Engaging our Senses in Bhakti - Part 9

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

In continuation of the mail on "Engaging our Senses in Bhakti",  let us learn from pure devotees like Maharaj Ambarisha, Srila Prabhupada and Guru Maharaj as to how we can use our tongue in Krishna's service. We had discussed about this aspect in our last mail on this subject but since tongue is the most used sense, we shall try to explore further on how to engage it in the service of the Lord.

rasanāṁ tad-arpite - Ambarish Maharaj engaged his tongue in tasting the prasadam offered to the Lord

1) Potency of prasadam: Krishna prasadam has immense potency. But many a times we don't realise it is power.  Once Sripad Ramanujacarya was walking along a pond with few of his disciples. He took some prasadam and threw it into the water for the fishes. The fishes that took the prasadam assumed the four handed forms, rose up in the air and reached Vaikuntha. When his disciples were surprised by this scene, Ramanuja told them that its the potency of mahaprasadam. When they inquired how although they had been honouring the mahaprasadam all these years - nothing had happened to them so far, Ramanauja replied - "These creatures have no free will, and therefore make no offense. Nor do they doubt the transcendental power of mahaprasadam. So they get full benefit at once. But you with your free will and human intelligence make offenses and are lacking in faith, and thus you hinder your own progress."  So whenever we honour prasadam - we should understand that its Krishna's mercy and honour the same with faith and gratitude.

2) We should never waste or dishonour prasadam. There are so many people in this world who are suffering without a single meal of food. In Somalia we find children starving and dying because of lack of food. Krishna - out of His causeless mercy has kept us in a nice position - that we are not only getting meals 3 times a day - but we are getting Krishna prasadam. So what are we supposed to do as grahasthas?

Srila Prabhupada while explaining in CC Madhya lila 3.41 about the duty of a householder in terms of honoring prasadam says, "According to the Vedic principles, there must always be a guest in a householder's house....According to Vedic principles, a householder, before taking lunch, should go outside and shout very loudly to see if there is anyone without food. In this way he invites people in to take prasadam. ...thus the householder's life is a kind of austerity."

How can we practise this in our day to day life?

We must always keep some dry prasadam in store with us whenever we are travelling out - so that we can distribute the same to people whomever we meet.  When we are invited by other friends for birthday parties or any other family function, we can use it as a wonderful opportunity for prasadam distribution.

We should cook and offer bhoga with devotion and invite friends and neighbours regularly for satsangs and by so doing we can provide an opportunity to as many souls as possible to honour Krishna prasadam.

In Bhagavatam we find that King Rantideva, even after fasting for 48 days - was eagerly and lovingly ready to distribute all the prasadam he had at home to all the guests who came to his house - be it brahmanas, candalas, dogs or shudras. Lord Krishna was very much pleased by his hospitable nature that He gave him His darshan and promoted him to Vaikunta. So as grahasthas we should also try to distribute prasadam to all.  As Guru Maharaj says, "If we don't have enough lakshmi to sponsor prasadam for many people - we can simply throw some grains to pigeon, sprinkle one spoon of sugar to ants - then that is also prasadam distribution."

3) Importantly, today being the appearance day of the Supreme Goddess Srimati Radharani, we should remember her transcendental qualities. Out of so many of her transcendental qualities, one of the most important quality is that she is the topmost cook. In spiritual world Radharani eternally keeps cooking new dishes for Krishna every time. So, whenever we cook, we should pray to Her, seek Her blessings and guidance to assist Her in pleasing Krishna. This way we can prepare prasadam with a sanctified consciousness.

4) Apart from being in the food form, Krishna prasadam is also in the form of sound vibration of Srimad Bhagavat-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. In so many places in Srimad Bhagavatam, the nectarean Krsna-katha is recommended to be relished by drinking through the ears. In other words, we can taste Krishna's names and pastimes through our tongue when we chant them sincerely. When the tongue chants the various mantras in the scriptures it tastes the prasadam of the Supreme Lord in the form of the sound vibration. It is said in SB 2.2.37,

pibanti ye bhagavata ātmanaḥ satāṁ
kathāmṛtaṁ śravaṇa-puṭeṣu sambhṛtam
punanti te viṣaya-vidūṣitāśayaṁ
vrajanti tac-caraṇa-saroruhāntikam

Those who drink through aural reception, fully filled with the nectarean message of Lord Krishna, the beloved of the devotees, purify the polluted aim of life known as material enjoyment and thus go back to Godhead, to the lotus feet of Him [the Personality of Godhead].

Let us offer our sincere prayers at the lotus feet of our spiritual master that we shall use our tongue in always tasting Krishna prasadam that is offered to Him and drinking His nectarean prasadam in the form of the transcendental sound vibration of Srimad Bhagavat-gita and Bhagavatam, and thereby purify our existence and dedicate our life in the service of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das and Sudarshana devi dasi.