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Will charging money to do Sankirtana benefit anyone reach Krishna Prema?
Will buying your way to hear the Holy Names of Krishna do good or bad to your spiritual life?
Once money is charged, even though they sound like Krishna's Names, are they really?
Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, Nam Akshar Nam Nahi
Is that not offensive chanting?
Mahaprabhu said, you can chant offensively for a million years and you wont get Krishna Prema.
Has anyone benefited from going to Sadhu Sangha? I am not talking about whether you got a warm feeling inside or smashan viragya, the renunciation you get when you go to a funeral and forget it once you are back home.
Has your devotion to Krishna increased or decreased? Are you doing more rounds or less?
Are you chanting on the beads with more attention or less attention? I personally see that those who went to Sadhu Sangha, though excited (just in speech and continue to talk about the event that way), noticed they are really demotivated to do actual devotional service or less inclined before they went to the event.
What is your experience? Only in terms of results, of course. Are you doing more seva? Less aparadh? Please share as honestly as possible.
The devotees publicly preach the importance of the Hare Krsna mantra:
However one is situated, one should have the determination to go out and preach Krsna consciousness. That endeavor should at least be there, and one who so attempts to preach renders the best service to the Lord. Despite opposition, one should attempt to elevate people to the highest standard of self−realization. One who has actually seen the truth, who is in the trance of self−realization, cannot just sit idly. He must come out. Ramanujacarya, for instance, declared the Hare Krsna mantra publicly. He did not distribute it secretly for some fee. Recently, an Indian yogi came to America to give some "private mantra." But if a mantra has any power, why should it be private? If a mantra is powerful, why should it not be publicly declared so that everyone can take advantage of it? We are saying that this Hare Krsna maha mantra can save everyone, and we are therefore distributing it publicly, free of charge. The devotees are preaching without charge, declaring in the streets, parks, and everywhere, "Here! Here is the Hare Krsna maha mantra. Come on, take it!"
- The Path of Perfection
Hare Krishna ,This is a Referrence Where Srila Prabhupada Says the Holy Name Should be Distributed Freely , When u sell it It No Longer Remains The Holy name.
I love this one sentence in your post...
' One who has actually seen the truth, who is in the trance of self−realization, cannot just sit idly. He must come out.'
I might borrow that sometime - if you don't mind?
Hare Krishna Prabhu
There is slight confusion in your question, title clearly says $175/- for Sadhu Sanga 2015. Do you mean this is the money being charged by someone and is it right, or do you want to charge some one for meeting the expenses.
In whichever case charging for the Hari nam can't be justified as already explained by Bhanu Kiran prabhu. In case you want to organize the Hari nam and having problems with the meeting the expenses then there are various ways you can deal with this like Minimizing expenses, Asking for voluntarily donations, fix amount of contribution from regular members etc. and no charge for new devotees.
Next question is as an attendee paying for Harinam is good or bad. In this case definitely it's good as you will get double benefit one in the form of Harinam, association of devotees and another is donation.
In bhagvad gita chapter 3, verse 12. Lord Krishna says
Ishta Bhogan hi vo deva - dasyante hi yaga bhavita !
tair dattan apradya ebhyo - yo bhunkte sten eva sah !!
Translation : In charge of various necessities of life, demigods being satisfied by the performance of yagna, will supply all necessities to you. But he who enjoys such gifts without offering them to the god in return is certainly a thief.
We have to understand here whatever we have is being given by lord rather it belongs to the lord including your life. So it's your duty to offer it back so that it becomes sanctified and then only you can enjoy. In this sense you should pay which ever way you can either in terms of charge for Hari nam or any other means.
Harsh Prabhu, I corrected the question to convey what I am asking.
Thank you for answering my question. Do you know if Prabhupada ever said, it is ok to charge money for chanting in a congregation (Sankirtan), in any of His lectures or letters he wrote to His disciples?
Was this ever done when Srila Prabhupada was still in His body?
PAMHO. I have heard SP has said that we should not give away our books for free and charge a little. The logic being if a person pays some money, he will look into the book to make his money justified. Similarly, if there is a free seminar, we (atleast I ) don't take it very seriously. If we pay some amount for it. we will be more serious for it as we have paid for it.
Moreover there are other costs like prasadam, renting a place, etc. In addition to this, the money obtained from it is used in devotional service of the Lord.
I personally do not feel $175 is very hefty amount to pay in a place like North Carolina.
Why don't you organize a similar event with no charge, providing housing, food, and water for everyone? This will attract thousands of people to the event.
There is nothing free in the world, except to listen to the Bhagavad-Gita online from EternalReligion.org or youtube (which has taken from EternalReligion.org). This is the first site which has made the Bhagavad-Gita audio free for listening online.
ISKCON has the largest vegeterian food relief program in world. Ref : https://ffl.org/
In Mayapur, many villagers walk many miles for free food. Mostly prasadam is free if you visit ISKCON temples.
Steve jobs himself mentioned hare krishna free food in his speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ackhuPEuwtQ
I myself have taken free prasadam so many times at ISKCON temple.
Also, not only Bhagavad Gita, you can find Ramayana, Mahabharata, etc everything on this site free of cost : http://audio.iskcondesiretree.com/