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As a mental condition, prasāda has a rich history of meanings in the Sanskrit tradition from Vedic literature onwards. In this textual tradition, prasada is a mental state experienced by gods, sages, and other powerful beings which is marked by spontaneous generosity and the bestowing of boons. Prasāda is understood in this sense of a mental state from the earliest literature (Rig Veda) onwards—not as an aspect of ritual practice. In later texts such as the Shiva Purāna, references to prasada as a material substance begins to appear alongside this older meaning.
In its material sense, prasada is created by a process of giving and receiving between a human devotee and the divine god. For example, a devotee makes an offering of a material substance such as flowers, fruits, or sweets—which is called naivedya. The deity then 'enjoys' or tastes a bit of the offering, which is then temporarily known as bhogya. This now-divinely invested substance is called prasāda, and is received by the devotee to be ingested, worn, etc. It may be the same material that was originally offered, or material offered by others and then re-distributed to other devotees.
- ↑ Glossary of Sanskrit Terms in Integral Yoga Literature
- ↑ Natu, Bal; "Glimpses of the God-Man, Meher Baba", Sheriar Press, 1987
- Hindu Sanskrit Dictionary
- Prasadam Ontology A Vaishnava view
- Recipe for Satyanarayan Puja Prasad
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