Welfare Work: Caring for Others

                                                                  Q. I can say I have practically no knowledge of the scriptures; but I believe in GOD - in all gods. Prior to coming to the US, I used to pray a lot. However, after coming here I have reduced that, apparently for no particular reason. But I have started praying to my parents, because I feel that by serving one's parents, one can serve God. I would like to understand what really is a person's duty - is it to serve God directly or to serve his parents and reach God through them?

                                                                  Q. If I have two options, viz.
                                                                  1) Serve someone in need i.e. help others through community service -OR-
                                                                  2) Chant the name of the God.

                                                                  Q. I have heard that Lord Caitanya took Sannyasa so the general public would take Him seriously, offering Him respect instead of seeing Him on an ordinary platform. This has sparked a question in me about the role of women and the 'rule' that women cannot take sannyasa. This particular topic has been somewhat of a problem for me and I have been trying to understand it.