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Response to Mother Malati
by Devadeva dasi

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

After reading both Locananda Prabhu's article and Mother Malati's response, I have come to the conclusion that both devotees offer valuable points. However, it is important to note that in America there is a system of taxation which funds various services, including police and fire protection.

Taxes, therefore, are a mandatory obligation for the citizens of this country. As long as the people of America pay their taxes, these services are likely to continue. Considering the importance of police and fire protection services, along with services such as road maintenance and postal delivery, devotees should encourage one another to pay their taxes. I do not believe that Locananda Prabhu's article was an encouragement for devotees to forego tax paying.

Charity, on the other hand, is a voluntary pious activity. Locanananda Prabhu's article was not against charity. His statement clearly delineated the Krishna Conscious processes prescribed for giving in charity, i.e., harinam and prasadam distribution.

Finally, necessary to understanding the complexity of this issue in relationship to devotee's responsibilities while living as members of a greater community is motivation. I am not personally passing judgment on any individual devotee's or temple communities. Rather, I would simply like to encourage ourselves to look at what motivates our activities.

Directly stated, giving in charity to the firefighters may have been solely a goodhearted gesture. Another possibility is that it was an effort to form community alliances at home and elsewhere. The fact that it makes "good press" may be another reason for this charitable act. Ultimately, all of these motivations can be served by directly giving Krishna Consciousness.

Hare Krishna.

Your servant,
Devadeva dasi

© CHAKRA 4 October 2001

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