Krishna Consciousness and your Profession
I have a friend and we both were deep into Krishna Conciousness, Chanting and serving Krishna. My Friend Akshay is a HEDGE FUND Manager based in the City of London. His experience/education is 100% based on Trading the Markets. He turned vegetarian, stopped drinking alcohol, regularly chants 4 rounds, reads Prabhupada books and do Seva. Every year donates 20% of income to Charity – most to KC projects.
However one day he was at a KC Programme, and the Prabhuji giving the class was taking about it was SINFUL to be in a profession which was GAMBLING!! Aksha was totally offended and at a 1:1 discussion Prabhuji said he should be looking to change the profession.
Since that date, Akshay has stopped coming to KC programmes, stopped Chanting, and also stopped his bhakti Shastri course. Then by chance on a long train journey he meets a nun who is from the mother Teresa missionaries of “charity”. The non said nothing wrong with the profession as he is doing is DUTY and they both had a long discussion on this, Cut the whole story short Akshay has now converted to Christianity, and now funding the Mother Teresa charity projects,
So where do we draw the line?
Gambling is where you do an act which requires NO skill, No knowledge and your result is based purely on LUCK. Hedge fund is NO gambling.
I know a devotee who is an air hostess – so should she pack up her job because she has to serve alcohol and non veg food?
We have lots of devotees working in the supermarkets and they have to serve customers who are say buying meat or alcohol – so should they resign from their jobs?
Sadly we are not living in an ideal world. And we have commitments of mortgages and expenses so we have to do jobs that we do not like to do.
I will greatly appreciate reply from any senior devotees or Maharaj, as I want to bring back Akshay into the KC family again.
Hare Krsna Prabhuji,
I would first like to state that I am neither senior nor maharaj. I am a menial servant of HG Vaishnavseva prabhuji and trying my best to serve. Prabhuji, your intention to bring back your friend to devotion is noble, but this statement that you want only senior devotee or maharaj to reply will deter people like me, who are on much lower level.
To answer your question, I was saddened to read what happened with Akshay. THis is most unfortunate. Devotion is not dependent on profession, even prostitute can be devotee of the lord. Even in Dwarka, there were prostitutes at the time of Krsna, still they were devotees. There is the famous story of Pingla in Srimad Bhagawatam 11th Canto. While we are careful to not take up a profession which contradicts our regulative principles, people who are in those professions already and are not in a position to leave can still do devotion, there is no bar. Chanting can be done by anyone, under any circumstances.
Regarding hedge fund, it is not gambling as you rightly pointed it out. Even investing in the stock market is not gambling, if one is investing, as against speculating. It is easy for people from non finance field to make these mistakes, that has to be explained to them what exactly it entails.
Please tell your friend that its ok to continue to donate to christianity, whichever place he is donating now. We are not after his money - we want him to go to the root and do devotion.
There is a very good lecture of HH Tamal Krsna Goswami Maharaj. If you do search on youtube in maharaj's name, there are 2 lectures, both in Fiji Islands - one is WHo is God and the other is in a auditorium setting, in Q&A format. Please see that and make him see - it will tell him that to be Krsna Conscious is to be the most strict Christian. We are not at all against Christianity - the teachings are the same, theirs is more preliminary, ours is deeper.
Please tell me if this suffices,
Radha Rasamayi DD