THE 12 RECIPIENTS OF DEVOTEE CARE

(Adopted from student handbook of Devotee Care Course)

1. Women

“In the glorious days, or before the advent of the age of Kali, the brahmanas, the cows, the women, the
children and the old men were properly given protection...To insult a chaste woman means to bring about
disaster in the duration of life.” (S.B. 1.8.5 pur)

2. Cows and Bulls/Oxen

The mercantile class is also required to give protection to the cows in order to get sufficient milk and milk
products, which alone can give the proper health and intelligence to maintain a civilization perfectly
meant for knowledge of the ultimate truth. (SB 2.5.37 pur)

3. Brahmanas

“The primary responsibility of such a king or leader is to protect the brahminical culture and the cows in
his state.” (SB 4.21.49)

“The symptoms of a kshatriya are given in Bhagavad-gita. One of the qualifications is the willingness to
give charity (dana). A kshatriya does not refuse to give charity when requested by a brahmana, nor can
he refuse to fight another kshatriya. A king who does refuse is called low-minded. In the dynasty of Bali
Maharaja there were no such low-minded kings.” (SB 8.9.4 pur)

4. Children and Youth

“So you are all Vaishnavas. If your children do not become Vaishnavas in the future, then it is a great, I
meant to say, fault on your part.” (SP Lecture, SB 2.3.15, Los Angeles 01/06/1972)

“Yes. You cannot teach your own people, and you are going to teach others. "Physician heal thyself." ...
You have failed to teach your own children, they are disappointed, and you are going to teach others.
This is another cheating.” (Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, Mayapur, 07/04/1975)

5. The Elderly

“Old men. Yes. These five items, according to ... Hindu law, they [make] no offense...They cannot be
criminally prosecuted. Excused. If a brahmana has committed some fault or a woman has committed
some fault or a child has committed some fault or a cow has transgressed the law, oh, there is no
punishment for them. Daya. They should be always shown mercy. They require protection, especially.”
(SP Lecture, SB 12.2.1, San Francisco, 18/03/1968)

6. Brahmachari Communities

“In this age...the student (brahmachari) communities are no longer being maintained.” (SB 1.1.10 pur)

“The relationship between the student or disciple and the wife of the spiritual master or teacher is like
that between son and mother. A mother sometimes cares for her son by combing his hair, massaging his
body with oil, or bathing him. Similarly, the wife of the teacher is also a mother (guru-patni), and
therefore she may also care for the disciple in a motherly way. If the wife of the teacher is a young woman,
however, a young brahmachari should not allow such a mother to touch him.” (SB 7.12.8 pur)

7. Grihasthas Communities

“Most devotees are married (grihasthas), and further, the grihasthas ashram is the basis of all other
ashrams - and of the lives of our children.”
(Giriraja Swami, The Purpose of the Grihasthas Ashram, in ‘Carry on the Care Legacy’, pp, 52-55)

“A senior, trained, Krishna conscious grihasthas can help to solve these problems. That was the first idea
of the counsellor system: many people coming to me, but actually grihasthas should help grihasthas;
more realisation than the Sannyasis, they have practical experience. Not only that, when they help others.
They make so much spiritual advancement themselves. Why should we keep all the spiritual
advancement for us? Let other devotees take the problems and make spiritual advancement...”
(Radhanatha Swami Lecture, “Caring for Devotees: the Spiritual Counsellor System”
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8. Vanaprashthas

“There are some areas that deserve extra attention like... those who are entering into a new ashram -
these groups, especially need to be helped.” (Devotee Care Literature, exact reference unknown)
“The leaders of ISKCON have a sacred duty to provide shelter for devotees who have given their lives in
service to the Society. After serving honourably and with dedication for many years, devotees who have
become elderly should be able to finish out the last years of their lives in dignity and easy remembrance
of Krishna. “ (Badrinarayana Swami, ‘Elderly Enclave’ in ‘Carry on the Care’ Legacy. p.71)

9. Sannyasis

“...the sannyasis are the spiritual masters for all the varnas and ashramas”. (SB, 1.17.41)

“Another immensely important element of care for leaders is the need for confidential relationships with
equals and seniors. Leaders often find themselves in the situation where there only surrounded by juniors
who look up to them. As a result, their somewhat alone at the top of the pyramid, which is always a
dangerous and unprotected situation.” (Devaki dd, “Carry on the Caring Legacy”, p.25)

“Finally, in times of challenge or difficulty, if the sannyasi does not have a person or a system he can
approach for support, the problems increase. As Vishvamitra said, “...so I didn’t identify myself with this
anymore and at that time there was nobody I could actually talk to...”
(Yadunandana Swami, MA Dissertation ‘Vaishnava sannyasis in modernity: their lives and challenges’. p.67)

10. Other Temple Residents

“Whether the devotee is weak, is having difficulty, or is in a spiritual crisis, the Vaishnava family should be there
to lift and restore their strength and enthusiasm.” (Radhanatha Swami, ‘Carry on the Care Legacy’, p8)

11. Leaders

“Leaders are carrying a vast responsibility and burden on their shoulders ... So leaders deserve all the
caring nourishment they can get in order to serve their dependents nicely... If the leaders of our
movement don’t receive such ongoing nourishment, then their spiritual advancement will be choked and
becomes stagnant.” (Devaki dd, “Carry on the Care Legacy”, p.25)

12. Senior Devotees

“We should take care of our devotees, especially those who have given their lives to ISKCON.”

(Jayapataka Swami, “Carry on the Care Legacy, p.7)