How to Offer Food to Krishna

Preparing and offering food to the Lord shows Him our devotion and gratitude. Krishna doesn’t need to eat, of course, but He accepts the love with which we offer food to Him.

As far as possible, use fresh, natural ingredients for cooking. Krishna accepts only vegetarian food, food should be saatvik ie avoid packaged food , meat, fish, eggs, onion , garlic , turnip, brinjal .

Cleanliness is important in cooking for Krishna. Wash your hands before you begin. And don’t taste the food while cooking; the meal is for Krishna’s pleasure, so He should taste it first.

It’s best to have a new set of dinnerware used only for Krishna’s offerings and not used by anyone else.

Place the plate in front of Krishna and ask Him to accept the offering. (There are also prayers one can chant. See below.) Leave the plate there for a few minutes, just as you would if someone else was eating.

Remove the plate, transfer the food to a serving plate, and wash Krishna’s dinnerware. The food is now prasadam, or “mercy” from Krishna.

While you eat, consider the spiritual value of the food; because Krishna has accepted it, it is spiritually identical to Him. Therefore by eating prasadam you become purified.

Everything you offer Krishna becomes spiritualized prasadam—flowers, incense, water, food. All prasadam should be respected and shared with others. Spread the mercy around.

Prayers for Offering Food to Krishna

One should recite these mantras three times whilst offering the food to Krishna:

nama om vishnu-padaya krishna-preshthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine

I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet. Our respectful obeisances are unto you, O spiritual master, servant of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami. You are kindly preaching the message of Lord Chaitanyadeva and delivering the Western countries, which are filled with impersonalism and voidism

namo maha-vadanyaya
krishna-prema-pradaya te
krishnaya krishna-chaitanya-
namne gaura-tvishe namah 

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

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

My Lord, You are the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas, and You are the well-wisher of the entire human society and world.

Now chant the Hare Krishna mantra three times:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

What is Prasadam?

Prasadam literally means “mercy” and devotees of ISKCON use this term to describe pure vegetarian food that has been offered to Lord Krishna. Food that has been offered to the Deities in the temple is known as maha-prasadam.

Most Food contains karma which binds us to the cycle of birth and death because although it may be vegetarian one may still harm other living entities in the process of obtaining it: The farmer may accidentally kill insects during the cultivation of crops or the plants may feel some pain when they are uprooted. However, when the food is prepared for the pleasure of Krishna He accepts the love and devotion present in the offering and removes all sins from it. The karma present in the food is therefore transformed into spiritual energy. Honouring (eating) this sanctified prasadam is the basis of bhakti-yoga and helps one to make tangible spiritual advancement. Sharing and distributing prasadam is also very important!

Why do we offer food to Krishna?

yajna-sistasinah santo
mucyante sarva-kilbisaih
bhunjate te tv agham papa
ye pacanty atma-karanat

“The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.” (Lord Krishna Bhagavad Gita 3.13)

Therefore Lord Krishna advises Arjuna:

yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam

“Oh son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto me.” (Lord Krishna Bhagavad Gita 9.27) 


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Hare Krishna