The second line of this verse indicates that the kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras eat only by virtue of the brāhmaṇa’s mercy; in other words, they should not eat anything which is forbidden by the brāhmaṇas. The brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas know what to eat, and by their personal example they do not eat anything which is not offered first to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They eat only prasāda, or remnants of the food offered to the Lord. The kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras should eat only kṛṣṇa-prasāda, which is afforded them by the mercy of the brāhmaṇas. They cannot open slaughterhouses and eat meat, fish or eggs or drink liquor, or earn money for this purpose without authorization. In the present age, because society is not guided by brahminical instruction, the whole population is only absorbed in sinful activities. Consequently, everyone is deservedly being punished by the laws of nature. This is the situation in this age of Kali.   (More...)
Soma, or the predominating deity of the moon, is responsible for the living entity’s ability to relish the taste of food through the tongue. Lord Śiva prays to Lord Aniruddha to give him strength so that he will not taste anything but the prasāda of the Lord. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung a verse indicating that the tongue is the most formidable enemy among all the senses. If one can control the tongue, he can easily control the other senses. The tongue can be controlled only by eating prasāda offered to the Deity. Lord Śiva’s prayer to Lord Aniruddha is meant for this purpose (tṛpti-dāya); he prays to Lord Aniruddha to help him be satisfied by eating only prasāda offered to the Lord.   (More...)
In the days of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, all the brāhmaṇas worshiped Nārāyaṇa in the form of the śālagrama-śilā. Therefore begging from a brāhmaṇa's house meant taking kṛṣṇa-prasāda, which is transcendental (nirguṇa). If we take food from the house of others, such as karmīs, we shall have to share the qualities of those from whom we take alms. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took prasāda in the houses of Vaiṣṇavas. This is the general process. The members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement are advised not to take food from anywhere but a Vaiṣṇava's or brāhmaṇa's house where Deity worship is performed. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said, viṣayīra anna khāile duṣṭa haya mana: if a devotee takes alms or food from the house of a karmī who is simply interested in money, his mind will be unclean. We must always remember that a devotee's life is one of vairāgya-vidyā, or renunciation and knowledge. Therefore all devotees are warned not to live unnecessarily luxurious lives at the cost of others. Gṛhasthas living within the jurisdiction of the temple must be especially careful not to imitate karmīs by acquiring opulent clothing, food and conveyances. As far as possible, these should be avoided. A member of the temple, whether gṛhastha, brahmacārī or sannyāsī, must practice a life of renunciation, following in the footsteps of Haridāsa Ṭhākura and the six Gosvāmīs. Otherwise, because māyā is very strong, at any time one may become a victim of māyā and fall down from spiritual life.
So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is teaching this pravṛtti-mārga, nivṛtti-mārga, both. "You do not do this" or "You do this." "Do this" means rise early in the morning, maṅgala-āratrika. Of course, you must sleep, but not sleep like cats and dogs, animals. Simply sleeping means waste of time. The more you reduce sleeping, then you become perfect. Nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau **. All the gosvāmīs in Vṛndāvana, they conquered over these things. What is these things? Nidrā, sleeping; āhāra, eating; and vihāra, and sense pleasure. This is called sannyāsa life, reducing sleeping, reducing eating. This is pravṛtti-mārga. We think "If I can eat voraciously like an elephant, then my life is successful." No. That is not success of life. If you can do without any food, that is successful. That is success. This is called nivṛtti-mārga, but that is not practical; therefore if we promise that we shall not eat anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa, that is tapasya. If you don't go to the restaurant and eat anything nonsense, that is pravṛtti. But if you want to stop that restaurant-going, then you take Kṛṣṇa prasādam; kṛṣṇa borā dayā moy kori bāre jihvā joy sva-prasāda-anna dilo bhāi. Kṛṣṇa is ready, so many nice, palatable dishes; you take and stop this restaurant-going. This is Kṛṣṇa's mercy. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. Kṛṣṇa does not say "Bring something from the restaurant" or this or that. He says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: anything, little leaf, little flower, little water. Kṛṣṇa is not hungry, but Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He has come to you, so that you can touch Him, you can dress Him, you can decorate Him, you can offer Him, you can live with Him as servant, as friend, as son, as lover. In so many ways, Kṛṣṇa is giving you chance.   (More...)
As far as eating is concerned, it can be regulated only when one is practiced to take and accept prasādam, sanctified food.
Extravagance in the matter of eating, sleeping, defending and mating—which are demands of the body—can block advancement in the practice of yoga. As far as eating is concerned, it can be regulated only when one is practiced to take and accept prasādam, sanctified food. Lord Kṛṣṇa is offered, according to the Bhagavad-gītā (Bg. 9.26), vegetables, flowers, fruits, grains, milk, etc. In this way, a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness becomes automatically trained not to accept food not meant for human consumption, or which is not in the category of goodness. As far as sleeping is concerned, a Kṛṣṇa conscious person is always alert in the discharge of his duties in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and therefore any unnecessary time spent sleeping is considered a great loss. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person cannot bear to pass a minute of his life without being engaged in the service of the Lord. Therefore, his sleeping is kept to a minimum. His ideal in this respect is Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, who was always engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa and who could not sleep more than two hours a day, and sometimes not even that. Ṭhākura Haridāsa would not even accept prasādam nor even sleep for a moment without finishing his daily routine of chanting with his beads three hundred thousand names. As far as work is concerned, a Kṛṣṇa conscious person does not do anything which is not connected with Kṛṣṇa's interest, and thus his work is always regulated and is untainted by sense gratification. Since there is no question of sense gratification, there is no material leisure for a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And because he is regulated in all his work, speech, sleep, wakefulness and all other bodily activities, there is no material misery for him.
The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice.
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.   (More...)
The devotees of the Supreme Lord, or the persons who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, are called santas, and they are always in love with the Lord as it is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā: premāñjana- cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti. The santas, being always in a compact of love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda (the giver of all pleasures), or Mukunda (the giver of liberation), or Kṛṣṇa (the all-attractive person), cannot accept anything without first offering it to the Supreme Person. Therefore, such devotees always perform yajñas in different modes of devotional service, such as śravaṇam, kīrtanam, smaraṇam, arcanam, etc., and these performances of yajñas keep them always aloof from all kinds of contamination of sinful association in the material world. Others, who prepare food for self or sense gratification, are not only thieves, but are also the eaters of all kinds of sins. How can a person be happy if he is both a thief and sinful? It is not possible. Therefore, in order for people to become happy in all respects, they must be taught to perform the easy process of saṅkīrtana-yajña, in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise, there can be no peace or happiness in the world.   (More...)

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