REGARDING PRASADAM :
Offering Grains to the Spiritual Master and Lord
In a conversation, Srila Prabhupada said that grains
should not be offered to either the spiritual master
or Lord Caitanya and His associates on Ekadasi.
Devotee: On Ekadasi, we can offer the Deity grains?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. But not guru. Ekadasi observed by
jiva-tattva, not by Vishnu.
We are fasting for
clearing our material disease, but Radha-Krsna,
Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Caitanya Mahaprabhu also may
not be offered grains because He is playing the part
of a devotee.
Only Radha-Krsna, Jagannatha can be
Otherwise, Guru-Gauranga, no. And the
prasadam should not be taken by anyone.
It should be
kept for the next day.
[Srila Prabhupada Room
Conversation, Tokyo, April 22, 1972]
If there is only one plate for all Deities and the
main Deity is Krsna or Jagannatha, grains should be
offered as on normal days.
If the main Deities are
Gaura-Nitai, offer only non-grain preparations.*
best to replace the normally offered grain
preparations with non-grain preparations so that there
are the same number of preparations as on normal days.
If, however, grain preparations are being cooked for
Krsna or Jagannatha, it may be difficult to cook
additional non-grain preparations for the spiritual
master and Gaura-Nitai.
In that case serve larger
quantities of the non-grain preparations to the
spiritual master and Gaura-Nitai, and prepare the
offering plate for Krsna or Jagannatha as on normal
* If you are cooking for a restaurant where grains
will be served on Ekadasi, you may offer the grains to
Gaura-Nitai with the understanding that They will
offer the bhoga to Krsna.
What Constitutes "Grains" on Ekadasi?
Srila Prabhupada specified foodgrains and beans
(pulses) as foods that must be avoided on Ekadasi.
may use spices for cooking, although mustard seeds
should be avoided.*
You should not use powdered
asafatoeda (hing), since it (generally) contains
Sesame seeds are also to be avoided, except on
Satila Ekadasi, when they may be offered and eaten.
Do not use any cooking ingredients that might be mixed
with grains, such as ghee that has been used to fry
puris, or spices touched by hands dusted with chapati
* Someone who is very strictly observing Ekadasi
should avoid all spices except pepper, rock salt and
He should also eschew certain vegetables, such
as tomatoes, cauliflower, eggplant, and leafy
Temple kitchens need not follow these
strictures, since Srila Prabhupada did not establish
Individual devotees may observe these rules if
they choose, either making their own arrangements for
cooking on Ekadasi, eating uncooked foods such as
fruit, or observing full fasting.
should not interfere with the temple cooking schedule.
Mahaprasadam on Ekadasi:
On Ekadasi, strict followers of Vaishnava regulations
avoid eating any mahaprasada from an offering that
The shastra explains that the
papa-purusha (sin personified) takes shelter in grains
on Ekadasi, and therefore we avoid grains at all cost
on that day, not even risking taking non-grain
preparations of mahaprasada from an offering plate
Ekadasi mahaprasada should be
stored until the next day; if that is not possible it
can be distributed to persons not strictly following
Vaishnava regulations or to animals.
mahaprasada maintains its purity on Ekadasi despite
the presence of the papa-purusha, and therefore it
will purify anyone who eats it.
followers of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, being strict
followers of Vaishnava regulations, avoid mahaprasada
on that day because their strict sadhana will be
hampered by the presence of the papa-purusha.