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Intentional Good Deeds


Question

A poor hungry man picks up my wallet. I didn’t choose to give it to him. This is not a “good” activity on my part because it lacks intentionality. So, what degree of intentionality is required for someone to acquire ajnata sukriti?

Answer

H.D. Goswami Profile Picture

We must understand the case you raised within the broader context of the Gita, where Krishna says, for example, ye yatha (BG 4.11)…samo’ ham (BG 9.29)…etc.

Thus, if a person unknowing participates in a good deed, such as helping a devotee, eating prasadam, giving a donation, etc., it must be true that the Lord has arranged those circumstances to benefit a deserving person, based on that person’s previous intentional good deeds.

Otherwise, ye yatha…and samo ‘ham, etc. would be meaningless. After all, isvarah paramah krishnahsarva-karana-karanam. So ultimately Krishna has arranged for someone to unknowingly benefit, and that must be consistent with ye yatha. Therefore, the root of all this is Krishna’s fair and merciful response to a soul’s intentional behavior.