla Prabhupāda, where does someone derive his authority…
Prabhupāda: The guru is authority.
Devotee (1): No, I know, but for his actions other than just following the four regulative principles and chanting sixteen rounds. He does so many other things during the day. Where does he derive his authority if he’s not, let’s say, living in the temple?
Prabhupāda: I do not follow. The authority is guru. You have accepted.
Bali Mardana: For everything.
Jayatīrtha: Say I have some outside job, I’m living outside, but I’m not giving 50% of my income. So then that work that I’m doing, is it actually under the authority of the guru?
Prabhupāda: Then you are not following the instruction of guru. That is plain fact.
Jayatīrtha: So that means that whole activity during the day, working, that means I am not following the instruction of the guru. It’s unauthorized activity.
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you don’t follow the instruction of guru, then you are fallen down immediately. That is the way. Otherwise why you sing, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo **. It is my duty to satisfy guru. Otherwise I am nowhere. So if you prefer to be nowhere, then you disobey as you like. But if you want to be steady in your position, then you have to follow strictly the instruction of guru.

Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai


SB 3.29.8 purport
To act under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master with a motive to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead is puredevotional service. But if one has a motive for personal sense gratification, his devotional service is manifested differently. Such a man may be violent, proud, envious and angry, and his interests are separate from the Lord’s.



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