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Going Bananas

Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj illustrates Kṛṣṇa’s appreciation for His devotees’ offerings.

Once Kṛṣṇa came to Vidura’s house while he was absent. Vidura’s wife was taking a bath at the time. She was also a devotee of high type. When she understood that Kṛṣṇa had come to her house, she forgot herself her in ecstasy and came out undressed. She did not know that she was naked.

Kṛṣṇa quickly threw His upper cloth over her body, and she managed to cover herself with it. Then she sat Kṛṣṇa in the most comfortable position possible and went to find something in her house that she could feed Kṛṣṇa. She found two or three bananas. She took them and removed their peels. Then she left aside the fruits and started to put the peels into Kṛṣṇa’s mouth. Kṛṣṇa ate them. Just then, Devarṣi Nārad and Vidura arrived. Vidura said, “What are you doing? You are leaving aside the fruits and feeding Kṛṣṇa peels!” Vidura become very repentant.

Then Nārad came to the relief of Vidura’s wife, “She is beside herself. She is so ecstatic that her beloved Lord has visited her home that she is beside herself. But why is Kṛṣṇa accepting these peels?” Nārad put the charge against Kṛṣṇa, “She is mad. She is outside of herself. She is madly doing something, having lost her consciousness. But Kṛṣṇa is all-conscious. Why He is swallowing all those banana peels?”

Kṛṣṇa answered, “Nārad, I am eating neither the fruit nor the peel. I am accepting her devotion.”

Bhāva-grāhī Janārdanaḥ [the Lord accepts His devotee’s sentiments.] The material aspect of what a devotee offers to the Lord, the Deity, may not always be acceptable, yet the bhāva, the feeling that arises in the heart of the worshipper, can still satisfy the Lord.

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