Loving Offering - Part 1

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis, 
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva. 

Our beloved spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj has taught us by his personal example as to how we should scrutinizingly study and relish Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. We came across the below verse of Bhagavad Gita 9.26 in Maharaj's diary wherein Lord Krishna says,

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.

Maharaj has nicely listed an example for each one of the above offering. Krishna willing we shall try to meditate on each example given by Maharaj. 

1) Patram - Maharaj gave the example of Draupadi. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.15.11, Arjuna very nicely recollects this pastime as follows:

yo no jugopa vana etya duranta-kṛcchrād
durvāsaso ’ri-racitād ayutāgra-bhug yaḥ
śākānna-śiṣṭam upayujya yatas tri-lokīṁ
tṛptām amaṁsta salile vinimagna-saṅghaḥ

During our exile, Durvasa Muni, who eats with his ten thousand disciples, intrigued with our enemies to put us in dangerous trouble. At that time He [Lord Krishna], simply by accepting the remnants of food, saved us. By His accepting food thus, the assembly of munis, while bathing in the river, felt sumptuously fed. And all the three worlds were also satisfied.

Once Durvasa Muni visited Duryodhana and pleased by his reception, Durvasa muni asked him to take any benediction. Duryodhana very cunningly requested him to go and meet the Pandavas along with his 10000 disciples. He specifically instructed him to go after Draupadi had taken meals. Duryodhana knew that her akshaya patra will not yield anymore for the day, once she had finished her meals. So he wanted to ensure that they all would be cursed by Durvasa Muni. But Lord Krishna had different plan.

When Durvasa Muni came to the ashram and informed them that he and his disciples would come for lunch after their bath in the river, Draupadi became very anxious as her akshaya patra would not yield any more food. In such a helpless situation, she prayed to Lord Krishna who appeared before her immediately. When she was about to explain the Lord about the critical situation in which she was, the Lord asked her for food. Draupadi felt all the more pained as now she could not serve Krishna also as there was no food at home. But Lord Krishna is the master of all mystics and is always eager to serve His unalloyed devotees. So He asked her to bring the empty akshaya-patra and then pointed to a small leaf (patram) that remained stuck to the vessel. When Draupadi gave that small bit of leaf, Lord accepted it happily. When Lord was satisfied, Durvasa Muni and his army of 10000 disciples also felt great satisfaction and decided not to go to Pandavas ashram for lunch.

The word 'āgra-bhug' mentioned in the above verse is quite significant as it means the person who eats before others. Lord is addressed as 'āgra-bhug' because devotees always offer the food to Supreme Lord first and take the remnants. But in this pastime, we find Lord eating the remnants of His devotees. Such is the unimaginable sublime, inconceivable nature of our Supreme Lord.

Krishna willing we shall try to meditate on the other offerings in the subsequent offering.

Hare Krishna. 

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva, 
Kalacakra Krsna das.