Once while coming back from his Kashi prayag tour Saint Eknath saw a donkey in an unconscious state. Without thinking for a minute he quenched the thirst of a donkey by giving him sacred Ganga teerth. Ganga teerth was supposed to be used for religious purpose. Sages alongside him criticized him for this act. Saint Eknath said” Can there be any greater deed than saving a life of dying soul”. Sages left him and moved ahead. While feeding, Lord Shiva who disguised himself as a donkey appeared in front of him and blessed him. Crux of the story is, pure devotees see God everywhere even in lowest of animals. Swami Sri Tulasi das would see Lord Sri Ram and Sita in every human being. “Siya ram mai sab jag jana”. This category of devotees is called “UTTAM ADHIKARI”. If you want to please the Supreme personality of Godhead Krishna, you need to please his pure devotees. How can you serve Swami Sri Tulasi Das and Saint Eknath? Just by reading their books, if you read and distribute Sri Ram charit manas and Bhagwat written by Saint Eknath, you will definitely please the God.
There are few things in common between these two saints. Both served the Lord by writing his glories. So called religious people at that time strongly condemned Sri Ram Charit Manas and Eknathi Bhagwat. Both events occurred in Kashi. Saints decided to put Sri Ram Charit Manas in famous Kashivishweshar temple for a night. They thought if Lord Shiva approves it, we will accept it. Next day, they found something written on the book- SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM. Saint Eknath was told to throw his commentary on eleventh canto of Bhagwat known as “Eknathi Bhagwat”in Ganga. Accepting the will of so called sages that time, Saint Eknath drowned his Bhagwat set into Ganga. After sometime the sages saw something coming out of water; Mother Ganges came out carrying Eknathi Bhagwat on her head. Oppose to uttam adharis is not only done by materialistic people (non devotees) but also done by “Kanistha Adhikaris”. Those who think God is present only in deities not anywhere else are Kanistha Adhikaris. They don’t believe in serving all and seeing God everywhere. Madhyam Adhikaris are somewhat better than Kanistha Adhikaris.
IF you want to spend on religion, buying and distributing books of great uttam adhikaris is better option. Donation should not be sentimental or timely. Krishna in seventieth chapter of Bhagwat geeta says” donation should be offered to right man at a right place and at a right time. Ekadashis, sacred month of Kartik, appearance, disappearance days of saints, Janmastami festivals etc. is the right time to donate. It is not about donation, it is about “helping a man close to God”. The more you help Madhyam and Uttam Adhikaris, the more the God is pleased. It takes time to know, you need to observe the behavior of devotees before you commit something. IF you stop donating, the kanistha adhikaris blaspheme you or hurt you. Then everything goes waste and people start repenting.
Food donation to people regularly chanting Krishna name, reading scriptures, hearing and preaching Lord’s message is another good option, if you want to donate. As per the scriptures, food donation is considered as “Maha-danam”. Materialistic people always come out with the theory that instead of donating to temples we should feed poor people but just by donating food once we cannot cease their hunger forever. It should be continuous. The best service for poor according to saints is to awaken them, enlighten them and make them god-conscious. God conscious people are the asset to society. Uttam adhikari like Rishi Narad has turned dacoits and murderers into saints. If somebody reads the books written by pure devotees, surely his life will change and he/she will easily get rid of their bad habits. Donation or “Religious spent” should not be done just for the sake of doing it; there should be purpose behind it. It not only purifies us but it also purifies our wealth. Impure wealth brings Impure Karma with it. It is always suggested by sages to purify wealth by donating. Krishna says “Yagya, danam and tapa na kadapi tyajet”. One should never leave these three things.
One smart option for donation is serving old devotees, mostly patients. There is growing concern amongst saints that qualified young working sons do not even like spend on their parents. Working class is so busy in sense gratification and bodily needs that they forget about religious donation, they don’t even do what was supposed to be done by them for their parents. When Krishna rescued his parents he said “even if I try for hundred years, I cannot be out of your debts”. Those who do not serve their parents with body, mind and wealth are made to eat their own flesh in hell”. If you happen to see old man or woman and the orphans who do not have any support, Krishna will be pleased if you serve them and pay for their medical expenses.
Krishna once told to his favorite devotee Uddhava, if you serve cows it will be considered as my seva. Serving cows is equal to serving Krishna. Mere feeding grass to cows is not enough. If possible we can provide medicines and at times or can pay to veterinary doctors who serve cows. Apart from that there many good “Go-shalas” in India that take care of cows very well and they require many things. Getting in touch with them and knowing their predicament and fulfilling it- another good option.
Above all else- donating is a transcendental quality. It does not come cheaply to even those who are walking on the path of devotion. Saint Eknath writes in his Bhagwat that “You will see people dancing in temple on kirtans, you will see them crying while hearing katha, you will see them chanting Lord’s name for hours but when it comes to spending money, when somebody asks for donation, they will run away. When others help these devotees they will say” you are doing nice service”, as long as others help them they are happy but they do nothing in return for them. When somebody is offering gifts to them they have all the nice words, but when you ask them what are you doing for them in return or “have you ever served cows, donated books, helped anybody financially – the answer is NO. Saint Eknath says” the attachment to the wealth or being a miser in the path of devotion is big Anartha. When a devotee gets true mercy of a Vaishnava and Krishna, when a devotee gets the blessings of his Spiritual master, then only he gets this quality of “DONATING”. I repeat it is quality of demi-gods hence transcendental and very rare.
When Krishna appeared in Gokul, Nand Maharaj donated elephants, horses, gold, grains and what not. Mother Yashoda-Yash da- is giver of success. Krishna chose parents who take joy in giving; Krishna loves this quality. MIND IT.
JUST CHANT “HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE, HARE RAM HARE RAM RAM RAM HARE HARE AND BE HAPPY.