Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Bhagavad Gita - Song of God - Chapter 9: 26-27

July 11, 2019

™patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhaktyupahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ  (IX-26)
yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kuruṣva madarpaṇaṁ    (IX-27)

IX/26. Whoever offers me with devotion and a pure mind, a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water - I accept.

IX/27. Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou offerest in sacrifice, whatever thou givest, whatever thou practisest as austerity, Oh Arjuna, do it as an offering unto me.

Swamiji's Commentary

      Whatever may be our approach to the supreme being, in accordance with our inner equipment, predisposition, temperament and taste, we ought to make it a point to feel that in and through the chosen symbol, we are contacting the supreme being himself, as he is the indwelling presence. (cf. verse 24).   It is not so much what we do that matters, but with what feeling we do it. Just as almost any appealing and God-reminding symbol can be chosen to represent the supreme being, almost anything may be used to represent the inner spirit with which we approach him. A leaf, a flower - it does not matter what; for it is but a symbol that stands for the spirit of worshipfulness and total surrender which fills our heart. Minus this spirit, the offering is of very little value. Minus the recognition of the presence of the supreme being in the object, as we have seen, the worship is imperfect and will not liberate us.

      When these two conditions have been ensured, it only remains for us to treat our whole life as worship of God and to offer all our actions as flowers of our worship of him.   Verse 26 may be taken to refer to ritualistic idol worship and also to charity. To the God who dwells in all we may offer in charity anything, however little it is, with love. This attitude encourages charity. Some people feel that unless they give in a big way, they should not think of giving at all. It is a great loss. So give what you can, but give with love, feeling that you are worshipping the indwelling presence thereby.

      These two verses are life-transforming. Our Master used to recite verse 26 whenever he gave anything to anybody, thus revealing his attitude - worship of the indwelling God.

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