"The ants in Mayapur could not be stopped. Obviously, they were spiritual entities and they could not be discouraged from taking maha prasadam remnants from the plate of the pure devotee.
I watched as hundreds of ants ascended up the leg of the choki, circling his plate to finally descend upon his prasadam. They seemed to know exactly when they were allowed on a certain preparation. Srila Prabhupada would eat in stages. First there were the vegetables and chapatis, the rice was mixed in later on and then finally the sweets were eaten. Initially they would congregate around the plate. Gradually they would work their way onto the preparations that Srila Prabhupada had finished with. It seemed like the ants had a little courtesy. Finally, Srila Prabhupada would finish his meal with a few sweets and get up to wash. For the ants the moment they had been waiting for had arrived. They knew now was the time to dive into the sweets. Incredibly, Srila Prabhupada never said one word about them during this daily attack on his lunch.
This was not an isolated incident. It happened with great regularity. There seemed to be an arrangement between the pure devotee and these tiny insects. He was free to take as much time as he wanted and they were allowed to eat whatever he was finished with. I tried to get to the plates as quickly as possible after he finished so that there was something left to distribute to his disciples.”
- Couple of examples in this story where its stated the devotees would take Prabhupada’s remnants.
- And, more importantly, it’s all over the Bhagavatam.. The book in which our whole philosophy is written..
In Srimad Bhagavatam we have the story of Srila Narada Muni’s previous birth which he narrates to Srila Vyasadeva about how he became such a powerful devotee. In his previous life, Narada muni was serving in the ashram of a few sages along with his mother who was a maid-servant. He says in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.5.25:
ucchishta-lepaan anumodito dvijaih
sakrt sma bhunje tad-apaasta-kilbishah
evam pravrttasya vishuddha cetasas
tad-dharma evaatma rucih prajaayate
"Once only, by their permission, I took the remnants of their food, and by so doing all my sins were at once eradicated. Thus being engaged, I became purified in heart, and at that time the very nature of the transcendentalist became attractive to me."
Narada muni being a young boy, innocently took the remnants of the prasadam honored by the sages after taking their permission. As soon as he tasted the remnants, all his sinful reactions were immediately destroyed, his heart became purified and he was able to appreciate the nature of those sages. :)