(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 19 January 2017, Sydney, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 9.13.5)
Caitanya Caritamrta gives the three categories of pious activities. There is karma unmukhi sukriti, moksha unmukhi sukriti and bhakti unmukhi sukriti. Sukriti means spiritual benefit. Karma unmukhi sukriti gives benefit on the realm of karma which gives you good material results. So if you do pious activities – let’s say you make a shelter for people or you give to the poor – these kind of things are pious and they give you good karma and in the next life it comes back. It is said that if you give to a brahmana, it comes back to you manyfold. If you give to a Narayana-parayana, one who is absorbed in the worship of Narayana, it comes back to you unlimitedly. So give donations to devotees and you will become rich in your next life – give to the temple, put money into the donation box and you will be really rich in your next life and you may have a next life so there is nothing bad in putting a little money in the box.
Moksha unmukhi sukriti is where you get involved with knowledge. One spends time studying and it fixes in the consciousness a mood of desiring liberation. Bhakti unmukhi sukriti is the real piety because bhakti leads to bhakti so whatever you do in devotional service, it increases your desire to do more devotional service.
One may ask, “How do I get a desire a serve Krsna? My problem is I do not have enough desire?” Do devotional service and then your desire will awaken! This is why we need ajnata sukriti for people, unknown spiritual benefit. That is why we go out to the streets doing harinama, “Ching Ching Boom!” and people look and think we’re crazy lunatics and we’re a cult but people make spiritual advancement, even the lady who puts her fingers in her ears when we walk past. Somehow or other, all these people get the benefit. Whatever they do, even if they give one donation to a vaisnava for Krsna, they will get unknown spiritual benefit!