Offering Bhoga - To Whom?

12th Oct 2004
Sajjana Priya Krishna das

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

Today morning while I was taking prasadam, some thought came to my mind. We are all offering bhoga to Krishna everyday and take it as prasadam. But however while offering bhoga to Krishna how much of attention we are giving while serving the Lord is worth giving a thought. On introspection, I can say this for myself. We usually make the bhoga to Krishna and then offer it and start reciting the prayers (mechanically), and then leave Krishna alone to tolerate our food and then we take it as prasadam after a little while. Especially when we are very hungry we want to do the offering for a few minutes or just keep it in front of Krishna and take it immediately, because we want to taste the food first. Some people foolishly justify that Krishna can even eat through His eyes and it doesn't take much time for Him to eat the offering and hence we can remove the offering in 2-3 minutes.

But suppose our Boss comes to our house, how much attention we give to him and make sure that he is completely satisfied? We try to entertain him somehow or other (yena tena prakāreṇa) and spend even hours with him with our praising talks about him and we see that he gets full attention and lovingly serve him with the best of food stuff (which he likes) so that he can take care of us in our office. In reality, he may not even take care of us, but still we try to endeavor to satisfy him 500%. On the other hand, with Krishna as stated above, we give little attention and no loving care and we do not want to even sit patiently and wait for Him to finish eating. Once the ten or fifteen minutes is over, we take it as granted as Krishna has honored our offering. Prasadam is His mercy and Krishna is not wanting in anything.There are so many pure devotees who are serving Him with love and attention. How insignificant is my service in comparison to theirs?

The actual idea is that the prasadam is for our benefit and not for His benefit. This is the underlying concept in all kinds of devotional activities we may perform.

Prahlad Maharaj nicely elucidates this point in his prayer in Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.11:

naivātmanaḥ prabhur ayaṁ nija-lābha-pūrṇo
mānaṁ janād aviduṣaḥ karuṇo vṛṇīte
yad yaj jano bhagavate vidadhīta mānaṁ
tac cātmane prati-mukhasya yathā mukha-śrīḥ

The Supreme Lord , the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is always full satisfied in Himself. Therefore when something is offered to Him, the offering, by the Lords mercy, is for the benefit of the devotee, for the Lord does not need service from anyone. To give an example, if one's face is decorated, the reflection of one's face in a mirror is also seen to be decorated.

Let me pray at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, Prahlad Maharaj and Gurudev that henceforth I should endeavor to offer the bhoga to the Lord with more attention, loving care and devotion so that I can obtain His mercy (prasadam) which is only for my benefit.

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Sajjana Priya Krishna das
Abu Dhabi.