– From “A Transcendental Diary Vol 4” by HG Hari Sauri Prabhu
Income by honest means
375) Whether I know how my income to be! Taught by Srila Prabhupada!
During the morning Rsabhadeva dasa, the former president of the Laguna Beach temple, arrived. Apparently he has been dealing in drugs since 1975, and for this reason he was removed as president. Harikesa Maharaja explained to Prabhupada that Rsabhadeva and about eight other men have rationalized this illicit activity by claiming that they don’t take the drugs themselves, they simply sell them to a ready market and use the profits in Krishna’s service. Somehow, they don’t consider this to be breaking our regulative principles.
When Rsabhadeva came in, Prabhupada immediately challenged him, “So we are preaching no intoxication and you are selling. Why? This is the same as saying, ‘We don’t eat meat but we keep a big, big slaughterhouse.’ ”
Rsabhadeva seemed taken aback by Srila Prabhupada’s stern countenance and his strong disapproval. He replied that they thought it was all right to do it if the results were given to Krishna.
Prabhupada said firmly, “You are not Krishna-ized. You are an ordinary person! All our income should be by honest means.”
“Well, we used the money to set up an honest business,” Rsabhadeva replied, referring to a prasadam business he and his fellow deviates have set up.
Prabhupada shook his head in disgust. “That is like a bunch of thieves who say, ‘Now let us divide the money honestly.’ It is a ludicrous proposal.” Prabhupada told him that he must stop his illicit activity forthwith.
In the face of Srila Prabhupada’s unequivocal opposition Rsabhadeva agreed that he would stop. But he asked what he should do with the $70,000 they had already accumulated. He said that they had intended to use it to start a prasadam restaurant.
Srila Prabhupada told him to go ahead and begin the restaurant, reasoning that the money was already made and must now be used for a proper purpose. But he reiterated emphatically that no further illicit activity should go on.—————-