The Importance of Prasadam

Prasadam

Bhunjante Te Agham Papam Ye Pachyante Atmakaramak. Anyone who is cooking for himself, he is eating simply volumes of sin. So in the material world, either a man is vegetarian or non-vegetarian, they’re eating simply sin, and they will have to suffer the consequence. But so far we are concerned, we are eating remnants of foodstuff which was offered to Krishna, so we are not afraid of anything. If Krishna wants vegetable foodstuff, therefore we supply Him vegetable foodstuff, and if He wants non-vegetarian foodstuff, we can offer Him also, but He does not want it, as it is explicitly stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So we are concerned with Krishna Prasadam, neither vegetarian or non-vegetarian. … There are many vegetarians animals also; the monkeys are vegetarians, the pigeons are vegetarians, so to become vegetarian is not very good credit. But to become Krishna Consciousness is the most important business of life. You should try to convince your friends in that way. They should try to learn about Krishna Consciousness. But because they are vegetarians, there is great possibility for them to understand this philosophy.

This article includes both the Bhagavad-gita verse 3.13 and a letter written in 1968 to Nandarani dd which both help explaine the importance of Prasadam

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Karma-yoga
Bg 3.13

yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo
mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ
bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā
ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt

Synonyms
yajña-śiṣṭa—food taken after performance of yajña; aśinaḥ—eaters; santaḥ—the devotees; mucyante—get relief from; sarva—all kinds of; kilbiṣaiḥ—sins; bhuñjate—enjoy; te—they; tu—but; agham—grievous sins; pāpāḥ—sinners; ye—those; pacanti—prepare food; ātma-kāraṇāt—for sense enjoyment.

Translation
The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.

Purport
The devotees of the Supreme Lord, or the persons who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, are called santas, and they are always in love with the Lord as it is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā: premāñjana- cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti. The santas, being always in a compact of love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda (the giver of all pleasures), or Mukunda (the giver of liberation), or Kṛṣṇa (the all-attractive person), cannot accept anything without first offering it to the Supreme Person. Therefore, such devotees always perform yajñas in different modes of devotional service, such as śravaṇam, kīrtanam, smaraṇam, arcanam, etc., and these performances of yajñas keep them always aloof from all kinds of contamination of sinful association in the material world. Others, who prepare food for self or sense gratification, are not only thieves, but are also the eaters of all kinds of sins. How can a person be happy if he is both a thief and sinful? It is not possible. Therefore, in order for people to become happy in all respects, they must be taught to perform the easy process of saṅkīrtana-yajña, in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise, there can be no peace or happiness in the world.

Letter to: Nandarani
Seattle
18 October, 1968

68-10-18

My Dear Nandarani,

Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated Oct. 13, 1968. I am so glad to learn that you appreciate my mission in the United States as without any rival. Actually this is a fact, because I am presenting nothing manufactured by me. I am presenting the genuine thing as it was given by Lord Krishna Himself, or Lord Caitanya Himself, approved by the Great Acaryas, so the activities which we have adopted, Krishna Consciousness, it is authorized and in the disciplic succession from Krishna directly. I am trying to live in your country permanently, and I have already applied for my permanent visa at Montreal, and they have called me for interview on the 25th Oct. 1968, so I am going there on the 23rd instant, and I will see the Consulate General there on the 25th. So if I get my permanent visa, certainly I shall try to live in your country and spread this unique message of Krishna Consciousness with your good assistance.

The engagement which you have fixed up on the 25th Oct. is not possible to accept because on the 25th I shall be in Montreal, and on the 26th I shall be starting for Santa Fe, and from Santa Fe I am coming to Los Angeles. Perhaps you have already known this fact from your husband, because Jayananda talked with him, about the program.

Regarding vegetarian movement, practically we are not very much interested with such partial movement. We have taken the supreme sublime movement, Krishna Consciousness, which includes all other subordinate movement. Although we are not interested in the vegetarian movement, but because we eat Krishna Prasadam we are already vegetarian. So any good thing all over the world may be brought before us and we can say that we have already accepted it. That is the position of Krishna Consciousness. Krishna Consciousness is all including. Just like if a man has got one million dollars, so 10 dollars, $20, $50, or $500, or $5000, everything is included, in that one million dollars. So we have accepted something which is all including so don’t worry about this vegetarian movement—if they are not inclined to understand what is Krishna consciousness. We have no quarrel either with the vegetarian or non-vegetarian, because according to Bhagavad-gita both of them are sinful. Anyone who is not eating Krishna Prasadam, either vegetarian or non-vegetarian, he is a sinful person. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, Bhunjante Te Agham Papam Ye Pachyante Atmakaramak. Anyone who is cooking for himself, he is eating simply volumes of sin. So in the material world, either a man is vegetarian or non-vegetarian, they’re eating simply sin, and they will have to suffer the consequence. But so far we are concerned, we are eating remnants of foodstuff which was offered to Krishna, so we are not afraid of anything. If Krishna wants vegetable foodstuff, therefore we supply Him vegetable foodstuff, and if He wants non-vegetarian foodstuff, we can offer Him also, but He does not want it, as it is explicitly stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So we are concerned with Krishna Prasadam, neither vegetarian or non-vegetarian. You can say your friend who has invited us that Swamiji is not very expert at speaking about nutritional value of foods, but whatever we take as Krishna Prasadam, there is no comparison of nutrition with any other foodstuff all over the universe. If this group however is ready to hear something about Krishna Consciousness, the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita, it is not religious. It is essential information for human life. So all these old men and women, they should be interested in the value of life. There are many vegetarians animals also; the monkeys are vegetarians, the pigeons are vegetarians, so to become vegetarian is not very good credit. But to become Krishna Consciousness is the most important business of life. You should try to convince your friends in that way. They should try to learn about Krishna Consciousness. But because they are vegetarians, there is great possibility for them to understand this philosophy.

I am enclosing herewith one letter received from Rupanuga for forwarding to you. This letter is from Mr. Fugate of Florida.

Hope this will meet you in good health, and thanking you once more,

Your ever well-wisher
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

P.S. I have just received one letter from Aniruddha who is now staying in San Francisco, and he has asked my permission to stay there, and I am therefore advising him to stay there at least for the time being or if you want him to assist him you can call him back.

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