HOW DO THE HARE KRISHNAS EAT?

By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Everyone is eating. We are also eating. But we don’t eat directly. Whatever we prepare and whatever we collect, we first of all offer to Krishna. Because we think —and it is a fact—that everything belongs to Krishna. Krishna has given. You cannot manufacture rice, dhal or wheat in your factory, neither fruit, nor milk. It is given by Krishna. Eko bahūnām vidadhāti kāmān. He is giving and one has to acknowledge that, “Yes, it is given by Krishna. It is Krishna’s. So let me first offer it to Krishna, and then take the prasādam.” This is Krishna consciousness. Where is the difficulty? Everyone can do it. But they will not do it. They will satisfy the tongue. That is forbidden. Ye pacanty ātma-kāranāt, bhunjate te agham pāpām: “Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.” [Bg. 3.13]. So if we are eating sin, how can we be happy? We have to suffer.

So who is cooking for Krishna? Nobody is cooking. Except for a devotee of Krishna’s, nobody is cooking for Him. Everyone is cooking for himself (pacanty ātma-kāranāt). He’s thinking, “Now I shall very voraciously eat this sandeśa, rasagullā, purī and meat and chicken.” So he is eating sins, all sins. Agham pāpā. And he has to suffer. Therefore people are suffering. Without Krishna consciousness, everyone must suffer. That is the law of nature. Daivī hy esā gunamayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg. 7.14]. You cannot avoid it. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etām taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. You can be happy only when you are a surrendered soul to Krishna. That is the only way. Harim vinā na mrtim taranti.

So this offering of foodstuff to the Deity, Krishna or God, is very nice. “My Lord, You have given me such nice foodstuffs to eat; so first of all You taste, and then I shall take.” It is a gesture of gratitude. So, you haven’t got even any gratitude to express. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, stena eva sa ucyate:  Anyone who does not offer foodstuff to the Personality of Godhead is a thief [Bg. 3.12]. yajna-śistāśinah santo mucyante sarva-kilbisaih: And if you take foodstuff offered to the Deity, then you get rid of all sinful activities. Ātma-kāranāt means self-satisfaction or sense gratification.

Everyone is eating; we are also eating. The difference is somebody is eating for sense gratification and somebody is eating for satisfaction of Krishna. That is the difference. So if you simply acknowledge that “My dear Lord…” Just like a son, if he acknowledges the benefits derived from the father, how much the father is satisfied, “Oh, here is a very good son.” The father is supplying everything, but if the son says, “My dear father, you are so kind to me that you are supplying such nice things. I thank you,” the father becomes very much pleased. Father does not want that thanks. Father does not care for such thanks. His duty he is supplying. But if the son feels thankful for the father’s benefit, the father is especially satisfied.

Similarly God is the father. He is supplying us. In the Vedic mantra it is said, nityo nityānām cetanaś cetanānām (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13). He is the supreme living entity amongst all living entities. He is singular number, nitya. And nityānām, plural number—we are all plural number. We are also as living entity, as good a living entity as Krishna or God. God is also living entity, we are also living entity. Just like father and son. The father is also living entity and the son is also living entity. There is no difference so far living conditions are there. Similarly, Krishna and Krishna’s sons, or God and God’s sons.

Now, in the Bible, Lord Jesus Christ is described as the son of God. Now, so far I have heard, that it is claimed that he is the only one son of God. Now according to Bhagavad-gita, every living entity is son of God. Now how to adjust? If the Bible says that Lord Jesus Christ is the only one son, then how can so many of these innumerable sons can be adjusted? There is very nice adjustment. One should know it. He is the only one son means one who can sacrifice his life for God, he is the real son. And one who is simply praying, “Oh, God, give us our daily bread,” taking from father and eating and enjoying sense enjoyment, he is not real son. The real son is he who sacrifices his life for glorifying his father. Similarly, anyone who will sacrifice his life… Of course, it is not required that everyone shall be crucified like Lord Jesus Christ, but he should sacrifice his energy for the Supreme Lord. And that person who has devoted his energy for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord, he is called Krishna conscious person.

[Excerpts from lectures delivered on January 4, 1973 and January 3, 1970 in Bombay and Los Angeles respectively]

Also Read:
TROUBLE & SUFFERING are the Results of Forgetting God
WHY DO THE HARE KRISHNAS NOT EAT ONIONS AND GARLIC?
IS BRIBING AND BLACK MARKETING REQUIRED FOR SPIRITUAL LIFE?
LIFE ON OTHER PLANETS AS PER VEDAS

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