An Inspiring Prasad!
Prasad is normally a food item given by a spiritual master to a disciple or seeker – it has been blessed by the master’s meditation.
My own teacher Sri Chinmoy often offers prasad, thus nourishing his disciples both spiritually through meditation and physically through food. Prasad can also include a non-food item, as in the following story.
Some years ago a good friend of mine in New York – his name means ‘unparalleled victor who knows no defeat’ or something very close to this – went through a phase of writing poetry. So much did his muse inspire him that he wrote an entire volume of poems that was subsequently published. One such poem lay in sheet form on his bed one day and Uddipan, a New Zealand disciple who was staying with our mutual friend at this time, found it there, read it out and was very inspired by what he saw.
This particular poem had much of Sri Chinmoy’s imagery in it and understandably Uddipan thought it was our Guru’s poem, even photo-copying it for the members of his meditation centre. Upon returning to New Zealand, Uddipan very nicely re-typed the poem – adding some nice floral flourishes for borders – and the poem, assumed by all to be Guru’s, was given out as prasad.
An Auckland disciple there in Wellington for their meditation evening took the now sanctified poem back to Auckland and similarly inspired, also gave the poem out as ‘prasad’. So our New York friend’s poem found it’s way into the homes and even onto the shrines of many of our members.
Much to his chagrin, Uddipan one day discovered – again while staying in New York – that the poem was not in fact Guru’s but our seer-poet hosts, too late though to retract the national prasad. Detractors examining the poem in question and noting it’s resemblance to the style and language of our Guru might hint at plagiarism, but who could entertain such a notion? Surely this is just another triumph of oneness where the disciple has so absorbed the consciousness of the Master that the exact identity of the author of these poems becomes unclear. Plagiarism? Never!