[…] And if you simply make this determined vow – “I shall not allow my tongue to taste anything not offered to Krsna and shall always engage my tongue in chanting Hare Krsna” – then all perfection is in your grasp. All perfection. Two simple things: don’t eat anything not offered to Krsna, and always chant Hare Krsna. That’s all.
Srila Prabhupada, from The Quest for Enlightenment
Just read this quote from Prabhupada on Kadamba’s blog.
It is such a simple and perfect instruction. Sometimes I think that if I can just manage to follow one of Prabhupada’s instructions perfectly that there will be some hope for me. But, to my great misfortune, I am a long way from perfect.
I think instructions on prasadam are often minimized these days because most people live outside the temple, life is busy and cooking is often inconvenient. But really, the effect of eating non-offerable foodstuff is serious. We may not notice it so much–it is subtle, like the positive effect of just associating with devotees or visiting the temple–but the effect on spiritual life is deep. I see with myself the effect on my children and myself when I eat foodstuff not prepared by devotees. Or when I myself am not in good consciousness when cooking.
I remember when I first joined and I would offer store bought things to a picture of Srila Prabhupada. I had such sincerity in doing so. But now if I happen to get some store bought thing, I cannot bring myself to do a formal offering. It was not prepared with love and devotion for Krishna. It is just crap to satisfy my tongue. Sure, I do a little Sri Vishnu-ing, but I feel like I don’t want to insult Prabhupada with some crappy offering when I know better. I would rather verily eat sin than offer potato chips from an aluminum bag to the guru.
Once at a festival at Gita Nagari HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami saw some disciples who had travelled very far–all the way from Detroit–to attend. They got out of their car with a bag of chips and Maharaja stopped dead in his tracks and just looked at them. Then he said, “I don’t know who you offered that to but I know it wasn’t me because I don’t eat food out of an aluminum bag!”
Classsic BTS. Gotta love it! It totally stuck with me as a purport to Patram puspam….