HH Bhakti Charu Swami: 100% Wrong on 50%


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 42, Winter 2013/14

In the last issue, we showed ISKCON GBC-elected guru HH Bhakti Charu Swami ("BCS") attacking Srila Prabhupada's teachings about the ISKCON gurukula schooling system and the modern educational system. BCS was exposed as describing Srila Prabhupada's statements regarding these subjects as a "mistake" (please see "Srila Prabhupada v. Bhakti Charu Swami"). However, as we saw in that article, BCS engages in a double deception. Since BCS would not dare risk attacking Srila Prabhupada's teachings directly for fear of alienating his followers, BCS tries to cover his attack on Srila Prabhupada's teachings by claiming that he is actually presenting Srila Prabhupada's teachings. And, by relying on his followers to be too lazy to check Srila Prabhupada's teachings for themselves, BCS hopes to get away with this deception. Below we can see that this is a recurring tendency with BCS. He again preaches against what Srila Prabhupada taught by using the deception that Srila Prabhupada did not teach it. All emphases have been added.

Rupa Gosvami's1 formula

"So those who are in sense, grhasthas, they must give in charity, at least fifty percent of their income. That was shown by Rupa Gosvami. He, fifty percent. [...] And people should give at least fifty percent of their income to this movement. Twenty-five percent to the family and twenty-five percent let him keep for himself in case of emergency. This is the example shown by Rupa Gosvami."
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, 30/12/76)

"Suppose you are earning $1,000 in a month. So according to Vedic instruction, you should give in charity fifty percent of your income. Five hundred dollars you should give in charity."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 12/8/66)

1 A predecessor acarya (guru).

In explaining Rupa Gosvami's formula for donating one's income:

1) Srila Prabhupada is clearly saying that one should give at least "fifty percent of their income". Srila Prabhupada even provides a simple example to illustrate that one should be distributing 50% of one's total income.

2) After 50% of one's total income is distributed, only then should what remains be spent on one's own needs.

BCS states opposite

Devotee: "How can we apply Rupa Gosvami's standard of giving fifty percent of our income to ISKCON?"
BCS: "Good point. Recently I had been faced with that question. You see considering today's situation nobody will be able to give fifty percent of his income. Prabhupada was very practical, he did not say something like that. [...] So here we have to understand that after taking care of all their needs, after they have taken care of their maintenance, whatever is left over from that, fifty percent can be given to Krsna conscious cause and so forth. Not just fifty percent from your income."

(Lecture, 31/5/13)

Thus, BCS states the opposite of what Srila Prabhupada teaches, by falsely claiming that:

1) Srila Prabhupada did not say that one should give "fifty percent of his income".
2) The teaching is that one should spend money for oneself first, and only 50% of whatever remains after all this money is first spent, should then be donated.

There is no doubt about the depth of BCS's deception here, for as the next section shows, Srila Prabhupada stated repeatedy and consistently that one should give "50% of his income".

The 50% formula

"The prescription is for the grhasthas, for the householder, as exemplified by Srila Rupa Gosvami that his income was divided into four parts. Fifty percent for Krsna, twenty-five percent for the family and twenty-five percent for his personal reserve fund. That he showed us example how a grhastha should live. Not that out of hundred dollars, ninety-nine percent for my wife, and one percent for Krsna. No. Not like that. One should sacrifice at least fifty percent."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 23/12/68)

"The major portion of our monetary income, not less than fifty percent, must be spent to carry out the order of Lord Krsna."
(SB, 1.5.36)

"Srila Rupa Gosvami has set such an example in his life. [...] This example should be followed by all devotees. Whatever one's income, fifty percent should be spent on behalf of Krsna and His devotees, and this will fulfill the demands of dadati."
(The Nectar of Instruction, Text 4)

"In this connection, we may inform that our disciples in Krsna consciousness movement, those who are grhasthas, they contribute at least fifty percent of their income. Yes. [...] Just like we, we have got our disciple, Professor Howard Wheeler. He gives more than fifty percent of his income for developing our New Vrindaban scheme."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 16/10/72)

Note: There are many more similar quotes. The above is just a small sample.


The quotes above only apply to giving 50% of one's income to the genuine Krsna consciousness movement, and not to movements falsely claiming to represent Srila Prabhupada, which we continually expose in BTP.

No need to change formula

"I can understand that you are a family man. You cannot expend the whole amount you earn, but as your wife has proposed that she can allow you to spare 50%. So either 50% or any per cent you can easily spare for the Society, we shall welcome. Don't be overburdened."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 12/4/67)

As we see from this quote, Srila Prabhupada appreciated that it may be difficult to follow this formula. But just because the ideal is hard, does not mean we should change it, as BCS has done here. Because, once we begin to water-down the teachings, then all the spiritual potency will be lost:

"Krsna consciousness is not a new process. It is very, very old -- and standard. It cannot be changed. As soon as you try to change it, then the potency is lost. [...] No one wants to follow the standard way. Therefore everyone is failing, both spiritually and materially."
(The Science of Self-Realization, Ch. 5)

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