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Distributing prasadam before offering

Malati: The opening of the London center coincided with the installation of Radha-London Ishvara. The temple was very crowded, and the program went on for hours. Some people had to leave, and Prabhupada said, "Oh, they are leaving, give them prasadam," but the offering hadn't been made. A devotee told Prabhupada, "The prasadam's not ready yet." Prabhupada said, "There must be something. No one can leave without prasadam."

Prabhupada had the devotees immediately cut up some fruit, put it on the altar, and at the same time distribute it. We're ringing the bell, saying the prayers, doing our gayatri, and thinking, "Oh, it's not offered yet," and Prabhupada was distributing it. Prabhupada made two points at that time. He said, "First of all, no one should ever leave our center without getting a little prasadam." We had been thinking that prasadam meant a plate full. And Prabhupada said, "As soon as it touches the altar it's offered." The whole process of offering is for our purification.

This is significant, and it's an instruction that we should deeply consider. Anybody who comes should get at least a little something. I try to follow these instructions in the center where I serve, because for us this is the heart of Krishna consciousness. It's a personal instruction from Srila Prabhupada to his devotees and to the devotees of the future. What's so difficult about cutting up an apple and an orange, offering it, and passing it out?

Reference: Memories Anecdotes of a Modern Day Saint - Volume 2 by Siddhanta Dasa