patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
Word for word:
patram — a leaf; puṣpam — a ﬂower; phalam — a fruit; toyam — water; yaḥ — whoever; me — unto Me; bhaktyā — with devotion; prayacchati — offers; tat — that; aham — I; bhakti-upahṛtam — offered in devotion; aśnāmi — accept; prayata-ātmanaḥ — from one in pure consciousness.
If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a ﬂower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.
For the intelligent person, it is essential to be in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, in order to achieve a permanent, blissful abode for eternal happiness. The process of achieving such a marvelous result is very easy and can be attempted even by the poorest of the poor, without any kind of qualiﬁcation. The only qualiﬁcation required in this connection is to be a pure devotee of the Lord. It does not matter what one is or where one is situated. The process is so easy that even a leaf or a little water or fruit can be offered to the Supreme Lord in genuine love and the Lord will be pleased to accept it. No one, therefore, can be barred from Kṛṣṇa consciousness, because it is so easy and universal. Who is such a fool that he does not want to be Kṛṣṇa conscious by this simple method and thus attain the highest perfectional life of eternity, bliss and knowledge? Kṛṣṇa wants only loving service and nothing more. Kṛṣṇa accepts even a little ﬂower from His pure devotee. He does not want any kind of offering from a nondevotee. He is not in need of anything from anyone, because He is self-sufﬁcient, and yet He accepts the offering of His devotee in an exchange of love and affection. To develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the highest perfection of life. Bhakti is mentioned twice in this verse in order to declare more emphatically that bhakti, or devotional service, is the only means to approach Kṛṣṇa. No other condition, such as becoming a brāhmaṇa, a learned scholar, a very rich man or a great philosopher, can induce Kṛṣṇa to accept some offering. Without the basic principle of bhakti, nothing can induce the Lord to agree to accept anything from anyone. Bhakti is never causal. The process is eternal. It is direct action in service to the absolute whole.
Here Lord Kṛṣṇa, having established that He is the only enjoyer, the primeval Lord and the real object of all sacriﬁcial offerings, reveals what types of sacriﬁces He desires to be offered. If one wishes to engage in devotional service to the Supreme in order to be puriﬁed and to reach the goal of life – the transcendental loving service of God – then one should ﬁnd out what the Lord desires of him. One who loves Kṛṣṇa will give Him whatever He wants, and he avoids offering anything which is undesirable or unasked. Thus meat, ﬁsh and eggs should not be offered to Kṛṣṇa. If He desired such things as offerings, He would have said so. Instead He clearly requests that a leaf, fruit, ﬂowers and water be given to Him, and He says of this offering, “I will accept it.” Therefore, we should understand that He will not accept meat, ﬁsh and eggs. Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. Whatever else we eat cannot be offered to Him, since He will not accept it. Thus we cannot be acting on the level of loving devotion if we offer such foods.
In the Third Chapter, verse 13, Śrī Kṛṣṇa explains that only the remains of sacriﬁce are puriﬁed and ﬁt for consumption by those who are seeking advancement in life and release from the clutches of the material entanglement. Those who do not make an offering of their food, He says in the same verse, are eating only sin. In other words, their every mouthful is simply deepening their involvement in the complexities of material nature. But preparing nice, simple vegetable dishes, offering them before the picture or Deity of Lord Kṛṣṇa and bowing down and praying for Him to accept such a humble offering enable one to advance steadily in life, to purify the body, and to create ﬁne brain tissues which will lead to clear thinking. Above all, the offering should be made with an attitude of love. Kṛṣṇa has no need of food, since He already possesses everything that be, yet He will accept the offering of one who desires to please Him in that way. The important element, in preparation, in serving and in offering, is to act with love for Kṛṣṇa.
The impersonalist philosophers, who wish to maintain that the Absolute Truth is without senses, cannot comprehend this verse of Bhagavad-gītā. To them, it is either a metaphor or proof of the mundane character of Kṛṣṇa, the speaker of the Bhagavad-gītā. But, in actuality, Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Godhead, has senses, and it is stated that His senses are interchangeable; in other words, one sense can perform the function of any other. This is what it means to say that Kṛṣṇa is absolute. Lacking senses, He could hardly be considered full in all opulences. In the Seventh Chapter, Kṛṣṇa has explained that He impregnates the living entities into material nature. This is done by His looking upon material nature. And so in this instance, Kṛṣṇa’s hearing the devotee’s words of love in offering foodstuffs is wholly identical with His eating and actually tasting. This point should be emphasized: because of His absolute position, His hearing is wholly identical with His eating and tasting. Only the devotee, who accepts Kṛṣṇa as He describes Himself, without interpretation, can understand that the Supreme Absolute Truth can eat food and enjoy it.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama/ Rama Rama Hare Hare
Chant and be happy
Posted by ahimsa32fa at 09/30/14 08:27:09I fully understand the Hindu concept of the cow as 'second mother', but Lord Krsna did not understand why milk products are not particularly healthy foods, let alone have an inkling of how cruelly cows and calves are now treated in the dairy industry.
Posted by Thalassa4 at 11/02/15 00:30:31In India one of the reasons cows are sacred is because of their association of dairy with survival, in terms of things like fat and protein. In some earlier time periods, in particular geographic regions, it made sense to eat meat or dairy so that you would not starve to death. That's why consuming animal products eventually became a cultural norm, more heavily so in colder or rocky regions (that's why European people have meat heavy diets traditionally)...for India it's milk.
Anyway, since the Bahgavad Vita recommended eliminating flesh and eggs, only consuming dairy is still a great reduction in animal cruelty, especially in Indian culture where the cow is loved and revered rather than sadistically factory farmed.
I'm actually very aware of how religion in general teaches people to be more mindful of what to eat...thousands of years ago Jews knew eating an intelligent animal like a pig, of anything with paws, was wrong. Muslims also do not consume pig flesh, and the Christian Bible suggests strongly in Genesis that in the beginning in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were intended to be vegan, eating plants and seeds...so the Fall of Man moved humans away from a perfect plant based diet. Then later after the Flood, flesh consumption became allowed. It saddens me how many people don't understand this. It also interests me that just about every traditional religion includes periods of fasting where meat is not allowed. Only protestant sects moved away from this.
Posted by Star the magic vegan at 01/09/16 11:37:59Krishna says he is the "Lord of Sacrifices." I like how ISKCON shifts it to vegetarian offerings but the truth is Krishna did not take a strong stance on a vegan diet nor a vegetarian lifestyle. In fact, Krishna killed animals and humans. The ISKCON group along with most Hindus waste their milk by pouring it on statues and as a culture have embraced ova-lactarianism but missed vegan realism all together.
That being said, I do enjoy Hinduism and Krishna as well. We just have to 'Veganize' this export from India. Try chanting to Vegan Krishna. This expels all the animal sacrifices, the human deaths and the milk baths for statues. If Krishna is God, he completely understands.
The reason India had originally been an ova-lacterian culture is due it's early evolution into a vegetarian society. They did not have vegan, synthetic organic vitamin B-12, knowledge of nutritional yeast nor vegan organic vitamin D3 yet. That being said, we do now. Now there is no excuse for the Hindu community to sit on it's ancient laurels and excuse itself from vegan realism. Cows and hens are not treated well under husbandry. We are weaned adults and do not need the mammary secretions of other species.