Bhagavad Gita 9.26 explains how to do Krishna bhakti, devotion to Krishna, easily and attain Krishna. The process given is simple and can be performed by anyone.
Lord Krishna says, “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.” Bhagavad Gita 9.26
Krishna sees the intent of our action
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is not much interested about the items we are offering to him, but he is interested with what intention we are offering those items to him. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He owns everything which is there in the entire creation. He is self-sufficient. So, he does not need anything from us. But he expects one thing from us and i.e. love. And that love should be free from all desires. Should be pure and selflessly.
Most important qualification to do Krishna Bhakti
It is not that only rich people can worship Krishna. Or only Hindus or those born in India can worship Krishna. It is also not that only brahmanas, learned philosophers or scholars are eligible to worship him. Also, Krishna is not saying that only men can worship him. He has not put any such conditions. In fact, through this verse Krishna is inviting each one of us to become his devotee. Men and women, young and old, rich and poor, Indians and non-Indians, Hindus and non-Hindus all the eligible to become a devotee of Krishna.
This is why in this verse Krishna is saying that he accepts offering from anyone who has devotion, bhakti, for him. “Devotion to Krishna” is the most important and the only qualification required to become a devotee of Krishna. So, in this verse the word bhakti is mentioned twice.
Explicating Krishna’s magnanimity, Srila Prabhupada writes, “Who is such a fool that he does not want to be Kṛṣṇa conscious by this simple method and thus attain the highest perfectional life of eternity, bliss and knowledge?” Bhagavad Gita 9.26 purport.
Is it not true? Anyone can get a fruit or a flower or a leaf or water and worship Krishna. Is there any place on this earth where these items are not available? Definitely not. So, Krishna the Supreme Father of all living beings, aham bija-pradah pita, is giving everyone the opportunity to become his devotee and come back to him.
Krishna refused Duryodhana’s feast
In Mahabharat we see that Duryodhana had arranged for a big feast for Krishna, but Krishna refused to eat those food items because Duryodhana had no love for Krishna. Instead, Krishna enjoyed simple food items at the house of Vidura because Vidura and his wife, Vidurani, had great love for Krishna.
Vidura’s wife, Vidurani, was so overwhelmed to see Krishna that while offering banana, she offered him the banana peels instead of the fruit. Seeing her love for him, Krishna happily started eating the banana peels. Krishna is not hungry for food. Although self-satisfied Krishna always looks for our love.
What food to offer to Lord Krishna?
In this verse one other important point to be noticed is that Krishna talks about only vegetarian items which he accepts as offering. He does not say stuffs like egg, fish, meat, liquor etc. If he would have wanted those, he would have mentioned those. So as devotees we should only offer those items which Krishna likes. That is true love. So, we should offer only vegetarian items to him. Fruits, milk, vegetables, grains, water should be offered to Krishna with love.
We also eat food for survival. So, first we should offer food to Krishna and then we should accept those food in the form of prasad or Krishna’s remnants. Eating food without offering to Krishna incurs sin. But when we eat Krishna prasad then we are freed from all kinds of sins.
Krishna confirms this in Bhagavad Gita 3.13, “The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.”
Srila Prabhupada explains the benefit of eating Krishna prasad, “….preparing nice, simple vegetable dishes, offering them before the picture or Deity of Lord Kṛṣṇa and bowing down and praying for Him to accept such a humble offering enable one to advance steadily in life, to purify the body, and to create fine brain tissues which will lead to clear thinking.” Bhagavad Gita 9.26 purport
However, while preparing the food and offering the food to Krishna the element of bhakti, devotion should always be there. If we do not serve Krishna with love, we won’t get Krishna’s love.
How Krishna eats food we offer to him?
This verse also establishes one important fact that Krishna is personal and not impersonal. The impersonalist philosophers will not be able to understand this verse. The impersonalists wrongly think that Krishna has no form, no senses. But how can Krishna relish the food items offered to him without senses. The impersonalists fail to understand that Krishna too has senses like us.
But unlike us Krishna’s senses are transcendental. Our senses are limited and can perform only one function. For example, we can only see with our eyes, eat with our mouth and smell from our nose. But Krishna can do anything by any of his senses. He can see with his eyes, hear from his eyes and only can eat with his eyes. Similarly, he can eat, see, hear, walk, talk from his mouth. His senses are extremely powerful. He impregnates the living entities in this world just by looking at the material nature.
Krishna too has feelings and he loves to reciprocate with the devotees in a personal way. So, when we offer food to Krishna with love then he accepts it, eats it and enjoys it. And when we are able to give joy to Krishna our life gets filled with joy.
This verse explains how to do Krishna bhakti easily and effectively. The process explained is so simple. The only requirement is that it should be done with love and devotion. And the end result is that we will attain Krishna.