The True Concept Of Prasad
    Published in: The Pioneer
    Category: Religion
    Dated: 3/21/2009
The devout receive the food articles offered to god with great veneration, and enjoy eating the same. This prasad is considered very auspicious by them. But what is the concept of prasad? Sri Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-Gita: “Whatever you do, eat, offer in fire-sacrifice, give in charity, and perform austerities, offer to me” (9.27). Unfortunately, we have restricted ourselves to offering just food articles, though the verse quoted herein has a much wider significance.

Let us try to see its relevance. We are always doing something, that is we are never idle. In another verse of the Gita Sri Krishna states that one cannot be without doing something even for a moment (3.5). It is true that some of the activities we engage in are not very useful, and some could even be harmful. Nonetheless, every act we perform results in something. And these results are awarded to us by the divine authorities (2.47).

So shouldn’t we then offer all our acts to god since he is the final arbiter of our actions, and be satisfied with what he rewards us? This will be a wise thing to do because it will eliminate all kinds of fear, anxieties, worries, etc, from our lives as we would no longer be attached to specific results. One would be satisfied (12.19). One would be peaceful (18.62). Do we question the contents of the prasad offered to god? Then why in other matters?

This brings us to the wider meaning of the word prasad, which is peaceful enjoyment. Prasad in Sanskrit means many things, like mercy, benevolence, welfare, etc. These are the things we should aim for, and not just eating the eatables that offered to god.

How do we achieve this? We should be very careful in what we do. Sri Krishna guides us: “Always do your duty” (3.8). These duties are determined by time, place and circumstances. In case of doubt, one should seek guidance from experts in the field (4.34). And, if one does so sincerely and leaves the results to god, he or she shall obtain god’s mercy, about which there is no doubt. God always rewards what we deserve, or what is beneficial to us, including punishment in order to reform us.

Therefore, let us follow god’s instructions of offering everything to him and gain all kinds of benefits, including liberation (18.66). This will show our faith in god. Let us do everything right and look to the future with hope, without being attached to any results. This is the real concept of prasad, which will bring real happiness in our lives.

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