Friday, May 08, 2015

Spiritual Terms Defined: Prasad

from Small Stories from My Enormously Spiritual Life

This morning an old woman in the temple offered me prasad. Three Starburst: two lemon and one strawberry.  I accepted them reverently, as though she had offered me an orchid.  Prasad means God’s holy leftovers.  Years ago I stayed in an ashram where the holy mother had told horror stories of bad things happening to people who refused prasad.

“I offered him prasad.  He said, No.  I urged him to take.  He said that it was troublesome to carry bananas on his journey home.  He said he had perfectly good papaya at home.  He resolutely refused!  Not halfway to Chennai he discovered -- all his luggage was stolen!  Billfold also!

The gentleman’s business later failed.  He developed rheumatism.  One son turned out to be slow.  It is not known if these disasters are related to his refusal of prasad, but it’s certainly possible.

Thus I always line up for whatever prasad is available -- a tiny spoonful of buttermilk, a laddu, a lump of upma, a fresh fig.  Skeptics will say that no one has ever seen me turn down food anyway.

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