The Finances of Kanistha Sannyasis
BY: KRISHNA DASI
Feb 05, 2011 USA (SUN) Regarding Shri S.V. Sharma's recent article, "ISKCON's Tolerance of Sannyasa Mockery" , sadly, in ISKCON there is a lack of trust in the current managers, an upside-down social system, and a lack of trust in the Lord Himself.
Varnashram dharma must be instituted as Srila Prabhupada wants. Mercantile Householders support the three other ashrams -- students, retired and renounced -- which have no need of managing or acquiring money, and the sudras who mis-manage money and require to be taken care of nicely.
Investigation must immediately begin into every sannyasi's funds, then the information must be published.
At this point all we can do individually is apologize to the Indian community for the grave errors of some neophyte devotees who have artificially adopted the dress of renounced order. Most likely, if they are secretly collecting money, they are also secretly involved with women. Those two go hand-in-hand.
Make those sannyasis who have been found to have investments, or bank accounts with more than a few thousand for emergency travel or medical care, get married, and encourage them to work to support the genuine members of the other three orders. Their ill-gotten wealth should be held and distributed with their input to various projects.
Everyone must allow access to their financial records -- temples, too. This is generally done when the books are presented to the Lord Himself in the Temple on a daily or weekly basis. Set up a sannyasi-fund for emergency medical or travel expenses, as we are trying to do for elderly members, so no personal accounts are required at all.
We advise the wealthy Indian householders, disciples, ISKCON members and the public at large that they are not required to financially support these kanistha sannyasis. We might remind them that this deviation on the part of a percent of the ISKCON society does not diminish in any way what Srila Prabhupada has freely given to the world, of such monumental value that they and everyone can take advantage of. His unchanged transcendental books are still there, the temples are there, the book publication and distribution, prasadam distribution, cow protection is still there. Festivals, schools, farms are still there. Harinam samkirtan is still going on. Hare Krishna political parties should be developed.
One needs to give one's hard-earned money back to Lord Krishna but it is important to know how the money is being used. Giving without specific intent to untrustworthy persons can create bad karma and more loss of faith if the money ends up being misused.
All projects require funding. Let donors find one they can believe in, a manager they trust, and contribute what they can. Buy and distribute books, make your home temple gorgeous and distribute prasadam from home, buy a cow or educate a poor child in devotee schools, build a farm community or temple. There is no dearth of worthy projects for Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada's pleasure and our favorable devotional future.
Excerpt from Srila Prabhupada lecture at an initiation ceremony, San Diego, June 30, 1972:
"Pious activities means yajna-dana-tapa-kriya. Pious activities means yajna [sacrifice], performing yajna - just like there will be fire sacrifice - and dana, charity, giving charity for Krishna's propaganda. The Krishna consciousness movement is making propaganda, so they require money. Money is Krishna's money. Everyone is holding Krishna's money. So the sooner they spare that money... Because if I am holding your money, if I give it to you, then I become released from my criminal activities. Suppose I have stolen something from your pocket and I become conscious, "Oh, this stealing is not good," so as soon as I return unto you, "Please take this money; I was mistaken," so thing is settled up. But if you hold it, then you are criminal. You will be punished. Similarly, everyone who is holding Krishna's money, not returning to Krishna, he is a criminal. He will be punished. How they are punished? That you have seen. In India, in recent... Everywhere, the same thing is going on. There was war between Pakistan and India. So all the rich men had to contribute fifty lakhs, fifty hundred thousand, according to everyone's capacity. Many millions of rupees were collected, and it was put into the gun powder –"Svaha! " So if you don't execute this svaha, then you will have to execute that svaha. [laughter] [sings out the word "svaha!"] That's all. The Vietnam is going on – svaha! So many young men – svaha! So much money – svaha! You have to do that. Therefore better learn how to make svaha for Krishna. Otherwise you will have to make svaha for Maya [material nature]. That's all."
Hare Krishna. Jai Srila Prabhupada.