Hare Krishna Mahamantra

हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण, कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे || हरे राम हरे राम, राम राम हरे हरे||

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Krishna Prasadam - Offering Bhog with Prayer (Bhog Mantra), Prayer before eating Prasadam (with audio video)

Offering food to Shri Krishna before eating – Krishna Prasadam

Bhog Thali for Shri Krishna

Prasadam literally means “mercy” and devotees of ISKCON use this term to describe pure vegetarian food that has been offered to Lord Krishna. Food that has been offered to the Deities in the temple is known as maha-prasadam.

Most food contains karma which binds us to the cycle of birth and death because although it may be vegetarian one may still harm other living entities in the process of obtaining it: The farmer may accidentally kill insects during the cultivation of crops or the plants may feel some pain when they are uprooted. However, when the food is prepared for the pleasure of Krishna He accepts the love and devotion present in the offering and removes all sins from it. The karma present in the food is therefore transformed into spiritual energy. Honoring (eating) this sanctified prasadam is the basis of bhakti-yoga and helps one to make tangible spiritual advancement. Sharing and distributing prasadam is also very important!

What can we offer to Krishna?

Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita that “if one offers me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it.” Krishna does not accept meat, fish or eggs. Onions, garlic and caffeine are also not offered because they cause disturbance to the mind and are therefore not beneficial for meditation and spiritual life. One should use fresh, natural ingredients as far as possible. One should also pay special attention to all labels of items bought in supermarkets: cheese may contain non-vegetarian rennet, some yogurts contain gelatin and many non-vegetarian products are hidden behind e-numbers, preservatives, flavours and colours.

How to prepare an offering for Krishna

Cleanliness is next to Godliness, so one should keep the kitchen very clean. As the food is to be offered to Krishna, the Supreme Enjoyer, one should not taste anything before the offering is made. The most essential ingredients are love and devotion, so while cooking one should remember that one is cooking for Krishna’s pleasure. Listening to a devotional songs or kirtans helps create a nice meditative mood in the kitchen.

Making an bhog offering to Krishna

A portion of each preparation is arranged in Krishna’s personal plate and bowls. Fresh water is offered in His cup. A Tulasi leaf is placed on each preparation.

Beginners may chant the maha-mantra Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare three times.

For a more elaborate offering the prayers below are chanted three times each while ringing a bell. Although the offering is made to Krishna, it is done through the spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, so we begin with prayers to his lotus feet:

1. Prayer to Srila Prabhupada:

nama om visnu-padaya krishna-presthaya bhutale,
srimate bhaktivedanta-swamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracharine,
nirvishesha sunyavadi paschyatya desha tarine

नमः  विष्णु पादयकृष्ण पृष्ठाय भूतले, 
श्रीमते भक्ति वेदांत स्वामिन इति नामिने 
नमस्ते सरस्वते देवे गौर वाणी प्रचारिणे, 
निर्विशेष शून्य-वादी पाश्चात्य देश तारिणे ।।

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet. Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and delivering the western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism."

2. Prayer to Lord Chaitanya:

namo maha-vadanyaya, krishna-prema-pradaya te 
krishnaya krishna-chaitanya, namne gaura-twishe namah

नमो महा-वदान्याय, कृष्ण प्रेम प्रदायते।
कृष्णाय कृष्ण चैतन्य, नामने गोर-तविशे नमः ॥

"O most munificent incarnation! You are Krishna Himself appearing as Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. You have assumed the golden colour of Srimati Radharani and You are widely distributing pure love of Krishna. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You."

3. Prayer to Lord Krishna:

namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca 
jagad-dhitaya krishnaya govindaya namo namah

नमो ब्रह्माण्ड दवाये, गो ब्राह्मण हिताय च । 
जगत धिताय कृष्णाय, गोविन्दाय नमो नमः॥

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Krishna, who is the worshipable Deity for all brahmanas, the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas and the benefactor of the whole world. I offer my repeated obeisances to the Personality of Godhead, known as Krishna and Govinda."

After offering the food to the Lord, we wait some minutes for Him to relish the preparations. Then the food is transferred from Krishna’s plate back into their respective recipients. Krishna’s plates need to be washed before the prasadam is served.

Offering prayer to Shri Krishna before having Mahaprasad

A special prayer is recited by devotees before honoring the prasadam, to thank the Lord for his mercy.

maha-prasade govinde 
nama-brahmani vaisnave 
svalpa-punya-vatam rajan 
visvaso naiva jayate 

"O king, for those who have amassed very few pious activities, their faith in maha-prasada, in Shri Govinda, in the Holy Name and in the Vaisnava is never born."

sarira abidya-jal, jodendriya tahe kal, 
jibe phele bisaya-sagore 
taar madhye jihva ati, lobhamoy sudurmati 
taake jeta kathina somsare

krsna baro doyamoy, karibare jihva jay, 
swa-prasad-anna dilo bhai 
sei annamrta khao, radha-krsna-guna gao, 
preme dako caitanya-nitai

"This material body is a place of ignorance, and the senses are a network of paths to death. The senses throw the soul into this ocean of material sense enjoyment and, of all the senses, the tongue is most voracious and uncontrollable; it is very difficult to conquer the tongue in this world. O brothers! Lord Krishna is very kind to us and has given us such nice prasada, just to control the tongue. Now let us take this prasada to our full satisfaction and glorify Their Lordships, Shri Shri Radha and Krishna and, in love, call for the help of Lord Chaitanya and Prabhu Nityananda."

Audio Video of maha-prasade govinde prayer in a song format:

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*** Hare Krishna ***