Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 13 Apr 2024


What is total sacrifice in the case of a devotee having both self-earned and ancestral properties?

[Shri Surya asked: Dear Swami, what is total sacrifice (sarva karma phala tyaga) in the case of a devotee who has both self-earned property and ancestral property? At Your Lotus feet, surya]

Swami replied:- When somebody has both ancestral and self-earned properties, it is immaterial whether he/she sacrifices from ancestral property or hard-earned property because the sacrifice is from his/her total property only. Suppose that you have Rs. 40/- as ancestral property and Rs.60/- as self-earned property. Suppose, you sacrifice Rs.10/- as Karma Phala Tyaaga and whether the sacrifice is from ancestral property or self-earned property, the remaining property is Rs. 90/- only. Hence, the Veda says that you shall do the sacrifice from your property and the Veda does not specify the sacrificed property is from hard-earned money or ancestral wealth. This concept of self-earned property having more importance than ancestral property is brought by God Krishna in the Gita in the sense that the person will be having stronger fascination for self-earned money than ancestral money. God always competes with stronger fascination so that He will remain as the strongest fascination if God is voted in the test of competition.

 This point will become significant if a person has only self-earned wealth, in which case, the person will hesitate more to sacrifice for God than a person having only ancestral wealth. The hard-earned money will develop more fascination (because the person knows the value of money) than the ancestral money (because the person does not know the value of money much). But, when the question of a person having both ancestral and self-earned properties is concerned, there is no distinction between these two since both types of properties become a single phase of property. If a person tries to escape the sacrifice of wealth to God due to his/her hidden greediness by saying that he/she has only ancestral property and not self-earned property, in such a case, such a person can be advised that his/her ancestral property can also be considered as self-earned property since the parents have given him/her that property for the service done by him/her to the parents. All these points will thoroughly enlighten the true picture of this topic.

Let us take two persons, one having only self-earned property and the other having only ancestral property. Suppose both these persons have sacrificed the same amount to God. Between these two persons, the first person, knowing the value of hard-earned money, still sacrificing Rs.100/- can be treated as a better devotee than the second person, sacrificing the same Rs.100/- without knowing the value of the money. But, this type of analysis is not correct in every case since the second person might be as strong as the first person in devotion and in his (second person) view, the difference between hard-earned money and ancestral money may not be existing so that the second person treats even the ancestral money as his hard-earned money. In such a case, both the first and second persons have the same devotion to God and have sacrificed equally.