Offering Food (bhoga-arpana)
This is a standard procedure for offering food to the Deity that may be used for various offerings during the day. Make sure the following items are present on the altar table,
1) a small bell on a plate;
2) a païca-pätra containing samänya-arghya water;
3) a blowing conchshell on stand.
(A) Required Paraphernalia:
Make sure the following items are present:
1.a water-pot with a spout and cover, filled with samanya arghya water;
2.padya (samänya-arghya water)
3.äcamanéyaà water (clove water)
4.a visarjanéya-pätra (throw-out) pot;
7.tables for the bhoga plates (3 nos., one for each set of Deities);
8.asana for the spiritual master and Deities (3 nos., one for each set of Deities);
9.the bhoga offerings in plates (3 nos.);
(B) Preliminary Activities:
1.Outside the Deity room (altar), perform acamana
2.offer obeisances to spiritual master, the Deities while saying pranama prayers.
3.Keep bhoga ready before entering Deity room. [Etiquettes of bhoga plate making]
4.Enter the Deity room (altar) after clapping your hands.
5.Enter the Deity room while chanting the names of the Deities.
6.(Jaya Sri Sri Rddha Vrindavancandra Sri Sri Subhadrä, Balaräma , Jagannätha, Sri Sri Gaur-Nitai ki jai.)
7.Close the curtain if not closed.
8.Keep the spiritual master’s photograph on the altar(table) if not there.
9.Clean the offering area .
10.Chant eña puñpäïjaliù and the guru-müla-mantra, and draw your spiritual master’s attention by offering a few flower petals to his feet, begging his permission to serve the Deities. Then chant:
çré-guro paramänanda premänanda phala-prada
vrajänanda-pradänanda-seväyäà mäm niyojaya
My dear spiritual master, who give the fruit of the highest bliss-the bliss of love of Godhead-please engage me in the blissful service of Çré Kåñëa, who bestows bliss upon the land of Vraja. Keep asana for Guru and Param Guru.
11.Keep the asanas for the Deities at this time. (Sri Sri Gaur Nitai, Sri Sri Subhadrä, Balaräma , Jagannätha , Sri Sri Radha Vrindavancandra ).
(C) Purifying the Bhoga:
12.Remove the flute of small Krsna Deity
13.Bring in the plates for the bhoga offering and place it (them) on the tables.
14.Chant ‘idam asanam’ and Guru Mula Mantra to invite the spiritual master to take his seat for offering Bhoga to the Lord. We should meditate on offering all upacaras to the spiritual master who in turn will be offering them to Their Lordships.
15.Then put a few drops of water from the spouted pot onto the fingers of your right hand, purify each plate by proksana: (sprinkling water from the fingertips of right hand) Chant om astraya phat once for each plate. (Before doing proksana, see that your hands are washed and cleaned)
16.Show Mudras 1) Cakra Mudra 2) Dhenu Mudra 3) Galani Mudra 4)Bijakshara 5) Matsya mudra
17.Next, while showing the bijaksara-mudra chant the mula-mantra eight times for each Deity over the appropriate plate. Over each plate, hold your left hand over your right (palms down) and count the recitations of the mula-mantra with the fingers of your right hand, as if chanting Gayatri.
(The following müla-mantras should be chanted) :
(i)Guru’s plate- aim gurave namah
(ii)Sri Caitanya and Nityananda’s plate — klim gauraya namah
(iii)Çrématé Subhadrä, Lord Balaräma, Lord Jagannätha — Klim Krsnaya namah
(iv)Radha Vrindavancandra’’s plate — srimklim radha-krsnabhyam namah
18.Place Tulasé leaves on each preparation(for balya-bhoga offering, you may put tulasé leaves outside the Deity room.)
(D) Inviting the Lord to Take His Meal:
1) Draw Their Lordships’ attention by offering a few flower petals at their lotus feet in ascending order while chanting: esa puñpäïjaliù and the mula-mantra of the Deity. Starting with Lord Nétyänanda, Lord Caitanya, Çrématé Subhadrä, Lord Balaräma ,Lord Jagannätha, Çrématé Rädhäräëé and Lord Vrindavancandra
2) While chanting idam asanam and the mula-mantra of the Deity, offer them asanas by making hand gesture (asana mudra).
3) Ringing a bell with your left hand, offer both padya and äcamana to the Deity, starting with Lord Nétyänanda, Lord Caitanya, Çrématé Subhadrä, Lord Balaräma , Lord Jagannätha, Çrématé Rädhäräëé and progressing to Lord Vrindavancandra. While doing this chant:
etat padyam and the mula-mantra for the Deity;
idam acamaniyam and the mula-mantra for the Deity;
Pour each spoonful of offered padya and acamaniya water into the visarjaniya-patra.
4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each Deity and then proceed to next Deity in sequence beginning with, with Lord Nétyänanda, Lord Caitanya, Çrématé Subhadrä, Lord Balaräma, Lord Jagannätha Çrématé Rädhäräëé and progressing to Lord Vrindavancandra
(E) Offering the Bhoga
1) With a hand gesture offer the bhoga to the Deity, starting with Lord Vrindavancandra, Çrématé Rädhäräëé, Lord Jagannätha, Lord Balaräma, Çrématé Subhadrä Lord Caitanya, Lord Nétyänanda
idam naivedyam and the müla-mantra for each deity
idam paniyam and the müla-mantra for each Deity.
2) While ringing a bell sitting on an asana and one by one chant the following pranama prayers (Guru-praëäma, Param Guru-praëäma, Gauranga- praëäma, Vrindavancandra-praëäma) three times each:
nama oà viñëu-pädäya kåñëa-preñöhäya bhü-tale
çrémate [spiritual master’s name] iti nämine
(Chant the following prayers three times to param-guru:)
nama oà viñëu-pädäya kåñëa-preñöhäya bhü-tale
çrémate bhakitvedanta svamin iti nämine
namas te särasvate deve gaura-väëé-pracäriëe nirviçeña-çünyavädi-päçcätya-deça-täriëe
(Chant the following prayer to Lord Caitanya three times, requesting His mercy:)
namo mahä-vadänyäya kåñëa-prema-pradäya te kåñëäya kåñëa-caitanya- nämne gaura-tviñe namaù
(Chant the following prayer three times, offering respect to Lord Krsna:)
namo brahmaëya-deväya go-brähmaëa-hitäya ca
jagad-dhitäya kåñëäya govindäya namo namaù
3) Leave the Deity room and chant the Gäyatré mantras. Meditate on the Lord’s eating. While the Lord eats, you may chant various verses of your own choosing, or you may chant the Bhoga arti song by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura., especially during the noon and evening offering.
For Raja-bhoga (noon) and sandhya-bhoga (evening) offerings, chant all the guru-given mantras. (Complete Gayatri) For all other offerings, you may simply chant the brahma-gayatri ten times (the first of the seven guru-given mantras).
4) After some set time (generally fifteen to twenty minutes for noon and evening offerings; five to ten for the balya-bhoga offering before mangala-arati and breakfast), re-enter the Deity room while making a sound, either by knocking on the door, clapping your hands or ringing a bell.
(F) After the Lord’s meal:
1) Standing on asana and ringing a bell with your left hand, offer water. Begin with the Lord Vrindavancandra, Çrématé Rädhäräëé, Lord Jagannätha , Lord Balaräma , Çrématé Subhadrä, Lord Caitanya and Lord Nétyänanda,
Repeat the following four steps for each Deity in sequence as mentioned above:
1) idaà hasta-mukha-prakñälanam and the müla-mantra for the Deity
and offer water (from spouted water pot) for cleaning hands and face;
2) etat padyam and the müla-mantra for the Deity;
3) idam punar acamaniyam and the müla-mantra for the Deity.
4) While meditating on escorting Their Lordships back to the altar, indicating the way with a gesture of your hands, chant:
idam äsanam and the müla-mantra for each Deity.
5) Now invite spiritual master back on the table from his Asan near the Bhoga table by chanting ‘idam asanam’ and Guru Mula mantra.
6) Offer Mahaprasadam to Guru (bring the plate in front of guru) by chanting idam mahaprasadam nirmalayadikam and aim guruve namah
Finally, remove the plates and clean the dining area.
After washing your hands, offer praëäma to your spiritual master and the Deities.
Replace the flute with a small Krsna .
Open the curtain for performing the arati.
Note: Offering is to be made only to the installed Deities and not to the pictures and Tulasé devi.
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