“O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.27)
यत् करोषि यद् अश्नासि
यज् जुहोषि ददासि यत्
यत् तपस्यसि कौन्तेय
तत् कुरुष्व मद्-अर्पणम्
yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam
“If you watch these televised award shows, the behavioral pattern is easy to spot. The honorees, the winners of the awards, tend to do the same things when winning. First, they act completely surprised. They feel humbled by the honor, acting as if they weren’t worthy.
“After they embarrassingly make their way up to the stage and accept the trophy, they can’t help but thank so many people. They make it be known that none of the effort for which they are being awarded would have occurred if not for supporting resources. People in the background, who go unnoticed, helped to make this person prominent.
“The recipient might pay homage to their parents. This makes sense to me. It is how I would behave if in a similar situation. It is only natural to remember good deeds done in your favor, especially at a time when positive focus is on you.
“At the same time, there is variety in human tendencies. Not everyone acts the same. Not everyone has the same outlook on life, despite enduring similar struggles and hardships. Some award winners might not mention their parents at all. They might feel spite over incidents from childhood. They may feel the parents are the ones who should be thankful, to be blessed with such a child.
“This brings me to Bhagavad-gita and the bhakti culture in full. We have the recommendation from Shri Krishna to do everything as an offering to Him. The direct recipient of the instruction is Arjuna, but we understand that the principle extends to all living entities. Arjuna symbolizes the disciple, which is the position for every one of us in comparison to Krishna, who is the original guru.
“What if someone doesn’t want to offer everything to Krishna? What if they are proud of their accomplishments? What if they think others should be thanking them for their positive influence in the world? How do we get someone to think differently from their inherent nature?”
It is said that the reason for falling to the material world is envy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is the sole factor, as the absence of the rivalry ensures continued residence in the spiritual world, which is known as Vaikuntha.
This means that to find the challenging spirit is commonplace in the land of birth and death. Suppose that every sort of disposition were statistically managed inside of a database table. If running a query against the table, grouping by the kinds of attitude, sorting the count in descending order, the rivalry with God would be at the top of the list.
What happens if a person doesn’t offer everything to Krishna? What if they are satisfied in pleasing their own senses? What if they don’t feel that God deserves any extra praise, having created this horrible world, which is full of duplicity, dishonesty, tragedy, and hopelessness?
Then the material existence continues. Not only for this lifetime, but future ones, as well. As long as the envy remains, there is the commensurate land. It is the playing field to act out on personal desires.
This means that the recommendation from Krishna is not for His benefit. He is already atmarama, which means “satisfied in the self.” He requires no service from Arjuna, Bhishma, or the other soldiers assembled on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
Krishna does not starve if a devotee fails to make an offering on a particular day. The demigods become hungry if insufficient yajnas take place in the material world, but Krishna is self-effulgent. His resplendence remains, regardless of the level of devotion practiced in any realm.
The offerings made to Him will be to my benefit. If I think that the Supreme Lord will starve unless I make an offering, that will provide further impetus for devotion. There will be an urgency of sorts, and in that way I can use the illusion around me to come closer to God. The more I think of Him, the more my consciousness changes for the better. A perfect consciousness ensures a return to the spiritual world.
If not for devotion to yearn,
Then rebirth to earn.
Where again to playing field,
With endeavors of nothing to yield.
As long as envy of Krishna to remain,
Then expecting more of the same.
Offering everything to please as way,
Simultaneously no longer here to stay.