Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Let there be Purity of Thought in Offerings

 Kannada Article bySoumya Pradeep

English Rendering by: M R Bhashyam

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It was during the period whence Pānḍavas were living in the jungle. One night, sage Durvāsa along with ten thousand of his disciples arrive to their dwelling.  Pānḍavas and Draupadī had already completed their dinner. Dharmarāja welcomes them with utmost devotion and enquires about their welfare. Sage Durvāsa instructs that they all would be arriving to partake food after finishing their daily oblations in the river. In the inexhaustible vessel of food (Akṣaya Pātre) bestowed by Sun god to Pānḍavas, the rule was that, once Draupadi had finished her dinnerthey had to wait till the next day's Sun rise for the food to reappearHow could they serve the guests? What was the means for not being the subjects of anger of sage Durvāsa? A worried Dharmarāja shares his dilemma with Draupadī. Draupadī after contemplating for a while, takes refuge in their ultimate protector from perils, Śrīkṛṣṇa. Responding to her prayers, Śrīkṛṣṇa appears there at that very instant, and lo, demands food. Draupadī consecrating all her thoughts unto Him, offers a single grain of cooked rice that had stuck to the vessel, and, the Lord is satiated partaking that fleck. The moment He consumes that, Sage Durvāsa and his disciples are satiated, they experience filled stomachs. Is it not true the god of fire in the belly of all, Vaiśvānara, is none other than the Soul of souls, Lord Kṛṣna himself? When He himself is satisfied with the food offered by Draupadī, His worshippers, Sage Durvāsa and his disciples, are also satiated and they bless Pānḍavas and take leave. As the Lord Himself says in Bhagavadgītā, He is satisfied with an offering of a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even a drop of water if presented with devotion.  The One who is ever satisfied, loves the sentiment of surrender behind the offering rather than the quantum of offering. He expects and accepts offerings with purity of sentiment, as those of Vidura and Śabarī. While making offerings to the Lord or preceptors or elders, or, for the use of Lord's tasks, the importance is for purity of thought and the sentiment of detachment. Only then it becomes an 'offering' in the true sense. Here, we can recall the words of Śrī Śrīraṅga MahāguruIn outer space, an ingot of gold and a bale of cotton lose the importance of weight and travel the same way. They become weightless. In the same way, when offerings are made to the Lord with purity of thought, either they are mounds of gold or a single piece of coin, they all take the same form. They take the form of the Lord himself and lose their relative valuations. 

Note: The Kannada version of this article can be viewed at AYVM blogs.