Flying Puffed Rice – Govindaya Namah!
(A story by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura)
Harakanta Chakravarti was famous in his village for being a great Vaishnava. The people in the village would say, “Chakravarti Mahashaya never touches anything without first offering it to Bhagavan!”
On the day of Pausha-sankranti, Chakravarti Mahashaya went to the bazaar and bought some khoi (puffed rice) for his wife’s meal. Suddenly, a gust of wind blew the khoi out of his paper bag. At that time Chakravarti Mahashaya saw that some of his acquaintances were nearby and so he shouted “Govindaya namah”, and offered the flying khoi to Govinda!
Meanwhile, seeing that her husband was late, Chakravarti Mahashaya’s wife sent her son to find him. Seeing his father standing near a group of people, the innocent boy told him, “Baba, Mother has been waiting to eat khoi. Where is the khoi?”
Thus, the child totally exposed Chakravarti Mahashaya who was completely embarrassed.
Those who are busy trying to enjoy, but at the same time wish to be known as religious by the people of this world, simply make a pretense of being saintly or religious.The khoi was obtained for self-enjoyment, but when by chance it was understood that it could not be enjoyed, a show was made of offering it to the Lord. This was not real devotional service. When a materialist loses all his wealth, servants etc, despite all his best endeavours to protect them, he prays, “O Lord, everything is Yours! Whatever You wish to maintain, You will maintain. Whatever You wish to destroy, You will destroy! –such statements by materialists cannot be accepted as the words of true surrender. The mentality behind the exclamation, “Udo khoi govindaya namah” (This flying khoi I offer to Govinda!) is simply deceitful. When one is fixed in such deception, one can never render service unto the Lord.