In performing welfare activities for human society, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu presents Himself as being not very rich, thus indicating that a man need not be rich or opulent to act for the welfare of humanity. Sometimes rich men are very proud that they can perform beneficial activities for human society whereas others cannot. A practical example is that when there is a scarcity of food in India on account of meager rainfall, some members of the richer class very proudly distribute foodstuffs, making huge arrangements with the help of the government, as if merely by such activities people will be benefited. Suppose there were no food grain. How would the rich men distribute food? Production of grain is completely in the hands of God. If there were no rain, there would be no grain, and these so-called rich men would be unable to distribute grain to the people.
The real purpose of life, therefore, is to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī describes in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu that devotional service is so exalted that it is beneficial and auspicious for every man. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu also declared that to propagate the bhakti cult of devotional service in human society, one does not need to be very rich. Anyone who knows the art can do it and thus render the highest benefit to humanity. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu takes the part of a gardener because although a gardener is naturally not a very rich man, he has some fruits and flowers. Any man can collect some fruits and flowers and satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead in devotional service, as the Lord recommends in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.26):
- patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
- tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ
One cannot satisfy the Supreme Lord by his riches, wealth or opulent position, but anyone can collect a little fruit or a flower and offer it to the Lord. The Lord says that if one brings such an offering in devotion, He will accept it and eat it. When Kṛṣṇa eats, the entire world becomes satisfied. There is a story in the Mahābhārata illustrating how by Kṛṣṇa’s eating, the sixty thousand disciples of Durvāsā Muni were all satisfied. Therefore it is a fact that if by our life (prāṇaiḥ), by our wealth (arthaiḥ), by our intelligence (dhiyā) or by our words (vācā) we can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, naturally the entire world will become happy. Therefore our main duty is to satisfy the Supreme Godhead by our actions, our money and our words. This is very simple. Even if one does not have money, he can preach the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra to everyone. One can go everywhere, to every home, and request everyone to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Thus the entire world situation will become very happy and peaceful.