पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति।
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः।।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).
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 [yepyanya-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 ones 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 ones 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, ones 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 ones 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 ones 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 :
Patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktyaa prayacchati; Tadaham bhaktyupahritamashnaami prayataatmanah.
patram—a leaf; puṣhpam—a flower; phalam—a fruit; toyam—water; yaḥ—who; me—to Me; bhaktyā—with devotion; prayachchhati—offers; tat—that; aham—I; bhakti-upahṛitam—offered with devotion; aśhnāmi—partake; prayata-ātmanaḥ—one in pure consciousness