पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति | तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः ||९-२६||
patraṃ puṣpaṃ phalaṃ toyaṃ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati . tadahaṃ bhaktyupahṛtamaśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ ||9-26||
9.26. Whosoever with devotion offers Me a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or [a little] water, I taste that offered with devotion by one with well-controlled self (mind).
Shri Purohit Swami
9.26 Whatever a man offers to Me, whether it be a leaf, or a flower, or fruit, or water, I accept it, for it is offered with devotion and purity of mind.
Sri Abhinav Gupta
9.23-26 Ye’ pi etc. upto prayatatmanah. Even those who worship [gods] with other names, they too [in fact] worship Me alone, becaue there is nothing (no god) to be worshipped apart from the Brahman. But the difference is that [they do so] by non-injunction. Non-injunction : different injunctions. [This amounts to saying that] having the innate nature of the Absolute Brahman-Existence, I am indeed worshipped by manifold injunctions (i.e., sacrifices enjoined by injunctions).
But non-injunction should not be explained as ‘by defective injunction’ as it has been done by others (other commentators), who acire dirts of great sins by insulting other systems of philosophy. If their view is correct then the declarations that are actually found viz., ‘They offer sacrifice to Me alone’, and ‘I am alone the enjoyer of all sacrifices’ - all would be inconsistent. Enough of talk with the sinful ones.
Our preceptors, however, explain [ye’pyanya-etc.] as follows : Those who, following the principle of the doctrine of duality consider certain deity as different from their own Self and as devoid of the innate nature of the Brahman, and offer sacrifice to that deity only-but it is only to Me, their own Self that even those men offer their sacrifices, however by non-injunction i.e. by faulty injunction of the nature of duality-view. That is why [the Lord] says (in verse 25) ‘They do not recognise Me, their own Self, correctly as that deity itself, i.e., as the enjoyer [of the oblation of the sacrifice]. Hence they move away from My nature . Why ? By being votaries of gods, they attain the gods etc. (verse 26). It amounts to say that this [fact of attaining these gods] is itself nothing but moving away [from Me, the Self]. On the other hand, those who realise My nature (i.e. Me) as being not different [from their Self], they offer sacrifices to Me alone, even though those sacrifices etc. are for the gods, goblins and manes.’ [The Lord] is going to conclude [the present topic] as : ‘(Thus) offering sacrifice to Me they attain Me alone.’ (IX-29,35).
But that alone is called a deity which is aimed at [according to injunction], for offering things (i.e. oblation). Hence, how can a sacrifice be offered to one’s own Self, a category that cannot be aimed at ? For example, there is the injunction: ‘The oblation [of rice] of the rite prayana, crooked in the milk, is intended for the deity Aditi’; and hence this Aditi becomes the object intended [in the sacrifice], because that particular deity is an adjunct of an injunction, and because it is included in the injunction as one to be aimed at. But [in the present case], there is no injunction that concerns the Self. Having [these objections] in mind [the Lord] says : [They offer sacrifice] to Me following non-injunction.
The idea is this : An injunction is reired only in the case of a deity that is different from one’s own Self. For, the injunction is one of the nature of imparting the knowledge only of that particular thing which is not known [otherwise]. But, one’s own Self, the Absolute Lord, is known, not following any injunction. For, the knowledge of the Self is not brought by injunction. Certainly no action is undertaken not aiming the Self. Therefore in all cases [of offerings], intended for the deities like Indra etc., this Self of one’s own is certainly intended , as the Self is, by nature, the illuminator of the entire Universe; as It is like a thread in a garland; and as It is illumining [on Its own accord], asserting Its superiority [over all others] and only serving as a background (bhittih, ‘a screen’, or ‘a wall’) of the manifestations of the deity so intended by him [in the sacrifice]. Thus it is established by logic that even the votaries of gods offer sacrifices to Me (the Absolute) alone, becuase ‘I’ depends on no injunction.
As far as these sacrificers are concerned, the principal effect of the sacrifice viz., attaining ‘Me’, is not intended by them as their own. On the other hand, they are very much satisfied with attaining the status of Indra etc., just as a priest is satisfied with limited fees. To indicate this, the parasmaipada form (yajanti) [is used]. For, it has been stated by myself (Ag.) [else-where] as :
‘One, who knows the Vedas and does not know [to intend for] the status of (or the word) Sambhu (the Absolute), would feel afflicted in despair. [For], aspiring for the heaven, and [hence] rejecting the status of [the actual] performer of of sacrifice (yajamana), [but at the same time] performing sacrifice for others (yajan), he has become a [mere] priest in the sacrifice. Indeed, the divergently flowing floods of taste for action, without exception, - even though they flow from the Absolute consciousness - do not bestow [on the performer] the mighty ocean of Bliss of one’s own Self if they do not gain a complete stability’
Thus whosoever realises in the said manner, his sacrifice, though aimed at the deities like Indra, is in fact a sacrifice offered to the Absolute Lord. Whatever may be the other actions of his, they too become acts of worshipping his own Self, the Absolute Lord, as It alone is intended in all his action. This [the Lord] says :
9.26 Whoever offers to Me with true devotion a leaf, or a flower, or a fruit or water, which can be easily obtained, I accept it. That true devotion is love of such an exalted kind that the devotee cannot sustain himself without making such offering; the devotee has no extraneous purpose other than serving Me. Such an offering coming from a heart rendered pure with that singleness of purpose of considering the offering as an end in itself - I, the Lord of the universe, whose sport consists in the origin, maintenance and dissolution of the entire world, who has all desires fulfilled, whose will is always accomplished, whose auspicious attributes are unlimited and unsurpassed, who is enjoying the infinite and unsurpassed bliss that is in Myself - I accept and enjoy the aforesaid type of offering, as if I was obtaining a desired object far beyond the range of My hopes. Thus it is declared in the Moksa-dharma: “Whatever acts are consecrated by those whose intellects are concentrated in single-pointed devotion, all these, the Lord Himself accepts on His head.” (Ma. Bha. Sa., 340.64)
Sri Krsna proceeds to say: As there is this distinctive excellence, incomprehensible by speech and mind in respect of these great men called the Jnanins, you also, following them, become a Jnanin, i.e., have your self and all your belongings ‘bent down,’ i.e., dedicated, under the weight of Bhakti as prescribed earlier. Be always singing My praises, doing My services, worshipping Me and prostrating before Me; also perform your secular and Vedic duties, periodical and occasional, in this manner.’
9.26 Yah, whoever; prayaccati, offers; me, Me; bhaktya, with devotion; patram, a leaf; puspam, a flower phalam, a fruit; or toyam, water; asnami, I accept; tat, that (gift)-leaf etc.; prayata-atmanah, of the pure-hearted man; which has been bhakti-upahrtam devotionally presented. Since this is so, therefore-
9.26 Whoever offers Me with true devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or some water, I accept this offering made with devotion by him who is pure of heart.
9.26 Whoever offers Me with devotion-a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I accept that (gift) of the pure-hearted man which has been devotionally presented.
9.26 Whoever offers Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water that, so offered devotedly by the pure-minded, I accept.
9.26 पत्रम् a leaf? पुष्पम् a flower? फलम् a fruit? तोयम् water? यः who? मे to Me? भक्त्या with devotion? प्रयच्छति,offers? तत् that? अहम् I? भक्त्युपहृतम् offered with devotion? अश्नामि eat (accept)? प्रयतात्मनः of the pureminded.Commentary A gift? however small? is accepted by the Lord? when it is offered with profound faith. The Lord is ite satisfied even with a leaf? a flower? a fruit or water? when it is offered with singleminded devotion and pure heart. Was He not satisfied with the little parched rice from the bundle of Sudama and the small berries offered by Sabari You need not build a golden temple for Him. Build a golden temple in your heart. Enthrone Him there. He wants only your devoted heart. But it is difficult to please Indra. You wll have to offer valuable (material) objects to him.A leaf? a flower of a fruit are merely symbols. The true means of attaining the Lord is pure unflinching devotion. All the objects of the state belong to the king. If the servants of the state offer with devotion some objects to the king he is highly satisfied. Even so all the objects of the whole world belong to Him. Yet? He is highly pleased if you offer even a little thing with devotion.Asnami? literally means eat. The indicative meaning or Lakshana Vritti is accept.