Written by: Vanamali
Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice, whatever you give away, whatever austerity you practise, O Arjuna, do it as an offering to Me.
Bhagavad Gita, 9.27
In Paramahamsa Vishwananda's commentary on 9.27 of the Bhagavad Gita, He says, ‘Kṛṣṇa says that whatever you are doing in life, breathing, doing your sādhana (spiritual practice), eating, drinking, sitting, or listening, make it an act of offering. Make it an act of surrendering to the Lord. Make it a prayer to the Lord and offer the prayer to Him. Offer all the merit of whatever you do to Him. You will attain Him and He, who is not attainable by any yogī, will give Himself to you.’
In this verse and the accompanying commentary from Paramahamsa Vishwananda we can see just how simple true spiritual life can be. Krishna is saying that, ultimately, our relationship with Him is not so much about what we do, but rather with what intention we do it. ‘Whatever you do….do it as an offering to Me.’ In saying this Krishna is directing us to make Him the centre of our lives. From the simplest things, like eating, to the most difficult things, like performing austerities – all of them can become acts of devotion, of prayer and even become the very cause of our attainment of the Lord. Imagine that? That by breathing, by eating, drinking, by simply living, but living it as an offering to the Lord, the result is that ‘You will attain Him’ and ‘He will give Himself to you.’ It seems almost unbelievably simple. And yet sometimes we struggle to remember God during our day-to-day lives. Sometimes we forget to act out of service to Him and the mind and its never-ending desires steal away our focus and remembrance of this simple practice.
Incredibly, even then, there is a Paramahamsa Vishwananda offers a solution in His commentary – ‘At night, before sleeping, close your eyes, think of Nārāyaṇa Kṛṣṇa and say, “Lord, I offer You my whole day. I place whatever I have done, ‘good’ or ‘not good’, upon your altar. I surrender every action to you.” The Lord Himself will grant you what is needed and will release you from the grip of māyā.’ Guruji is telling us that the Lord will personally grant us whatever is needed, and at the same time, He will release us from the terrifying grip of maya – which lest we forget, includes all the delusions of our mind.
At night, before sleeping, close your eyes, think of Nārāyaṇa Kṛṣṇa and say, 'Lord, I offer You my whole day. I place whatever I have done, "good" or "not good", upon your altar. I surrender every action to you.'The Lord Himself will grant you what is needed and will release you from the grip of māyā.
So what could possibly derail this process? What can go wrong, when the path seems so simple, so direct and so full of reassurances from God and guru? It is our lack of trust, manifesting as doubt. When we fail to believe these words, fear inevitably increases. We become afraid of failure, afraid of not being good enough, afraid of being rejected, afraid of so many things, and in that mindset our negativity begins to take over our lives, colouring our every action. In that negativity we will not offer anything to Krishna, thinking ourselves unworthy, and the entire process futile.
But Paramahamsa Vishwananda says, ‘Don’t hang onto this negativity. Don’t focus on it. Your aim is to focus on God, not on the negativity. It’s of no use beating yourself with a whip saying, “I am a sinner, I am a sinner, I am a sinner.” No! Perceive it, but cross over it, go beyond it. Your mind should focus on God, not on your sin. If you are concentrating on your sin, then you become sinful. Then you accumulate more sin. But if you concentrate and focus on the Lord Himself, then you are free.’
In our current times, where fear and negativity are so common and seemingly ever-growing, these comforting words from Lord Krishna and Guruji act as a lighthouse for us all. If we ever feel lost, feel afraid or full of doubt – we should remember just how much God loves us. So much so that if we simply remember Him at night, surrender everything at His Feet, with true sincerity, trust and love, He will take care of us. We may not understand His methods, but as Guruji says, ‘The Lord Himself will grant you what is needed and will release you from the grip of māyā’. What more can we ask for?