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Distributing Prasadam

"The spiritual master encourages distribution of prasadam (remnants of Krsna's food) to the public. Ours is not a dry philosophy--simply talk and go away. No. We distribute prasadam, very sumptuous prasadam. In every temple, we offer prasadam to anyone who comes. In each and every temple we already have from fifty to two hundred devotees, and outsiders also come and take prasadam. So prasadam distribution is another symptom of the genuine spiritual master."

Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Gurvastam, Stockholm, 09-09-73

Prasadam distribution is an essential element of Krsna Consciousness. Not only are the devotees instructed to prepare and offer sumptuous foodstuffs to the Lord, taking only His remnants as their own eatables, they are also requested to liberally distribute Krsna prasadam to all other persons who are suffering due to spiritual hunger.

Srila Prabhupada taught the devotees many methods for distributing prasadam, each with its own unique mood. ISKCON quickly became famous for the lavish Sunday Love Feasts held in temples everywhere. Devotees out on sankirtana and book distributing parties would hand out sweets and invite everyone they met to come to the Sunday program to enjoy a vegetarian feast and take darshan of the Deities. Prasadam was always made available to temple visitors, no matter the day or time they might visit. Food For Life programs were established, with large quantities of prasadam being freely distributed to the hungry from mobile and permanent stations. College preaching programs grew around the distribution of prasad at lunchtime on campus grounds. At Ratha Yatras around the world each year, the Festival of India includes booths where prasadam is distributed to all.

The distribution of Krsna prasadam is a prime benediction of Lord Caitanya’s Sankirtana movement. As Lord Caitanya instructed Nityananda and Haridas Prabhus, “Go from house to house and beg the residents as follows: Speak about Krsna, worship Krsna and teach others about Krsna." ….and everywhere you go, liberally distribute Krsna Consciousness in the form of wonderful prasadam!

"This gratitude and love for God is exhibited by a pure devotee, who knows that the Lord lives in every living entity. As such, temple worship necessarily includes distribution of prasada. It is not that one should create a temple in his private apartment or private room, offer something to the Lord, and then eat. Of course, that is better than simply cooking foodstuffs and eating without understanding one's relationship with the Supreme Lord; people who act in this manner are just like animals. But the devotee who wants to elevate himself to the higher level of understanding must know that the Lord is present in every living entity, and, as stated in the previous verse, one should be compassionate to other living entities. A devotee should worship the Supreme Lord, be friendly to persons who are on the same level and be compassionate to the ignorant. One should exhibit his compassion for ignorant living entities by distributing prasada. Distribution of prasada to the ignorant masses of people is essential for persons who make offerings to the Personality of Godhead."

Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 3:29:24

"Just like in our temples, everywhere, we are daily feeding so many daridras. So many. In Los Angeles, in New York, and Mayapur also, daily we are feeding five hundred to one thousand people. They are daridras. So that is the duty of every temple. There we're feeding not only Hindus and, only, but Muslims also. Anyone. Anyone come here and take prasadam. And the whole village is so satisfied with these activities. Temple means there must be sufficient foodstuff. Anyone who comes for foodstuff, he should be given. So by worshiping Krsna, these things automatically done. There is no need of extra endeavor. Paratma-nistha. This is called paratma-nistha. Etam sa asthaya paratma-nistha. Not only now. From time immemorial, all the temples in India, they have got sufficient foodstuff. Even at Natha-dvara, if you pay them only one anna or four annas, they'll give you so much nice prasadam. The two annas, four annas, the priestly order, they take. Otherwise, prasada is distributed. So by worshiping Krsna... Krsna is not hungry. He's fully satisfied. He doesn't require to eat. Temple worship means to distribute the prasadam to the poor. That is temple worship. Temple worship does not mean that you, you bring some rice from the neighbors and cook it and eat yourself and sit, sleep down, nice. No. Temple worship means you must distribute prasadam... You should... To the poor. Everyone is poor. Not that the rich man is not poor. Actually I have seen one rich man, he was coming for asking some prasadam. In my, before when I taking, when I was grhastha, I was going in so many temples, asking for some prasadam. That's a long history. So there is no question of, if one is financially poor, he should come to the temple. Everyone should come to the temple and ask for prasada. That is required. So paratma-nistham. The sannyasi should worship the Deity in the temple and feed the poor. Poor does not mean that one who has no legs, no ears, or no... Poor... Everyone who is spiritually poor, he should be given prasadam. "

Srila Prabhupada Initiation Lecture, Calcutta, 01-26-73 730126in.cal

Prasadam Preaching