Controlled Senses and A Krishna Conscious Diet

A devotee realizes that the source of his miseries in this world, the senses, can also be the cause of his liberation and perfection in Krishna consciousness. Generally it is thought that sense control means severe austerity or joyless puritanism, but there is no need to negate the senses or ignore the senses in Krishna consciousness. One simply has to engage the senses in Krishna’s service, recognizing that Krishna is the proprietor of the senses.

The spiritual master and the Vedic literatures guide the devotee in engaging his senses in the Lord’s service. When the senses are thus utilized, they regain their original spiritual nature and the devotee can be said to be enjoying them.

If we understand our bodies to be temples of God and our senses to be His property, then we can engage them happily in Krishna’s service.

The ears are engaged in hearing about the Lord. The eyes are engaged in seeing the beautiful form of the Lord. The nose can be engaged in smelling the flowers offered to Krishna. The hands (touch) can be engaged in working for Krishna and touching the lotus feet of Krishna and His devotees. The tongue can be engaged in tasting food offered to Krishna, and speaking about Him. Finally, the mind, the sixth sense, can be engaged in thinking of Krishna’s names, activities, forms, qualities, and service. All the senses thus become a source of great happiness for a devotee.

A Krishna Conscious Diet. Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita that whatever one eats, one should offer to Him first, before partaking of it. If one neglects this injunction, one is verily eating only sin. This means that there will be a karmic reaction for eating any type of food-even food in the mode of goodness-unless the food is first offered to God as a sacrifice.

Krishna is a person and has personal likes and dislikes. There are certain foods that He considers acceptable, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and milk products. If we want Krishna to accept our offering, it is necessary to confine ourselves to the groups of foods that He will accept, otherwise the offering will be in vain-He will reject it.

The attitude in which one offers the foodstuffs to Krishna is most important. Krishna states that one should offer the food with love and devotion. This means that one should make the offering and do the cooking with the idea of preparing the food for the pleasure of Krishna.

A Krishna conscious person prepares the food in a clean place, never tasting the . preparations before they are offered. He uses the authorized ingredients. When he is finished with the preparation, he puts a sample of each dish on a special plate that is used only for Krishna’s eating. Placing this dish on the altar before Krishna, he prays with devotion for the Lord to accept his humble presentation. After this offering, the plate is cleansed and put away. Then the devotee partakes of the Lord’s remnants, and is purified by doing so.

1. Bhagavad-gita 9.27
2. Bhagavad-gita 3.13
3. Bhagavad-gita 9.26