In bhakti, we don’t just make the offering – we are ourselves the offering
To connect personally with anyone, we usually offer them something with love. The same principle applies to the process of bhakti-yoga, wherein we aspire to connect personally with the all-attractive supreme person, Krishna.
During our bhakti practice, we may offer food on the altar. And we may offer our time, expertise and financial support in various devotional projects. The Bhagavad-gita (09.27) recommends that we infuse all our activities with the mood of offering.
Additionally and most importantly, Krishna wants us to offer our entire being to him. Gita wisdom explains that we all are souls, who are eternal parts of Krishna. He wants us to live forever with him in a bond of ecstatic love, and bhakti yoga practice is meant to take us towards that destination.
The Gita states repeatedly that bhakti centers on connecting with Krishna by offering ourselves to him. Krishna accepts even the simplest of objects provided they are offered with devotion – that is, if we offer our heart to him through them (09.26). Those who devote themselves to him live in him – that is, they become the offering that is eternally united with him in love (09.29). Those who practice bhakti and offer themselves to him (atmanam mat-parayanah) attain him (09.34).
Thus, we are the offering that Krishna wants most. Understanding this is empowering – devotionally and emotionally.
Devotionally empowering: When adverse material circumstances make it impossible for us to offer anything materially valuable to Krishna, we may feel disheartened. But we don’t need to be – we can still offer something vital and valuable: our heart, our consciousness, ourselves.
Emotionally empowering: Amidst adversities, we may feel resentful. But we can stay purposeful by focusing our consciousness on Krishna. Through that divine connection, we will receive his grace, and will slowly experience calm, clarity and contentment.
Think it over:
- Explain with references the principle: we are the offering that Krishna wants most.
- How does this principle empower us devotionally?
- How does this principle empower us emotionally?
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