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Title: Maha Maha Prasadam
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2005-07-13 15:32:41
Question: I want to know if it is not good to accept Mahaprasadam of the Lord as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu got angry at a Gaudiya devotee at the cleaning of Gundicha temple when the devotee drank the Holy water that washed Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu's Holy feet? And also what is the difference between Maha prasadam and Maha-Maha prasadam? - Gauranga dasi.
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
The answer is given by Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami himself in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya 12.124:
yadyapi gosani tare hanache santosha
dharma-samsthapana lagi’ bahire maha-rosha
"Although Lord Gauranga was certainly satisfied with him internally, He became angry externally in order to establish the etiquette of religious principles."
Thus Lord Gauranga was only externally angry, internally He was very pleased that the Gaudiya devotee had so much faith in the His charanamrita (water which had washed His lotus feet) which even Lord Shiva carries on his head but is unable to drink directly.
A small mistake was that the Gaudiya devotee drank the water of the Lord's lotus feet in the Deity Room of Shri Gundicha Temple when Lord Gauranga was personally washing the altar with His divine tears. Normally, one should not eat or drink directly inside the altar or inner sanctum of the Lord. Therefore to set the ideal standard for all, the Lord became externally displeased.
But actually the Gaudiya devotee was perfectly right from his side to take the most rare Holy Water that washed the lotus feet of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu by hook or by crook since this Holy Water is not accessible to even the greatest personalities in the universe like Brahma, Shiva, Narada, Lakshmi etc. Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami states in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita that by hook or by crook, somehow or other, one should get the food remnants or foot dust or foot water of the Lord and His devotees because it is so rare in this world as the appearance of the Lord and His Devotees is so rare and confidential.
Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Antya lila 16.58,62:
tate ‘vaishnavera jhuta’ khao chadi’ ghrina-laja
yaha haite paiba nija vanchita saba kaja
"Therefore, giving up all hesitation, averseness and shame, please try to eat the remnants of the food of the Vaishnavas by any means possible, for you will thus be able to achieve your desired goal of life."
tate bara bara kahi,——suna bhakta-gana
visvasa kariya kara e-tina sevana
"Therefore, my dear devotees, please hear from me, for I insist again and again: please keep great faith in these three (food remanants, foot water and foot dust of the Vaishnavas) and render service to them without hesitation and shame."
These three are actually the shortcuts or honarary degrees to achieve 100% success in spiritual life through kripa siddhi (causeless mercy). The most striking example of this is Shrila Narada Muni who received a spiritual body, a spiritual vina and became a direct associate of the Lord and could fly even to the spiritual world in the self-same body just by eating the food remanants of the four great devotees who visited his home when he has a child just for the four months of Chaturmasya. This is called as kripa siddhi or perfection achieved by the causeless mercy of the Vaishnavas without the need for our qualification or disqualification.
One should read the pastime of Shrila Kalidasa in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Antya 16th Chapter which explains the full glories of accepting maha maha prasada. Lord Gauranga gave such extraordinary mercy to Shrila Kalidasa which he did not give to anyone in Shri Puri Dhama because Shrila Kalidasa would shamelessly accept the food remanants (maha maha prasadam) of all Gaudiya Vaishnavas in Bengal and Orissa whether they are small or big devotees because of his intense faith in the devotion of the Vaishnavas and because he did not consider himself superior to any devotee. He always was hankering to receive the mercy of every small, big, new, old, neophyte and advanced devotees in this way.
Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Antya lila 16.57:
vaishnavera sesha-bhakshanera eteka mahima
kalidase paoyaila prabhura kripa-sima
"Taking the remnants of the food of Vaishnavas is so valuable that it induced Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to offer Kalidasa His supreme mercy."
Shrila Kalidasa always considered that all Vaishnavas whether big or small have some divine qualities in Bhakti which he can receive from them by accepting their food remnants. This way of showing great faith in the Guru and Vaishnavas is extremely pleasing to the Lord because in this way one has to sacrifice one's own false ego, reputation and elite position and become humble enough to be able to accept the food remanants, foot water or foot dust of other devotees.
Normally this practice is reserved for the advanced level of devotees because it can be misunderstood in a gathering of new devotees. This practice should not be publicly carried out or openly displayed in a gathering of new people or new devotees who still need to develop faith in remnants of the Lord and His devotees. This topmost spiritual practice to accept the food remnants, foot dust and foot water of the Vaishnavas should be secretly done for one's own personal bhajana and for one's own advancement like Shrila Kalidasa did and never as an external show to impress others. If this is displayed openly in front of new people, then they may consider Bhakti is very cheap and sentimental and they may loose their faith in Bhakti. So one has to be very careful in this regard.
Also a real Vaishnava never considers oneself a Vaishnava or a devotee and thus is very humble and never prepared to distribute his mercy in the form of food remanants, foot water or foot dust. In fact he tries to avoid doing it at all costs because he never feels himself superior to any soul what to speak of other devotees. So there is always a transcendental tug of war between the devotees who want this mercy of a real devotee and a the real devotee who genuinely does not feel qualified to give it and resists very much.
Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita Antya 16.60-61,63:
bhakta-pada-dhuli ara bhakta-pada-jala
"The dust of the feet of a devotee, the water that has washed the feet of a devotee, and the remnants of food left by a devotee are three very powerful substances."
ei tina-seva haite krishna-prema haya
punah punah sarva-sastre phukariya kaya
"By rendering service to these three, one attains the supreme goal of ecstatic love for Krishna. In all the revealed scriptures this is loudly declared again and again."
tina haite krishna-nama-premera ullasa
krishnera prasada, tate ‘sakshi’ kalidasa
"From these three one achieves the highest goal of life—ecstatic love of Krishna. This is the greatest mercy of Lord Krishna. The evidence is Kalidasa himself."
As for the second part of the question, the Lord's Prasadam is known as Maha Prasadam and Vaishnava's Prasadam is known as Maha Maha prasadam:
This is confirmed in the 59th verse:
krishnera ucchishta haya ‘maha-prasada’ nama
‘bhakta-sesha’ haile ‘maha-maha-prasadakhyana’
"The remnants of food offered to Lord Gauranga-Krishna are called maha-prasadam. After this same maha-prasadam has been taken by a devotee, the remnants are elevated to maha-maha-prasadam because the Lord states in the Puranas that He actually eats when His devotee eats."