“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)
Friend1: Have you visited any of these places famous for saints?
Friend2: What do you mean? Why are they famous and which saints?
Friend1: You know, like a place where some guy thousands of years ago got the vision of God. He travelled far up a hill and then meditated for a long time after reaching the top.
Friend2: Oh, I know what you’re talking about now.
Friend1: And then someone else did something similar. Perhaps they sat under a tree and meditated. Another person opened a small temple where they worshiped throughout the day. Someone else found enlightenment in a different area.
Friend2: Yeah, there are lots of places like that.
Friend1: To me it would be interesting to visit them. You know, to get some inspiration, the hope that maybe one day we’ll see God as well.
Friend2: These places have historical significance for sure. The seeing God thing, I’m not so sure about that.
Friend1: What do you mean? You think it was bogus.
Friend2: Not that, but if you think about it, is seeing God that big a deal?
Friend1: Of course. I would think it doesn’t happen every day.
Friend2: That’s true.
Friend1: And I would think He doesn’t look like anyone else. After seeing Him, you would not mistake Him for anyone ordinary.
Friend2: Yeah. It would be pretty cool, for sure.
Friend1: But you still take issue? You think it’s not that important?
Friend2: I’m saying the focus should be more on what these people did after they had the divine vision.
Friend1: I’m assuming they continued to do what they are famous for today.
Friend2: Right. So what are they famous for? Did seeing God change anything? It seems to me more like a personal achievement, like climbing Mount Everest.
Friend1: Is there supposed to be anything beyond that?
Friend2: Listen, I have respect for anyone attempting to go down the path of spiritual life. It indicates some real intelligence, the willingness to see that there is more to life than earning money and filling your belly. So I’m not trying to criticize here. The thing is, I take Shri Hanuman’s authority over anyone else’s. I feel confident in that. I’m not losing out on this.
Friend1: Hanuman is different here, I’m assuming?
Friend2: Well, you know that he met God, right?
Friend1: Yeah, when he saw Rama and Lakshmana in the Kishkindha forest.
Friend2: Right. So first off, he didn’t have to travel very far. He jumped down from Mount Rishyamukha, where Sugriva and the other Vanaras were staying. Secondly, he didn’t stop working after he met Rama.
Friend1: He did all those other things that he’s now known for.
Friend2: He sacrificed everything for Rama. He worked for God without motivation and without interruption. The divine vision was only the beginning. From his example, I know that it’s what you do afterwards that counts. Seeing God is great, don’t get me wrong. But what are you going to do after that? How does it change your life?
Friend1: I see.
Friend2: Another example is the fruit vendor in Vrindavana. She likely saw Krishna every day. Krishna is the same Rama. Depending on which tradition you follow, Krishna is either the Supreme Lord in His original form or an avatara. An avatara is someone who descends, which means that Krishna and Rama do not have material forms. They are not formless beings in the beginning who suddenly accept a material form.
Friend1: Right. Doesn’t Krishna say in the Bhagavad-gita that only the foolish think He has accepted His form that stands before Arjuna?
Friend2: Exactly. [Bg 9.11] So the fruit vendor got the vision of God on a regular basis. The important thing is how she behaved afterwards. We know from one interaction that she had pure love for God. She filled His hands with fruits even though He hardly gave her anything in exchange. Krishna had dropped most of the grains in His hands on the way to meeting the fruit vendor. She did not care. She was ready to give everything to Krishna to see a smile on His face.
Friend1: That’s pretty nice. I love hearing about that.
Friend2: Yeah, so to me things like that have more significance than visiting a place where someone supposedly had the divine vision. Hanuman sees God every day; he always keeps Sita and Rama in his heart. He chants their names all the time and speaks about them to anyone who wants to hear. The fruit vendor got the vision of a smiling Krishna and then was rewarded with a basket full of jewels. That reward did not change her outlook; if anything it increased her devotion. So based on these two examples I know that what you do after seeing God is more important. You can hear Him as well, and so after connecting with Him through sound if you still chant His names all the time, it means that your life has changed for the better.
If the divine vision you attain,
Not all there is to gain.
Sure to become worthy of fame,
But better if in service to make your name.
Like with Shri Hanuman you know,
For Rama anywhere will go.
The vendor to Krishna fruit giving,
Not content only with vision living.
Categories: the fruit vendor