For spiritual advancement, one should be materially satisfied, for if one is not materially satisfied, his greed for material development will result in the frustration of his spiritual advancement. There are two things that nullify all good qualities. One is poverty. Daridra-doso guna-rasi-nasi. If one is povertystricken, all his good qualities become null and void. Similarly, if one becomes too greedy, his good qualifications are lost. Therefore the adjustment is that one should not be poverty-stricken, but one must try to be fully satisfied with the bare necessities of life and not be greedy. For a devotee to be satisfied with the bare necessities is therefore the best advice for spiritual advancement. Learned authorities in devotional life consequently advise that one not endeavor to increase the number of temples and mathas. Such activities can be undertaken only by devotees experienced in propagating the Krishna consciousness movement. All the acaryas in South India, especially Sri Ramanujacarya, constructed many big temples, and in North India all the Gosvamis of Vrndavana constructed large temples. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also constructed large centers, known as Gaudiya Mathas. Therefore temple construction is not bad, provided proper care is taken for the propagation of Krishna consciousness. Even if such endeavors are considered greedy, the greed is to satisfy Krishna, and therefore these are spiritual activities.

 

Source: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Seventh Canto, Chapter 15 – Text 21

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