(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 1 December 2019, Brisbane, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.20)
We see that brahmanas in Vedic culture would refuse to simply take up a job. They just lived from teaching scriptures and glorifying scriptures. People would bring them some rice and other things and in this way they lived their whole lives; it was very simple, “My wife makes this very nice soup. We have a tamarind tree in our yard and my wife uses its leaves to cook this nice soup with the rice. I am very happy!” So like this, it was a virtue in Vedic culture; the highest class people were the most simple. Nowadays, the highest class people have the biggest house, the biggest car, the biggest everything – “Very high class, very aristocratic family, big house, three cars, expensive ones!” You know, we can see that the garage alone has like three doors (laughter) “Oh yes sir! They are very high class. We worship their feet!”
Krsna, on the other hand, worshipped the feet of His friend Sudama. Sudama, who lived so simple, came to Krsna after his wife was not satisfied that her husband was suffering from so much poverty. So she pushed him and said, “Krsna is your old school friend. Go to Him. He will give you something.” So Sudama went, not because he wanted to ask Krsna for something, but just because his wife had reminded him that Krsna was his old friend and he thought, “Let me go and see Krsna.” He never asked Krsna for anything but Krsna gave him anyway.
So, brahmanas were not going to compromise. They were simply going to be Krsna conscious and ultimately that is the direction where the devotees will also have to go. Of course, if you by nature, are making money very easily, then you may live in more opulence. But if it is difficult, alright, then be satisfied to be a little simple because ultimately, why does it matter? Big car, small car. Alright, it is a little crowded in the small car. It is not as comfortable, but you still get there. So in this way, life can still go on fine. Prabhupada said that Krsna consciousness and spiritual life are like hard wood. You have to carve out Krsna; we have to somehow or other carve out time for Krsna, time for the Bhagavatam and so on.