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It does not mean that one who is taking care of dressing the Deity, he is higher than the man who is washing the dishes. No. They are not karma. By washing dishes he is executing devotional service, and by dressing the Deity he is also

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"It does not mean that one who is taking care of dressing the Deity, he is higher than the man who is washing the dishes. No. They are not karma. By washing dishes he is executing devotional service, and by dressing the Deity he is also executing"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

It does not mean that one who is taking care of dressing the Deity, he is higher than the man who is washing the dishes. No. They are not karma. By washing dishes he is executing devotional service, and by dressing the Deity he is also executing. Real point is devotional service. That is called akarma.


Lecture on BG 4.18 -- Bombay, April 7, 1974:

It is very difficult to bring one to the brahminical culture, to the kṣatriya culture, to the vaiśya culture, because everything is finished, and it will be finished more and more. Therefore the only saving platform is this harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam. Then everyone will be saved. Therefore we are pushing on this movement: chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra anywhere.

And it has become practical. Even in Africa, in the village, where they have got so big, big earrings, they are also chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. They are also chanting. Therefore the African government is a little afraid of this movement. Yes. Anyway, that's a big story. So anywhere we don't find any difficulty. Either you go in the interior of Africa or Europe . . . Europe, America, we have gone into. We are sending our buses and devotees with books in the village, in the interior village, because Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted it.

pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma
sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma
(CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126)

We are trying our bit, send devotees. And they are helping. These European, American boys, they are helping me very much. Even the girls, they are also helping. So it is very good opportunity. So to push this movement . . . and we are trying our best.

So by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and by engaging yourself in the devotional service, although it looks like karma . . . just like people say: "These people are also collecting money. They are going to sell books. And they are also eating. And simply because they are dancing and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, they have become so great?" Yes. This is the process. And actually, they have become great. Although it looks like similar activities, that they are also using motorcar, they are also using microphone and typewriter and Dictaphone and aeroplane . . . "So everything he is using. So how they have become so great or so advanced?" This is the intelligence. Here it is said that karmaṇy akarma yaḥ paśyet. Although they are acting just like ordinary human being—they are using everything, they are also fighting for the land, for Kṛṣṇa, and everything looks like that—but akarmaṇi, that is akarma; they are not producing any result, because it is being done for Kṛṣṇa. This is the secret.

Karmaṇi yaḥ akarma. Akarma means which does not have . . . I have already explained. So if you work the same thing, sva-karmaṇā, never mind you are doing the śūdra's business or brāhmaṇa's business—it doesn't matter—whether you are acting for Kṛṣṇa? That is wanted. If you are acting for Kṛṣṇa, then you are not becoming entangled by the resultant action, pious or impious. It is above. Pious and impious, they are consideration of this material platform. In the spiritual platform there is no such thing. Absolute. Whatever you are doing, it is all-good, all-spiritual. That is called absolute. In the absolute there is no such distinction, "This is pious, this is impious." Everything is spiritual.

So we have to act like that. If you act spiritually for satisfying Kṛṣṇa, varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ . . . Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). If you can satisfy Kṛṣṇa by your activities—it doesn't matter whether it is śūdra activity or brāhmaṇa activity—but the aim is whether you are satisfying Kṛṣṇa. Then it is akarma. Just like in this institution, somebody is washing the dishes and somebody is taking care of dressing Deity. It does not mean that one who is taking care of dressing the Deity, he is higher than the man who is washing the dishes. No. They are not karma. By washing dishes he is executing devotional service, and by dressing the Deity he is also executing. Real point is devotional service. That is called akarma.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Haribol. Jaya . . . (break) (end)