Canto 10: The Summum BonumChapter 81: The Lord Blesses Sudāmā Brāhmaṇa

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.81.4

patraḿ puṣpaḿ phalaḿ toyaḿ

yo me bhaktyā prayacchati

tad ahaḿ bhakty-upahṛtam

aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ


patrama leaf; puṣpama flower; phalama fruit; toyam — water; yaḥ — whoever; me — unto Me; bhaktyā — with devotion; prayacchati — offers; tat — that; ahamI; bhakti-upahṛtam — offered in devotion; aśnāmi — accept; prayata-ātmanaḥ — from one in pure consciousness.


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


These famous words are also spoken by the Lord in Bhagavad-gītā (9.26); the translation and word meanings here are taken from Śrīla Prabhupāda's Bhagavad-gītā As lt Is.

In the context of the current episode of Sudāmā's visit to Dvārakā, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī has kindly continued his explanation of Lord Kṛṣṇa's statements: This verse is a reply to Sudāmā's anxiety that his bringing such an unfit offering was ill-considered. The use of the words bhaktyā prayacchati and bhakty-upahṛtam may seem redundant, since they both mean "offered with devotion," but bhaktyā can indicate how the Lord reciprocates the devotional mood of whoever offers Him something with love. In other words, Lord Kṛṣṇa here declares that His reciprocation in a pure loving exchange is not dependent on the external quality of what is offered. Kṛṣṇa says, "Something may or may not be impressive and pleasing in its own right, but when My devotee offers it to Me in devotion, with the expectation that I will enjoy it, it gives Me great pleasure; in this regard I make no discrimination." The verb aśnāmi, "I eat," implies that Lord Kṛṣṇa eats even a flower, which is supposed to be smelled, bewildered as He is by the ecstatic love He feels for His devotee.

Someone might then question the Lord, "So, will You refuse an offering made to You by a devotee of some other deity?" The Lord answers, "Yes, I will refuse to eat it." This the Lord states by the phrase prayatātmanaḥ, implying "Only by devotional service to Me can one become pure in heart."

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