Five Reflections On The Pastime With The Fruit Vendor

[Krishna with the fruit vendor]“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)

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फलविक्रयिणी तस्य च्युतधान्यकरद्वयम् ।
फलैरपूरयद् रत्नै: फलभाण्डमपूरि च ॥

phala-vikrayiṇī tasya
phalair apūrayad ratnaiḥ
phala-bhāṇḍam apūri ca

1. Children imitate the adults

It is not the easiest thing, especially for new parents. You have been around children your whole life. You have likely taken care of babies before. But these were the kids of other parents, you see. There was always the option to walk away, to leave for home and get a good night’s sleep. A night free of interruptions.

When it is your child, when you are bringing a new person into this world, advice flows from every direction. You are never really sure which person to follow, since the variable is the child itself. No matter how much people have experienced, each child brings their own challenges.

The guidance from His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is that parents can teach their children through example. Whatever the parents do, the children will naturally imitate. This is an important issue to address precisely because of the treasure the parents have found.

They feel tremendous joy in the bhakti-yoga routine. They experience the meaning of ananda while chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. They are thankful that Vishnu has thousands of names. They experience pleasure in reciting these names and contemplating their meaning.

At the same time, the transformation from life in maya to life in devotion tends to also bring a change from miserliness to extended generosity. The label at the start is kripana and at the end is brahmana. The parents, therefore, want everyone to experience the same joys of devotion, but especially their own children.

2. In an honest society people pay for things

It speaks a lot about the current state of affairs that such a fact even deserves mention. A person can simply review their own experience to see the need. If someone asks us to do something, involving work, we expect to receive something on the other side.

If we are doing the work for free, the terms will be stipulated from the beginning. If another person wants everything for free, what incentive will there be for any person to work? Why would they waste their time in that manner?

However, if you grow up having someone else pay for everything, it is a difficult lesson to learn. Even well into adulthood, you think that everything magically appears. If the parents are paying for the necessities of life, there is barely any thought given to the work that the parents must do, how they are paid in return, and how they might not prefer to sacrifice all of the fruits of their labor for someone who does not work and is not appreciative.

3. The same in gain and loss

Shri Krishna describes some of the characteristics of the person who is in full knowledge. This means that knowledge is not meant to be retained only for a theoretical exercise or for providing answers on a formal examination. Knowledge should carry an accompanying change in behavior.

यः सर्वत्रानभिस्नेहस्तत्तत्प्राप्य श‍ुभाश‍ुभम् ।
नाभिनन्दति न द्वेष्टि तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ॥

yaḥ sarvatrānabhisnehas
tat tat prāpya śubhāśubham
nābhinandati na dveṣṭi
tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā

“He who is without attachment, who does not rejoice when he obtains good, nor lament when he obtains evil, is firmly fixed in perfect knowledge.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.57)

To remain the same whether in gain or loss is not easy. There is a reason that such a characteristic equates to knowledge. This is because gain and loss generally occur without much external effort. Moreover, the results are not entirely under our control.

A hurricane strikes and devastates the area. A previously profitable insurance company now faces bankruptcy due to the ever-mounting claims filed by the policy holders. This company has been in business for a century. They followed everything by the book. They thought they had every calamity covered, but the experts say that this was a once in a lifetime storm.

मात्रा-स्पर्शास् तु कौन्तेय
आगमापायिनो ऽनित्यास्
तांस् तितिक्षस्व भारत

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
āgamāpāyino ‘nityās
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata

“O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.14)

[winter]Gain and loss and the companying happiness and sadness are like the seasons. We had so much fun playing outside this past summer. It was a great time, but now we stay inside. This is because winter is approaching. No one can do anything about such changes, so it is wise to remain steady in outlook.

4. No one loses in devotion to Krishna

The Sanskrit word is yajna. This means “sacrifice.” Yajna is an important aspect of the human experience. Without yajna, the individual has a tendency to follow the animals. Care only about the basic instincts: eating, sleeping, mating, and defending.

Yajna is sacrifice for a higher purpose. To those who are not knowledgeable, it may seem like a waste of time. Someone sacrifices knowledge through reading. Another person sacrifices wealth through charity. Krishna covers the different ways to sacrifice in Bhagavad-gita.

द्रव्ययज्ञास्तपोयज्ञा योगयज्ञास्तथापरे ।
स्वाध्यायज्ञानयज्ञाश्च यतयः संशितव्रताः ॥

dravya-yajñās tapo-yajñā
yoga-yajñās tathāpare
svādhyāya-jñāna-yajñāś ca
yatayaḥ saṁśita-vratāḥ

“There are others who, enlightened by sacrificing their material possessions in severe austerities, take strict vows and practice the yoga of eightfold mysticism, and others study the Vedas for the advancement of transcendental knowledge.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.28)

5. Devotees will sacrifice everything for Krishna

This was the result for the fruit vendor, during her interaction with Krishna as a child. The son of Nanda and Yashoda was imitating the parents. He was bringing grain to the fruit vendor. This was a form of payment. He had seen such exchanges before. He was now trying it out for Himself.

Except Krishna’s hands were too small to hold the grain. The length of the travel was brief, but still long enough to cause most of the grain to fall to the ground. Just as Krishna reached the vendor, there was the realization of the loss. There was nothing to offer. What to do now?

The fruit vendor was the same in gain and loss. There was no issue. Krishna would still get plenty of fruit. Enough to fit into His lotus-like hands. The vendor was sacrificing, though not in the formal way. She was not afraid of the strike to the balance sheet. She was not worried what would happen to her livelihood.

Except the Supreme Personality of Godhead always maintains a record. He never forgets a single good deed done in His favor. The fruit vendor saw that her empty fruit basket was now filled with the most valuable jewels.

[Krishna with the fruit vendor]How did this happen? Who made this possible? Why was this taking place? It must have been Krishna, as there is something special about Him. People have known this for centuries, and it is why devotion to Him withstands the test of time.

In Closing:

Like previous payments made,
Krishna the system obeyed.

Grain in His hand taking,
For proper exchange making.

Except that in transit to fall,
For vendor a loss to call.

Still enough fruit for His hands to take,
The basket then with jewels to make.

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❣️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❣️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram

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