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The Intent of Offering Flowers

This week’s shloka is from the Bhagavad Gita when Krishna says, 


पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति |
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मन: || 26||
If one offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water, I delightfully partake of that article offered with love by My devotee in pure consciousness.

This reminds me of a story about Arjuna and Bhima. Arjuna was a Shiva devotee, he prayed everyday and offered him flowers. He looked at Bhima, who never prayed outwardly, and assumed himself to be the more devout devotee. Once, during a walk, Arjuna sees someone carrying tonnes of flowers to Kailash, where Shiva resides.


Arjuna immediately assumed these were all the flowers he dedicated to Shiva, but the agent of Shiva explains that these were in fact all from Bhima to Shiva and there were infinite carts of flowers going to Shiva all the time from Bhima. Arjun was confused, how was that possible when Bhima never prayed?


Then Krishna explained to Arjuna, while Arjuna thought of Shiva for those brief moments during prayer, with the intent to impress, Bhima thought of Shiva every time he saw a flower, a plant, a leaf, and in doing so, he turned every one of those moments into a loving dedication.


We hope that with the flowers that you receive every morning, you’re able to dedicate yourself, with the pure intent of love, to the Higher Self that you pray to. And as we practice this true mindfulness in those moments of prayer, we strive towards achieving that same love and dedication in every action that we perform, we see a dedication to God in every flower that we see, in every relationship we nurture, in every action we perform throughout our lives.

 

 

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