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Shankh and Ganta

At approximately 12:00 noon the Deity curtains are closed so that the day's main meal, Raj-bhoga, may be offered to the Deities. All morning, the cooks have been making many opulent preparations for this offering. Preparations typically included are sabji and rice, a bitter or sour, chapatis or puris, a savory, sweets, beverage, etc.

Several minutes after making the offering, the pujari clears away the plates, opens the curtains, and blows the conch to begin Raj-bhoga-arati. There are often few people in the temple at this hour because everyone is engaged in other service. If there are no devotees available to sing kirtana, the pujari performs arati while a taped kirtana is played. The songs included for Raj-bhoga-arati kirtana are the same as at Mangala-arati, except that Sri Gurv-astaka is replaced with the Bhoga-arati-kirtana song (see link below).

The Raj-bhoga-arati is a full arati, lasting about 20 minutes. The pujari offers incense, ghee lamp, camphor lamp, water, cloth, flowers, camara, and (in warm weather) a fan. After arati, the curtains are closed (usually by 1:00), and the pujari prepares the Deities to take rest. Darsana is closed during this Shayana-seva period. Their garlands, crowns and jewelry are removed for their nap. The small brass Deities may be laid into beds. In the larger temples, where more opulent worship is offered, the Deities have their pajamas put on. After their naps, they are offered a completely fresh change of clothing for the late afternoon dhupa-arati.

Following Raj bhoga-arati, the devotees take prasadam. As with breakfast prasadam, one should not eat in front of the Deities. When the temple room is the only convenient place to take prasadam, wait until the Deity's curtains are closed before serving the devotees.

"There is this specific statement in the Padma Purana: "A person who honors the prasada and regularly eats it, not exactly in front of the Deity, along with caranamrta [the water offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, which is mixed with seeds of the tulasi tree], immediately can achieve the results of pious activities which are obtained through ten thousand performances of sacrificial rites."

Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 9

The Prasada-sevaya prayer is sung before taking prasadam:


bhai-re! sharira avidya-jal
jodendriya tahe kal,
jive phele vishaya-sagore
tara madhye jihwa ati, lobamoy sudurmati
ta'ke jeta kathina samsare

krishna baro doyamoy, koribare jihwa jay,
swa-prasad-anna dilo bhai
sei annamrita pao,radha-krishna-guna gao,
preme dako chaitanya-nitai


O Lord, this material body is a place of ignorance, and the senses are a network of paths to death. Somehow, we have fallen into this ocean of material sense enjoyment, and of all the senses the tongue is the most voracious and uncontrollable; it is very difficult to control the tongue in this world. But You, dear Krsna, are very kind to us and have given us such nice prasada, just to control the tongue. Now we take this prasada to our full satisfaction and glorify you Lord - Radha and Krsna - and in love call for the help of Lord Caitanya and Nityananda.