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What to offer to Krishna? What does He accept? Answers in 9.26 & 9.27

BG 9.26

पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्य‍ा प्रयच्छति ।
तदहं भक्त्य‍ुपहृतमश्न‍ामि प्रयतात्मन: ॥

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

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

BG 9.26 audio recording

BG 9.27

यत्करोषि यदश्न‍ासि यज्ज‍ुहोषि ददासि यत् ।
यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम् ॥ २७ ॥

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam

Translation: Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform – do that, O son of Kuntī, as an offering to Me.

BG 9.27 sloka audio recording


There was a brāhmaṇa devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s named Śrutadeva, who lived in the city of Mithilā, within the kingdom of Videha. By the will of Providence, he could earn only barely enough to keep himself and his family alive. Still, he was always satisfied and spent all his time executing his religious duties. 

King Bahulāśva was another great devotee of the Lord residing in Mithilā. A member of the dynasty in which King Janaka had appeared, Bahulāśva ruled over the whole province of Videha, yet he remained as detached from material wealth as Śrutadeva.

Pleased with the devotional attitude of both of them, the Supreme Personality of Godhead mounted His chariot, which Dāruka had brought, and traveled to Videha with a group of sages. Among these sages were Nārada, Vāmadeva, Atri, Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa, Paraśurāma, Asita, Aruṇi, myself, Bṛhaspati, Kaṇva, Maitreya and Cyavana. In every city and town the Lord passed along the way, the people came forward to worship Him with offerings of arghya water in their hands, as if to worship the risen sun surrounded by planets. The men and women of Ānarta, Dhanva, Kuru-jāṅgala, Kaṅka, Matsya, Pañcāla, Kunti, Madhu, Kekaya, Kośala, Arṇa and many other kingdoms drank with their eyes the nectarean beauty of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s lotuslike face, which was graced with generous smiles and affectionate glances. Hearing that Lord Acyuta had arrived, the residents of the cities and villages of Videha joyfully came forth to receive Him with offerings in their hands.

Both the King of Mithilā and Śrutadeva fell at the Lord’s feet, each thinking that the spiritual master of the universe had come there just to show him mercy. At exactly the same time, King Maithila and Śrutadeva each went forward with joined palms and invited the Lord to be his guest, along with the brāhmaṇa sages. Wanting to please them both, the Lord accepted both their invitations. Thus He simultaneously went to both homes, and neither could see Him entering the other’s house.

When King Bahulāśva, a descendant of Janaka, saw Lord Kṛṣṇa approaching his house from a distance with the sages, who were somewhat fatigued from the journey, he immediately arranged to have seats of honor brought out for them. After they were all comfortably seated, the wise King, his heart overflowing with joy and his eyes clouded by tears, bowed down to them and washed their feet with intense devotion. Taking the wash water, which could purify the entire world, he sprinkled it on his head and the heads of his family members. Then he worshiped all those great lords by offering them fragrant sandalwood paste, flower garlands, fine clothing and ornaments, incense, lamps, arghya and cows and bulls. After they were satisfied, he offered his prayers to Krishna.

Śrutadeva received Lord Acyuta into his home with as much enthusiasm as that shown by King Bahulāśva. After bowing down to the Lord and the sages, Śrutadeva began to dance with great joy, waving his shawl. After bringing mats of grass and darbha straw and seating his guests upon them, he greeted them with words of welcome. Then he and his wife washed their feet with great pleasure. He worshiped them with offerings of auspicious items easily available to him, such as fruits, uśīra root, pure, nectarean water, fragrant clay, tulasī leaves, kuśa grass and lotus flowers. Then he offered them sattvik food. He considered himself very fortunate to get the opportunity to serve the Lord. He offered his prayers to the Lord.

Thus the Personality of Godhead, who is devoted to His own devotees, stayed for some time with His two great devotees Śrutadeva and Bahulāśva, teaching them the behavior of perfect saints. Then the Lord returned to Dvārakā. In the pastime of Lord Krishna visiting Mithila to meet His dear devotees, the brahmana Shrutadeva and the King Bahulashva we find how the Lord knowing the mind of both His devotees, satisfied both of them by simultaneously entering into their respective homes along with the great sages. Indeed He is the shelter of all living entities – whether one is rich or poor, learned or illiterate.

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