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"....one who hears the transcendental sound vibration of the holy name of the Lord, Hare Krsna, also improves in health. We have actually seen that many brahmacaris and grhasthas connected with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness have improved in health, and a luster has come to their faces. It is essential that a brahmacari engaged in spiritual advancement look very healthy and lustrous. The comparison of the sage to an unpolished gem is very appropriate. Even if a gem just taken from a mine looks unpolished, the luster of the gem cannot be stopped."

Srila Prabhupada Lecture Srimad-Bhagavatam 3:21:45

Krsna prasadam is perfect food, and engaging the tongue in prasada-seva is the perfect method for cultivating spiritual health. It is easy to blur the line between our efforts at creating spiritual health and our efforts to maintain a healthy material body. These two are not synonymous. At the same time, keeping healthy and fit is clearly important since good health influences and supports our energetic preaching.

In the following passage, Srila Prabhupada explains that Krsna Consciousness is the only way to fight the real disease, which is our lack of God consciousness. With that in mind, we offer the following information on nutrition, calories, and general vegetarian wellness for those interested in balancing Krsna prasadam as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

"But unfortunately, we are not interested in purifying, but we are interested to be more implicated by being impure. A diseased man, if he is to be cured, he must follow the rules and regulation as prescribed by the physician. And if he does not follow the rules and regulation--whatever he likes, he does--then the disease will increase. Disease will increase. We shall be careful to follow the rules and regulation. And another complaint I was hearing that we are not taking prasadam, especially the grhasthas. No. That is not good. You should take prasadam. Krsna baro doyamoy, koribare jihwa jay, swa-prasad-anna dilo bhai, sei annamrta pao, radha-krsna-guna gao, preme dako caitanya-nitai. Krsna baro doya... Our tongue is the greatest enemy. Ta 'ra madhye jihwa ati, lobhamoy sudurmati. The tongue is the greatest enemy, and if you can control the tongue, then you can control all the senses. Otherwise tongue will dictate, "Give me this kind of food, give me this kind of food." And if you don't take prasadam in the temple, then our tongue will dictate, "Now you can prepare some nice food. Let us take it." That will not help us in our Krsna consciousness. Whatever Krsna..., krsna baro doyamoy, koribare jihwa jay. Krsna-prasada means to control the tongue. Our main enemy is the tongue. In another place it is said, sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah: "God realization becomes by keeping the tongue engaged in the service of the Lord." Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. The tongue has to be first of all engaged, not the hands and legs. "I have to serve Krsna. So yes, I am ready. I am expanding my hands. I am going there." But sastra says, "No, no, no. Not your hands and legs but your tongue. This is the one. First of all engage your tongue." This is astonish: "How can I serve with tongue? If I have to serve, I have got my hands and legs, my eyes and I..." No. Sastra says tongue. This is very peculiar. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah. If you engage your tongue... So how to engage my tongue? What is the business of my tongue? Two business only: to taste, or eat, and chant. Chant Hare Krsna with tongue and take krsna-prasadam--you will conquer Krsna. This is the program. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. So if you do not control your tongue, if you feel inconvenient in taking prasadam, that means you are not making progress. This is the... This is the formula. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah.

So in our other branches, all the devotees, they take together prasadam. That is nice. Why one should be not liking to take prasadam in the temple? What is the fault? No, this is not good. We should... Everyone should take prasadam. You see still if you go to Jagannatha Puri. Even outsiders who go there, they do not cook. Strictly, they do not cook. They purchase prasadam. And if you go there, one thousand men--because there are pilgrims, they are coming, there is no--you will get immediately ready prasadam, purchased from the market, the Jagannatha Puri, still. And there is no such thing as infection. I am taking your prasadam remnants. Whatever you left, I am... He is taking. Even if you are outcaste, if you are not brahmana, still there is. Because prasada is transcendental. It is not material thing. So one must have faith that it is not material. It cannot be infected by any material things. In this way prasada should be taken. It is called prasada-seva, not "prasada enjoyment." Seva means giving service. Prasada is as good as Krsna; therefore prasada should be respected as good as Krsna. As soon as one gets prasadam, immediately he touches on the head because it is Krsna, absolute. In this way we have to be trained up as it is prescribed in the sastras.

So those who are attached to Krsna consciousness movement and those who are attached to the service, they should take prasadam, first-class prasadam. Everyone likes the taste of the prasadam. I used to go in my household life to take prasadam in the temples and pay them. I used to do that. And I used to go... Especially in Sri Ramapur, there are two temples, one of Jagannatha and one of Radha-Vallabhaji. So it was very nice. On Sunday I used to go to take prasadam. So you should be habituated to prasadam as far as possible unless you are very sick, you cannot take. That is different. Otherwise you should take it. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. Then we will remember Krsna, and that will keep us fit and immune from all infection of material miserable condition."

Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad-Bhgavatam, 07-01-75, Denver

Vegetarian Health & Nutrition