If you can’t offer with a pure heart, offer to get a pure heart
Devotional growth is essentially the growth of our loving relationship with Krishna. To make this relationship mutually satisfying and spiritually liberating, we need to connect with Krishna purely, without any ulterior motives for selfish gain.
The Bhagavad-gita (09.26) states when we offer with a pure heart, he accepts even the simplest of things: a fruit, a flower, a leaf or just a little water. This verse implies that for worshiping Krishna, we don’t need material opulences – just a pure and devoted heart is enough.
Yet, this same implication can appear disheartening when we don’t have much devotion. But Krishna mercifully accommodates even the impure-hearted. In the next verse (09.27), he states that whatever we eat, sacrifice, donate – essentially, whatever we do – we can offer him. The Gita commentator Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura underscores that this verse mentions the action first, the offering later – this sequence conveys the level of consciousness of such seekers. For them, offering to Krishna is not the driving intention; it is an afterthought.
Nonetheless, even such seekers receive Krishna’s mercy. Be we pure or not, he wants us to connect with him. And because he is all-pure and all-purifying, that connection will purify us. The act of offering to him with the desire for devotion will link our heart with him, thereby granting higher fulfillment and decreasing the craving for lower pleasures. This twofold change of our inner orientation is the essence of purification. The next verse (09.28) assures that those who connect with him thus will gradually become free from karmic bondage and attain the supreme liberation: loving union with him.
Thus, relating with Krishna requires purity and also kindles purity. Whatever the state of our heart, connecting with him by offering him whatever we can is the path of supreme auspiciousness.
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