Can we offer Krishna Prasadam to other gods and accept the Prasadam of other gods?
Two similar questions from two girl devotees:
(I have used the term OTHER GODS instead of Demigods)
(1) A girl devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Prabhuji. I daily cook food for the bhoga of my Radha Madhav . I offer it as per the rules and slokas of Iskcon to my deities( minimum twice a day) So on the day when there is kuldevi pujan at home then my mother in law do not allow me to offer bhoga first to Krishna . Some particular kind of bhoga(halwa, puri , kheer) I have to prepare for kuldevi first then I can prepare regular meal (rice,pulses , vegetable and chapaties. ) for my Krishna. So if Kuldevi is family member then why I can not offer her Krishna Prasadam? Actually my mother in law thinks that it will be disrespect of kuldevi. So thus my thoughts do not match with her thoughts then too I have to fulfill her orders. Like this when people do not accept that Krishna’s prasadam can be offered to every demigod and push us too much then anger is genuine. Does that mean my mindset is not healthy? How to handle this? My mother in law says offerings must be cooked exclusively for kuldevi alone no one else also that day the prasadam also can not be given or donated to outsiders. Please hide my name.”
(2) Sweta Ganguly asked like this:
Hare krishna ! i have one doubt , is this wrong to eat the prasadam of durga devi (navaratri prasadam)and other gods’ prasadam ? I am a devotee of lord krishna but when i go to any other temples with my family they giving me prasadam to eat . please clear my doubt.
All the thousands of branch roots originates from the main root of a plant. We can not supply water to all the branch roots. It is impossible. If we offer water to the main root, it automatically goes to all the thousands of branch roots.
Similarly, when we offer something to Krishna, it automatically satisfies all the other gods because Krishna is the Adhi Purusha, ie, Supreme Lord and He is the source for everyone and everything.
For those who do not come from any background of sampradhayas, offering food to Krishna is the new thing and they may not have clashes with other gods.
But, for those who are already worshiping other gods also, this psychological feeling of neglecting the demigods will be there.
They may feel as if neglecting the deities that they were worshiping so far.
Indians already had included Krishna as one of the worshipable deities. Because they were worshiping multiple deities at the same time considering all are the same. Krishna was also one among them. They did not speak much about the Supremacy of Krishna. Only a few Vaishnava sampradhayas were speaking about the Supremacy of Krishna or Vishnu or Narayana. They were minimum in the number of followers. The advaita philosophy was dominating in India and hence all deities were given equal importance.
So, when Srila Prabhupada spoke the Supremacy of Krishna in India, he did not get full support from the people who were associated with many concepts of god. Whereas the Americans were new to these concepts. So, they readily accepted the concept of the Supremacy of Krishna. When Srila Prabhupada returned India as a successful Acharya, then, the Indians started to accept his concepts.
This is the problem with educating those who are already following some other concepts on worshiping the god.
However, as a temporary solution, we have to balance all these concepts and also impart Krishna as the Supreme Person in the minds of these people. So, we have to avoid discouraging their following many deities and explain about the supremacy of Krishna to them in a humble way through books, articles, discussions, etc.
You have to deal with your mother in law without discouraging her giving importance to the family god.
I never write discouraging giving respects to family gods (Kula devatha). Because, we respect many living beings including animals. We take our pet dogs to the bed room and allow the dog to sleep along with us. Giving this much of respects and love to a pet dog, but, disrespecting the family gods or demigods (other deities) is not a healthy mindset.
A family god and other gods too should be respected because (i) they too are serving in the administration of Krishna, and, (ii) they are more powerful than all of us.
So, I never encourage disrespecting the family gods and other gods just because we accept Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So, if your mother in law follows a separate devotional procedure to your family god, take part in them. But, never pray to the family god anything except his/ her blessings to come up in your devotion to Krishna.
One can offer the Prasadam offered to Krishna to other gods. It is permitted and those deities will be very happy to taste the Krishna Prasadam because Krishna is their master too.
However, as I said above, your mother in law may not accept offering Krishna Prasadam to the family god or other gods.
In this situation, act as directed by her now. Prepare two separate dishes for Krishna and the family god on the days of any festivals for that family god. Fortunately, she insists only during festivals for family gods. So, do as she says only during these two three days in a year.
Offer both Krishna and family god separately. Honour both the prasadam.
When you honour the prasadam of your family god or any other deity or from any other temple, pray like this:
“Krishna, to satify my mother in law/ parents and not to strain the relations with her/them, I am honouring this prasadam of my family god without offering you. Please remove any karma present in that food and make your mercy and blessings exist in that food too.”
After praying like this within heart, honour the prasadam of the family god or any other deity or from any other temple.
You can offer Krishna Prasadam to family god or other deities. But, Never offer the prasadam of a family god or any other deity again to Krishna. Instead, pray to Krishna as said above and honour them under inevitable circumstances to avoid strains in relations.
Or, secretly offer that food prepared for family god to Krishna first WITHIN HEART by reciting offering manthra thrice. After that, offer that to your family god. This is also a good idea to manage your mother in law and our own customs meant for Krishna.
The point is that in any stage, you should not pray any material benefits from your family god that will affect our devotion to Krishna since it binds us more with material life. Just show your respects to the family deity and pray for extending their blessings to you to come up in your devotion to Krishna.
This is the best way to manage both Krishna and your mother in law or parents and also other deities.
And, of course, the Prasadam of family god should not be distributed to the outsiders because the family god is a restricted deity for your family only. However, Krishna Prasadam should be distributed to others as much as possible because Krishna is not the restricted deity, but, the universal god, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Hope this helps you.