The One Dollar Toy

[offering]“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)

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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

“Do you know children who are always getting things? It seems whatever they want, the parents acquiesce. The children never hear the word ‘no.’ They have birthday parties every year. The parents of the attendees bring gifts. As I like to say, the person celebrating the birthday cleans up when it comes to gifts.

“I am not speaking out of jealousy; just an observation. I never had such parties during childhood. We were allowed to get one gift a year, on our birthday. I’m sure the parents bought us other things along the way, but we definitely were not spoiled. It was a big deal anytime someone gave us something.

“I recently witnessed something interesting. A grandfather gave their granddaughter the simplest toy. It must have cost a dollar, at most. Yet the granddaughter played with that toy for days and days. She had so much fun with it.

“It seemed that there was more value in that simple toy than one that costs hundreds of dollars. Those look fancy and maybe make a lot of noise, but the usefulness doesn’t tend to last long. The child simply moves on to something else.

“Is there a lesson on spiritual life in here somewhere? That maybe we should be satisfied with the simple things, that we don’t need that which is expensive or hard to get.”

Within the tradition of bhakti-yoga there is the teaching that whatever is truly necessary in this world tends to be highly abundant and relatively inexpensive. Grains. Milk. Water. Basic clothes. A simple dwelling.

That which we don’t really need is not as easily procured. It is also more expensive. This is one way to know that there is a God and that He cares for everyone. He supplies everything necessary for the continuation of life.

Goswami Tulsidas makes the comparison to the stars and the earth to explain the potency of the holy name. The earth has all the necessary seeds for continuation of life. No planning commission is responsible. There is no government that created this mechanism for perpetual sustenance. The seeds are just there. You can’t find enough to get rid of them all, even if you tried.

जथा भूमि सब बीजमय नखत निवास अकास |
रामनाम सब धरममय जानत तुलसीदास ||

jathā bhūmi saba bījamaya nakhata nivāsa akāsa |
rāmanāma saba dharamamaya jānata tulasīdāsa ||

“Just as within the earth are found every kind of seed and within the sky live all the stars, Tulsidas knows that Shri Rama’s holy name is the reservoir of all dharma.” (Dohavali, 29)

[japa mala]The sky has all the stars. You don’t need to go elsewhere. Everything is already contained within the larger scope. In the same way, the holy name of Rama contains all dharma. There is no need to worry so much about following this ritual or that. Simply repeat the holy name.

There is a kind of simultaneous appreciation in the process. That appreciation is ever-expanding. Those in bhakti-yoga tend to live simply and think in a progressive way. They spend dedicated time in contemplation, in understanding the world around them and the juxtaposition to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

They appreciate everything they get. That toy may seem to have little value, based on the price tag in the store, but what about elements of nature that are free? How amazing is the sunlight? It can completely change the atmosphere of a given area on a particular day. What can be more valuable than rainfall?

[offering]Devotees appreciate such gifts of nature. They are content to use whatever comes their way to continue to move forward. In the process, they do everything as an offering to God. They follow the recommendation from Bhagavad-gita literally. They are happier in this way, as if having found the secret to life, without having wasted millions of dollars or travelling thousands of miles.

In Closing:

Heart of the child won,
With cost of dollar one.

A toy simple and sweet,
Perfectly the needs to meet.

Something basic like the name,
With full delivery the same.

To last into eternal time,
Endless appreciation to find.

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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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