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Can we volunteer using our knowledge anywhere, (e.g. a charity) or does it have to be in a deviational place like the Temple?  

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Posting a question from the Gita Life course from participants.

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Hare Krsna!

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What is the difference between giving charity our knowledge by volunteering in any humanitarian cause and devotional place like temple? Is one material benefit, piety and other is spiritual eternal benefit?

Doing anything for Krishna and temple is always better than for any other cause. Whether it's giving charity to temple or sharing Krishna consciousness or knowledge with others. Mundane humanitarian deeds are also good as long as they're Krishnaised. Like offering food first and then distributing as prasadam, etc. But if there is a need, it is also one's duty to give someone food if they're dying of hunger, saving someone's life, giving someone shelter etc understanding that all living entities are dear to Krishna. So spiritual stuff first, mundane stuff but Krishnaised next and finally if all else fails, charity but a mental adjustment and understanding how everything is related to Krishna. But one should never give up charity under the pretext that it's mundane

 

So if some random charity cause come to you in the street asking for money, what should you do?

 

Use your discretion. Good to give in charity to the right cause, but not for a charity you'll get implicated. Like RSPCA, you don't wanna do that. There are many like that. Do your research and find out about them first.

Hope it helps.

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