Art, Literature & Culture

Gita Acharan 154- Leaf, Flower, Fruit or Water

By K Siva Prasad- 12 Feb 2023


(12.02.2023): The general fear regarding dropping desires is, who will take care of us, our families and our organisations if we drop the desire to grow and protect. This looks natural and logical. To overcome this fear, Krishna gave an assurance of both Kshemam (welfare) and Yoga (union) with HIM to devotees ( yoga-kshemam vahamyam ) (9.22). This union is ultimate growth and the assurance of welfare is from the all powerful existence.
He gives a couple of simple ways to be a bhakt (devotee). Firstly, he says that even if one worships any other form with Shraddha , they also worship HIM alone (9.23) as he is the enjoyer and Lord of all worship (9.24). This is the crystal clear indication that we should possess Shraddha and that the rest is secondary. 
Secondly, Krishna says, "The reverent offering to ME of a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, given with pure devotion, is a devotional offering I accept" (9.26). We can offer simple and easily available things like leaves, flowers, fruits or even water without looking for any exotic things to impress Paramatma so that our desires are fulfilled.
Krishna clarifies that while His devotees go to HIM; devotees of astral deities go to them; ancestor worshippers go to the ancestors; to the nature spirits go those who seek them (9.25). To fulfill desires one resorts to rituals to various deities, but the one who dropped desires reaches HIM and his well-being is ensured. 
The essence of Gita is Shraddha , which is commitment and sincerity in relationships; dedication and responsibility at work; equanimity towards outcomes, things and people; courage in tough times; devotion towards any form of GOD. While books, gurus or even ChatGPT can provide knowledge or interpretations about the Gita (knowing), Shraddha which is pure inner transformation (being) is one's own journey.

(Author K Siva Prasad is 1993 batch IAS officer, Punjab cadre)

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