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661216 - Lecture BG 09.26-27 - New York

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

661216BG.NY - December 16, 1966


patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ
(BG 9.26)

Now, the Lord Kṛṣṇa says that, "Anyone who offers Me in devotion these four things," patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam, "a bit of leaf and a bit of flower, a little fruit, a little water . . ." So He is pleased to take, accept. Why? Because we are offering Him with devotion and love. That is the only way. Just like if you offer me varieties of foodstuff and very palatable dishes, but if I am not hungry, then all these palatable dishes and varieties of foodstuff is useless. I cannot accept anything.

Similarly, if you offer anything to the Supreme Lord, He is full; He does not require your offering. He is always being served by hundreds and thousands of goddess of fortune. Lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānam (Bs 5.29).

We are, in the material world, we are seeking the favor of goddess of fortune, but in the spiritual world, hundreds and thousands of the goddess of fortunes, they are eagerly trying to serve the Supreme Lord. So He is full. He has nothing to accept from you. But He likes that you should offer Him something.

Just like a rich father: He does not like any help from the son, but if the son, after he is grown up, he is earning, and if he offers something to the father, oh, he becomes very happy. This is natural. So our connection with the supreme father is like that. He is not in want. He does not require anything from me. But it is for my interest. If I offer something, then I become a very pet son of my father. This is called bhakti. This is devotional service, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And why should we not offer? Then we are ingratitude. Suppose the father is supplying everything, and if I do not offer anything to my father, is it very good business? No.

So here the ultimate, even the poorest of the poorest, he can offer these four things. Otherwise if you have got means, oh, you should prepare very nice foodstuff for the Lord. At Vṛndāvana in India there are temples still, they are spending thousands and thousands of rupees for palatable foodstuff, offering to the Deity. And those foodstuff are distributed to the, I mean to say, the devotees. Not only devotees, even nondevotees come and take, because by eating, one shall be devotee. Nobody shall eat . . . if I ask somebody, "Please come and hear Bhagavad-gītā," oh, he may not agree. But if I offer some palatable dishes, foodstuff, kṛṣṇa-prasāda, oh, everyone will accept. Everyone will accept.

So that is one of the process of devotional service, that we should offer very sumptuously to the Lord, and the prasāda should be distributed. The Lord is not taking away to His abode, to His kingdom. It is for you. But if you eat and if you distribute that sort of prasāda to the public, you are doing great service and the public is getting spiritual consciousness, God consciousness. Just establish, just propagate this everywhere. In the hospital, in the charitable societies, in industrial places, everywhere distribute this prasāda and chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa. Just see what is the result.

You want peace? These are the process of peace. But we do not take care of this, what is peace. Bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29), just we have discussed previously.

We should simply acknowledge. There is a process of worship of the Ganges. You have perhaps heard the name of the Ganges River. The Ganges River is the sacred river, Ganges and the Yamunā, the most two sacred rivers in India. Millions of people take bath early in the morning in the two rivers, all parts of the country. It is very wide and very long river, from Himalaya to the Bay of Bengal. So it is very long river, and all the tracts of land, they are considered to be sacred place, and in each and every part, thousands and thousands of people, they are taking their bath early in the morning. Either in the winter season or in the summer season, it doesn't matter.

So there is a process of worshiping the river Ganges. And what is that? After you take your bath, you stand up to your waist filled up with water and take little water from the Ganges water and you offer, "Mother Ganges, I am offering this respect." This is the process.

Now, suppose you take a handful of water from the Ganges. What is the loss of Ganges water? And if you offer some handful of water in the Ganges, where is the gain? So this patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam, a bit of flower, a bit of, I mean, a fruit and a bit of leaf, if you offer to the Supreme, do you mean to say He gains something? Or if you take it out of nature's—you are taking so many things—is He in loss? So He has no gain or loss. It is for your interest. When God accepts, He says: "Yes, I . . ." Aśnāmi: "I eat."

One Ārya-samājist . . . you see, in the Hindu society since a very long time, especially since the days of India's disruption of the original culture, so many offshoots they have come out under the name of so many isms. So there is one section who are called Ārya-samājist. Their business is only to criticize all the scriptures. That is their business.

So one of the member of the Ārya-samājis, he . . . they do not favor the temple worship. So he asked me, "Swāmījī, do you think God eats?" I said: "Yes." "Then how do you think?" "Because God says, 'I eat.' " Here is, Kṛṣṇa says, aśnāmi. "So God says: 'I eat.' Who are you that He does not eat?" I replied him like that. "Who are you? You say that God does not eat, but here God says, 'I eat.' So whom shall I believe—a loafer like you, or Kṛṣṇa? (laughter) I am a third person, and you are also a third person, and Kṛṣṇa is recognized the Supreme Personality of God. Whom shall I believe? I am . . . I accept that I am the fool number one, but whom shall I accept, you or Kṛṣṇa? You said that . . . what you are? What is your position? You are an ordinary man. So you say that God does not eat, but God says, 'I eat.' Why shall I not believe?"

So this is the question of faith. This is the question of faith. And without faith, you cannot reach the kingdom of God. Your experimental knowledge, your so-called defective reasons and arguments and philosophy, that will not be applicable in the transcendental field. You have to believe. You are believing in every sphere of your life. When you purchase a ticket for transferring yourself in the aeroplane, if you go on arguing whether . . . "Sir, I am purchasing ticket. Whether this aeroplane will reach? Whether it will not, I mean to say, crash in the way?" If you go on arguing, there is no question of, I mean to say, getting on the aeroplane. You have to believe that "Aeroplane will take me to the other side." You are doing that. There is no argument.

So similarly, you have to believe. We must have faith. And we see that many faithful, great ācāryas and devotees of the Lord, they achieved success by this faith. Why shall I not follow them? Therefore the Vedic literature says that you have to follow the footprints of great ācāryas. Ācārya means great devotees who come to teach the people in general about God consciousness or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He is called ācārya. He behaves in his life how? To think of Kṛṣṇa, and he teaches his students about that. He is called ācārya. Acinoti śāstrāṇi. He knows the purport of the scriptures, and he behaves in his life and he teaches his student in that way. He is called ācārya.

So we have to . . . in the Bhagavad-gītā in the Thirteenth Chapter you have read it that ācāryopāsanam. Ācāryopāsanam. You have to approach an ācārya. That is the way of learning transcendental knowledge in all Vedic scriptures. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12): "If you want to learn that transcendental science, then you have to approach the bona fide spiritual master." Tad-vijñānārtham. Tat means that transcendental; vijñāna means science. If you want to learn.

So the Vedic literature teaches us to accept the authorized bona fide spiritual master ācārya. Kṛṣṇa is the head of all ācāryas. He is the principal ācārya. From Kṛṣṇa, Brahmā learned this Vedic literature. From Brahmā, Nārada learned this Vedic literature. From Nārada, Vyāsadeva; from Vyāsadeva, Madhvācārya. From Madhvācārya, so many. In this way the paramparā system, the ācārya system, is coming down. So we have to believe that. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

You have to follow the footprints of ācārya. Not only in the . . . everywhere, the footprints of ācāryas are followed. Just like in your country you are following the footprints of Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, that is the way. Or any ācārya. Because the ācārya, they come here to teach us about Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness. That is their business. They have no other business. That is bona fide ācārya. If somebody claims that "I am God," then he is fool number one. At once reject him. One who teaches about the message of God, he is ācārya.

So the Vedic literature teaches us that tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ: "In the spiritual matter, you cannot argue." Your argument will be failure because you may be very good arguer, but I may come, I can cut all your arguments. And somebody else comes—he cuts all my arguments. It is a question of logic. So there are many logical experts. So by arguments we cannot reach the Supreme Truth. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

Not by purchasing books from the market and reading it. No. That also will not help you. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnāḥ. If you purchase Bhagavad-gītā, you purchase Bible, you purchase Koran, or . . . so many, there are, literatures, they are also authorized. That's all right. But you cannot learn them by your own study. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12).

One must go and learn it from the spiritual master. Exactly you purchase some scientific book, medical science or engineering and study at home, oh, you will never be acknowledged as a medical practitioners. You have to admit yourself into the . . . that disciplic succession, medical college. You have to attend lectures. Then, when you pass degree, then you will be admitted.

So śrutayo vibhinnāḥ, and nāsāv munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. And if you consult different kinds of philosophers, you will be bewildered. But one philosopher is giving one opinion, another philosopher is . . . because nāsāv ṛṣir yasya . . . "A philosopher is not philosopher if he does not cut another philosopher." That is going on. Nāsāv munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām: "Therefore the purport of spiritual life is very confidential." How I can learn? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186): "Therefore we will accept the footprints of those recognized ācāryas." Ācāryopāsanam.

So Kṛṣṇa is the best and foremost ācārya, and He is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In India all, I mean to . . . schools of, I mean to say, transcendentalist, the impersonalist and the personalist, all of them, they have accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no doubt about it.

So here the Lord says Himself that, "I eat." So we cannot say that He does not eat. "He does not eat"—in favor of my conclusion, there is no evidence. But here is the evidence, accepted evidence, that God eats. If God eats, then why don't you offer Him to eat? Where is the harm? Huh? What is the harm? If your little fruits and flowers offered to God, He accepts it, why don't you offer it? You want to please so many. You flatter so many bosses by supplying good dishes and so many things, and why don't you try to please God? What is the harm? Is there any loss? You are eating every day, and before eating, if you offer to God, what is the harm there? Why people do not take this formula and see the result? If actually God eats from your hand, oh, how much advanced you become in spiritual life you do not know. He accepts your things from your hand. How much fortunate you are.

So here is the . . . it is clearly said, tad aham aśnāmi. Aśnāmi, the Sanskrit word, means "I eat." "I eat." Why? Bhakty-upahṛtam: "He has brought with devotional love." So you try to love God. You become a lover of God and offer Him whatever you eat, whatever you do. Then see the result, how peaceful you become and how the world becomes peaceful. Simply by theoretical resolution you can make peace in the world? Now resolve, "We shall not fight." Oh, next moment you are fighting. UNESCO resolution is going on for the last twenty years, and where is the peace? That is not the way of peace. Here is the peace. Try to establish your lost relationship with Kṛṣṇa, or God. Then there will be peace. Now, Kṛṣṇa says in the next verse:

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam
(BG 9.27)

Now, every human being, he has got a philanthropic view. Now, the other day I met one gentleman. So I did not know that he is not a family man, because in India we are supposed to accept anyone, any gentleman, as family man. So he said: "Yes, I am not family man." Then what he is doing? He is earning nicely, but he is helping one orphanage. That's nice. He said that, "I have got many sons in this orphanage." That is very good. So this natural inclination for loving a orphanage is there. Is there. So this give and take, this inclination, is there in the human being.

So Lord says that yat karoṣi . . . and we have to work. It is not that without working, we can have our body and soul maintained. This is not possible. This material world, we have to work. Everyone is working. Yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi. And we have to eat also. That is a fact. And yaj juhoṣi. And for our salvation or advancement we do something, religious rituals or attending church and temple or mosque. Something there is in human society. And dadāsi yat, and charity. Everyone is more or less charitably disposed, and he makes some charities according to his capacity. Dadāsi yat yat tapasyasi. And everyone accepts some penance, voluntary penance in his life. Yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam.

Now, Lord Kṛṣṇa says: "All these activities—your work, your charity, your eating, your penance and your rituals—everything should be done for Me." That's all. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Everything should be done for . . . if you want to work, well, work day and night, but you work for Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you don't work, if you are simply eating, if your father has got money and you are eating, oh, eat for Kṛṣṇa. What is that? You offer the same to Kṛṣṇa and eat palatable dishes. Kṛṣṇa will not take away your dishes. Simply offer it. Yad aśnāsi. Yaj juhoṣi.

Oh, you are trying to elevate yourself to higher standard of life? Just try to go back to Kṛṣṇa, God, Godhead, and try for that. Accept all kinds of austerities and penances. Yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat. You are making some charity? All right. Make charity for Kṛṣṇa. "Well, Kṛṣṇa is God, and He is very rich. Why shall I make charity to Kṛṣṇa?" No. Kṛṣṇa says, dadāsi: "Give Me that charity. Give Me that charity." Kṛṣṇa is not poor, but you are very proud that you try to make charity with Kṛṣṇa's property.

I am thinking . . . I come here for a short duration of life. Say, I am born a hundred years before or fifty years before, and I live here for fifty years and then go away, but I claim, "This is my property." Wherefrom your property comes? Before your birth the property was there, and after your death the property will remain there for thousands and millions of years. Wherefrom you claim your property? You have no property. You are simply a outcomer, a guest.

So you should accept that this is Kṛṣṇa's property; this is God's property. You are falsely claiming that it is your property. It is not your property. So when Kṛṣṇa asks you that "Give Me in charity," so that—you are foolishly thinking that it is your money—Kṛṣṇa is just trying to take your money so that your false consciousness may be dispelled. Therefore He is.

Just like there is a nice story, Bali Mahārāja. Bali Mahārāja, he became a very strong king, and he . . . nowadays, as in the modern age, we find a strong government or a strong king, he simply tries to conquer other countries. Formerly they were able to conquer other planets also. They were so powerful. So this Bali Mahārāja became so powerful that he conquered many of the higher planets of the demigods, so he became a disturbing element.

So God, as incarnation of Vāmanadeva, He . . . Bali Mahārāja was also a grandson of a great devotee, Prahlāda Mahārāja. He had that blood of devotional blood. He had some devotion to Lord Kṛṣṇa also. But at the same time he was king. He was conquering life. He was making disturbance like that. So all the demigods prayed to Kṛṣṇa to settle up this thing. So Kṛṣṇa as Vāmanāvatāra, incarnation of Vāmana . . . dwarf. Vāmana means dwarf. He went to Bali Mahārāja, and He was Brāhmin. So as a Brāhmin boy, so He asked some charity, because the Kṣatriyas, the kings, are meant for give in charity.

So he was very much pleased to see that beautiful dwarf boy, "Yes, what do You want? I will give You charity." But his spiritual master, so-called spiritual master, he could understand that, "This boy is Viṣṇu, God Himself. He has come to cheat this Bali." So he asked his disciple, "Don't promise any charity to Him. Because He is God, He will take your everything. (laughs) Once you agree to offer something, then He will take yourself also." God is very intelligent. Once you engage yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there is no way out. You cannot go out. (laughter) You cannot go out. He is so kind. As once you become sincerely a surrendered soul to Kṛṣṇa, then there is no way out. You have to be Kṛṣṇa conscious. You have to continue to be Kṛṣṇa conscious. You cannot do otherwise.

So this guru, the so-called guru, he thought, "Oh, if Kṛṣṇa, the Vāmana God, if He takes away everything from my disciple, then how I shall live? I am living at his cost, and if he becomes a beggar, then I also become beggar." So he was very cautious. He said: "Don't promise. Don't promise." "Why? He is a little boy. Let me give Him something." "No, no, He is not little boy. He is God. He is . . ." "Oh! He is God! Oh, then you ask me not to give Him? And you formerly taught me that everything should be given to God. Now God is at my door, and you ask me not to give? Oh, I reject you. I don't want you, a spiritual master like you." So any spiritual . . . so-called spiritual master who is against God, he should be at once rejected just like Bali Mahārāja.

So Bali Mahārāja is one of the mahājana whose footprints we have to follow. He has given tacit example. Anyone who is against God, he should be at once rejected, never mind what he is. Yes. Never mind what he is. He should at once be rejected. This is the example of Bali Mahārāja.

So Kṛṣṇa also approached him as a beggar. So here is also . . . he is . . . "All right. You are very powerful king. You have got much wealth. You think that yourself, that you are very much charitably disposed. All right, give Me something." So Kṛṣṇa is so kind. Dadāsi yat. If you are in cha . . . give for . . . charity, charity for Kṛṣṇa, eating for Kṛṣṇa, working for Kṛṣṇa, sacrificing for Kṛṣṇa—everything for Kṛṣṇa—then you become perfect.

Yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
(BG 9.27)

Tapasya. Tapasya means penance. Now people are . . . there are great scientists, great philosophers, great thinkers, they are engaged in great penances. They are taking very severe type of pains for discovering something. We have got that tendency. Just like we have discovered this atomic bomb. That required some penance or austerity. But Kṛṣṇa says that "Don't discover atom bomb, but discover Me. If you are so painstaking, if you are so great scientist, discover Me." "Oh, that is not possible. We can kill. That is possible."

So this is going on. Yat tapasyasi, kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam. Everything should be done for Kṛṣṇa. That is the greatest civilization. That is the perfection of civilization. That is peaceful civilization, everything for God.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Any question? (end)