“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)
Go a significant amount of time without eating meat and suddenly the mere smell of it cooking will become extremely unpleasant, reaching the point of intolerable. Go without consuming onions and garlic for a few months and suddenly you’ll be able to detect the slightest trace of it within food. It won’t be a welcome arrival, either.
Man is known to have different tastes, as there are different gunas to each individual. Man is more in the mode of goodness than the animals, but there is no guarantee that every person has the exact same constitutional makeup to the body. This accounts for the differences in eye color, hair type, height, intelligence, and so forth.
A commonly cited verse from the Bhagavad-gita reveals that God accepts offerings of food and water made with love and devotion. This naturally implies that God is a person, not merely an abstract concept or a figure of mythology. He also applies discrimination. He doesn’t accept just any water or fruit. He looks to see how the offering is made; what is the mindset of the person serving, upasana.
“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.26)
As man is known to have variety in tastes, how to tell for sure that God really accepts these offerings? Does He not have specific tastes Himself? Water is mentioned, but what about milk? What about other drinks, that have water as a main ingredient? Does Shri Krishna have specific preferences with respect to cuisine?
1. Banana peels
Shri Krishna one time visited the home of Vidura. This was one of the brothers in a ruling family. The previous king was Pandu, but he left his body at a young age. Protocol was for his sons to take over the kingdom. There were five sons in total, and they were known as the Pandavas.
Going against dharma, it was the sons of the brother Dhritarashtra who took over instead. They were known as the Kauravas. Vidura was the other brother to Pandu, and he was a well-wisher to the Pandavas, who were known for their commitment to righteousness.
Krishna favored the Pandavas, as well. Good people tend to align. They stay together, as bad association can only bring you down. To have Krishna on your side is to be favored against even the strongest opposition. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, after all.
Krishna one time visited Vidura. There are variations of the story. In some versions it is Vidura’s wife in the kitchen preparing the offering for the most welcome guest. In others Vidura himself is in the kitchen. The outcome is the same. The person wants to give Krishna bananas to eat, but they are in so much bliss that they end up putting the banana peels on the plate.
Krishna gets banana peels instead of bananas. Surprisingly, He still eats them. Krishna does not complain. He is in the home of a devotee, so why shouldn’t He accept whatever they bring to Him with love and devotion?
2. Leftover grain
One time the Pandavas were living in the forest. They had enough food to eat because of a special pot. The way it worked was that once the wife, Draupadi, took her meal, the pot stopped producing food. This led to a potentially devastating situation when one time the family was visited by Durvasa Muni, who is known for his quick temper.
Krishna arrived on the scene to save the day. He asked if there was anything left in the pot. A single morsel of grain was there and so Krishna ate it. From His satisfaction, Durvasa and his group were no longer hungry. They left the area without taking any food. That small amount was enough to satisfy the Supreme Lord, as it came from people He favored.
3. Chipped rice
While ruling over the majestic city of Dvaraka, Shri Krishna was one time visited by His childhood friend name Sudama. This person was quite poor, but he still brought an offering with him, as was etiquette. The offering was meager to say the least: chipped rice.
Sudama was welcomed so nicely by Krishna and His wife, Rukmini Devi, that he felt too ashamed to present the offering. Krishna found it anyway and decided to have some. He proclaimed that it was the best rice that He had ever tasted. On his way home, Sudama found that his previously meager dwelling had been transformed into a palace. An offering that he was reluctant to give was accepted wholeheartedly by the person who has everything and more already.
4. Fruit from a basket
During Krishna’s time on earth some five thousand years ago the years of youth were spent in the farm community of Vrindavana. As today small children are known to be eager to get the mail from the mailbox on a given day, imitating the adults, Krishna was one time ready to exchange grain for fruits from a vendor who visited the home.
The problem was that most of the grains fell out of His tiny, lotus-like hands by the time He reached the vendor-lady. She had great devotion in her heart, so she didn’t think she was being shortchanged. She filled Krishna’s hands with fruit regardless. That offering pleased Him so much that she looked later and saw that her basket was filled with valuable jewels instead. This was not necessary, as the smile from Krishna’s face was enough to bring tremendous bliss, but Krishna never leaves His devotees empty-handed.
Accepted when heart in devotion set,
But for Krishna what exactly to get?
So that taste to His liking known,
Evidence visit to Vidura shown.
How even the peels of banana to eat,
Sudama’s rice after welcoming seat.
Or the fruits from the vendor in hand,
Lord’s merciful nature to understand.
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