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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami > Obstacles on the Path of Devotional Service > Obstacles Presented by the Nondevotee World > Alternative Occupations

Alternative   Occupations


Although I cannot presume to give advice to grhasthas as to what type of work they should take, I may at least mention that one should consider various alternatives. One should not think his only choices are to get into the insurance business or the computer business. One alternative for solving the economic problems is that which is given in the Vedas: an economy based on cow protection and land development. This has proven to be very diffi­cult for Western devotees to take up. Many of the spiritual farm communities are actually supported by urban business enterprises such as painting sales. But there are pioneers in different parts of the world who are trying their best to raise money on the basis of self-sufficiency. When one is deciding on a career, he owes it to himself to at least look into what some of these pioneers are doing. For ex­ample, at the Saranagati Farm in British Columbia, devotees build their own simple homes and live without electricity or phones. Some of them grow gardens and produce enough canned vegetables for a whole winter's supply without purchasing from the market.


Another alternative is to engage in fuil-time Krsna conscious preaching. To cite an example, Apurva Prabhu and his wife Kamalini run a small vegetarian restaurant in Lansing, Michigan, where they also sell Prabhupada's books. They manage to support themselves and  their  children by  this enterprise. Krsna helps them and they make their maintenance money while engaged as full-time preachers. This does not mean that those who work at other trades are "in may a." Krsna will be most pleased according to a devotee's sincerity, which may be displayed in many different work situations. But  before  choosing a  means  of livelihood,  a devotee ought to consider all the instructions given by Srlmad-Bhagavatam and Srila Prabhupada. Try to find something which does not make you miser­able and perform it as a sacrifice for pleasing Lord Krsna. Prabhupada refers to this as the "great art of doing work/" and he indicates that any labor under­taken not for sense gratification but for the satis­faction of Krsna will bring the right result. "This practice will not only save one from the reaction of work, but also gradually elevate one to trans­cendental loving service of the Lord, which alone can raise one to the kingdom of God" (Bg. 3.9 purport).