Method of Preparation
According to Sikh religion, Kara Prasad or the Sacred Pudding must be prepared following the prescribed rituals. The religion gives strict instructions that only the Karah Prashad, which has been prepared or got, prepared according to the prescribed method shall be acceptable in the congregation.
According to the religion, Karah Prasad should be prepared in the following method:
- Place for preparation must be swept and plastered.
- Cooking vessels must be scoured and washed clean.
- The person preparing karah prasad must bathe and must utter only `Praise to the Guru'.
- Fill a new pitcher with water.
- In a clean large iron pan (karah), equal quantities of three contents - coarsely refined wheat flour (semolina), pure sugar and clarified butter or ghee should be put and it should be made reciting the Scriptures.
- When the karah prasad is ready it should then be covered with a clean piece of cloth.
- The prasad must be placed on a four-legged clean stool in front of the Guru Granth Sahib.
- The first five and the last stanza of the Anand Sahib should be recited aloud (so that the congregation can hear).
- If another vessel of the sacred pudding is brought in after the recitation of the Anand, it is not necessary to repeat the recitation of the Anand Sahib. Offering of the pudding brought later to the sacred Kirpan is enough
According to Sikhism, before distribution, karah prasad should be touched with the point of a kirpan, to strengthen it symbolically. The share of the five beloved ones should be set apart and given away before being served to the rest of the congregation. Thereafter, while the general distribution, the share of the person in attendance of the Guru Granth Sahib should be put in small bowl or vessel and handed over. The religion says that giving double share to the person in attendance constitutes improper discrimination. It has also be mentioned that the person who doles out the Karhah Prashad among the congregation should do so without any discrimination on the basis of personal regard or spite. He should dole out the Karhah Parshad equally to the Sikh, the non-Sikh or a person of high or low caste. While doling out the Karhah Prashad, no discrimination should be made on considerations of caste or ancestry or being regarded, by some, as untouchable, of persons within the congregation. Besides, the offering of Karah Prashad should be accompanied by at least two pice in cash.
Right Way to Receive Karah Prasad
Karah prasad is considered sacred in Sikhism and should be accepted with respect and in a proper way. The religion says that the person being offered Karah Parshad in the worship hall should accept it sitting down with cupped hands raised high to help Sewadar to serve with ease. The Prashad should then be transferred to the palm of one hand and eaten with the other hand.
Since, the prasad is prepared with high amount of sugar and oil it may not be suitable people suffering disease like diabetes. If such is a case or if you are not sure about the taste of the prasad, you may say very small portion to the Sewadar (volunteer) as he approaches you and before you put up your cupped hands. This is important as according to the religion, the prasad should not be refused or thrown away.