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Meditation during Offering of Bhoga
to Lords Nityananda-Gauranga
and Shri Shri Radha Krishna
By His Holiness BRS Swami Gaurangapada
When we offer the bhoga to our Guru and Shrila Prabhupada, he passes it on to his own Guru and so on until it reaches Lordships Nityananda-Gauranga and Lordships Radha-Krishna. While offering, alongwith chanting the mantras one should thus meditate how the bhoga is being transferred from one Acharya to another and ultimately reaching the Lord and then how the Lord is relishing it. After the Lords accept the bhoga, They again pass the maha-prasadam down the same chain of disciplic succession where each Acharya partakes of the maha-prasadam and passes on some to his disciple. One can meditate on this also
towards the end of the offering of how the Acharyas are partaking the maha-prasadam and then passing it on to us. Thus when we offer the bhoga to the Lord through our Guru, Shrila Prabhupada and the Guru Parampara, at the end we don't only have maha-prasadam but also maha-maha-prasadam of all the Acharyas and Shrila Prabhupada and our Guru. Thus the procedure for offering to the Lord through the Guru
Parampara is the same whether one puts the offering plate directly before the Deities or before our Guru or Shrila Prabhupada.
The bhoga we place in front of our Guru or Shrila Prabhupada is for offering to the Lord as they are never going to accept it directly without offering to the Lord. So it is required to put Tulasi leaves on each preparation oneself or place some leaves separately on the side for the Guru and Shrila Prabhupada and the Acharyas to put in on each preparation before directly offering the bhoga to the Lords Nityananda-Gauranga. If the Tulasi leaves are not put, the Guru or Shrila Prabhupada has to specifically go and pluck the Tulasi leaves and put them on the bhoga before offering the bhoga to the Lord in the spiritual realm through the Guru Parampara because it is a fact that the Lord does not accept anything without a Tulasi leaf on it.
Thus we are causing our Guru-varga some inconvenience or giving them some extra service by not putting the Tulasi leaves ourselves. They may go out of their way and do it but why should we give them this
extra service when we can do it in the beginning ourselves.
Some very advanced and special pujaris may directly offer the bhoga to the Lord with the Tulasi leaves while remembering the lotus feet of their Guru, Shrila Prabhupada and the Acharyas in the beginning. In that case, after the Lord relishes the bhoga, the maha-prasadam can be transferred to another special plate and can be put before the Acharyas, Shrila Prabhupada and Guru for their acceptance. Then the maha-maha-prasadam can be honoured by one and all.
Actually while meditating during offering bhoga to the Lord in a plate one can also meditate that the bhoga in all the pots (even if they are located at some other place) is also being distributed to the Lord's associates simultaneously in Gauranga-lila and Radha-Krishna lila after the Lord glances on the posts. Once the Lord is
accepting the bhoga, one should beg the Lord's associates also toaccept the offering in the pots in the mind. Because Lord Gauranga is very pleased when His eternal associates are fed in His presence as we find in Chaitanya-Charitamrita. One Tulasi leaf can be placed in each pot also if possible even if they can't be physically brought to the altar. The Lord has His eyes and presence everywhere. And the Lord accepts the bhoga as per the meditation of the devotee offering by glancing and then personally orders the maha-prasada to be distributed to His eternal associates. This mental attitude while offering is most important. In that way everything becomes maha-maha-prasadam. So either way there is no difference.
If such meditation is not done, then it is better to distribute the maha-prasadam separately because by mixing it back in the pots everyone may not get the mahaprasadam especially in case of rice, sabji, chapatis etc. Mixing it back may be done due to practical reasons of not being able to distribute it separately. Also some devotees have the feeling that by mixing the mahaprasadam back, everything becomes mahaprasadam. But it has not been explicitly suggested in the scriptures to mix it back. And if one offers in the above consciousness then anyway everything is going to become maha-maha-prasadam.
The Bhoga Arati by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura can also be sung after the chanting of the Bhoga Mantras. Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!