Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Lunch at the Temple

I went to the temple for lunch today. As it was my day off I woke up quite late, around 10.30am, and wanted to have a nice lie-in but I was woken up and asked to come along to the temple. I was initially reluctant but as I hadn't been there since Nityananda Trayodashi, I thought this would be too good an opportunity to miss.

I enjoy going there at that time since the Raj-bhog arati takes place ant 12.30pm and if there is not many devotees around, I get the chance to take the arati-trays, water things (gee, I must find out the name of that!) and the flowers around the crowd, but unfortunately today it wa snot to be as the car got delayed by roadworks. I felt pretty bad about missing arati and darshan because I feel that visits to the temple are incomplete if darshan is not gained, and it feels like I am only there to eat food. By way of compensation, I had decided to forego a breakfast snack because I wanted the chance to have maha-prasad to be the first thing I eat.

This is what I refer to as grace: Before I left the house, my mother insisted that I should have something to eat as I shouldn't go out on an empty stomach. She offered me a scone which, in usual circumstances, I might have eaten but like I said - I'm much more impressed with the idea of having maha-prasad as the first thing to eat all day! :-)

So as I arrived at the temple and learned that darshan was over, I disappointedly joined the line to get a portion of the day's Raj-bhog maha-prasad. Something that cheered me up was the fact that there didn't seem to have been many people at the day's arati, which means a smaller crowd, which means more maha-prasad! And funnily enough, today they had decided to make a nice cake and offer it to Their Lordships. It was a beautiful creamy chocolate cake, I couldn't believe it when the serving devotee put it on my plate. And of course, it was lovely to eat! Can you just believe that? I refused a SCONE and received a CHOCOLATE CAKE by Krishna's mercy!

It was so strange, because they almost never make those things at that time of day. In my heart I thanked Krishna for His little gift. It impressed upon me the ralisation that litle acts of sacrifice that are performed in a mood of piety may inveitably attract the blessings of the Lord. The only reason I refused that scone is because I had the opportunity to break-fast with maha-prasad, which in their terms is a small piece of chapati with a little bit of bhaji and something soft and sweet. Perhaps a little salad, but on tiny - TINY! - plates.

And as my mother doesn't like sweets much, she gave me half of her piece of chocolate cake so I ended up having one and a half pieces, haha!

The lunch itself wasn't that bad either. Rice with a channa-bhaji, a vegetable mix, salad, chapatis. I liked the channa-bhaji so much that I went and got a second helping! And after I had finished and spent some time looking around, I went back into the dining room to discover that my mother was left as the only serving person and hadn't had her lunch yet. That's not big deal because she tends to eat in her own time anyway, but I thought it was unfair that she was lef to serve everything. So as some other devotees lind up to take their food, I immediately stepped forward to help in the serving of food, so I got to do a bit of Vaishnava-seva as well!

All in all a pretty good day, and to think I was reluctant to go when I got up this morning! :-)


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