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The Lord as Srutadeva's Guest

"Sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana-srngara-tan-mandira -marjanadau. When he, the devotee, sees that Krsna is very nicely dressed, Krsna is very nicely ornamented with garland, with jewels, sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana, daily changing, and the temple is very cleansed, and Krsna is offered, catur-vidha-sri-bhagavat-prasada, carvya, cosya, lehya, peya, varieties of prasadam, his life becomes happy in that way, not by enjoying them, but offering to Krsna. This is another colorful life.

So if you change your colorful life of this material existence and if you take to the colorful life... If you simply make zero, then it will not be fruitful, because we cannot become zero. It is not possible. People say that you become desireless. That is impossible. How we can become desireless? That is the life, to desire. The desire has to be purified. That is wanted. That purified means in spite..., instead of desiring a very nice dress for yourself, when you desire the nice dress for Krsna, this is purified. This is purified. Instead of desiring yourself to eat very nice palatable dishes, if you offer Krsna nice palatable dishes, then you become desireless. This is desireless.

So you will not be bereft of the prasada. Whatever you offering to Krsna, Krsna is so kind, He will eat, and He will leave it again, the same, very tasteful. And you will eat it, and you become spiritualized. Krsna is not hungry, that because you will give Him very palatable dishes, He will eat everything. He is self-sufficient. He is being offered such nice dishes by many thousands of goddess of fortune, including Radharani, and so He has no need for your nicely prepared foodstuff. But He is so kind that He comes to accept it just to deliver you. Take it like that. That is Krsna consciousness."

Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam, 12-17-74, Bombay

"....if there is no temple, you can keep a small Deity in a small box and open it. After taking bath, sitting down, you can offer Him little patram puspam phalam toyam. Little you can offer, little water. Where is the difficulty? Deity worship. You can worship Deity anywhere also. In a small box you can keep the Deity. And after taking bath you offer something. If you have nothing to offer, offer a little tulasi leaf. Or any leaf. That Krsna says, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me. The real thing is whether you are lover and devotee. Then Krsna will accept anything you offer. It is not you have to cook very sumptuously, very rich food. Then Krsna you'll offer. Krsna is not after your food. Krsna is after your devotion and faith. That can be created anywhere if you are actually sincere."

Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita, 07-04-74, Honolulu

Once the bhoga has been properly cooked and made into nice preparations, it may be served to the Lord. The Deities should have Their own plates and utensils, and no one else should ever eat from them. Make sure that all plates and utensils are spotlessly clean before placing preparations on the plates. Preparations should be kept covered while being transported from the kitchen to the altar, and should not be looked up by other persons or animals.

Make sure there is adequate space on the altar for the plates and cups, so that nothing is too crowded or might spill. Preparations should be placed so they can be seen by the Deities, who will eat with their eyes.

After offering the food to the Lord, wait at least five minutes for Him to partake of the preparations. The dishes and utensils may then be removed from the altar. The prasadam should be transferred off the Deities dinnerware, either onto a separate mahaprasada plate, for distribution, or each preparation may be return to the serving dish. The Lord's dishes and utensils should be washed immediately, and return to their place before prasadam is served to others.

Everything offered on the altar becomes prasadam - the flowers, garlands, incense, foodstuffs, etc. By Krsna's mercy, everything offered with devotion becomes spiritualized, and the remnants, Krsna prasada, are non-different from the Lord Himself. Krsna prasada should be distributed as widely as possible, so the mercy of the Lord may benefit as many fallen conditioned souls as possible.

"My Dear Aniruddha, Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of June 5th, 1968, and I thank you very much for it. Yes, I have noted your questions about the serving of prasadam. The main thing is that whenever prasadam is offered to the Lord, everything should be very respectfully and cleanly presented and prepared. In Jagannatha Puri, the Lord eats 56 times. So the Lord can eat as many times as you can offer. But only thing is whatever is offered must be with respect and devotion. (He is neither hungry nor poor, nor unable to eat, but He accepts everything, when such eatable is within the groups of vegetables, fruits, flours, milk, water, etc. is offered to Him with love and devotion, and faith. He wants our love only, and that makes Him hungry for eating as many times as you may offer. He is absolute, therefore, all contradictory points coincide in Him. He is hungry and satisfied simultaneously. So the purport is that everything should be offered very cleanly and pure things should be given.)"

Srila Prabhupada Letter to Aniruddha, 06-16-68, Montreal

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

Bhoga-arati: Offering to the Deities

Lord Caitanya's Prasada Pastimes