ISKCON's SAC "Shastric Advisory Committee" (Gaura Keshava das) declares Srila Prabhupada --
[Does not know about puja because] -- he was not a pujari? Which begs the question, "Why does the GBC employ such people as its advisors"? ys pd
KD: The following statement by Gaura Keshava prabhu about Srila Prabhupa doesn't sound right to my ears: "However he was not a pujari and he introduced many things initially that later he changed..." I am not sure, if I am the only one here. How can you state: Srila Prabhupada was not a pujari? When Srila Prabhupada's whole existence is one of "PUJA"?
[NOTE: Gaura Keshava Das is sometimes called GKD in the text below]
PADA: Some temples have been following the deity worship process introduced by the "ISKCON Shastric Advisory Committee" or SAC (Gaura Keshava das) to reverse the offering process, normally its starting from the guru -- Srila Prabhupada -- up the chain to Krishna, but they have got some temples offering to Krishna first and then down the chain.
Srila Prabhupada told us that changing the deity worship is very dangerous.
Also, when I said we cannot offer bhogha to Jayatirtha since he is fallen, the GBC gurus kept that process going anyway, but there is no example of where we were told to offer bhogha to conditioned souls. ys pd
KD: All the bhoga and service offered through the bogus gurus have been useless labor and continue to be useless labor then as nothing is being accepted by Sri Krishna.......
GD: That seems very harsh to the devotees who selflessly served the Lord. The Lord says, "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." BG 9.26. Yes, there are the "cheaters and the cheated" but we need to separate out the bhakti. The bhakti is eternal and never lost. Yes, it has been difficult to see these problems going on in ISKCON, but we have to have confidence that the Lord knows what He's doing for everyone involved.
KD: Yes, it sounds harsh, I know. For myself also it is hard to accept that all the years I was thinking to be actually doing some devotional service -- it was amounting to nothing -- because of my (worship) being misdirected.... But they say that there are cheaters and cheated, and if you get a cheater guru you must have deserved it .... so, I think I had to go through it to learn a lesson...
DD: That's very humble of you to say it KD. It's painful to even hear it. Why can't one just stick with a pure devotee and just get rid of all these other concoctions? It's flab.
GD: Your devotional service was not lost. That is something that is never lost. Look at how fixed up you are now! Krishna's mercy, over and over.
KD: That may be. But we should not wish for all the devotees to have to traverse the same path .... especially because there is no need for it whatsoever .......
GD: No, we would not wish that for anyone, but we are not in charge. Krishna gets to decide all that.
KD: Ultimately yes....
[PADA: Gaura Keshava das enters the discussion here but he later removed all his posts. The posts of GKD have all been removed by him.]
GD: Dear Gaura Keshava, the discussion, and part of the purpose of this page as I understand it, is to try and understand why things are done differently now, than when Srila Prabhupada was here. PADA is asking why the process has been changed. It used to be that arotik was offered from Srila Prabhupada on up the sampradaya, but now it is reversed. Please don't take this as an offense, just some questions. Maybe you can help us to understand? Thank you.
The question here is what is the order to offer articles during arotik. Many people offer through the sampradaya starting with their guru, finishing with Lord Krishna. Many other people start with Lord Krishna, then Srimati Radharani, and then work their way down through the sampradaya, ending with their guru. I was taught the first way over 40 years ago. Temples seem to have differing standards, using either one or the other. I have gotten a few IMs about this and devotees have seen temples switch from one to the other, and then back again. Please let us know your thoughts on this. Quotations from Srila Prabhupada and Hari Bhakti Vilasa are most welcome. Thank you for helping to clarify this for us.
I am also not trying to be contentious. I am simply restating the original question. I am not trying to waste your time. I accept the three proofs of true knowledge but am looking for references from Srila Prabhupada or from Hari Bhakti Vilasa about this change. Can you provide that, yes or no?
KD: Dear Gaura Keshava prabhu. Thank you for requesting to be added to this group and explaining to us your considerations for the new Deity worship standards. I also thank GD for partaking here and responding to your initial questions on this thread. You question what is the need of such a group. The need is that many devotees have lost faith in the GBC and do not accept just anything endorsed by them, as they have an history of changing their views. As you may be aware there are many groups of devotees who do not accept that Srila Prabhupada authorised the voting in / approving of Gurus in ISKCON. For their benefit it is important to have this group. So that we can show that the present Deity Worship Standards are implemented in factual agreement with Srila Prabhupada's instructions.
KD: Dear Gaura Keshava, you have included the worship of ISKCON approved Gurus in the Deity Worship manual. Prabhupadanugas do not accept them as bona fide. You may also be one of the "no objection" Gurus of ISKCON yourself Gaura Keshava prabhu, but that is not the subject of this group. We value your response here with regard to the Deity Worship and will circulate this information further to make the doubting persons aware of your considerations. Thank you very much.
DD: We accept only worship of Srila Prabhupada as standard. Thanks KD for this topic.
We should have a Deity worship manual according to Srila Prabhupada with only him as Guru. Else for future generations this knowledge will be lost or contaminated since the multi Guru system will spawn uncontrollably.
PADA: Offering bhogha to conditioned souls was never authorized by Srila Prabhupada.
KD: I would also like to request all the readers to go through the points put forward by Gaura Keshava prabhu and evaluate what he is saying with regard to the changed Deity worship procedure. From what I have gleaned the latest ISKCON manual is closest to the Archana Paddhati. Personally I have never seen / read or used the interim manual mentioned. So - the question remaining are: what are the changes in comparison with the Archana Paddhati and the present ISKCON Deity Worship Manual.
My question to Gaura Keshava prabhu first of all is: why the offering of bhoga is starting from Srila Prabhupada - through Panca Tattva - to Krishna. But Puja is offered from Krishna down to Srila Prabhupada? Isn't in the consideration of offering bhoga then so that Prabhupada's remnants are offered to Krsna?? I still do not understand why we cannot offer our incense and other paraphernia upwards to Krishna. The essence of the Deity worship is after all "offering to Krishna" ...and not the offering of "Krsna's prasadam" to the vaisnavas?
RD S.Prabhupada gave instructions to Gaura Kesava prabhu to translate and make a short cut of Archana Paddati. But Gaura Keshava prabhu took the opportunity to add his own points of view, on the offering item in arotik. Is far from my mind to offend Gaura Kesava prabhu. But I would like to know if in the original book it's clearly written to offer first to Krishna, then to Srimati Radharani going to Lord Jagannath down and down to the spiritual master.
KD: My second question is: Does the Hari Bhakti Vilas outline specifically that bhoga should be offered "the way up" and all other paraphernelia of worship "the way down"? My third question is: what Temples have you, Gaura Keshava prabhu used as reference and do they also have written manuals for the Deity worship? If so, who are they written by?
RD When a person translates a book, he should stick strictly to the translation, not add some of his / her personal understanding, unless it's specifically (parenthesis) and explained, that this was not the original translation but someone's personal understanding.
DD: Is the Deity worship manual AS IT Is?? We don't want any scholarly understanding or interpretations of what our Acarya has said. And since he stands as the only guru we accept any other process is deviation. Not acceptable. KD, who is the student of Gaura keshava prabhu who brought this to his attention? Very interesting right chords. :))
KD: Interesting! Good thing that you do not consider GBC as "Absolute Authority of ISKCON". But does ISKCON Ministry for Deity Worship at present not follow your manual Gaura Keshava prabhu? We do not agree with your view on "Ritvik" Gaura Keshava prabhu, but this is not the issue we want to discuss here - Here we are to find out what is proper order of Deity Worship. Nothing else.
PADA: Srila Prabhupada taught me, and all of us, to offer bhogha up the chain, from guru to Krishna. Gaura Keshava and other SAC members have been teaching ISKCON temples to offer from Krishna down the chain, at least he has taught that to some temples. The guru offers the bhogha to Krishna, and indeed he offers all of our services to Krishna, we cannot approach Krishna direct, that is not the system, the guru offers us to Krishna, we do not offer the guru to Krishna, this is madness. Offering bhogha to Krishna is not our system, we offer bhogha to the guru and he offers it to Krishna, that is what Srila Prabhupada personally taught me.
DD: I just say we should leave the process set by Srila Prabhupada As is. No changes needed.
KD: I don't think Gaura Keshava prabhu changed the order of the "bhoga offering mantras" or am I missing something?
PADA: Offering bhogha to conditioned souls is their SAC system, and its not authorized. How will God accept bhogha offered to debauchees? This is not making any sense? God is pure and we have to offer things to him via the pure, otherwise, He will not accept, that is what Srila Prabhupada told me in person.
WD: Deity worship standards coming to the ideal practice is always desirable but Srila Prabhupada did not left instructions to make further so called improvements,after his disappearance. If there are such assigned or delegated order for Gaura-Keshava from Srila Prabhupada that after his disappearance, he, Gaura Keshava was specially authorized to perform those changes, I'd like him to show us where that was ordered by Srila Prabhupada.
KD: PADA I agree with you that it is useless to include the bogus guru in the offering. We start from Srila Prabhupada... but the main question here is about the Arati procedure. Why did Gaura Keshava prabhu change the Archana Paddhati standard as outlined by Jayatirtha prabhu in direct order of Srila Prabhupada.
WD: Where is the written statements from Srila Prabhupada? If he can not provide that written statements to "fix" the Deity worship standards,he should move to other projects.
DD: Gaura Gaura Keshava prabhu...thanks. I think no embellishments are needed for the process set by Srila Prabhupada. What did you mean by saying SRILA PRABHUPADA was not ever a pujari?
WD: His appointment comes from the GBC AND WE ALL KNOW THAT THE GBC IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO REPRESENT HIM ANYMORE.
PADA: Srila Prabhupada was not ever a pujari? So its ok to change the system he ordered? The system was standardized all over ISKCON, you offer to the guru first, that was the established system, that is the system he taught me personally, that was and is his order, he also said, do not change this or it will cause chaos. Srila Prabhupada saw his father worship the deity when he was a small child, he has spent his whole life always being in temples and seeing the puja and so forth, at the same time, as the acharya, he establishes the worship anyway, whatever that is.
KD: Is Gaura Keshava prabhu saying that Jayatirtha prabhu made a mistake here? He is quoting certain verses from Hari Bhakti Vilas in which Krishna is saying that nothing should be offered to Him which is offered before to someone else. But my point is that we are not offering "prasad" of anyone else to KRISHNA but offering bhoga/service to Him through the parampara and His associates.
PADA: OK but the system Gaura Keshava describes is not what Srila Prabhupada ordered, and established all over ISKCON? Nor do we find that Srila Prabhupada said this order should be changed upon his departure?
WD: Gaura Keshava, YOU CALL SRILA PRABHUPAD "OTHERS"? YOU RASCAL!
KD: What I am trying to find out is: was / is the order given in the Archana Paddhati the same as what was taught by Srila Prabhupada in his physical presence. And in which order did Srila Prabhupada himself offer Arati to the Deities when he did do so?
DD: You did not clarify... could you kindly explain what you meant by Srila Prabhupada was not a pujari? I am keen to know
PADA: Nor has Gaura Keshava ever explained how offering bhogha to persons engaged in illicit sex, drugs, rock and roll, watching football, and so on, would be considered as pure and offer-able to the Lord? Srila Prabhupada told me, God is pure and if there is any impure item in the pooja, He does not accept the offering. How much more impure can we get than Gaura Keshava's gurus who are often debauchees, and / or supporters of debauchee acharyas? Where is it stated in shastra that we have to offer bhogha to debauchees, and that will be accepted by Krishna? This makes Krishna look foolish and lacking in discrimination, He accepts pure offering, and He also accepts offerings to debauchees, He does not know the difference? This makes the whole process seem contaminated.
KD: Gaura Keshava prabhu, I noted and agree with you that KRSNA should be offered everything first. But we cannot offer directly to KRSNA!
PADA: OK Gaura Keshava is saying that he knows better than Srila Prabhupada, who established the system he wanted for his society. And neither is he answering why he wants to have photos of debauchees on the altars? When I said Harikesh is saying he is using condoms on his therapist, and so we need to take his photo off the altar, the GBC said no, his photo has to stay. Why does Gaura Keshava's program have the photos of people using condoms on their massage therapist, on the altars?
KD: Gaura Keshava prabhu, I think you are confusing two things: offering KRSNA bhoga / arati and offering KRSNA's prasada.....
PADA: Srila Prabhupada said Krishna is like the sun, and the guru is like the water, and we are like the lotus flower, so when the flower is in the water its growing nicely, but when the flower is out of the water and tries to approach the sun, it dies, so we need to go through guru at every step, or die. Is this why so many of Gaura Kesvahas gurus are sick, dying and falling down etc.? They are dying from being out of the water, they think the can go direct?
DD: When we offer thru Srila Prabhupada, we are offering to Krsna only. ..not to anyone else. What mantras do the offering process of the iskcon manual recommend when offering to krsna?
WD: The pure devotees offerings in the Bhagavad platform need not to offer food through any medium, since the Spiritual Master approaches Krsna directly and his examples of offering first to the Acharaya is to be copied by us. The direct approach does not require a conductor and in this case there is no need for any protocol. The supreme Lord eats through the mouths of the Brahmanas. You have to show us the authorization from Prabhupada to make changes after his disappearance. The same for Jayadwaita.
PADA: There is no shastra anywhere that says you offer food to debauchees and deviants? Even the Christians offer grace to Jesus, not debauchees? Gaura Keshava is making all this up. Its not authorized in any religion to offer anything to persons engaged in illicit behaviors? That's one problem, then the other problem, offering direct to Krishna, that is not the system of our guru parampara, we go up the chain to Krishna, in all respects, in any aspect, whether offerings or any other process, you have to go via media the guru, Srila Prabhupada said that thousands of times, you cannot go yourself, you have to go via media the guru, thats the system.
WD: Well GKD! show that authorization, where he told you to make changes in the future when he was no longer with us. Help your own cause here.
PADA: Jayatirtha's archana padhati booklet was made consulting with all the top poojaris at the time, and Srila Prabhupada approved that system at the time. Its also the same system he taught me in India in 1971. Apart from that, offering to Krishna direct is something Srila Prabhupada condemned.
DD: Dear GKD, I read your previous comment on rtvik system. I accept only Srila Prabhupada as Guru. Thats his order too. Whether it is sastric or not is a big debate. we can go on on that. It very much is acceptable. and if you feel it's waste of time well what can I say prabhu. I am not holding you in spot. But guru puja is very much an integral part of deity worship. We can accept only pure devotee as Guru. ..someone of the calibre of Srila Prabhupada
WD: Gaura Keshava prabhu was criticizing along with Kushukrata prabhu against Virabubu when he claimed a position of Guru. I was present at that moment, since I help create that encounter in new dwaraka. Gaura-keshava and Kusakratha were yelling at Virabubu for that. Now, in Gaura-Keshava das's evolution, things have changed with very convenient compromise with these Gurus he was criticizing. Tell me where you get your Bowl of Rice and i will tell you where you get your opinion.
DD Refer to 16 june 1969 letter of Srila Prabhupada to Arundhati.
KD: You are "popular" today for coming forward to explain Gaura Keshava prabhu! Please deal with one person's questions if you like at one time or one subject at a time. I am more than comfortable to take the back seat just now! And regarding Deity worship, please note: The order of worshiping is first Spiritual Master, and then Lord Caitanya, then Radha Krsna (as in the mantras or Vande ham prayer).>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Himavati — Los Angeles 1 April, 1970
DD: Yes. We want to see approval of Srila Prabhupada.
KD: When and how did Srila Prabhupada order these changes? There can be change in details not in procedure.
WD: GKD must provide the same logic and expanded coverage he brings in consistency with S.P. instructions to him personally.
KD: Even with mula mantra plus gayatri according to Archana Padhati order remains same.
RD: Do you mean Gaura Keshava prabhu, that you translated "as it is" the arcana paddati? That means that it's written to offer to Krishna first incense and so on? With new personal mantra? Please that's an important issue, that will end all discussions and start to make different questions. I do not like to discuss in this forum others issues out Deity worship.
KD: The Archana Paddhati copy that I have in front of me is said to be translated by Jayasacinandana das Adhikari and edited by Jayatirtha dasa Adhikari...........
KD: Dear SD, what does your Archana Paddhati say? And when was it printed?
SD: Yes, my Archana Paddhati is the same, 1978. Jayatirtha says in the Preface that Srila Prabhupada asked him in Mayapur 1976 to edit the translation of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's Archana Paddhati.
KD: In 1976 Srila Prabhupada was asking Nitai to complete the Archana Paddhati (The same Nitai he called - later on ? - rascal? ). In 1977 we see the following conversation (thanks to Gaura Kesava prabhu - see above in this same thread) : Room conversation with Tamal Krsna Goswami, 11th April, 1977, Bombay.
Tamal Krsna Goswami: "The Deity worship book will be printed by Jayatirtha dasa without BBT funds. This is that book. I forgot the Sanskrit name Srila Prabhupada?"
Srila Prabhupada: "Hari-bhakti-vilasa."
Tamal Krsna Goswami: "Hari-bhakti-vilasa. So Jayatirtha wants to print it on his own. Means he doesn't want to take BBT funds. So the Trustees felt that that was very good, since funds were scarce, he does a nice printing. He said that he would take responsibility for printing and distributing it. Because it is a very limited edition, it's not going to be sold to the common people, just to devotees."
Srila Prabhupada: "No. Few copies."
Tamal Krsna Goswami: "Yes."
KD: Was there an interim printing by Jayatirtha prabhu before the BBT printing in 1978 took place? From conversation above it appears that Srila Prabhupada had already "approved"?
KD: Gaura Keshava prabhu, I have quoted from Srila Prabhupada's letters confirming the procedure given by Jayatirtha prabhu. What you are suggesting is contrary to these instructions of Srila Prabhupada and you have established them by bringing down Srila Prabhupada to mundane level, which I have also pointed out clearly. Thus I refuse to accept your conclusion.
DD: Dear Gaura Keshava, by your saying Srila Prabhupada is simply a grihasta and not pujari what are trying to establish prabhu? That today's standards in Iskcon are better than what they were? Anyone would laugh or cringe in pain at that idea.
KD: I do not speak of my friends here, but for myself I can state that you yourself look like the biggest speculator here Gaura Keshava prabhu. You have given your personal interpretation of the quoted Hari Bhakti Vilas verses and what I consider worse "minimized Srila Prabhupada". We still have to see confirmation of application of those verses by other Gaudiya Vaisnava Temples...or did I miss them?
DD: Dear GKD, please answer KDs point. Quoting from Guru. We also need quotes from guru approving all this. Else it is a deviant system like many others in Iskcon. It is recommended that all sincere devotees and those serious about their spiritual life please stick to Srila Prabhupada's documented standards. And stick to him as your guru. Jai srila Prabhupada!!!!
KD: We also cannot overrule anything stated by Srila Prabhupada, because someone thinks His Divine Grace made mistakes or was not competent enough.
WD: GKD, You have not yet quoted from Srila Prabhupada nothing about offering to Krsna first, and then the Guru and so on. Where is the verbatim recommendation by Srila Prabhupada to do otherwise that he showed himself? You should present that and stop putting words in his mouth.
He ignores Srila Prabhupada's statements. He resists him. Your Fruit Salad bar approach will not work Gaura-Keshava prabhu.
PADA: We have already quoted guru, Srila Prabhupada says, do not change the system he has in place. He did not say, get Gaura Keshava to re-write the whole system and change it. There is no record of that being stated?
WD: GKD can not provide a letter that Srila Prabhupada told him to fix the order of the worship of the Deities. You can take your own words and twist them to yourself.
PADA: We already showed you quotes from Srila Prabhupada on this topic, where he defeated the Gaura Keshava version. Srila Prabhupada already was quoted by us, he said do not change the system he has established.
DD: Gaura Keshava prabhu ... you straight away get to initiation question. That's not very respectful. Many people don't use initiated names. We can't always ask. You asked same question about PADA prabhu too. He is also another senior disciple of Srila Prabhupada - Puranjana prabhu. Thanks for understanding.
PADA: And lets not forget the result of Gaura Keshava changing the system is -- that we have had the photos of fallen fools like Jayatirtha on the altar when he was engaged in illicit sex, and he was offering LSD, hash-hish, and designer drugs to his shalagram deity, and he was having illicit sex, and we still had to worship him. The result of the Gaura Keshava system, people have the photos of debauchees on the ISKCON altars. There is no shastra that says we should have the photos of debauchees on the altars, it does not exist.
RD: Gaura Kesava prabhu, you are offending my spiritual master, a pure devotee of Srimati Radharani. We all know by S.Prabhupada that remnants of food eaten by conditioned souls cannot be offered to the Deities.
WD: GKD. You are aiding Srila Prabhupada oppressors.
SD: Gaura Kesava Prabhu. I have a few questions about your quotes. I hope that you have not become exhausted by our questions at this point.
Regarding HBV 9.321 Prohibitions
niveditam yadanyasmai...See More
DD: GKD does not approve of the GBC. But they implement his book in temples rightfully belonging to Srila Prabhupada?? Funny... He better goes to do his bogus useless offending puja to his Deities. I've understood enough!
KD: I am intrigued by Urmila's comment "Of greatest concern is that we've been taught to offer to guru first, whereas it seems we should be offering to guru last."
Surely the standard of offering to our guru first and then on up to Krsna was introduced by Srila Prabhupada himself, otherwise how did it come about? If that's the case, maybe what's of greatest concern is that, having been given a standard by Srila Prabhupada, we now think that we are so intelligent that what he gave us is back to front, upside down and incorrect.
I have always understood the process in the same way mentioned by Archita prabhu -- that we offer it to Srila Prabhupada, who in turn offers it to his guru and in this way it goes all the way up to Krsna and then comes back to us as prasadam. Its not that once it is offered to Srila Prabhupada it immediately becomes prasadam, without it having reached to Krsna.
[NOTE: Since I wrote this Nrsimha Kavaca has enlightened us all with his letters from Srila Prabhupada, which are much appreciated.]
I remember in 1977 during the last six weeks with Srila Prabhupada, Kuladri came from New Vrindavana. Srila Prabhupada had given us a prayer "My dear Lord Krsna, if You so desire, please allow Srila Prabhupada to remain with us." (or words to that effect).
Kuladri told Srila Prabhupada that Kirtanananda Swami didn't want to say that prayer but rather he asked Srila Prabhupada to pray to Krsna on our behalf that he could stay with us. Kirtanananda's reasoning was that we were not qualified to pray directly to Krsna. Our link was through Srila Prabhupada and it was only through him that we could approach Krsna with our request.
Srila Prabhupada very much appreciated the devotional sentiment of that. Anyway, I think its time, after having worshipped deities for the last 30 years, that we get this finally sorted out, using the standards that Srila Prabhupada gave us as our guidelines. How is it that after all this time we are still caught up in the kind of mental gymnastics put forth by Bhanu Maharaja recently (sorry Maharaja, no offense intended) about who to worship first?
Urmila (Devi Dasi) ACBSP
KD: http://www.iskcondesiretree.net/... deity worship F.A.Q. Part 2 SUB= Order of offering (arati) www.iskcondesiretree.net
Order of offering (arati) Nrsimha Kavaca (das) IDS 28-Jun-95 --- Just a few quotes I was able to dig up …
I can’t understand why you are confused by such a simple thing. The disciple brings everything to the Guru who then offers it to his spiritual master who then offers it to his spiritual master etc. until it gets to Radharani, who then offers it to Krsna. Then all the associates of the Lord, including our spiritual master take the remnants. I for one feel that this has been quite clearly explained by Srila Prabhupada, and also KKD Prabhu in the publication Pancaratra Pradipa. Maybe KKD would like to add some comment to help clear up the apparent confusion.
Hari Sauri (Dasa) ACBSP (Alachua, FL)
The mood of presenting the item, whether food bhoga or arati paraphernalia bhoga, or whatever, to the spiritual master is not one of offering it to him to enjoy, but one of offering it to him to present to the parampara which eventually reaches Krsna. I think this misconception is the cause of all the misunderstandings about the system of offering. Nrsimha Kavaca (das) IDS 01-Jul-95
KD: Madhya-lila Chapter Twenty-four, Text 334
(5) There must be an asana, a sitting place before the altar. This asana is for the spiritual master. The disciple brings everything before the spiritual master, and the spiritual master offers everything to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Srila Prabhupada does say that the disciple brings everything before the spiritual master, not just bhoga or whatever. Also he does say brings before, not offer. Therefore we can understand the system Srila Prabhupada taught was to worship Krsna through the transparent via medium of the spiritual master.
15th May, 1970 letter to Tamala Krsna,
Regarding the means of worship, our Vaisnava process is first offer respects to the Spiritual Master, then Lord Caitanya, and then Lord Krsna. Vyasa is the Spiritual Master, therefore the Spiritual Master is the representative of Vyasa. Therefore the Spiritual Master's seat is called "Vyasasana."
15th February, 1968 letter to Jadurani,
Regarding offering food: The custom is to offer the foodstuff first to the Spiritual Master; we cannot do anything directly. The Spiritual Master accepts the offering on behalf of his disciple, and offers the same to Krishna. After Krishna's eating, the Spiritual Master eats it, and then the devotees take it as Mahaprasada. This is the system. Everything is offered to the Spiritual Master first, with the prayer ``Nama Om Visnupadaya . . .''
28th May, 1968 letter to Harer Nama,
Regarding your 2 questions: For offering prasadam simply prayers to the Spiritual Master is sufficient. The process is that everything is offered to the Spiritual Master, and the Spiritual Master is supposed to offer the same foodstuff to the Lord. When a thing is offered to the Spiritual Master, he immediately offers to the Lord. That is the system, and as we come by parampara system, it is our duty to go through the right channel--namely, first the Spiritual Master, then Lord Caitanya, and then Krishna. So when we chant prayers, we do this, Bande ham Sri Guru . . . and gradually to the Goswamis, then to Lord Caitanya, and then to Radha Krishna. That is the praying system. But offering the prasadam to present everything before the Spiritual Master whose picture is also in the altar, means that the Spiritual Master will take care of offering the foodstuff to the Lord. Therefore simply by chanting the prayer to the Spiritual Master, everything will be complete.
22nd March, 1968 letter to Balai dasi,
Yes, you may say the prayer to the Spiritual Master 3 times, and also the Namo Brahmanya . . . prayer 3 times, when offering Prasadam. That is very nice to say the mantra 3 times. Also, you may, after offering to the Spiritual Master, offer to Lord Caitanya by saying the prayer, Namo Maha Badanyaya . . . 3 times, and then offer to Krishna thrice.
1st April, 1970 letter to Himavati,
Yes, it is nice that you are worshipping Lord Caitanya along with Radha Krsna. That is alright. Lord Caitanya should be placed to the right side of Krsna. There is nothing special for His worship, but you may continue as you are doing now. The order of worshipping is first Spiritual Master, and then Lord Caitanya, then Radha Krsna (as in the mantras or Bunde aham prayer).
16th June, 1969 letter to Arundhati,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated June 11, 1969, and I have noted the contents carefully. Regarding your question about offering Prasadam, whatever is offered to the Deity actually it goes through the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master offers to Lord Caitanya, and Lord Caitanya offers it to Krishna. Then Radha Krishna eats, or Jagannatha eats, then Caitanya Mahaprabhu eats, then the Spiritual Master eats, and it becomes Mahaprasadam. So when you offer something, you think like that and chant the Gayatri mantra, and then everything is complete. At last, ring the bell, take out the plate and wipe the place where the plate was kept.