Thakuraji’s Mental Food
The Puranas, Goswami granthas and most Radha-Krishna Archana Puja books describe the bhakti sadhana of manasic-seva. This is one authentic limb of bhakti. It means to mentally, with your thoughts and feelings, offer varieties of invisible and intangible tasty foods to your beloved Thakurajis i.e. Radha-Krishna murtis.
Sri Krishna equally accepts any favorable thing that is lovingly and caringly offered to Him, be it done externally with the body or internally with the mind. The bhakta gets the full benefit and result from both devotional practices. Everywhere shastras proclaim the efficacy of this sublime and mystical practice.
Here are some examples of the visible effect and power of serving Sri Krishna within the mind.
- The Padma Purana and Sri Rupa Goswamipada’s Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (1.2.282) both narrate the famous story of the Pratinohanapura brahmin who burned his finger tip when testing the temperature of his mentally prepared sweet rice for Thakuraji. Afterwards, Sri Vishnu immediately took him to Vaikuntha.
- Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura:
One day while mentally visualizing Radha-Krishna’s divya-lila, Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura was simultaneously mentally stirring milk (his nitya-seva for Swamini). Somehow due absorption in the lila, his “mental milk” boiled over and scalded his hand which he felt and saw upon returning to external consciousness. Sri Jiva Goswamipada thrilled with joy seeing how Narottama had attained bhajana siddhi. (Prem Bhakti Candrika’s tika Sri Ananta Dasji Maharaja)
- In Antya-two of Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja tells the amazing story of Nrisimhananda Dasa’s beautiful, opulent and comfortable “mental road” he offered to Mahaprabhu who was traveling outside of Navadvipa. Suddenly his meditation broke and his “mental road” abruptly stopped in the village of Kanai Natashala. And lo and behold in external time and space that is exactly where Mahaprabhu stopped His journey.
- Once Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami suffered severe indigestion. Doctors diagnosed him and found no cause, especially since he only ate a bit of buttermilk. Humbly, Dasa Goswami revealed the mystery—within in mind during his meditation, he relished a little too much of Srimati Radharani’s “mental kheer prasadam”!
- Srila Prabhupada:
“Krishna makes no distinction. Thus, if you serve Krishna by mind He will accept. That is sure!” (conv. Hrshikeshanandaji) “But in case you have nothing to offer materially, but still, you can offer in the mind.” (folio: 740417BG.BOM) “Yes, you are correct—spiritual activities, even mentally performed, are beneficial.” (SPletter 72.12-21)
Offer Mental Chappana Bhoga (56 delightful preps)
Devotees generally eat simply and also externally offer simple foods to Sri Krishna. So why not start doing this from today for the pleasure of Sri Shyama in Vraja Dhama? Offer 6 items externally directly to Thakurji Sri Krishna. And then mentally offer 50 more to make it 56. Sri Sri Radha-Krishna pura santoshanam ki jai! Jagannatha Swami ki jai!
Srila Prabhupada introduced and beautifully sang the following bhoga bhajana which he wanted his followers to sing for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna when They enjoy our simple daily offerings. In Gaudiya Padavali i.e. songbooks, there are literally hundreds of such songs, many of them 500 years in vogue. The following bhajana was penned by Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
It would be best if our friends and students would sing this song at least once daily during their “big” bhoga offering to Sri Krishna. While singing, meditate that in your siddha deha you’re right beside Radhika in Nandagrama, assisting Her by cutting, cooking and giving the various delicacies to Yashoda Ma to serve to Sri Krishna. You may become so absorbed in your bhoga-lila smarana manasi seva than you completely forget to eat! The proper raga and tune of this bhajan is available on I-net.
Sri Krishna Pratah Bhojana Lila
(Nandagram: 7-8 a.m.)
(1) (refrain, sing between stanzas)
bhaja bhakata-vatsala śrī-gaurahari
śrī-gaurahari sohi goṣṭha-bihārī
belā ho’lo dāmodara āisa ekhano
bhoga-mandire bosi’ koraho bhojana
nandera nideśe baise giri-bara-dhārī
baladeva-saha sakhā baise sāri sāri
śuktā-śākādi bhāji nālitā kuṣmāṇḍa
dāli dālnā dugdha-tumbī dadhi mocā-khaṇḍa
mudga-borā māṣa-borā roṭikā ghṛtānna
śaṣkulī piṣṭaka khīr puli pāyasānna
karpūra amṛta-keli rambhā khīra-sāra
amṛta rasālā, amla dwādaśa prakāra
luci cini sarpurī lāḍḍu rasābalī
bhojana korena kṛṣṇa ho’ye kutūhalī
rādhikāra pakka anna vividha byañjana
parama ānande kṛṣṇa korena bhojana
chale-bale lāḍḍu khāy śrī-madhumańgala
bagala bājāy āra deya hari-bolo
rādhikādi gaṇe heri’ nayanera koṇe
tṛpta ho’ye khāy kṛṣṇa jaśodā-bhavane
bhojanānte piye kṛṣṇa subāsita bāri
sabe mukha prakhāloy ho’ye sāri sāri
hasta-mukha prakhāliyā jata sakhā-gaṇe
ānande biśrāma kore baladeva-sane
jambula rasāla āne tāmbūla-masālā
tāhā kheye kṛṣṇa-candra sukhe nidrā gelā
biśālākha śikhi-puccha-cāmara ḍhulāya
apūrba śayyāya kṛṣṇa sukhe nidrā jāya.
jaśomatī-ājñā pe’ye dhaniṣṭhā-ānīto
śrī-kṛṣṇa-prasāda rādhā bhuñje ho’ye prīto
lalitādi sakhī-gaṇa avaśeṣa pāya
mane mane sukhe rādhā-kṛṣṇa-guṇa gāya
hari-līlā ek-mātra jāhāra pramoda
bhogārati gāy ṭhākur bhakativinoda
(1) Just worship bhakta-vatsala Sri Gaurahari, who is the selfsame Goshtha-Bihariji Sri Krishna that forever steals the minds and hearts of Yashoda and Nanda Baba.
(2) Mother Yashoda calls Krishna: “My dear Damodara, it’s very late. Please come right now, sit down in the dining hall, and take bhoga.”
(3) Nanda Baba directs Giridhari, Baladeva and the other gopas to sit down in rows to eat.
(4) Yashoda, Rohini, Kilimba and other mothers serve a sumptuous feast of bitter vegetables to increase appetite, leafy, pumpkin and banana flower sabzis, fried items, jute leaf salad, baskets of fruit, small square lentil cakes in condensed milk, and thick creamy yogurt.
(5) Also included are fried mung and urad dal patties, rotis, ghee-soaked rice, condensed milk, sesame and milk sweets, rice flour cakes; kheer and cakes floating in milk.
(6) And delicious cheese, nectar rivaling kheer spiced with camphor, bananas, and twelve sour preparations from tamarinds, limes, lemons, oranges, and pomegranates.
(7) And white flour puris sprinkled with sugar, cream-filled puris, laddus, dal patties boiled in misri rice. Krishna eagerly eats all the items.
(8) In supreme bliss, Krishna relishes Radhika’s rice, curries, sweets, and pastries.
(9) Mischievous Madhumaìgala eats laddus, moves his right hand in his left armpit to make a funny thud noise while singing, “Haribol! Haribol!”
(10) Glancing at Radhika and Her sakhis from the corners of His eyes, Krishna Govinda eats with great gusto in Yashoda bhavan.
(11) Afterwards, Krishna drinks rose-scented water, and all the boys stand in lines to wash their mouths.
(12) After washing their mouths and hands, Baladeva and the gopas take rest in great bliss.
(13) Krishnachandra eats the tambula offered by the gopas Jambula and Rasala, and happily sleeps.
(14) While Krishna rests blissfully on an unprecedented bed, Vishalaka gopa refreshes Him with a peacock fan.
(15) On Yashomati’s order, Dhanishtha brings Sri Krishna’s prasadi to Radha who lovingly enjoys it.
(16) Feeling extremely joyful to receive Radha’s prasada, all the sakhis beginning with Lalita start singing about the beautiful qualities of Radha and Krishna.
(17) Thus I, Bhaktivinoda, whose only joy is hari-lila, sing this bhoga aroti song.
Radha-Krishna manasi chappana bhoga seva ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
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