“While Krishna was going to the fruit vendor very hastily, most of the grains He was holding fell. Nonetheless, the fruit vendor filled Krishna’s hands with fruits, and her fruit basket was immediately filled with jewels and gold.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.11.11)
To whom does everything belong? If I send a search party out to explore new lands, just by planting a flag do I suddenly gain right of ownership? Was not the land there before? Were not animals taking shelter of it? Did the expedition team create the land? Will not the land remain after the members of the present generation leave their bodies?
There is an original creator. Everything belongs to Him. He has the first claim to any property. Upon taking birth, we forget this fact, though it seems so obvious once we’re told of it. Thinking that land and property are up for grabs, we vigorously compete with our fellow man. We try to take what’s ours and then protect it. The intelligent abandon this attitude. Though they may have possessions, and though they may engage in business, they know to whom everything originally belongs. And that first owner takes great delight in their behavior.
We can look to the incident with the fruit vendor in Vrindavana for proof. Working our way backwards, we’ll start with the bright, smiling face of a young child. That smile is so enchanting that it is known to remove the pride of even the proudest person. Think what you will about yourself, but once you see this smile after having first qualified yourself, you will only think of giving. You will no longer want to hoard possessions and defeat others. Instead, you will race to abandon everything that gets in the way of your continuing to see that precious smile.
That boy was smiling on this occasion because he had received a handful of fruit that was given to Him by a vendor. The boy clearly did not have enough to exchange for receiving such a quantity of fruit. In fact, He had hardly given anything. This wasn’t on purpose. The boy had seen His parents previously purchase fruit by giving grains in exchange. This time He wanted to do the transaction, so He quickly rushed to the vendor after taking as much grains as His tiny hand could hold. Unfortunately, most of the grains fell to the ground as He was running; they were lost in transit. It was like a package delivery that got damaged along the way.
The fruit vendor did not mind in the least. She had so much love for this little boy. Not minding profit and loss, she immediately took the grains from the boy and gave Him a handful of fruits. The boy had a huge smile on His face as a result, as if to say, “Look what I got.” When the vendor turned around, she saw that in her basket were jewels; the fruits were gone. Perhaps they had been transformed. So instead of taking a loss, which she had no problem doing, she made a huge profit.
Since the little boy is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna, it means that He has original claim to the fruit given to Him. Still, He puts on a huge smile to show everyone that He purchased fruit. The vendor thus got so much credit through a simple gesture. She did not sit in meditation for hours on end. She did not scrutinize every word of scripture and memorize many verses. She did not renounce all her possessions in the hopes of gaining adoration from the public. Perhaps she did these things in a past life, but what gave her the jewel of a reward of the sight of the smile of the Supreme Lord was her genuine affection. A single gesture took care of everything.
One of God’s properties is that He is the most splendorous. Think of the brightness of the sun on a clear day. Know that God is many millions of times brighter than that. He kindly shares that glory with those who are kind to Him. He reciprocates so much that the devotee often gains a stature higher than His. He owns everything, and yet by offering anything that we think that we own we make Him so happy. Therefore the wise souls sacrifice as much of their time as possible for pleasing Him. They offer Him foodstuffs prepared with love and devotion, and they always sing His names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
A false claim no longer I’ll make,
These possessions of mine please take.
Only Your smiling face want to see,
Then truly happy I’ll be.
Like the fruit vendor who jewels earned,
When back towards the basket she turned.
Your splendor with the devoted to share,
Your happiness from now on my only care.
Categories: the fruit vendor