Author Topic: How prasadam is offered?  (Read 6791 times)

Hari

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How prasadam is offered?
« on: July 28, 2013, 07:16:41 PM »
How prasadam is offered to God? Please, give details. Are there any rules?
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Hari

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2013, 12:41:32 PM »
Could someone help? :)
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Subramanian.R

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2013, 12:54:11 PM »
Dear Hari,

Pure cooked rice (prepared after taking bath), sprinkled with cow's ghee is usually offered to God.  One can also offer
fruits, flowers also.  Even water is okay says Sri Krishna. None of these should be tasted or smelled before offering
to God.  After offering prasadam, the items can be consumed by devotees and others.  The word prasadam came from
sAdam which means cooked rice.  Pra is added because it is sanctified.

Arunachala Siva.     

atmavichar100

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2013, 12:57:39 PM »

The following link gives details of how Prasadam is offered in ISKCON Temples to Lord Krishna
http://www.iskconbangalore.org/prasadam-how-prepare-and-offer-food
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Hari

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2013, 12:57:56 PM »
Thank you, Sri Subramanian.

Does devotees of Bhagavan and Arunachala also offer prasadam in the ashram?
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Hari

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2013, 01:00:15 PM »

The following link gives details of how Prasadam is offered in ISKCON Temples to Lord Krishna
http://www.iskconbangalore.org/prasadam-how-prepare-and-offer-food

Dear atmavichar, I have read ISKCON's. But they use mantras which are dedicated to Srila Prabhupada and so on. So I cannot decide is this just ISKCON's vision of how prasadam must be offered or this is the way Indians do it in general.
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atmavichar100

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 01:17:51 PM »
Dear Hari

Except for Mantras of ISKCON ,I feel the rest of the procedure is correct . You can remove ISKCON Mantras and add the mantras of your favorite deity .

Basically here is the simple way I offer Prasadam :

1) Have bath and be in clean clothes
2) Place the cooked rice ( Since rice is the basic staple dish we keep boiled rice  and on special days we keep some sweet dish / fruits ) in front of God with the covers open , add a few drops of Ghee in to it .
3) I chant the basic Annapoornai Mantra ( which comes at the last of Adi Shankara's Anaapoorna Stotram ) as an Offering to Goddess Annapoorani the Goddess of Food .
4) While Chanting I lite a camphor and wave the camphor aarti simulatneously ringing the bell .
5) Then I prostrate before all the deities in my Puja room
and the food is ready to be served .

You can replace the boiled rice with any  vegetarian dish that you prepare and you can also offer fruits ,sweets etc in case you are unable to prepare food .Only see to it that you do not keep already cooked food / stale food as Prasad .
Also you can chant your favorite deity / Guru Mantra while offering the prasad .
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Hari

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 01:29:28 PM »
Thank you, Sri atmavichar! I will try to accommodate all your instructions to my house and the situation I am living in. :) I have always wanted to have my pooja room but for now it is not possible. I don't know if I can find camphor but I hope that it could be replaced by frankincense.
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Subramanian.R

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2013, 01:31:33 PM »
Dear Hari,

In the Asramam, the devotees can only take flowers for Sri Ramaneswara Mahalingam and Sri Matrubhuteswara Lingam
and Yogamba.   The regular cooked prasad are prepared by the Asramam and offered in a closed vessel by priests only.

Arunachala Siva.   

atmavichar100

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2013, 01:45:35 PM »
Hari

Offering Prasad is a symbolic act of showing our gratitude to the almighty for blessing us with our daily food . Also food once placed before God and consumed is no longer considered as food but as prasad as it has now the blessings of God . If you do not know any Mantras you can just chant the favorite mantra of your Ishta Deivam / Guru and consume the food .

Only yesterday while attending the Bhagavad Gita talk of Swami Paramarthananda he said the food should always be consumed after offering a prayer and if you do not know any prayer just chant "GOVINDA ,GOVINDA , GOVINDA " and consume the food .

When I eat in Hotels ( I do not eat outside as much as possible except when I travel or have some friends / Guests ) I always take care to offer my prayers and invoke the blessings of my Gurus before I consume the food . Since I come from the Sivananda School of Yoga we chant the famous "Bramarphanam Bramhahavir .. " Mantra from the Chapter 4( Shloka 24 )  of Bhagavad Gita as a short prayer followed by Invoking the names of our Gurus Swami Sivananda , Swami Vishnu devananda ( who was his disciple and my Yoga Guru ) .

Traditionally Vedic Mantras are chanted before the food is being offered and this is still followed in Sri  Ramana Ashram . In Other places like Chinmaya /Dayananda Organization the Chapter 15 of Bhagavad Gita is recited before food is being consumed .
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Nagaraj

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2013, 04:09:16 PM »
Dear Hari,

It feels good to hear your interest in these matters. yes it is such a wonderful thing to have a dedicated place for God in our Home, where the divinity resides just for our sake and silently guides us.

Every puja has the following steps:

Shodashopachara is a way of performing a Hindu daily puja to Hindu deities. This involves 16 steps of puja and is performed by some Hindus daily and by others only on special occasions. Some people perform Shodashopachar Puja daily, once in a week, fortnight or month.

Avaahan – Welcoming the deity
Asan – Seating of the deity
Padya – Washing feet
Arghya – Offering water to wash hands
Achman – Offering water to sip and wash mouth
Snan – Bathing of deity
Vastra – Offering fresh clothes and decorations
Changing Janai – Fresh scared thread
Gandha – Offering aromatic substances
Pushpa – Offering flowers
Dhoop – Burning incense
Deep – Waving lights
Naivadya – Offering food
Tambool – Offering betel leaves, betel nuts, camphor etc
Pradakshina – Prostrations before the deity and going around the deity
Pushpanjali – Offering flowers and final prayers.

A useful video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXf19YmizUU

These daily Puja build a bond with the God, our personal God, is it not the best to build a friendship with the Lord Almighty? out of our love, we bring the unlimited expanse of the Formless Self into the Form of the God that we like, you may have Jesus or Hari as you desire and long for. We can only relate to that God only if That is seen as our own selves, hence we see That as ourselves and offer the best services, अतिथि देवो भवः The guest is God, and we please That God in the 16 forms of worship as given above. There are in depth essence and meaning to each ritual and they are not just mere mechanical forms of worship.

--
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Subramanian.R

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2013, 04:47:06 PM »
Dear Hari and Nagaraj,

While in the matter of prasadam, I want you to read Siva Manasa Puja of Sri Sankara, a wonderful Stotra. a couple of years back,
I have written a serial post on this Stotram.  Sankara being a sannyasi does all pujas in mind, because he had no where with all
to procure things.  But the bathing of Siva, adornment, applying sandal paste etc., and then food of different types* are narrated.
Not only this, he goes to the extent of narrating what Siva should enjoy after food!  Good music, dance etc.,

(* Payasam, sweet, salty, khara, alkaline types of food, then milk, curd, plantains, panakam, sweet, nice smelling water
with a special type of camphor for drinking after food, and then tamboolam, betel leaves, nuts and chunam!)   

Then Sankara finally comes to pure advaita.

He says: You are the Atma. Girija is buddhi. the free flowing air into the nostrils for breathing are your ganas.  My body is your
home. All my sensual enjoyments are only puja for you. Sleep is Samadhi.  All my movements here and there are pradakshina.
All my spoken words are Stotras. All my actions are aradhana for you!

Please forgive my sins through my hands, legs, words, body, actions, hearing, seeing, mind.

Jaya Jaya karunabdhe Sri Mahadeva Sambo! 

Arunachala Siva.   
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 04:57:25 PM by Subramanian.R »

Hari

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2013, 04:52:18 PM »
Dear Nagaraj, Subramanian, thank you so much! It was so useful!

Sri Subramania, I will read Siva Manasa Puja for sure!

Sri Nagaraj, thank you for the video!
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Hari

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2013, 04:54:58 PM »
Does bathing of Deity means to bath a statue of the Deity?
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Hari

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Re: How prasadam is offered?
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2013, 05:35:21 PM »
These daily Puja build a bond with the God, our personal God, is it not the best to build a friendship with the Lord Almighty? out of our love, we bring the unlimited expanse of the Formless Self into the Form of the God that we like, you may have Jesus or Hari as you desire and long for. We can only relate to that God only if That is seen as our own selves, hence we see That as ourselves and offer the best services, अतिथि देवो भवः The guest is God, and we please That God in the 16 forms of worship as given above. There are in depth essence and meaning to each ritual and they are not just mere mechanical forms of worship.

In this regard is not very different from Hinduism. Christian are taught to thank God before eating and praying He to sanctify their meal by His Grace. Yes, dear Nagaraj. We should not forget that God is the Self. Spiritual path is something like a walk with our shadow. We could at first think that we have a friend who accompany us. At last we realize that the shadow is our own body's shadow, so actually we have walked alone. This is how I understand Advaita teaching.
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