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When I was a litle boy I learned from my parents not to ask for money for agni hotra jagna or a kind of service like that. So I don't like to ask for money when I do a fire sacrifice. I tell the people that a donation according to their capacity is enough but sometimes they gave me mor or less 4 dollars. I don´t like it but neither I don't feel good asking for a specific ammount of money but is a fact that fire sacrifice is not complete without the priest's donation.
So, ¿what is the best way to do it?
Hare Krishna Amara Prabhu,
please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
i am not suitable for answering to Your question but will write what i learned from seniors.
About to collect donation You can read the stories of Book distributors. Book distribution is also a sacrifice and many Devotees while distributing them do not say the exact price but give it for donation. But sometimes they put the exact price and it is alright for Kali yuga.
Brahmana never asks money from others for himself. And always has consciousness that Lord is in everyone's heart and if i worship Him He only will give me whatever i require in His worship. (through people or directly). Brahmana's body is also not his because of that when he asks for donation for basic needs he asks it in the same consciousness of only service to the Lord nicely knowing that this body is an instrument using which i can serve to Krishna and to society.
Because of that if You ask some amount of money for Your basic maintenance it is ok. Only not intelligent people will think that You are interested with money.
But again, life style of a brahmana is he is satisfied with everything which comes easily; if there is nothing to eat he fasts; if there are too many things he keeps only what is needed and gives away extra things, he always does austerity, learns shastras and always ready to help and guide others selflessly.
I know that You already know these things but even though wrote.
In the lecture i heard that if brahmana who performed sacrifice is not given gift or charity then it means the fruit of that sacrifice remains in brahmana only, the person who ordered a sacrifice does not get the result of that. The person who does sacrifice - yagyaman while doing sacrifice gets good fruits of that sacrifice but if he is not rewarded with charity the fruit remains in yagyaman.
In this way if person pays only 4 $ it means from that sacrifice he gets benefit equal to 4$ not more....
Here the basic principle is not that 4-5 $ but the main thing is to satisfy yagyaman, and honest yagyaman does not ask for very big amount.
You said that you are not suitable to answer but yor answer is very nice, based in real knowledge.
I am very happy to read that answer and now my heart and mind are peacefull.