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Prasadam—Pivot of Practising

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata-Worldwide, 2 August 2020, part 5


Question: How to cure the five diseases (pancha-rog)?
[Avidya (ignorance), asmita (false identification), raga (misdirected love), dvesa (aversion to anything that goes against one's enjoyment), and abhinivesa (being unable to give up unfavourable habits).]

Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur writes,

প্রসাদ-সেবা করিতে হয়
সকল প্রপঞ্চ জয়

prasada-seva karite haya,
sakala prapancha-jaya

"By honouring the Lord's prasad I conquer all worldly illusions."

Give honour to prasadam. Eating only vegetarian food is not sufficient—you must offer what you cook to the Lord with Tulasi leaves and take that prasadam every day. "Anivedita vastu tyag"—you are not to take what is not offered to the Lord. Always take prasadam, then all your diseases will be removed.

প্রসাদ-সেবা করিতে হয়
সকল প্রপঞ্চ জয়

prasada-seva karite haya,
sakala prapancha-jaya

"By honouring the Lord's prasad I conquer all worldly illusions."

Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur himself writes, "I am pacha-rogi hata—due to my previous karma coming from this lifetime or the previous lifetime, I am suffering from all the five diseases." So, Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur who himself says it, also writes,

প্রসাদ-সেবা করিতে হয়
সকল প্রপঞ্চ জয়

prasada-seva karite haya,
sakala prapancha-jaya

"By honouring the Lord's prasad I conquer all worldly illusions."

If you take prasadam (that which is offered to the Lord), then all your diseases will be cured.

Are there any other questions?

Question: Is there any specific instruction for the devotees in Lima, Peru?

The advice I give is always for all devotees all over the world, it is not only for Peru or some other particular country.

সাধুসঙ্গ, নামকীর্ত্তন, ভাগবতশ্রবণ ।
মথুরাবাস, শ্রীমূর্ত্তির শ্রদ্ধায় সেবন ॥

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana

"One should associate with devotees, chant the Holy Name of the Lord, hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.124)

Keep good association, do not gossip so much. Do not waste your time at home in this pandemic situation—always keep yourself busy. People always watch nonsense in their smartphones, this is not good. Always spend time on the service to the Lord—always practise spiritual life, chant on your beads, always chant (with or without the beads), try to sing songs; I give a class every week, try to listen to it; there are so many books of Srila Gurudev and Srila Guru Maharaj, you can read them. Pass your time in this way. This is advice for everybody.

Question: Srila Saraswati Thakur said that in a temple, the cook is the highest devotee, higher than even the pujari. Could you please explain why it is so?

Yes, this is so, of course. Those who cook are more important than the pujari because the pujari only gives food to the Deities—he only says some mantras and does some puja; but if the cook does not make proper food for the Deities, then what is the use? What is necessary? If I am hungry and somebody gives me a garland, I cannot eat the garland—I am hungry. So, the cook is a very important devotee. The pujari dresses the Deities, and even if some dress is old or a little torn, it can be tolerated, but if you do not give proper food to the Deity, then it is a very big problem. Even we would feel that too.

Those who cook always think, "How can I cook sweeter food, better food for the Lord? How can I make the Lord happy?" Sachi Mata cooks for Gauranga Mahaprabhu, Mother Yasoda cooks for Krishna—she makes paneer, curd (chhana), condensed milk (kheer), butter (makhan), and she does it with a concentrated mind. Not only that—you know, when Mother Yasoda was cooking and boiling some milk one day, she even pushed her son aside! Krishna was disturbing her, but she was concentrated on boiling the milk to make paneer, curd, butter, etc. from it—for whom? For the Lord. So, at that time she could not tolerate even her son distributing her—this is how much she concentrates her mind on cooking for her son!

Such is the importance of cooking service. If the cook is not good, then neither Krishna, nor Gurudev will be happy. You should always cook with care and always make sure what you have cooked is edible, that it has enough salt, sugar, etc. It is very important.

Another thing is that people usually do not give respect to the cook thinking the cook is an ordinary, low person, but they give respect to the pujari. Srila Saraswati Thakur says that cooks do a very important service. One time, Srila Prabhupad hired one cook and took him along for Vrindavan parikrama. That cook came to Srila Prabhupad crying one day and said, "O Prabhupad, everybody is going for the parikrama, everybody is making the parikrama of Govardhan, but I cannot do that, I have to stay and cook. I cannot go for the parikrama, I have not seen any places! What will become of me?" Srila Prabhupad told him, "All devotees do this parikrama and get some sukriti, but you are cooking for them, that is why you will get more sukriti than all devotees' sukriti put together!" You will get more benefit than all of them taken together!"

Our Srila Gurudev also liked to cook, and our Srila Gurudev's cooking is very nice. His cooking approach was very nice. I actually did not see it myself, but Srila Gurudev told me how to cook certain things, and I learned to cook from him. Otherwise, I was not a good cook, but I learned from what he told me, and I became a good cook. Srila Gurudev cooked Indian style food very nicely. I remember one time he made pushpanna—I have never seen anybody cook it like him! His pushpanna is very nice.



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