Offering Bhoga to Kṛṣṇa (04/06/11)
Nice to hear from you and happy to know that all went well during your visit with us at the āśrama in Mexico. Kṛṣṇa willing, such experiences will be more frequent for you in future and get better and better.
My two questions...finally :)
I would like to prepare food for Lord Krishna when I have the time to cook, and take the left overs of food offered to Krishna, as well as offer my family and friends the benefits of taking prasadam. For making offerings, Vasudave (sorry for any misspellings) recommended reciting both the Sri Vaisnava Pranama and the Sri Gurudeva, as well as presenting this question to you. What do you recommend I do in preparing and making offerings?
Follow reciting the 2 mantras mentioned by Vāsudeva (once each) and also repeat the Pañca-Tattva mantra once and then the Mahā-mantra 3 times. After repeating these mantras in a meditative mood (mood of offering) then wait 5 minutes before removing the offering from the altar (you can return to the kitchen at that time, or just sit there and chant japa on your beads).
If you offer with devotion then Kṛṣṇa accepts. There are no hard and fast rules, but these mantras are usually recited. You should have a reserved plate for making offerings – one that nobody else uses except Kṛṣṇa. Then after the offering, you transfer that to a regular eating plate and that plus anything remaining in the pots, pans etc. is considered prasādam.
In addition to the mantras for offering, you should be freshly bathed and wear clean clothes while cooking. Think clean, clean, clean when it comes to the kitchen and making offerings.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Prabhu Nityānanda
Śrī Advaita, Gadādhara
Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma
Rāma Rāma Hare Hare
My second question involves engaging myself daily in deity worship. What deity form would you recommend I purchase and where would you recommend I purchase it from? I have seen some on ______ ones that have different clothing options (Gaura Nitai 10″ brass).
First start the process and get used to everything for a few months or a year by having a nice photo of our Kṛṣṇa Deity from Mulki. I will request _____ to send you a high-res photo. Print it at a photo print shop at whatever size works for you (8 by 10 inch is nice) and mount it in a nice frame. An altar can be set up anywhere in the house/apartment (except the sleeping room) such as on a book shelf in the living room or dinning room, unless the sleeping room is your only alternative (in that case cover Kṛṣṇa’s photo at night when you sleep or when you are dressing).
In the beginning there may be some irregularity in your daily schedule or it maybe even missed for some reason or another, so when we are serving Kṛṣṇa thru His photo-representation, then it is not an issue when something is missed or done with mistakes. When we have a full-on Deity, we should have more consistency and preferably higher standards.
I do not recommend buying Deities from these online stores mainly because the ‘deity’ being sold is not of the proper quality and the cloth etc. are usually very cheap. It may be a good business, but it doesn’t make for good Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When the time comes Kṛṣṇa will arrange for you something special… but not just yet.
I also noted today an email from PayPal informing me of your donation. Thank you for helping to support the mission.
I leave for Europe on Sunday and after 1 month traveling i will reach India.
Hope to see you again at the āśrama again soon.
Keep in touch.