Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 9.26, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 26 from the chapter 9 called “Raja-guhya-yoga (Yoga through the most Confidential Knowledge)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 9.26:

पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति ।
तद् अहं भक्त्य्-उपहृतम् अश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः ॥ २६ ॥

patraṃ puṣpaṃ phalaṃ toyaṃ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati |
tad ahaṃ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ
|| 26 ||

patram–a leaf; puṣpam–a flower; phalam–a fruit; toyam–or water; yaḥ–whoever; me–to Me; bhaktyā–with devotion; prayacchati–freely offers (without a desire for personal reward); tat–that very thing; aham–I; bhakti-upahṛtam–presented with devotion; aśnāmi–accept; prayata-ātmanaḥ–from a pure-hearted devotee.

If any pure-hearted devotee offers Me a leaf, a flower, fruit or water with love and devotion, I will surely accept that gift.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

(By Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura; the innermost intention of the commentary named ‘the shower of essential meanings’)

“There is often much difficulty in demigod worship, but such difficulty does not exist in the performance of bhakti to Me;rather, it is performed with ease.” Śrī Bhagavān speaks this verse beginning with the word patram to explain this point. It is described here that it is the bhakti of the devotee that causes Bhagavān to accept his offerings. The word bhaktyā has been used in the second line and also again in the third line, in bhakty-upahṛtam. Thus there is repetition. According to Sanskrit grammar, the word bhaktyā in the third case implies those who are endowed with bhakti, that is, ‘My devotees (bhaktas)’. So it emphasizes, “If someone who is not My devotee offers Me fruits or flowers with superficial devotion, I do not accept it, but I accept (aśnāmi) whatever My devotees give Me, be it even a leaf. In other words, I fully enjoy that which is offered to Me with bhakti, but I do not enjoy the offering of someone who has been forced to do it. Still, if the body of My devotee is impure, I do not accept his offering.” For this reason, Bhagavān says prayatātmanaḥ, meaning ‘he whose body is pure’. From this statement it is concluded that a woman is forbidden to make an offering during her monthly menstrual cycle.

Another meaning of the word prayatātmanaḥ is, “I accept the offerings of those whose hearts are pure. Other than My devotees, no one’s heart is pure.”

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.8.6) Parīkṣit Mahārāja says, “Those who are pure-hearted never give up the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.” The symptom of a person who has a pure heart is that he is unable to give up service to the lotus feet of Bhagavān. Therefore, if such a bhakta is sometimes seen to possess lust or anger, it should be understood that he cannot do any harm to others. The comparison is made to a snake whose poisonous fangs have been removed.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

(By Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja; the explanation that illuminates the commentary named Sārārtha-varṣiṇī)

Having explained the imper-ishable and unlimited nature of the result of worship of Bhagavān, Bhagavān is now explaining the quality of that worship: it is easy to perform. When an easily attainable object, such as a leaf, flower, fruit or water, is offered to Bhagavān with devotion, then He accepts it in an appropriate manner, even though He is endowed with unlimited opulence and is perfectly satisfied. He becomes hungry and thirsty because of His devotee’s love for Him and, absorbed in that mood of devotion, He eats the offering out of prema. At the house of bhakta Vidura, Śrī Kṛṣṇa even ate banana peels from the hands of Vidura’s wife, with great prema.

And while eating the dry rice that His dear friend Sudāmā Vipra brought and offered to Him with prema, Śrī Kṛṣṇa said:

patraṃ puṣpaṃ phalaṃ toyaṃ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṃ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.81.4)

The preparation may be delicious or not, but if it is offered with love and a feeling that it is very delicious, it becomes most delicious to Me. At that time, I give up all other thoughts and relish it. Even if such a fruit or flower has no taste or fragrance, I still accept it, being captivated by My devotee’s prema.

One may ask if Kṛṣṇa accepts that article which is offered to Him with bhakti by those who worship the demigods. In response, He says, “No, I only accept whatever My devotees give Me, not items offered by others.”

The ṛtvik priests in the sacrifice of King Nābhi spoke to Śrī

Bhagavān, who appeared there:

parijanānurāga-viracita-śabala-saṃśabda-salila-sita-kisalaya-tulasikā-dūrvāṅkurair api sambhṛtayā saparyayā kila parama parituṣyasi

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.3.6)

You certainly become especially pleased by the worship offered by Your devotees, who are full of attraction for You, who offer prayers with choked voices and who perform pūjā to You with water, tulasī leaves and sprouted durvā grass.

A similar statement from Gautamīya Tantra in Hari-bhakti-vilāsa states:

tulasī-dala-mātreṇa jalasya culukena vā
vikṛīṇīte svam ātmānaṃ bhaktebhyo bhakta-vatsalaḥ

Bhagavān, who is affectionate to His devotees, completely sells Himself to those devotees who, with love and devotion, offer Him a tulasī leaf and a palmful of water.

While eating a morsel of dry rice from the begging bag of the devotee Śuklāmbara Brahmacārī, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said:

prabhu bale tora khūdkaṇa mui khāūṃ abhaktera amṛta ulaṭi nā cāūṃ

O Śuklāmbara, I am accepting this dry rice from you, but I do not even look at ambrosial food that is offered by a non-devotee.

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (4.31.21), Devarṣi Nārada also told the Pracetās, “na bhajati kumanīṣiṇāṃ sa ijyām–Śrī Hari never accepts the service of ill-minded people who, intoxicated by their scholarship, wealth or high birth, disrespect His devotees who perform exclusive service to Him.”

Śrī Kṛṣṇa personally gave a similar instruction to Uddhava: “Even gifts offered to Me in profusion by non-devotees do not satisfy Me.” Furthermore, to clarify this siddhānta, the Lord told Sudāmā:

aṇv apy upāhṛtaṃ bhaktaiḥ premṇā bhūry eva me bhavet
bhūry apy abhaktopahṛtaṃ na me toṣāya kalpate

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.81.3)

If My devotee offers Me the smallest thing, I consider it extremely great, but if non-devotees give Me elaborate offerings, they cannot satisfy Me.

Here, the word prayatātmā means ‘one who has purified one’s heart by bhakti’. Śrī Bhagavān eats the foodstuffs offered with love by such pure-hearted devotees, but He does not eat foodstuffs given by others. Prahlāda Mahārāja has also made a similar statement: “iti puṃsārpitā viṣṇor arpitaiva sati yadi kriyate–the performance of hearing, chanting and so on is pure devotion (śuddha-bhakti) only if a person has fully surrendered himself at the lotus feet of Bhagavān, not otherwise.”

The purport is that only when the limbs of bhakti are performed with complete surrender can the heart become purified. Śrī Bhagavān lovingly accepts the offerings of such devotees only.

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