Vanity thought #312. Bhogair atmanam atmani

This is a line from a verse in Bhagavatam (11.11.45) where Krishna tells Uddhava about various ways one can worship the Supreme Lord.

Check out the translation – “One may worship Me within the individual living entity by offering food and other enjoyable substances.” Cool, huh?

I guess this explains why people since time immemorial loved serving each other with delicious foodstuffs – it pleases not only the body and senses of the fellow materialistic enjoyer but the Supreme Lord Himself, too!

Devotees, of course, have taken this activity a lot further – by lovingly offering delicious prasadam to vaishnavas. There are very few types of service that are as satisfactory as feeding the devotees of the Lord. Even feeding other people on our Food For Life programs makes one easily feel that Krishna likes us doing this stuff.

There’s also book distribution but it often makes one feel competitive and proud of one’s achievements and thus deprive us of the usual bliss associated with preaching, I can’t imagine how that could happen when distributing food. With book distribution there’s also the pressure to get something out of people in return and that spoils the effort, too. Food distribution is totally selfless by comparison.

Having paid tribute to serving people with prasadam I have a rather twisted thought – what stops one from serving the Lord by feeding oneself? The Supersoul is equally present within my body just as well as within the bodies of everyone else so does it make any difference which body I should offer food to in order to please the Lord?

The only danger I see is that when I’m feeding myself I’m having the wrong attitude but that should be corrected regardless, as per Krishna’s advice to Arjuna – “perform every activity as a sacrifice to Me”. I guess once the right attitude is there one can legitimately serve the Lord by consuming all kinds of delicious stuff.

Let me go and try this now, and if I fail in the beginning it shouldn’t discourage me. Also practice makes it perfect, right?

Key point – it’s not the living entity who is the enjoyer here, foodstuffs should be offered to the Supersoul, via the body, I guess just like stuff is offered to the Lord via sacrificial fire.

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