Summary: For those who wish to strictly follow the restrictions given by our Founder-acarya, the careful way that Srila Prabhupada considered the circumstance brought before him mentioned below, as much as his conclusion on the topic, are very noteworthy. If one does a little research on the internet it will be apparent that chocolate is not good for the human system for multiple reasons. The amount of caffeine is minimal, but it has several other stimulants in it which are much heavier than caffeine and are considered CNS (Central Nervous System) stimulants. The stimulants are so heavy that dogs suffer a severe reaction when they are given chocolate.

Srila Prabhupada

Summary: Finding purity in Kali-yuga is next to impossible! How to adjust, then, for those who are striving for a pure spiritual life? Here are some instances in which our founder-acarya decided where to draw the line in a few specific cases. The final quote defines Realization in relation to the transparent rendering of exact verbatim quotes.

Reading Assignment

a) Animal Rennet (Transcendental Diary, Hari Sauri, Volume 1; April 6, 1976

One's mind is contaminated eating food prepared by materialistic men

Summary: Here is some valuable instruction from Caitanya caritamrta and from Hari Sauri's diary (written while serving as Srila Prabhupada's servant) on the risk of accepting food cooked by non-devotees, even vegetarian! Combine these instructions with the Kellogg's research I sent out recently...why risk taking unknown things?

Reading Assignment

a) Caitanya Caritamrta Antya 6.278

TRANSLATION When one eats food offered by a materialistic man, one's mind becomes contaminated, and when the mind is contaminated, one is unable to think of Krsna properly.

Writings of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur

Summary: Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur first gives us guidelines for understanding the process of introspection and concentrated introspection (samadhi). He is urging us to be in a state where the mind is tranquil, at rest and not agitated by passions and fruitive hankerings; introspection performed in this state of being facilitates direct perception of the soul. In a state of concentrated introspection (samadhi), the soul examines itself. The implication is that the mind is not required to view the soul when samadhi is reached; on the contrary, the soul views itself and all other objects directly. The 3rd selection enhances the 4th and final reading selection: acting within one's loving relationship with God is natural --- constitutional --- for all souls.

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur

Summary: In this essay Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur was addressing a largely European and Christian- influenced intelligencia of India during his time. Thus, he did not take for granted that there were any pre-existing components of faith in Divinity or what is Divine. Follow carefully the very gentle steps of persuasive logic which Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur takes his reader through. What genius he possessed!! The topic of mahaprasad is addressed in a question-answer format, like much of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur's writings.

Reading Assignment a) Vani Vaibhava

a) Vani Vaibhava by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur (From Chapter 14, Mahaprasada)

"What is the need for offering foodstuffs to the Lord? What is the purpose of honoring mahaprasada?"