Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 15 Jul 2004

     

SACRIFICE OF FAME AND MONEY

Swami Vivekananda gave an excellent discourse in Chicago and a roaring appreciation was given to him. He gave the credit of his discourse to his Guru Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. He said that when he started the discourse he became nervous and his Guru appeared before him. He said that his Guru started speaking through him. Thus he gave the entire credit to his Guru because he knew that when an excellent work is done through him, the credit should always go to the Lord. The energy to do good work is always given by the Lord and due to that reason also the credit should really go to the Lord. The Lord was very much pleased and gave infinite credit to Swami Vivekananda. In the case of a saint (monk) he cannot sacrifice money because he does not earn any money. He can only sacrifice his work. The fame of that work is the fruit of the work (karma phala). Thus, even a saint sacrifices the fruit of his work (karma phala tyaga) through the sacrifice of work (karma samnyasa). Shri Shirdi Sai Baba always used to give the credit of any miracle only to the Lord saying “Allah Malik” and “Allah achchha karega”. This is again the sacrifice of the fruit of the work. The Lord was so much pleased that today the fame of Sai Baba is beyond description. Similarly, we also find temples of Hanuman everywhere.

 

But in the Mahabharata when Krishna was about to kill Bhishma, Arjuna stopped Krishna praying to Him that if Krishna were to kill Bhishma, he (Arjuna) would be defamed for not killing Bhishma. He did not want to give credit to the Lord. Therefore, Arjuna did not become very famous and there is no temple for him. The persons mentioned, (Vivekananda, Sai Baba and Hanuman) were saints and were not householders. They could only sacrifice their work, which is karma samnyasa and they could only sacrifice the fame, which is the fruit of their work. Today all the rich people run after fame that one gets by sacrificing money. Therefore, fame is more important than money. The urge for money and the urge for fame are like two types of skin diseases. When fame comes, it should be given to the Lord because the power to do any work is given by the Lord alone. One should instead take ill fame upon oneself and should sacrifice all the good fame to the Lord.

Generally, you wonder why you should give the credit to the Lord when the work was done by you. Similarly, you wonder why you should give the fame to the Lord when it was gained by your sacrifice of the fruit of your work (money). King Satrajit got a gem from the Sun-God, which yielded a lot of gold, everyday. He donated that gold to others and tried to get fame. Lord Krishna asked him for that gem. Satrajit did not give it because he did not know that Krishna was the Lord in human form. Even if he had known, he did not want to give the credit to the Lord because he (Satrajit) had procured the gem from the Sun-God. Satrajit was a human being and could not discriminate between the deserving and undeserving. Therefore, he got sin by his donation of the gold[1]. Actually the gem, along with the Sun-God, belonged to Lord Krishna. The entire creation is the wealth of the Lord; and even Satrajit was included in this creation. Thus, Satrajit himself was a part and parcel of the movable property of Lord Krishna.

The sacrifice of the fruit of work and service to the world alone cannot bring you the grace of the Lord. Faith and complete surrender to the Lord in doing that sacrifice is important and that alone can bring the grace of the Lord. The sacrifice is the practical proof of your love, faith and surrender. Without the love, faith and surrender, your sacrifice is useless. Without actual sacrifice, the love, faith and surrender expressed by words and mind alone, are also useless. If you are sacrificing money to the Lord, aspiring for something in return, you are a merchant and you are doing business with the Lord. In such business-like love, faith and surrender cannot exist. If you are showing love, faith and surrender through words and feelings alone (without actual sacrifice of money), for getting some benefit from the Lord, then your love, faith and surrender are only an act and you are a prostitute. You must sacrifice money or fame with full faith, love and surrender to the Lord without expecting any fruit from the Lord. That alone is real love like that which you show to your children.

You must decide whether the preacher (Guru) is an ordinary human being or the Lord in the human form. You must do a lot of analysis and must sincerely desire to know the truth. You must take the help of the Vedas, Shastras and the Gita. Before you decide, you must study the practical procedure of the analysis and then do the analysis, to detect the given substance[2]. If you have decided that He is only a human being you should neither give money to Him nor show love, faith and surrender. But if you have decided that He is the Lord in human form, you should not have even a trace of doubt on Him, once you submit your donation (Guru dakshina) to Him and you must not verify His management of the collected funds. Since He is the Lord, you should not try to verify what He is doing with the money. If you are verifying His management of the funds, your faith is not complete and you have lost everything. Even a very beautiful, very highly educated, very rich and very obedient bride is rejected, if there is a small spot of leprosy on her body. Similarly, the Lord in human form will reject you if you doubt Him for even a fraction of a second. Before making a decision, you can do a lot of analysis. But after you have decided that He is the human incarnation, if you still doubt Him, you are lost as said in the Gita (Samshayatma vinashyati).

Proof of Love, Faith and Surrender

Sai Baba collected Guru Dakshina from various devotees since He was the Lord in human form. He had the courage to ask for it directly. A devotee (who is a preacher) does not have that courage. He takes the dakshina from you indirectly by having you put it in the donation box (hundi), which is kept before the statue. He takes the money from the box only after you leave the temple. Both the Lord in human form and a devotee[3] manage collected funds. But there is a lot of difference in their respective managements of the funds because the devotee is either completely ignorant or partially ignorant. A committee of donkeys cannot be equal to one single horse. A group of lecturers cannot be equal to one professor. Therefore, a committee of devotees will misuse the funds since they cannot discriminate between the deserving and undeserving. They will say “Let all devotees who visit the temple be given food”. What they do not understand is that when the funds are misused, the donor also gets sin because he did not analyze before he donated. The Lord in human form will identify the deserving persons and help them fully.

Sai Baba collected the Guru Dakshina money and kept it with Him. After all the people had left He would give it secretly to some deserving devotees. He did not do this in presence of the devotees who gave Him the Guru Dakshina. Why? Had he distributed the collected donations to deserving devotees openly, there would not have been any possibility of misunderstanding Baba. Yet why did He not do it? The reason is that He wanted to test the faith of the devotees, who had given the Guru Dakshina to Him. The sacrifice of money alone will not please the Lord. The faith behind the sacrifice of that money alone will please the Lord. An income tax officer was secretly appointed to investigate how Sai Baba was spending the collected donation money. However, the officer could not find the secret of how Baba spent the money. Finally, he became a devotee of Baba.

In fact the Lord neither requires the money nor the fame, which you sacrifice to Him. He can uplift the world without your work and without your money. The sacrifice of your money, fame and work to Him is only an opportunity given to you to prove your love, faith and surrender. When you sacrifice your money, you should believe that you are giving His money back to Him. When you are sacrificing the credit of your work to Him, you should believe that he alone gave you the power to work and so the real credit belongs to Him alone. Hence, both sacrifice and faith are the two eyes and if any one eye absent, everything goes to waste. If you have finally decided that He is the Lord in human form, then you should sacrifice the fruit of your work (money) and the credit of the work (fame) with full faith. If you have any doubts about Him, do not sacrifice anything to Him. But if you sacrifice and doubt, then your faith is incomplete and you will be thrown into hell, in case He is really the Lord.


[1] One incurs sin by donating to the undeserving.

[2] Swami uses an analogy of chemical analysis of a substance in a laboratory to determine its composition. The implied meaning is to determine whether the Guru is an ordinary human or God in human form.

[3] The devotee implied here is a member of the temple committee.