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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Deity Worship > Samskaras HH Bhanu Swami > Vesasraya Vidhih (Rules for assuming the role of a renounced vai

Vesasraya Vidhih (Rules for assuming the role of a renounced vaishnava)

by Gopilal Goswami of Radha Ramana temple

Adhikara:

yad ahar eva virajet tad ahar eva pravrajed iti

Sruti

When one becomes detached from enjoying material life one should take to the renounced order of life.

atmarpanam karisyan yo grahisyan vesam eva ca

sa siksa guru padabjam dhrtva samprarthayet tatah

kimva diksa guruh saksad vidyamano'st ced bhavet

tada tac caranam bhoje siro dhrtva nivedayet

One who has decided to surrender himself fully to the Lord and take to the renounced order of life should approach his siksa guru and holding his lotus feet, should make his request. If the diksa guru is present however, he should make his request to him. (if he is also of the renounced order).

Prayer:

samsarambhodhi magno'ham

krishna seva bahirmukhah

guroh svapada naukayam

samaropyaiva taraya

 

Though I opposed to the service of Krishna and I am drowning in the ocean of material existence, I have now climbed aboard the boat of the lotus feet of my spiritual master. Please deliver me.

Dasa samskara (ten purificatory rites):

upavasa

mundana (shaving)

tirtha jala snana (bathing in sacred water)

tulasi mala dharan (wearing tulasi beads around the neck) pundra, mudra (tilak and marks of cakra etc.) nama karana (giving of name) mantra dana (giving krishna mantras) kaupina dharana (wearing the kaupina) krishna puja (worship of the deity) shri krsne atmasamarpanam (full surrender to Krishna )

(Comparing this to Shrila Gopala Bhatta's list of ten samskaras, one should note that here upavasa, tulasi mala dharana and atma samarpana are separate headings, while mudra and pundra are merged under one heading, and kaupina prana pratistha and acyu ta gotra grahana are ommitted.)

The day before the ceremony one should fast, and sleep on the ground (not in a bed). The next morning, the person should carry out his daily rituals until sauca. After sauca he should be shaved except for the armpits and genital. Panca gavya should be purified with mantras and sprinkled over the person. Mrttika snana should be performed with mantra. The person should then take a bath in a holy tirtha according to the rules.

He should be dressed in two pieces of clean cloth, and should drink caranamrta. The spiritual master, after offering the tulasi beads to the Lord according to the rules, should put them around the candidates neck with mantra.

Tilaka should be applied saying the twelve names of visnu. Mudras may be applied, saying sudarsanaya namah putt85ing the cakra on the right arm, pancanayaya namah putting the sankha of the left arm, and bhagavan nama mudrayai namah, putting the names of the Lord on other parts of the body.

Putting his hand on the candidates head, the spiritual master should pronounce the new name of the person, using the first syllable of the old name and adding Chaitanya dasa at the end.

The spiritual master will then give him kaupin and tie the knot on the right side, and then give him a botttom cloth (bahir vasa).

The spiritual master will then give him gopal mantra, but if he has it already he should give him kama gaytari. If the candidate has kama gayatri already he should give him hare krishna mantra. if he has all of them he should give them again.

The guru should perform worship of Krishna with as many upacaras as possible. The Guru should sit facing the deity, with the candiate beside him holding flowers and tulasi in his hands. He should make the candidate surrender his body mind and soul to Krishna by having him say:

sarva dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja

aham tvam sarva papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah

I am confident of your promise.  Being full of miseries and negligent of all good conduct, I approach you, my spiritual master. I would like to offer myself and everything I have to Krishna. Oh Krishna, I am yours.

The guru should offer the flowers and tulasi to the lotus feet of Krishna, offering up the candidate to Krishna's service. He should then give the prasada nirmalya to the candidate.

The guru should then instruct the disciple on proper conduct of the renounced vaishnava: constant meditation and worship of the Lord, without seva or nama aparadha, worship of the guru and the guru parmpara, and ShriChaitanya and his followers; chanting of the holy name, hearing Bhagavat, japa of mantras given by guru; to avoid the association of non devotees; to observe the vratas of ekadashi and janmastami; following of sadacara, ie all the rules encumbent upon the vaishnava, respect for vaishnavas, taking of krishna prasadam only, thinking of Krishna's pastimes. He may wear the panca mala (tulasi, amlaki, lotus seeds (or Radha Kunda mud), gunja and pavitra (or rope from Jagannatha cart). He should not tie his sikha, being free from injunctions of karma vidhi. If he has a yajnopavita he should give it up he is going to live by begging. Whether he is buried, burned or thrown in water when he dies should not be his concern. After his pa ssing instead of sraddha nama kirtan can be performed and the vaishnavas may be fed.

Afer hearing the instructions of the spiritual master, the disciple should drink guru foot water and perfrom worship of the guru with as many upacaras as possible. He should then feed the vaishnavas and then take Krishna prasadam himself.

According to this text, women can also take all samskaras except the kaupina.

---------------------------------------------------

Tridandi:

vaga dando'tha mano dandah kaya dandas tathaiva ca

yasyaite nihita buddhau tridanditi sa ucyate

Manu

One is called tridandi who controls speech, mind and body.

damanam dandah yasya van manah kayanam dandah nisiddhabhidhanah

sat sankalpa pratisiddha vyapara tyagenabuddhavavasthitah sa

tridandityucyate na tu danda traya dharana matrena

Kallukabhatta Commentary

The meaning of danda is control. It refers to restrictions on words, mind and body. A person who can restict the words, mind and body, or who, by intelligence, is able to give up all attraction to those things which are unfavorable to spiritual adv ancement is called a tridandi. A person caanot be called a tridandi just but holding three sticks in his hand.

 

 

 

Tulasi:

 

Among all articles which are offered to the Lord, tulasi is most highly praised.  Therefore one may perform perfect worship of the Lord by simply offering pure water and tulasi leaves (Raghunatha das Goswami, Advaita Acarya). ACcording to the Garuda Purana, tulasi must always be offered on the naivedyam.

 

 

     tulasi vina ya kriyate  na puja

     snanam na tat  yat tulasivinakrtam

     bhuktam na tat yat tulasi vinakrtam

     pitam na tat yat tulasi vinakrtam

 

Puja, bathing and offering of food and drink performed without tulasi cannot be considered as puja, bathing and offering to the Lord. The Lord does not accept anything or drink anything that is without tulasi.

                                Brhd Naradiya Purana

 

During the puja, one should offer tulasi leaves to the Lord's feet.  tulasi garlands may also be offered around his neck. 

Some say that gandha, flowers and tulasi should be offered at least three times, washing the hands each time before offering.  The article is offered in the right hand, while the left hand touches the right arm.  Some say that offering eight lulasi leaves is best.

 

Plucking tulasi: 

 

One should be clean before touching or plucking tulasi.

 

     asnatva tulasim citva yah pujam kurute narah

     so'paradhi bhaven nityam tat sarvam nisphalam bhavet

 

One who picks tulasi without having bathed and then performs worship is an offender, and all his activites becomes useless.

                                Vayu Purana

 

Tulasi should not be plucked on dvadasi. 

 

     nacchindat tulasim vipra dvadasyam vaishnavah kvacit

 

The vaishnava should never pick tulasi on dvadasi tithi.

                                 Vishnu Dharmottara

 

One should pluck the leaves with the right hand, holding the branch in the left hand, being careful not to break the branches.

 

     patranam cayane vipra bhagna sakha yada bhavet

     tada hrdi vyatha visnor diyate tulasi pateh

     karatala trayam dattva cinuyat tulasi dalam

     yatha na kampate sakha tulasya divjasattama

    

If when picking tulasi leaves one breaks the branches, Vishnu feels pain in his heart.  One should clap the hands three times before picking tulasi and pick in such a way that the branches do not shake.

                         Vishnu Smrti

 

One should say:

 

tulasy amrta janmasi sada tva kesava priya

kesavarthe vicinvami barada bhava sobhane

 

tvad anga sambhavaih patraih pujayami yatha harim

tatha kuru pavitrangi kalau mala vinasini

 

Oh tulasi, born from the ocean of nectar, you are eternally the dearmost of Kesava. For his worship I now pluck you. Please bestow blessings on me.

 

Oh tulasi, being pure in body and the destroyer of the sins of kali yuga, I will worship the Lord using leaves coming from your body.  You should make that worship successful.

 

If tulasi is unavailable, one may touch tulasi wood to the Lord's body as an offering of tulasi.  If wood is unavailable one should chant the name of tulasi and perform the puja meditating on her presence.   (ie  etat tulasi patram shri krishnaya namah).

 

If one offers tulasi to anyone other than Hari, that sin is equal killing a brahman or a cow, or having sex with ones guru's wife.

 

Tulasi prasadam may be offered to the hand of sakti and jiva tattva, and unoffered tulasi may be offered to their hand for offering to Krishna.  If bhoga (not mahaprasadam) is offered to sakti or jiva tattvas as naivedyam, tulasi may be placed on the naivedyam, since, being  devotees of the Lord they always offer the naivedyam to Krishna before taking it themselves.

 

 

Tulasi leaf is very, very dear to Vishnu.  All Vishnu tattva deities require profuse tulasi leaves.  Lord Vishnu likes garlands of tulasi leaves.  Tulasi leaves mixed with sandalwood pulp and placed on the lotus feet of the Lord is the topmost worship.  But we must be very careful that tulasi leaves cannot be placed on the feet of anyone else except Lord Vishnu and his different  forms. Tulasileaves cannot be placed even on the lotus feet of Radharani or on the lotus feet of the spiritual master. It is entirely reserved for being placed on the lotus feet of Krishna.  We can place, however, tulasi leaves in the hands of Radharani for being placed on the lotus feet of Krishna.  On each bowl or plate there should be at least one leaf.

 

                              letter from shrila Prabhupada

                              April 7, 1970, Los Angeles

 

 

Glories of Tulasi:

 

Tulasi is glorified throughout the puranas and pancaratra. Vishnu created tulasi at the time of the churning of the milky ocean for the spiritual upliftment of the souls in the material world.  Tulasi is considered to be more dear to the Lord than Laksmi, for, by performing extreme austerities and loving worship of the Lord with the aim of having the Lord as her husband, Vishnu surrendered to her wish.

 

There is no better recipient of charity than vipra, no better gift than giving of cows, no better tirtha than the ganga, and no better leaf than the tulasi leaf.  Whatever can be obtained by offering all types of flowers and leaves, may be attained by simply offering one leaf of tulasi,  Offering flowers of gold, jewels and pearls is not equal to offering tulasi. 

 

By offering tulasi one is released from sins accumulated for one koti of lifetimes.  By offering tulasi to the head of the Lord all the unmentionable and undetected sins are destroyed.  By sprinkling the Lord's house with water using a tulasi leaf, one is freed from all great sins.  By offering tulasi one destroys enemies, increases wealth, and guarantees liberation from material birth.  One is certain to attain Vaikuntha.  The fragrance of tulasi leaves, the flower of the malati plant and the milk from a brown cow are the three items which most quickly satisfy Kesava.

 

     dhatriphalani tulasi hy antakale bhaved yadi

     mukhe caiva sirasya ange patakam nasti tasya vai

 

If one has amalaki fruits or tulasi leaves in ones mouth or on ones head  or body when one dies, one is guaranteed not to suffer in hell.

                             Brahma Purana

 

 

Caring for Tulasi:

 

No sprays can be used, not at all.  The best thing is to simply daily water tulasi devi and keep her clean.  Nothing else is required.       

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                              July 26, l975, Los Angeles

 

 

Please take care of the tulasi plants in the following way. This is the best season for growing tulasi plants.  From 15 April to 15 June is the best season for growing this plant.  Now I understand that the seedlings are coming out, so the whole spot if possible may be covered by some net because the seedling stage creeepers, being very delicate, are sometimes eaten up by the sparrows, so we have to give a little protection from attack of the sparrows.  All the devotees should pour water at least once in the morning before taking prasadam.  The watering should not be very much large in quantity, but it should be poured just to keep the ground soft and moist.  Sunlight also should be allowed.  When the creepers are grown at least 7 inches high, then you can take them out from the planting soil and transplant them in a row in a different place.  Then go on watering and they will grow like anything.  I think this plant cannot grow in cold countries, but if the plants are dispatched from your place and if the devotees take care of the plant with a little care in a flower pot then it may grow.   

 

                         letter from Shrila Prabhupada

                         April 7, 1970,  Los Angeles

 

 

Should tulasi be given to families who visit the temples?  No, let them come and offer respects to tulasi devi instead.  If they still want to have tulasi devi you can give them seeds and let the guests grow the plants from seed.

                             

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada

                              May 5, 1971, Bombay

 

 

Dhupa:

 

Fragrant smelling items should be offered.  Except for musk incense using animal products should not be offered.

It should be offered in a holder, while ringing a bell.

 

 

Dipa:

 

Lamps, symbolizing energy, light and knowledge and enlightenment are a very important item of worship.

 

     mantrahinam kriyahinam yat krtam pujanam hareh

     sarvam sampurnatam eti krte nirajane sive

 

Though ones worship of the Lord may be devoid of proper mantras and proper procedures, it attains perfection on performing aratrika with lamps.

                           Skanda Purana

 

Lamps are of two types: those which stand permanently to light the deity, and those which are offered to the deity in worship. The permanent lamps should never be extinguished and should always be supplied with plenty of oil or ghee.

The lamp for offering should have uneven number of wicks.  The wicks should not die while the lamp is being offered.  Old wicks cannot be reoffered.

 

     dattva dipo na hartavyas tena karmavijanata

     nirvapanam ca dipasya himsanam ca vigarhitam

     yah  kuryad dhimsanam tena karmana puspiteksanah

     dipaharta bhaved andhah kano nirvana krd bhavet

 

After having offered a lamp to the deity one should not take it away, should not extinguish it, nor let it die from lack of ghee.  One who lets the ghee exhaust itself will be afflicted with eye disease, one who takes away a lamp will become blind and one who extinghuishes the lamp will become blind in one eye.

                          Vishnu Dharmottara

 

According to Vishnu Yamala one should offer wicks seven or nine fingers long, made by twisting cotton around sticks of straw or wood.  This custom is followed in Radha Ramana temple.

 

 

Naivedyam Patra:

 

This may be gold, silver, copper, bell metal, earthen, plasa wood or lotus leaf.12 fingers diameter is minimum size, 24 is medium and 36 fingers is best size.

 

 

 

Naivedyam: 

 

Articles such as fruits and sweets are offered after the first worship of the day. Rice and vegetables are usually offered are usually offered later in the day.  At that time the word anna is used instead of naivedyam in offering the items. After offering the food, drinking water should be offered.  It may be scented.

 

In commenting on the sloka that states that one may offer what is liked by the local people or by oneself Sanatana Gowami states that this means that even though people  in general may not like, if oneself is fond of a certain item he may offer it.  But this refers to items which are approved by scripture, not items that are forbidden by scripture.    Thus if one is fond of something but it is forbidden by scripture, then he cannot offer this to the Lord.  The devotees of course have no inclination for those items which are forbidden in scripture.

 

 

 

Forbidden foods:

 

fish, meat, wine, onions, garlic, masur dhal, burned rice. radish, white eggplant, hemp, citron and saps from trees, buffalo and goat-milk products.

 

 

     mahisam varjayen mahyam ksiram dadhi ghrtam yadi

 

     Buffalo milk, yoghurt and ghee should not be offered to me.

                              Varaha Purana

 

     alabur vartulakara vartaki dugdha varnika

     dugdhe ca lavanam dattva sadyo gomamsa bhaksanam

 

Round alabu, white eggplant and milk with salt in it should be rejected as if they  were cow meat.

 

     yatra madyam tatha mamsam  tatha vrntaka mulake

     nivedayen naiva tatra harer aikantiki ratih

 

Where liquor, meat, eggplant and radish are offered, loving devotion to the Lord does not reside.

                               Yamala Vacanam

 

 

Vinegar is not good; it is tamasic, in the darkness, nasty food.

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                              Mar.24, 1969

 

Ice cream purchased from the market may not be offered.

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada    

                              Oct.21, 1968, Seattle

 

 

Frozen foods,...are not bad, but if they are twice- boiled,they should not be used. 

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada       

                              July 5, 1968, Los Angeles

 

     Unpolished rice which looks like brown can be used.  We do not mind polished or unpolished but doublely-boiled  (siddha rice) must not be used.  Doublely boiled rice is considered impure. sunbaked rice (atapa) is all right.

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                              Oct.17, 1967    

 

     Soya beans and lentils are unoffereable.

                              verbal instruction of

                              Shrila Prabhupada to

                              Shrila Hrdayananda Goswami

 

Regarding purchasing things in the market, these items are considered as purified when we pay the price for them.  That is the general instruction, But when we know something is adulterated, we should avoid it.  ...Things that are suspicious  should be avoided. 

                         letter from Shrila Prabhupada,                                                  Oct 21, l968

 

 

 

 

 

Offerable foods: 

 

Vilva, amlaki, jujub, dates, coconut, jack fruit, grapes, tal fruit, lotus root, leaf vegetables, cow milk products, items made from grains, ghee  and sugar.

 

Rice, barley, wheat sesame, mung, urad should be offered with ghee.  Rice without ghee is considered asuric.   The Lord is pleased by items made of ghee sugar, yoghurt, chick peas, dhals, guda, honey, by soups, varieties of cakes, and items which can  be licked, chewed, sucked or drunk.

 

They offered pungent preparations made with black pepper, sweet and sour preparations, ginger, salty preparations, limes, milk, youghurt, cheese,  two or four kinds of spinach, soup made with bitter melon, eggplant mixed with nimba flowers (bitter), and fried patola.                      

                                   CC Antya v.3.p.261

 

 

 

Foodstuffs in the modes of goodness are wheat , rice, pulse (beans and peas), sugar, honey, butter and all milk preparations, vegetables, flowers, fruits, grains.  So these foods can be offered in any shape, but prepared in various ways by the intelligence of the devotees.

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada    

                              Nov.13, 1968, Los Angeles

 

If chocolate is not an intoxicant, it can be offered to the deities.

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                              June 8, 1975

 

Sugar cane juice, yoghurt drinks, sweetened lemon water, water flavored with cinnimon, camphor or cardamom, fruit drinks of various scents and colors  may be offered.

 

Permissable foods which are considered delicacies by the local people or are preferred by ones family and oneself should be offered.

 

Permissible foods which are without taste, untasty, inedible, impure for any reason, or eaten by insects, animals, or people should not be offered.

 

If variety of items is unavailable, fruit alone is sufficient.  If fruit is unavailable edible herbs may be offered.  If herbs are unavailable, pure water may be offered, meditating upon the items.  If water is unavailable the items should be offered in the mind.

 

 

 

Preparation:

 

Just as one must select pure, excellent  foods to offer to Krishna, so also one must prepare them purely.  Thus usually only a vaishnava is allowed in the kitchen:

 

     avaishnavanam annam ca patitanam tathaiva ca

     anarpitam tatha visnau sva mamsa sadrsam bhavet

 

Food (especially grains) which are cooked by non vaishnavas, by sinful people, or which has not been offered to Vishnu, is the same as dog meat.

 

 

 

Everything should be very respectfully and cleanly presented and prepared.  In Jagannatha Puri, the Lord eats 56 times.  So the Lord can eat as many times as you can offer.  But the only thing is, whatever is offered must be with respect and devotion.          

                        letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                        Montreal June 16, 1968

 

                               

As far as possible we should not offer to the deity things which are prepared by non-devotees. We can accept from them raw fruits, grains or similar raw things. Cooking and preparing should be strictly limited to the initiated devotees.

                        letter from Shrila Prabhupada,          

                        Oct.21, 1968, Seattle

 

 

 

As far as possible non-initiated devotees may not enter the kitchen or deity area.  They can help from outside.  Just take care of them so that they may become pure devotees.

                         letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                         April 4, 1971

 

Unless one is initiated he cannot cook.  One must be regular disciple then he can do deity worship.  There is no question of the outsiders cooking in the New Delhi temple.

                         letter from shrila Prabhupada,

                         Gopal Krishna das, July 11, 1976

 

In the kitchen you should always see that nothing is wasted.

                         letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                         Upendra das, Nov.10, 1975

 

 

If in the cooking process food falls on the floor, if it is raw and can be washed nicely, then it can be offered.  But if it is prepared and cannot be washed, then it is not to be offered, but can be eaten rather than be wasted.  

                       letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                       Dec.25, 969

 

 

 

.Food which has been offered should never be put back into

the refrigerator with unoffered foods, or brought back into the kitchen.  ...Refrigerator should always be very clean and pure.  ....If there is any food extra, that should be kept separately, not within the kitchen.... ...No one should wear shoes within the kitchen.  There is ample place to eat so why should one eat in the kitchen?  Kitchen should be considered as the Lord's room....  Smelling and tasting of foods being prepared for the Lord should never be done.  Talking within the kitchen should be only what is necessary for preparing the prasadam or about the Lord.  Dirty dishes should not be brought back into the kitchen but if there is no other place to wash them, then they should be put into the sink and washed immediately).  Hands should always be washed when preparing prasadam.  Nothing should be eaten before offering to the Lord.  In this way everything shall be prepared very cleanly and purely.

 

What is the difficulty of enforcing these rules?  They are rules, and they are simple rules, and must be followed. One must be prepared to follow the rules for Krishna. Otherwise where is the proof that he loves Krishna.

                         letter from Shrila Prabhupada

                         June 16, 1968, Montreal

 

 

It is advisable that food being offered to the Deity be covered when take from the kitchen to the deity room, In that way others may not see.  Those who are not accustomed to following the advanced regulative devotional principles may desire to eat the food and that is an offense.

                                        CC madhya ch. 4.p.63

 

 

 

 

Method of Offering:

 

The principle behind service to Krishna is to approach through the spiritual master, for then there is no possibility of committing offense to Krishna.  For this reason worship of guru is performed before worshipping Krishna in daily puja.   The safest method of worship is to give everything to the spiritual master to offer on our behalf. Thus, in offering bhoga to the Lord  the simplest method is to offer it to the spiritual master and request him to offer it to the Lord.  Since one must approach Radha  and Krishna through Lord Chaitanya, the offering may goes through Lord Chaitanya to Radha and Krishna.             Simply by chanting the prayer to the spiritual master everything will be complete.

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                              May 1965 Berkeley

 

The custom is to offer the foodstuff first to the spiritual master.  We cannot do anything directly.  The spiritual master accepts the offering on behalf of his disciple and offers the same to Krishna.  After Krishna's eating, the spiritual master eats it, and then the devotees take it as mahaprasad.  This is the system. Everything is offered to the spiritual master first, with the prayer "nama om visnupadaya...."

                              letterfromShrila Prabhupada,             

                              Jadurani, Feb.15, 1968

 

You may say the prayer to the spiritual master three times,,, and also after offering to spiritual master, offer to Lord Chaitanya by saying the prayer "namo maha vadanyaya..." three times and then offer to Krishna thrice (namo brahmanya devaya).

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                              Mar 22, 1968

 

 

Whatever is offered to the deity actually goes through the spiritual master.  The spiritual master offers to Lord Chaitanya, and Lord Chaitanya offers it to Krishna.  Then Radha Krishna eat or Jagannatha eats, then Chaitanya 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.

                              letter form Shrila Prabhupada,

                              New Vrndavana, June 16, 1969

 

 

But as this leaves the worshiper without any engagement, the worshipper may also perform services after taking the mercy of his spiritual master, or having the spiritual master act through him, in the same manner that he performs the rest of the puja. 

Just as one engages in waking, bathing, dressing, and putting the Lord to rest,  with personal meditation and service, for offering the Lord his meal, through the mercy of the spiritual master one can also perform services related to the offering of the food.

Special attention is given to the offering of naivedyam. Just as the intake of food by the civilized human being is regulated by many scriptural rules, so extreme care is also taken in offering food to the Lord. Impurities may arise due to spirits in the atmosphere, faults in preparation, or impurities in the preparer. Being directly consumed by the Lord, before being offerd to the Lord it first requires extreme purification, protection, and spiritualization.    This is accomplished through mantra, mudra, meditation, proksana (sprinkling with water).  The naivedyam is then presented to the Lord in the standard way using mula mantra.

 

It is also customary to call the Lord from his throne to the eating place, offering a seat and water for washing feet, hands and mouth (customary practice before eating).After the meal water is again offered for the Lord to wash hands and mouth.  Some devotees offer a cloth (hasta vastra) for drying the hands.

 

 

 

Duration of Offering:

 

Leave Krishna's plate for 15-20 minutes or more, not more than half an hour.                  

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                              Feb 25, 1968

 

Frequency:

 

Also describe deity worship wherein one should offer food to Krishna at least five times daily.

                              CC madhya v.9.p.279

Quantity:

 

You will take from the cooked foodstuffs in a plate just sufficient for one man's eating, and this prasadam should be offered to the deity, not the whole quantity.  the rest of the foostuffs may remain in the oven to keep it hot until the devotees accept and honor it.

                              letter from Shrila Prabhupada,

                              Kirtanananda, Feb.14, 1969

 

    

 

 

Tambula:

 

After the meal usually tambula is offered to scent the Lord's mouth.

 

 

The deity was first offered many varieties of food, then sweet scented drinking water in new pots,and then water for washing the mouth.  Finally pan mixed with a variety of spices was offered.  After the last offering of tambula  and pana, bhoga aratrika was performed.  Finally evryone offered various prayers and then obeisances. falling flat before the deity in full surrender.

                                   CC madhya Ch. 4. verse 64-66

 

 

 

Avarana Puja:

 

After worshipping the Lord one must worship his angas, upangas and his associates or avarana.  These associates surround the Lord in concentric circles according to rank and function.

 

Bali Dan:

 

After the Lord has been fed, his entourage must be fed with the Lord's remnants.  It is an offense not to respect the associates of the Lord by offering them the remnants of the Lord first.

 

Additional upacaras:

 

Besides the standard sixteen upacaras, in  temple worship usually  additional luxurious  items befitting a king are offered.  Cloth may be offered for the Lord to dry his hands, flowers may be offered to his feet, gandha and tilaka designs may be applied to his body, additional ornaments may be offered.  At this time the Lord is revealed to the public and camara, fans, umbrellas, canopies, shoes, flags and mirror may be offered to the accompaniment of singing and dancing. These items are called "raja upacara", standard insignia of a king:

 

 

O King, Lord Bharata carried Lord Ramacandra's wooden shoes, Sugrive and Vibhisana carried a whisk and an excellent fan, Hanuman carried a white umbrella, Satrughna carried a bow and two quivers and Sitadevi carried a waterpot filled with water from holy places. Angada carried a sword and Jambavan, King of the Rksas, carried a golden shield.

                              SB 9.10.43

 

Even though the real item may be present, sometimes the worshipper offers small metal replicas of the item (camara, fan, umbrella, , flag etc) by showing them to the deity  in quick succession.  Aratrika may be offered.                                                                                                          the Lord is revealed to the public and camara, fans,