When, if at all, is it permissible to “lie” for Krsna??See what SP says….

August 1, 2018 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Hare Krsna-below are some very interesting points by Srila Prabhupada where he explains some points about sankirtan “techniques” as well as spending more on your Deities when income is available, and when donations for a spiritual group become Karma and not Akarma.
1.)31 December, 1972
My dear Bali Mardan,
… I note also that your expenses have remained almost constant for so many months, except for the money paid to book fund, which is increasing more and more, so that is the best system: pay to the books fund larger and larger sums, keep other expenses constant as much as possible or reduce. But one thing is, you were spending $900 monthly for deity expenses, and still you are spending $900, so if total income is increasing more than double, why not increase also expense for the deity? We may spend anything and everything for the deity, as long as there is no scarcity, and by that lavish spending to glorify Radha and Krsna, they will become very much pleased upon you and bless you more and more.
So far the Macmillan business, as soon as you have got any information, you may send me. Yes, if it is enhancing our distribution of books to wear warm clothes like coat-pants in winter, I have no objection, you may wear them. Of course we may take money for Krsna using any method of beg, borrow and steal, but more advanced understanding of Krsna consciousness process is that by telling the truth in a very palatable way, that is the most successful system. Your mentioning Bangladesh feeding of refugees, of course we are feeding sometimes the local inhabitants, up to 1,000 persons on some occasions, but there is no organized program of feeding the refugees at Mayapur. In fact, so far I have seen, all the refugees from Nadia District have gone back to Bangladesh, there are no more refugee camps. So it will not be the truth to say to people like that, but I have no objection if they give more hearing such thing. Let them say, who will check us? We may tell any damn thing to induce people to give us money on Krsna’s behalf, that is not the point. The point is that by saying lies, the less advanced neophyte devotees may become entangled or disturbed in their minds by it. Of course by their collecting more money and giving to Krsna, He will relieve them of all anxiety of telling lies. But not everyone is able to catch the big fish without themselves becoming wet. I am convinced that if you simply glorify Krsna and our books in the best descriptive manner, that anyone and everyone, no matter even atheist or otherwise, they can be convinced to purchase. Of course that is a great art and not everyone can do it, but gradually by practice of preaching in this way, striving to so much present a wonderful picture of our books to the people, gradually you will master the trick how to do it. Being the senior devotee there, you may give the younger students all good instruction and advice how to do this, but not for any reason shall we decrease the book sales and collection monthly over some small lying about Bangladesh or other things.

Regarding that building in Manhattan, of course we are not very much mad after big buildings, so long there is enough space for our devotees so they may be able to carry on their preaching work, but if you can get such building as you are describing in the midtown area costing between $1-1.6 million, oh, that will be your greatest achievement in Krsna consciousness. Such building being our world headquarters of ISKCON, would facilitate our preaching expansion work all over the world. So far money is concerned, you are saving roundabout $30,000 per month, so go on saving like this, and even it takes a few more months to raise the down payment for such expensive building, never mind, a few months’ delay is not much. But the point is that Krsna is now giving freely so much money, why He can’t increase that amount more and more? I don’t think there will be any difficulty to raise the money for down payment, you will be successful under any circumstance, of that I am certain. But I want to keep my bond of $80,000 to be spent for books for India, that is my final decision.

Hoping this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
2.)When all our senses are engaged-then we can do anything for Krsna
Lectures Los Angeles, May 6, 1973 : 730506SB.LA :

So that is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We are trying to dovetail everything in connection with Kṛṣṇa. Make Kṛṣṇa center, and all your activities will be spiritual. That is distinction. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. As soon as anything is done for Kṛṣṇa, the bhakti… So the beginning you cannot do so, that anything you can dovetail. No. In the beginning you have to learn first of all how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. You are, we are in the training period. We are in the training period.We should not imitate: “Oh, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was ordered to speak lies, so let us go on speaking all lies.” No, not that. You cannot do so. First of all, be trained up. For being trained up, you have to follow the regulative principles, the orders of spiritual master. In this way,sevonmukhe hi jihvādau [Brs. 1.2.234].When your all parts of your limbs will be engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service, hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam [Cc. Madhya 19.170], in this way when you are actually advanced, then whatever you do in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is good. 

3.) March 4 1976 mayapur
Acyutānanda: If a man says, “I am giving you this donation because it is a spiritual organization,” but if the money is misused, does that man benefit?
Prabhupāda: If money is misused, then both of them become implicated. If it is not used for Kṛṣṇa, then both of them becomes under the laws of karma.
Acyutānanda: But that man is sincere.
Prabhupāda: Well, this word sincere, there is no meaning unless he is a devotee. Ei bala ei manda sab mano dharma: “These are all mental concoction.” There is no meaning. “This man is good. This man is sincere. This man is bad. This man is…” They are all mental concoction. Only good is he who is Kṛṣṇa conscious. Others all rascals.

Some Conclusions- Prabhupada mentions how the NY temples income has doubled, but the deity budget has stayed the same. He says this should also be increased, after all, whose money is it?? And then there is the controversial point about lying on sankirtan to get a donation. He says that lying is not good,and the books should be sold by speaking in a truthful and palatable way. He also says that lying may cause distress to the neophyte but by the process of doing this service to Krsna  He will relieve them of the distress of lying., But this process of lying to get donations should be reserved for only those who can “catch the big fish without getting wet”. The end of that point Prabhupada tells the TP of NY that …”but not for any reason shall we decrease the book sales and collection monthly over some small lying about Bangladesh or other things.”.  So this has always been a controversial point among devotees. So If you want to lie for Krsna then you better damn well be giving up ALL the results to the Lord. Otherwise this  so called sankirtan activity becomes Karma and not bhakti.
The last point in that letter was about not requiring big big buildings  as we only need what is sufficient for our preaching activities.
I have included two other  points-the second one is about not lying unless and until we are on the same platform as Yudhisthira Maharaja where all our senses are engaged all the time favorably for Krsna’s pleasure. Krsna asking Yudhisthira to lie was an unusual situation which was necessary to win the battle of Kuruksetra. We are not in any way like this great king and pure devotee of the Lord. The final point is the question asked by Acyutananda about taking donations for Krsna and not using them for Krsna in which Srila Prabhupada clearly replies-its then Karma.  So these are some subtle points we should mediate upon in regards to how we conduct our daily lives, especially if they are dedicated to the Lord in devotional service.
Hare krsna
damaghosa das