Glories of Lord's Mahaprasad

(Story from Purana)
Narada muni the great devotee who can travel all over space and beyond was once in Vaikuntaloka and eager to taste the Mahaprasad or sanctified food from the plate of Sri Narayana Himself. He undertook to please Srimati Lakshmidevi for this purpose, so that She would help him in getting some Mahaprasadam from the Lord’s plate. Srimati Lakshmidevi was very pleased with Narada muni’s sincere service and promised him to get some Mahaprasadam. The Lord however forbade Lakshmidevi to give out the Mahaprasadam to anybody. On Srimati Lakshmidevi revealing Her
promise to Narada muni, He said that She could however take some from His plate when He was not aware of it. In this way Narada muni somehow managed to get a handful of Prasadam which he immediately ate up. He was in great transcendental bliss as his heart was filled with love for the Lord  and  was singing  very  energetically  glorifying  the Lord  and  travelling  over space in  the material world. Lord Shiva spotting Him, questioned him on his great ecstasy and Narada muni revealed the secret of his great happiness to him. Lord Shiva said,”Surely you must have kept some left over prasadam for me, who am your close and intimate associate?”

Narada muni was embarrassed as he had thought of none in his eagerness to consume the Mahaprasadam, but did not want to disappoint Lord Shiva. He saw a small particle of rice of the Mahaprasadam between his nail and little finger and gave it to Lord Shiva, who delightedly put it into his lotus mouth. He became mad in love for Krishna and began dancing very vigorously in great ecstasy. All the three worlds shook at Lord Shiva’s thunderous dance and his consort Parvati came running to check if the end of the cosmic manifestation had arrived when Lord Shiva would engage in his dance of destruction. As she spoke to him, Lord Shiva came out of his deep ecstatic meditation and was displeased for being so disturbed, but shared the reason for his ecstatic dance with his wife.

She expressed confidence that her husband would certainly have saved some remnants for his beloved wife.Lord Shiva told her slightingly that she was not qualified to accept this Mahaprasadam! Parvathi was angered upon this as She said that She was Narayani or the Lord’s sister and so was well qualified to accept the Mahaprasadam. She was eager to get the Mahaprasadam both for Herself as well as all the conditioned souls of this material world out of great compassion for them and so approached Lord Narayana Himself for the same. The Lord assured her that He would be appearing as Lord Jagannath in the kali yuga when profuse quantities of His mahaprasdam would be offered to everyone after first being given to her. This satisfied Devi Parvati.

That is why to this day in Jagannath Puri dham in Orissa, 56 items of prasadam are offered to Their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladeva and Shubhadra every twenty minutes and distributed to the public every day after offering the Mahaprasadam to the Deity of Vimala Devi or the expansion of Sri Parvati Devi present within the Temple complex.

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