Offering Food to the Lord

Srila Prabhupada taking prasadam

…For offering prasadam simply prayers to the Spiritual Master is sufficient. The process is that everything is offered to the Spiritual Master, and the Spiritual Master is supposed to offer the same foodstuff to the Lord. When a thing is offered to the Spiritual Master, he immediately offers to the Lord. That is the system, and as we come by parampara system, it is our duty to go through the right channel—namely, first the Spiritual Master, then Lord Caitanya, and then Krishna. So when we chant prayers, we do this, Vande ham Sri Guru . . . and gradually to the Goswamis, then to Lord Caitanya, and then to Radha Krishna. That is the praying system. But offering the prasadam to present everything before the Spiritual Master whose picture is also in the altar, means that the Spiritual Master will take care of offering the foodstuff to the Lord. Therefore simply by chanting the prayer to the Spiritual Master, everything will be complete. (Letter to Harer Nama May 28, 1968)

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A Pure Devotee Can Deliver You Krishna

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Pure devotee means he has no other desire, no material desire. Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam, zero.

…And if it is mixed up, anyābhi…, with material desire or spiritual emancipation or fruitive activities, then it is not pure devotee.

So if you can approach such pure devotee… As it is stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā, adurlabham ātma-bhaktau. This is ātma-bhaktau, a pure devotee. He can deliver you Kṛṣṇa. “Take Kṛṣṇa. Here is Kṛṣṇa.” Kṛṣṇa-prema… That is…

The symbolic representation is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He’s described by Rūpa Gosvāmī:

namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ [Madhya 19.53]

When Rūpa Gosvāmī… He was minister in the government of Nawab Hussain Shah. At that time, very exalted personality. He could understand Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission. Therefore when he first met Him at Allahabad, Prayāga, he offered his respect with these words: namo mahā-vadānyāya, the most munificent incarnation. Why? Kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te. “You are distributing kṛṣṇa-prema. It is very difficult to understand Kṛṣṇa, but You are so kind that You are immediately delivering love of Kṛṣṇa.”

You can know one person. But to develop love for him, that is another transaction. So people cannot understand even Kṛṣṇa, and what is the saying of Kṛṣṇa’s love? But Caitanya Mahāprabhu is so kind that He’s immediately giving kṛṣṇa-prema, love of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore He is described as the most munificent incarnation. Kṛṣṇa Himself could not deliver Himself. He wanted. “First of all you surrender.” Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66] But Caitanya Mahāprabhu is so kind. Simply through this chanting and dancing, He is distributing love of Kṛṣṇa.

You can see practically. These boys from European and American countries, means all over the world, why they are chanting and dancing in this way? Do you think they have become mad? And one says, “Yes, they have become mad.” Why? For love of Kṛṣṇa. Now they have began they have become lover of Kṛṣṇa. So kṛṣṇa-prema is like that. That is through the mercy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the symbolic representation of devotee. Bhaktāvatāraṁ bhaktākhyaṁ namāmi bhakta-śaktikam. Namāmi bhakta-śaktikam. He can give the strength to the devotee so that he can develop his dormant love of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore in the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated that adurlabham ātma-bhaktau. If one is pure devotee, for him, Kṛṣṇa is available very easy. He says in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55] “One can understand Me in truth…” Yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ. “Which is very, very difficult.”

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ [Bg. 7.3]

To understand Kṛṣṇa as He is, it is difficult. But if you take to this process of devotional service…

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam [SB 7.5.23]

Either of these process. All the process or either of these. You become successful to develop your dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and then your life becomes successful. Thank you very much. (end)

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Lord Caitanya: The Golden Avatara

… When Rupa Gosvami, the principal disciple of Lord Caitanya, first saw Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he offered a nice prayer to Lord Caitanya. This prayer says, namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te/ krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne gaura-tvise namah. “My dear Lord, You are the most munificent of all the incarnations.” Why? Krsna-prema-pradaya te: “You are directly giving love of God. You have no other purpose. Your process is so nice that one can immediately learn to love God. Therefore You are the most munificent of all incarnations. And it is not possible for any personality other than Krsna Himself to deliver this benediction; therefore I say that You are Krsna.” Krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne: “You are Krsna, but You have assumed the name Krsna Caitanya. I surrender unto You.”

Lord Caitanya: The Golden Avatara
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 1, Number 39

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the golden avatara, appeared in India nearly 500 years ago. It is the custom in India that when a child is born, an astrologer is called for. When Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared 5,000 years ago, Gargamuni was called by His father, and he said, “This child formerly incarnated in five complexions, such as red and golden, and now He has appeared in blackish color.” Krsna’s color is described in the scriptures as blackish, just like a cloud. Lord Caitanya is understood to be Krsna appearing in golden complexion.

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