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Prasad and Service

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Speaking online to the devotees in the USA
5 August 2013


Question: Could you tell us about the importance of offering everything we eat, at all times, wherever we are? Is this a necessary formality?

Yes, it is necessary. It is good if you offer to the Lord whatever you cook. If you have some devotion, Krishna will accept it. Krishna took food even from the mouth of a sabar (a man of a low caste)—when the sabar was eating some plantain root, Krishna took it from his mouth.

When you cook something, when you want to use something for the service, you must offer it to the Deities. If you do it, it will be good. If sometimes you cannot do it, for example, when you are outside, still you can remember Guru, Vaishnavs, Bhagavan at that time.

It is a necessary process. Some people cannot understand it and they take food before (or without) offering it to the Deity, that is not good. When you offer the bhog and take prasadam, it is good for you—it will bring benefit for you. Offer the bhog and take prasadam.

Taking prasadam is also a kind of service:

তোমার সেবায় দুঃখ হয় যত,
সেও ত' পরম সুখ ।
সেবা-সুখ-দুঃখ, পরম সম্পদ
নাশয়ে অবিদ্যা-দুঃখ

tomara sevaya, duhkha haya yata,
seo ta' parama sukha
seva-sukha-duhkha, parama sampada
nasaye avidya-duhkha

"All the distress I encounter in Your service is also my greatest happiness. Happiness and unhappiness in Your service are the greatest wealth and they both destroys the misery of ignorance."

(Saranagati 16.4)

Through service illusory environment will be removed from you, so it is necessary to engage in service, and taking prasadam is also service. These are the main things.

You must remember also about Nama-aparadh and Vaishnav-aparadh. There is also seva-aparadh, but Nama-aparadh and Vaishnav-aparadh are the worst because Krishna Nam (the Holy Name of Krishna) is always searching who is an aparadhi (offender):

‘কৃষ্ণনাম’ করে অপরাধের বিচার ।
কৃষ্ণ বলিলে অপরাধীর না হয় বিকার ॥

'krsna-nama' kare aparadhera vichara
krsna balile aparadhira na haya vikara

"The Holy Name of Krishna always considers who is an offender. Even if an offender chants the Name of Krishna all the time, it produces no transformation within them."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila, 8:24)

Krishna Nam is always searching who is an aparadhi, so we must be careful. We always make sadhu-ninda, Vaishnav-ninda, gurva-avajna, how will then Krishna-katha come to our mouth? Sadhu-ninda (offence or criticism of a holy person), guru-ninda (offence or criticism of the Guru), gurva-avajna (considering the Guru a mortal, ordinary person, or disregarding the order of the Guru) are the worst. If we make such offences, then even if we chant "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna," all day and night, how will any feeling come to us? The feeling will never come to us because Krishna Nam searches who is an offender.


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