My wife shared this with me, it was a post on Facebook, that she found interesting.
Letter by Srila Prabhupada
16 June, 1969 New Vrindaban
My Dear Arundhati
“Regarding your question about offering Prasadam, whatever is offered to the Deity actually it goes through the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master offers to Lord Caitanya, and Lord Caitanya offers it to Krishna. Then Radha Krishna eats, or Jagannatha eats, then Caitanya Mahaprabhu eats, then the Spiritual Master eats, and it becomes Mahaprasadam. So when you offer something, you think like that and chant the Gayatri mantra, and then everything is complete. At last, ring the bell, take out the plate and wipe the place where the plate was kept.”
This morning as I was heating up some hot milk to offer, I was reminded of something Srila Prabhupada said about drinking milk; ‘that we should drink milk “sipping hot” this will help develop the finer brain cells needed to understand spiritual subject matter’
I don’t have anything against vegans, rather I respect their endeavor to not promote violence against animals by refraining, but we are getting our milk from protected cows, and I view milk as one of the many gifts from God. Milk, yogurt, butter, ghee, and paneer (cheese curd), have all been used for thousands of years in Vedic cooking. And Krishna is also known as Makhan Chor (the butter thief) and is very fond of eating butter and yogurt, and is something that is offered daily in all the ISKCON temples
…Milk is compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one’s life. In modern civilization, men do not think milk to be important, and therefore they do not live very long. Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk. This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, instead of drinking milk, people prefer to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, advises go-rakṣya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one’s life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectarean milk from their milk bags. (purport to SB 8.6.12)
Food prepared for and offered to Krishna with love and devotion becomes completely spiritualized. Such food is called Krishna prasadam, which means “the mercy of Lord Krishna.”
Lord Caitanya said of prasadam…”now that they have been prepared for Krishna and offered to Him with devotion, these foods have acquired extraordinary tastes and uncommon fragrances. Just taste them and see the difference! Apart from the taste, even the fragrance pleases the mind and makes one forget any other fragrance. Therefore, it should be understood that the spiritual nectar of Krishna’s lips must have touched these ordinary foods and imparted to them all their transcendental qualities.”
Eating only food offered to Krishna is the perfection of vegetarianism. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says that unless one eats only food that has been offered to Him in sacrifice, one will suffer the reactions of karma. He also states, “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I will accept it.”
Prasadam: Food for the Body, Food for the Soul and Food for God
by Kirtanananda Swami
Recipes contributed by Sridama das Brahmacari
from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 1, Number 32, 1970
Prasadam means food for the body, food for the soul and food for God. More specifically, it is food which has been sanctified by special selection and preparation and then offered to Krsna, God, in love and devotion. Cooking for God? How absurd that sounds to the sophisticates of this modern age! How anthropomorphic! Even most transcendentalists will smile a smile of condescension at the suggestion: cooking for God! But why not? We cook for every conceivable nonsensical purpose. Why not cook instead for the Lord? Why shouldn’t this most important and central activity of life be dedicated to the Supreme? Why not cook transcendentally?
Ran across this fine devotee cookbook on the Sampradaya Sun sometime back, and thought we should share it with our readers. The recipes did in fact remind us of the early “love feasts”, and devotee diet in the early days of the Hare Krishna Movement. Very Nice!
The following cookbook manuscript, which contains a wonderful collection of vintage Hare Krsna recipes, was reproduced from an old photocopy. While the manuscript doesn’t bear the author’s name, we’re told that it was likely compiled in the early 1970’s by Revatinanda dasa.
1970’s Devotee Cookbook
“This is a very limited presentation of recipes for prasadam offerings that I have become practiced in preparing over the last few years. The ingredients and basic techniques used in the preparations are according to parampara tradition. Whether the details are as Srila Prabhupada would have exactly instructed, I do not know, but I have experienced on many occasions that He has been pleased by some of these exact preparations. Also I have experienced that devotees especially, and usually karmies (non-devotees) as well, are very much attracted by my preparations. For these reasons – to increase the attractiveness of our offerings to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, and to increase the satisfaction of both the devotees and karmies with the prasadam they take to purify their existence – I have prepared this small cook-book. It is simply an offering of one devotee’s experience in the matter of prasadam preparation.
click on link at bottom to download entire book in pdf format
The Hare Krsna Cookbook
1973 Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
Compiled by Krsna devi dasi and Sama devi dasi
“The Hare Krsna Cookbook”, originally published in 1973, was the first widely distributed book of vegetarian recipes, throughout the Movement. This was the book myself and many early devotees learned to cook from, and remains today my all time favorite cookbook, and is a constant companion in our kitchen. We offer the complete book on a PDF Format as a gift to all our readers this Holiday Season.
Prasadam means mercy, and this Prasadam Cookbook is dedicated to the fountainhead of all mercy, the spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is by nature kind to every living entity, but that ocean of mercy becomes fully visible in his devotees.
Srila Prabhupada has not given us some dry, canned philosophy to chew; he has given us the nectar for which we have sought so long: he has taught us how to render transcendental loving service to the Lord in all our daily activities. This book illustrates on of them.
The Process of Krsna Consciousness is usually described as one of dinging, dancing and feasting. We have already demonstrated to the world how anyone can sing and dance to the holy names of God, Hare Krsna, and now, with the publication of this Prasadam Cookbook, we hope that the whole world will feast in honor of the Supreme Lord. That will make this world like Vrndavana, the transcendental abode of Krsna, where Krsna, Balarama and the monkeys visit every kitchen with thieving intend and bless the devotees with pure love of God. (Dedication from The Hare Krsna Cookbook)