Here is a piece of good news for lakhs of devotees of Puri's Jagannath temple, residing in different parts of the country and abroad. If you stay outside the Orissa's temple town and want to have the famous "mahaprasad" of the important shrine while sitting at home, your desire will certainly be fulfilled, thanks to an unique scheme
Here is a piece of good news for lakhs of devotees of Puri’s Jagannath temple, residing in different parts of the country and abroad. If you stay outside the Orissa’s temple town and want to have the famous “mahaprasad” of the important shrine while sitting at home, your desire will certainly be fulfilled, thanks to an unique scheme Naivedyaseva.com.
The second meaning of MAHAPRASAD is “MA-PRASAD" for the main thali must be taken to Mother Bimala’s temple and returned and mixed in all the other pots offered before it is considered fit to be eaten by Lord Jagannath. Only then can it be distributed to all, without distinction of caste or creed.
Only MAHAPRASAD can be eaten by all together, whatever the religion or race, even on the same banana leaf. Daily 5,000 may be feed, but on big festival days, one to ten million. The temple kitchen of Lord Jagannath is considered to be the biggest hotel in the world, serving all without reservation or previous notice.
MAHAPRASAD originated in the remote past in connection with Jagannath in His original form of "Neela Madhava". The tribal chief "Biswabasu" in the Nilagiri mountains of Orissa daily gave fruits to the deity at the time of worship. But in this forest area, there were no rice paddies or fields of vegetables growing. When Biswabasu opened the temple doors in the morning with his meagre offering of fruits, he would find daily huge quantities of rice dishes and especially delicious curries. Biswabasu was taken aback. People said gods and goddesses would come at night from the whole universe and Heaven itself to have DARSHAN. They would offer the best dishes of Rice, Dal, and Sweets. The spiritual fragrance of this holy food was overpowering, so all knew it had to be of divine origin.
Even today, the taste of MAHAPRASAD cannot be duplicated outside the temple. It is also the direct experience of devotees inside that when cooks carry the BHOG from the kitchen to the temple, it has no fragrance, no sweet aroma. But after offering, when they carry it from the temple to ANANDA BAZAAR(The Place where the MAHAPRASAD is offered to the public) for sale, it smells divinely sweet. In the process of puja, it is blessed by all the gods and goddesses, and by Lord Jagannath Himself. At the time of food offering, only the three priests doing the puja are allowed to be inside. It is felt Lord Jagannath is actually "taking His food" at this time.
Actually it is told that MAHAPRASAD is cooked by no one but Mother Lakshmi Herself; all are felt to be Her servants. As she is not attentive to the cooking on the days when Lord Jagannath is said to be sick before "RATH YATRA", the food is less tasty. During RATH YATRA, when Lord Jagannath is in another temple, called "GUNDICHA TEMPLE", she is said to have no mind to cook and the food is totally tasteless.
"Marana Kalare tama chhada mala,
Mukhare thiba tulashi. Mane mane muhin,
Ghosi heuthibi Tume hey, Niladribasi!”
"Please grant me this, Oh Lord Jagannath,
At. The time of death. May your used flower Garlands be beside me.
And your tulsi MAHAPRASAD be in my mouth, Uttering the name of NILADRI VASI,
The One who resides on the Blue Mountain, Let me die."
Another name of MAHAPRASAD is "KAIBALYA", that which gives Moksha, salvation or liberation. It is said if one takes this food of Lord Jagannath he will have not only physical well- being, but spiritual enlightenment as well. Salabega, a great Muslim devotee of Lord Jagannath, sings of his longing to take MAHAPRASAD. Whenever devotees think of Lord Jagannath, they think of His MAHAPRASAD also. In these lines from his famous Oriya bhajan. "THAKA MANA CHALA JIBA", Salabega sings-
"Let us go to Puri, And on the 22 steps of the temple, Take MAHAPRASAD, To our heart's content!”
It is also said that if Mother Lakshmi is displeased with the preparation by the cooks, a dog will appear mysteriously on the temple grounds, usually as food is being carried to the deities. As no dog is allowed to enter the temple, this dog is said to be "KUTAMA CHANDI" , a Tantric goddess in charge of purification of food. If the dog is seen, all the food must be buried and prepared again. In home offering of BHOG, worshipers wives take bath before cooking, do the puja in a wet sari, read spiritual books like Gita, and then put on a special sari meant only for cooking the rice meal to be offered to the deities. If she goes into the bathroom during this time, she must change her cloth to the one meant only for bathroom use. In both temple and homes, no garlic or onion is offered to the deities, and no "foreign" vegetables like Potatoes and Tomatoes. In the temple, masala and spices such as Cardamom and Cloves are added only after offering, after the MAHAPRASAD is brought to Ananda Bazaar. The meaning of ANANDA BAZAAR is that which gives great happiness. This MAHAPRASAD of Lord Jagannath is said to have that power when it is eaten. All food offerings in both temple and home are offered in clay pots or copper plates, called "KANSA THALIS". Lord Jagannath is said to be "DARU BRAHMA", life force Itself in wood. He is also called "SABDA BRAHMA", life force in all sound and vibrations. He is known as "NADA BRAHMA", the primal sound of "OM" also. He is "ATMA BRAHMA", life force in man, in the same way, he is called "ANNA BRAHMA", the life force in rice, in all food we eat. When we eat His MAHAPRASAD , we take of Him also. In Kali Yuga, it is said, man cannot live without taking rice. This was not so necessary in previous yugas. But now ANNA, or rice, has become life force itself, and so all must be feed. In Jagannath Temple people can give donations of money. But donations of rice are just as gladly accepted. It is called "ANNA DANA". Jagannath Puri is, therefore, known as "ANNA KSHETRA", because so many rice offerings are made daily, and in no other temple of India is rice offered as the main prasad to deities, and then distributed to all.
Prayers that may be told at the time of taking MAHAPRASAD are as follows:
1. From Brahmanda Purana :
Jagannath tastwa Nividya, Nasti Sanspasta, Dusanam Sakruta Vakshana Matruna Papcvwo Muchyatc Puman
"May I commit no more sin in past, present, or future, By eating this MAHAPRASAD offered to Lord Jagannath".
2. From Padma Purana :
"Tatranna Pachaka Laksmi, Swayam Votka Janaijana, Tasmatta dana bipasa Daivataurapi durllabam".
"Let me be freed from sin. Eating this holy MAHAPRASAD Cooked by Maha Lakshmi herself, Rare even for the Gods to eat".
3. From Bhagavat Gita :
"Brahmarpanam Brahma habir, Brahmangno Brahmana hutam, Brahma tena gantabyam, Brahma karma samadhina, Aham baiswanar vutwa, Praninam dcha mastritam, Pran apan samajukta, Pachamyanna chatur bidham".
"Brahma is the puja, Brahma is the food offering, Brahma is he who offers to the fire that is Brahman. If a man sees Brahma in every action, He will find Brahma. "I am there as Fire in the body of all, I change all the items of food (Prana, Apana, Sumana, Udana, Byana) Giving Life Force to all".[/color][/color]
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