SB 5.8.10


nūnaṁ hy āryāḥ sādhava upaśama-śīlāḥ kṛpaṇa-suhṛda evaṁ-vidhārthe svārthān api gurutarān upekṣante.


nūnam—indeed; hi—certainly; aryah—those who are advanced in civilization; sādhavaḥ—saintly persons; upaśama-silah—even though completely in the renounced order of life; krpana-suhṛdaḥ—the friends of the helpless; evam-vidha-arthe—to execute such principles; sva-arthān api—even their own personal interests; guru-tarān—very important; upekṣante—neglect. 


Even though one is in the renounced order, one who is advanced certainly feels compassion for suffering living entities. One should certainly neglect his own personal interests, although they may be very important, to protect one who has surrendered. 


Māyā is very strong. In the name of philanthropy, altruism and communism, people are feeling compassion for suffering humanity throughout the world. Philanthropists and altruists do not realize that it is impossible to improve people’s material conditions. Material conditions are already established by the superior administration according to one’s karma. They cannot be changed. The only benefit we can render to suffering beings is to try to raise them to spiritual consciousness. Material comforts cannot be increased or decreased. It is therefore said in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.5.18), tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukham: “As far as material happiness is concerned, that comes without effort, just as tribulations come without effort.” Material happiness and pain can be attained without endeavor. One should not bother for material activities. If one is at all sympathetic or able to do good to others, he should endeavor to raise people to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In this way everyone advances spiritually by the grace of the Lord. For our instruction, Bharata Mahārāja acted in such a way. We should be very careful not to be misled by so-called welfare activities conducted in bodily terms. One should not give up his interest in attaining the favor of Lord Viṣṇu at any cost. Generally people do not know this, or they forget it. Consequently they sacrifice their original interest, the attainment of Viṣṇu’s favor, and engage in philanthropic activities for bodily comfort. 

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