Offering Food

On a plate reserved for the Lord’s use, nicely arrange the preparations to be offered (Refer to kitchen and preparation rules on this page). Perform acamana and offer obeisances to your spiritual master requesting his blessings to assist him in the worship. The offering plate is placed in front of the deities, either directly on the altar or on a table before the altar. Arrange for the Lord to eat in private, perhaps by putting up a curtain before the altar or leaving the room while He is eating.

Checklist

You will need the following items:

  1. a small bell on a plate
  2. an acamana cup containing fresh water and a spoon
  3. some arrangement for the offering plate(s) – preferably low tables
  4. cushions or mats (asanas) for your spiritual master and the deities
  5. the food offering (bhoga)
  6. a mat (asana) for you to sit on

Perform acamana and offer obeisances to your spiritual master requesting his blessings to assist him in the worship.

Before entering the room (or area where the altar is) draw the Lord’s attention by making a sound, either by ringing a bell, clapping your hands, or knocking on the door. Enter the room (or area) while chanting the names of the deities.

Clean the offering area, wash your hands, arrange the eating places (tables, cushions, etc.), and wipe the table surfaces.

Offer your spiritual master a sitting place (asana).

Purifying the Offering

Bring in the plate(s) for the offering (bhoga) and place them on the table(s).

Hold the acamana spoon in your right hand and sprinkle the food items on each plate with a few drops of water.

Make sure the food items (bhoga) have tulasi on them.

Inviting the Deities to Take Their Meal

Offer seats (asanas) to the deities, in ascending order, inviting Them to take Their meal with a gesture of the hands motioning Them to Their sitting places.

Offering the Bhoga

While ringing a bell, chant the pranama prayer(s) to your spiritual master three times, begging permission to assist him in serving the deities:

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate [your spiritual master's name] iti namine

I offer my respectful obeisances unto [your spiritual master's name], who is very dear to Lord Krsna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.

Chant the following two prayers to Srila Prabhupada one after the other, three times, requesting his mercy:

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine

I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krsna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine
nirvisesa-sunyavadi-pascatya-desa-tarine

Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Sarasvati Gosvami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Caitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism.

Chant the following prayer to Lord Caitanya three times, requesting His mercy:

namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te
krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne gaura-tvise namah

O most munificent incarnation! You are Krsna Himself appearing as Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Srimati Radharani, and You are widely distributing pure love of Krsna. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.

Chant the following prayer three times, offering respect to Lord Krsna:

namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca
 jagad-dhitaya krsnaya govindaya namo namah

I offer my obeisances again and again to Lord Krsna, who is always worshiped by qualified brahmanas and is very dear to them. He is always concerned with the welfare of the cows, the brahmanas, and the whole universe, and He gives pleasure to the cows, land, and senses.

Leave the area, offer obeisances praying for the Lord to accept the offering then chant the Gayatri mantras. Meditate on the Lord eating.

After some time (leave long enough for the Lord to eat), return to the altar. Ring the bell to indicate that the offering has finished and meditate on escorting Their Lordships and your spiritual master back to the altar, indicating the way with a gesture of your right hand.

Remove the plates. Wipe the tables. Purify your hands with a few drops of water from the acamana cup.