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Title: To Offer or Not to Offer?
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-09-06 13:59:00
I understand that Lord Chaitanya does not accept food unless one chants 100,000 names a day. Does this mean that I should not offer food to the great MahaPrabhu since I only chant about half that? I know there are many people who offer food that Lord Chaitanya would not accept and I must be one of them, so should I stop, it seems it may be offensive, a little insulting since he wants one to at least rise to the level of 100,000 names a day?
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
This is a nice question. The Supreme Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu has categorically stated that He will accept food offerings from only those who chant 100,000 Holy Names daily. This means that He will the accept the offerings 100% if they are offered by a Laksheshvara Chanter of 100,000 Holy Names daily.†
There are different levels of acceptance of our offerings by Lord Gauranga. It is not zero or one. If we chant 100,000 Names offenselessly then He accepts our offerings 100%. If we chant offenseslessly 50,000 Holy Names, He will accept our offerings 50% and so on. Thus, we should never stop offering our food to the Lord as it is only way to conquer our tongue.
That is why we are very careful not to worship Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu alone but we first offer to Lord Nityananda Prabhu. This is because Lord Nityananda Prabhu being extremely compassionate and understanding will accept our offerings even though we may not be practicing the highest standard as required by Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu. And when Lord Nityananda Prabhu accepts our offerings, Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu has to accept even though His highest standard is not met.
But a very important consideration in this matter is that the devotee offering the food should consider himself or herself fallen and beg forgiveness from Lord Nityananda about not being able to follow the ideal standard of chanting 100,000 Holy Names daily and pray to the Lord to give the strength to slowly raise oneself to that standard. But if a devotee chanting 25,000 Names daily, for example, offers the food to the Lord thinking oneself qualified and proud that he or she is completing 25,000 Names daily and does not even care about aiming for the ideal standard of 100,000 Holy Names daily, then even Lord Nityananda may not accept such an offering due to the pride of the devotee who is offering. In fact even the 100,000 Name chanters have to remain humble and not become puffed-up because they are following the ideal order of the Lord otherwise the Lord may reject their offerings also due to their false ego.