09.26 – Devotion is Krishna’s appetizer
Some people ask, “God is complete and doesn’t need anything. As he never feels hungry, what is the need to offer him food?”
This question is natural and valid, given the conception of God found in most world religions: as a self-satisfied Supreme Being. Gita wisdom acknowledges this conception, but also reveals a much higher understanding of God: as an all-attractive person who delights in loving reciprocations with his devotees, as Krishna. At this paramount level of understanding, Krishna doesn’t just delight in loving reciprocations; he hungers for them. His hunger, however, is not like our hunger that is driven by bodily necessity. His hunger is completely transcendental, motivated only by the profound dynamics of pure spiritual love.
So, it is true that Krishna doesn’t feel hungry, but a higher truth is that the devotion in his devotee’s heart acts as his appetizer. When he sees them offering him food with devotion, he feels so acutely hungry that he becomes ready, even eager, for the simplest of foods. That’s why he says in the Bhagavad-gita (9.26) that he accepts even a leaf, a flower, a fruit or just a little bit of water when any of these is offered with devotion.
Krishna’s transcendental hunger, when understood properly, becomes a merciful opportunity for us aspiring devotees to enter deeper into a personal relationship with him. By offering him food with whatever devotion we presently have, we can feel a sense of accessibility to and intimacy with him. Over time, through the practical and personal service of offering food to Krishna, our heart becomes, by his mercy, increasingly enriched and fulfilled with devotion.
Thus, a proper understanding of the emptiness that Krishna feels in his transcendental stomach becomes the foundation for personal service that ends the emptiness that we feel in our heart.