Two ‘Kshetras’ (holy places) in this world (‘Bhoo loka’) are spoken of by the Vedas. One is Seshagiri (the Hill Sesha) with the Srinivasa Perumal in Tirupathi and the other one is Jagannatha Kshetra in Puri.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to say, “The waters of the Ganga, the dust (‘rajas’) of Vrindavan and the Prasada of Puri – all these three are ‘Brahmaswaroopa’ – verily the Brahman.
What is it that one should never eat and that is to be totally avoided?
It is that which a cat leaves after eating a little. The Shastras say that the worst sin is earned by consuming what a cat has left after eating a little.
The same Shastras say that the Puri Prasada can be taken even from the cat’s mouth and eaten! So pure and special is the prasada of Puri Jagannatha kshetra.
Kanchi Mahaswami Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Swamiji would never drink even a drop of water before completing Sri Chandramouleeswara Puja. Until then not a drop of water would go into Him. But when someone brought Prasad from Puri Jagannatha Kshetra, Maha Periyava snatched it from his hands and took it! One should take this Prasad in this manner without any second thought.
According to ” Skanda Purana” Lord Jagannath redeems the devotees by permitting them to partake his Mahaprasad, to have His darshan and to worship him by observing rituals and by offering of gifts. Mahaprasad is treated here as ‘Anna Brahma’. The temple kitchen has got the capacity to cook for a lakh of devotees on a day. Mahaprasad is cooked only in earthen pots and medium of food is fire wood only.
The steam-cooked food is offered to Lord Jagannath first and then to Goddess Vimala after which it becomes Mahaprasad. This Mahaprasad is freely partaken by people of all castes and creeds without any discrimination. The items offered include cooked rice, dal, vegetable curry, sweet-dishes, cakes etc. Dry confectionaries are prepared of sugar, gur, wheat flour, ghee, milk and cheese etc.
Mahaprasad consolidates human bond, sanctifies sacraments and grooms the departing soul for its journey upwards.
Such is the greatness of Puri Prasad!
Source: namadwaar.org and other sites.
Categories: Devotee Experiences