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KC Nectar - Jan 15

Pastimes of Guruvayoor Krishna
Submitted by Narendra. 

Once there was a very old lady who loved Guruvayoor Krishna very much. Unfortunately she was staying far away from the temple and had no one to take her there and no finances either.  She would always wonder what she can take as a present for Baby Krishna to play with.  So she began to collect manjadi kurus from the creeper that was growing in the front of her yard.  Manjadi kurus are red and black colored seeds of the creeper that look like beautiful gems glossy smooth and round around four millimeters in diameter.  She collected a lot washed them and dried them waiting for a day when she would go personally to Guruvayoor and present them to the Lord of her heart and soul, Krishna ! 

When she had colleted a small bagful of those gem like seeds she decided to take the long and hard journey to Guruvayoor.  Those days there were no trains or buses or other motor transport. She also could not afford bullock carts. So she walked all the way from her place some where in a forest named Wayanad to Guruvayoor.  It so happened that on the same day that she reached Guruvayoor, the zamindar of the region or the king was also visiting the temple.  It was his routine custom to donate one elephant to the temple on every 1st day of the month.  So the royal gaurds were clearing the way for the king to enter the temple along with the elephantine gift ! 

Unfortunately the old lady who was tired and almost blind with age was standing on the way when the royal entourage was coming.  One of the soldiers pushed her aside violently and let the Royal elephant pass into the temple. 

When the old lady was pushed, the bag of manjadi kurus that she was fondly carrying for her beloved Krishna fell out of her hands and they were scattered on the temple floor. 

Just then the royal elephant which was a gift to the temple stepped on those tiny seeds and crushed all of them to dust.  The old lady was heart broken. 

The next moment the elephant turned amok and started running here and there in madness.  All the temple authorities and the king were horrified and wondered what had happened.  They managed to take the mad elephant outside the temple without harming any of the devotees. Then they made a devaprashnam to Lord Guruvayoorappan asking why such a calamity had happened. 

The Lord replied in the same way that a child would, "an old lady had brought me a lot of manjadi kurus to play with all the way from wayanad. The king's elephant stamped on the gift for me so I made him run around like a mad elephant.  I want the manjadi kurus brought so lovingly by the old lady. Only when I get them I will make that audacious elephant alright"! 

So the temple authorities quickly collected manjadi kurus from other places and located the old lady, begged her pardon and then the old lady with all pomp and honor gifted the manjadi kurus to the Lord.  The elephant was pacified and everything returned to as before. 

To this day there is a huge brass vessel full of manjadi kurus in the temples main hall near the bandaram. Where little children are asked to play with the manjadi kurus so that they will become as naughty as Lord Krishna!! Earlier people used to bring manjadi kurus to the temple as gifts to the Lord but now most people have forgotten this story behind it and the significance and the temple authorities have themselves supplied the manjadi kurus. 

So what do you understand from this story? 

Krishna accepts even small insignificant gifts like the manjadi kurus from devotees when offered with love.  He is not interested in huge elephantine gifts that are gifted as a prestige issues to the temple.  What Krishna accepts is the mentality of the giver the love and devotion accompanied with it. 

We can learn a Bhagavad Gita verse too which has the same meaning, chapter 9 .26 

patram pushpam phalam toyam 
yo me bhaktya prayacchati 
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam 
asnami prayatatmanah 

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

Purport by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

For the intelligent person, it is essential to be in Krishna consciousness, engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, in order to achieve a permanent, blissful abode for eternal happiness. The process of achieving such a marvelous result is very easy and can be attempted even by the poorest of the poor, without any kind of qualification. The only qualification required in this connection is to be a pure devotee of the Lord. It does not matter what one is or where one is situated. The process is so easy that even a leaf or a little water or fruit can be offered to the Supreme Lord in genuine love and the Lord will be pleased to accept it. No one, therefore, can be barred from Krishna consciousness, because it is so easy and universal. Who is such a fool that he does not want to be Krishna conscious by this simple method and thus attain the highest perfectional life of eternity, bliss and knowledge? Krishna wants only loving service and nothing more. Krishna accepts even a little flower from His pure devotee. He does not want any kind of offering from a non-devotee. He is not in need of anything from anyone, because He is self-sufficient, and yet He accepts the offering of His devotee in an exchange of love and affection. To develop Krishna consciousness is the highest perfection of life. Bhakti is mentioned twice in this verse in order to declare more emphatically that bhakti, or devotional service, is the only means to approach Krishna. No other condition, such as becoming a brahmana. a learned scholar, a very rich man or a great philosopher, can induce Krishna to accept some offering. Without the basic principle of bhakti, nothing can induce the Lord to agree to accept anything from anyone. Bhakti is never causal. The process is eternal. It is direct action in service to the absolute whole.

Here Lord Krishna, having established that He is the only enjoyer, the primeval Lord and the real object of all sacrificial offerings, reveals what types of sacrifices He desires to be offered. If one wishes to engage in devotional service to the Supreme in order to be purified and to reach the goal of life—the transcendental loving service of God—then one should find out what the Lord desires of him. One who loves Krishna will give Him whatever He wants, and he avoids offering anything which is undesirable or unasked. Thus meat, fish and eggs should not be offered to Krishna. If He desired such things as offerings, He would have said so. Instead He clearly requests that a leaf, fruit, flowers and water be given to Him, and He says of this offering, “I will accept it.” Therefore, we should understand that He will not accept meat, fish and eggs. Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Krishna Himself. Whatever else we eat cannot be offered to Him, since He will not accept it. Thus we cannot be acting on the level of loving devotion if we offer such foods.

In the Third Chapter, verse thirteen, Sri Krishna explains that only the remains of sacrifice are purified and fit for consumption by those who are seeking advancement in life and release from the clutches of the material entanglement. Those who do not make an offering of their food, He says in the same verse, are eating only sin. In other words, their every mouthful is simply deepening their involvement in the complexities of material nature. But preparing nice, simple vegetable dishes, offering them before the picture or Deity of Lord Krishna and bowing down and praying for Him to accept such a humble offering enables one to advance steadily in life, to purify the body, and to create fine brain tissues which will lead to clear thinking. Above all, the offering should be made with an attitude of love. Krishna has no need of food, since He already possesses everything that be, yet He will accept the offering of one who desires to please Him in that way. The important element, in preparation, in serving and in offering, is to act with love for Krishna.

The impersonalist philosophers, who wish to maintain that the Absolute Truth is without senses, cannot comprehend this verse of Bhagavad-gita. To them, it is either a metaphor or proof of the mundane character of Krishna, the speaker of the Bhagavad-gita. But, in actuality, Krishna, the Supreme Godhead, has senses, and it is stated that His senses are interchangeable; in other words, one sense can perform the function of any other. This is what it means to say that Krishna is absolute. Lacking senses, He could hardly be considered full in all opulences. In the Seventh Chapter, Krishna has explained that He impregnates the living entities into material nature. This is done by His looking upon material nature. And so in this instance, Krishna’s hearing the devotee’s words of love in offering foodstuffs is wholly identical with His eating and actually tasting. This point should be emphasized: because of His absolute position, His hearing is wholly identical with His eating and tasting. Only the devotee, who accepts Krishna as He describes Himself, without interpretation, can understand that the Supreme Absolute Truth can eat food and enjoy it.

Hare Krishna