Me: Here’s a flower, take it.
Sri Madana-Mohana: Okay…
Me: Next is the whisk-
Sri Madana-Mohana: Hey wait, what did you give me a flower for?
Me: Because its part of the arati
Sri Madana-Mohana: And thats it?
Me: I guess. I’m kinda thinking about my TV show right now. It starts in five minutes, so if I can hurry up with the whisk thing…
Sri Madana-Mohana: Oh okay…well thanks for the flower…not that I really need it…

I thought of this while I was cooking today and I needed some water. Which then reminded me of the verse:

patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanah

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.
-BG 9.26

Which made me think about how we offer so many things to Krishna, most frequently during arati, but Krishna doesnt really need these things, He is the original creator after all. What’s He going to do with a leaf and some water? But the key here is devotion. An example that comes to mind is if a father gives his kid some money, and he uses the money to buy something for his Dad. Of course, the father could have just gone out and bought it himself or maybe its not such a great gift to begin with. But because his child gave it out of love, the father is very happy. So when we offer things to Krishna or even to our Guru, its not in the mentality that “this is a ritual and it must be done” or even, “without me they are completely helpless”. But more in the mentality of, “I love you, and this object, though you dont need it, is a representation of my love for you.”

Me: I found these pretty flowers on my japa walk today.
Sri Madana-Mohana: Aww.. I love it!
Me: I know its not very much but when I saw them I thought it would be perfect for your turban.
Sri Madana-Mohana: Thats so thoughtful!
Me: Well, I try to be, I love you so much, I wish I could give you more than some silly little flowers.
Sri Madana-Mohana: No, I love whatever you give me because you do it with love.
Me: Really? So you like my flowers?
Sri Madana-Mohana: Of course I do! Not because they’re flowers but because they came from your heart

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