hare krsna hare krsna krsna krsna hare hare / hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare

 

The art of cooking

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking is an art and a science. It requires lot of attention to the method of cooking that will affect the quality of the foods. The surrounding atmosphere, the consciousness of the cook, the proper time for cooking and eating, the compatibility of the ingredients, the cycle of the seasons, are very essential factors that will influence us while preparing delicious dishes. In perfect cooking, the maintenance of hygiene is very important. Unless cleanliness is maintained it is very difficult to have perfect health and pure consciousness. Therefore it is recommended that you avoid purchasing precooked food from the market. As far as possible, natural and fresh ingredients should be used in preparing an healthy diet. Before entering the kitchen one should take bath which help to remove fatigue and purify body and mind. Always wash your hands, before starting to prepare quality food. One should not eat only to satisfy the desire of the tongue and not simply for filling the belly. The individual soul that dwells within everyone is part of the Supreme Soul and the body is the temple were this Supreme Soul resides. Cooking and eating is a worship in the sense that we must take care of our diet to uplift our soul and to help proper growth. Finally improving our health will rise our consciousness to divine love and to an harmonious life. Food cooked by one who really likes to cook in a happy mood, tastes quite different from that food which is cooked merely out of obligation. Cooking can be relished as much as any other art, it requires a touch of fantasy and when done with a deep emotional involvement will become a creative art. Just like a painters, the cook will create new combination of ingredient and with an artistic intuition will make bloom new taste infusing so a special prana on the food finally ready to be offered to God. Before offering to the Lord no portion of cooked or uncooked food should be tasted by the cook or anyone else. One might think how will I know it is properly salted and cooked without tasting. Those who cannot see, hear better; and those who cannot hear, see better. At the loss of one faculty, nature gives more power to other faculties. One must learn to cook by feeling, not by tasting, never try to enjoy the food being prepared even by smelling it. If it is enjoyed first by ourselves it is no longer fit to offer to God. If the mouth or nose is touched while cooking, one must wash his hands before he can proceed any further in cooking. Intoxicants such as coffee or alcohol and any kind of meat products, fish or eggs, should be avoided. Such low category ingredients create clouds of sin within the mind, that lead the pure soul to degradation. Even among the vegetables onions, garlic, mushrooms, and beet-roots should not be used. These vegetables bring sadness, frustration and wrath to the consumer. Following such rules for perfect cooking, will bring one to the standard of real and perfect health. The Vedic medical science of herbs states: "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." This phrase becomes reality by following such standardized cooking guidelines. It is not true that human civilization cannot maintain their health without modern medicine. Only if the exact guidelines of Vedic cooking are followed properly most of the unwanted diseases and suffering will be kept far away. If one can be healthy and happy by following an easy procedure, then why be unhealthy and miserable? Diseases occur when one's food is impure. Therefore, cleanliness is said to be next to Godliness.

Generally for success in any endeavor, humbly remembering and praying to the Spiritual Master is necessary.  Before beginning any work, such subtle obeisance of remembering one's Spiritual Teacher purifies the surrounding atmosphere for successful results. Unless this procedure is followed, it is difficult to receive lasting success in any field. The Vedic standard states that following such procedures will transfer a subtle power to the cook so with little effort he or she can prepare tasty and perfect dishes.

Indeed, many have found that the expertise of a person, combined with the blessings of a Higher Authority, can bring perfection in any field of life. Because it has revealed this secret of success, the Vedic science is accepted as all-perfect.

To be free from the consequences of Karma while cooking, it is necessary to meditate like this: "I am cooking for the pleasure of Lord Krsna." Every ingredient should be clean and fresh. Try to avoid purchasing goods that are mixed with meat byproducts such as rennet or gelatine. Pure cooking will surely allow us to achieve wisdom and happiness in life. The Vedic histories prove that the Supreme Lord comes down Himself and accepts such cooking to purify the food for the benefit of the consumer.

 While purchasing ingredients, one should be very selective. There are three types of foods described in the five thousand year old Bhagavad Gita: "Foods under the categorie of goodness, foods in passion and foods in ignorance". Therefore, selections should strictly consist of vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, sugar and dairy products. Those ingredients when prepared in proper combination, will put the food in the category of goodness. The right spices and other natural ingredients that are necessary to prepare proper foods are usually available in any grocery stores. Asafetida is the replacement for impure spices and vegetables such as onions and garlic. 

As we said previously, everything must be offered to the Lord.  It is best if one does this under the guidance of a bonafide Guru. But if such a master is not available, one must do the best one can.

One should have confidence that the result of a perfect work will be accomplished by the divine inspiration of the Lord who reside in our heart and guides us in every step of our life as also in preparing delicious foodstuffs. Cooking improves also one's sense of sight and touch. The sense of taste is deliberately not used. According to the subtle law of Karma, food cooked by an unbeliever carries his sins to the consciousness of the eater, which lowers the eater's consciousness. Therefore, one should try to avoid food cooked by an unbeliever. Just as a painter expresses his state of mind when painting on the canvas, food cooked by a person devoid of spiritual enlightment will surely bring the cook's state of mind to anyone who eats that food in the mood of ignorance. Therefore, it is advised to learn to cook for oneself or to eat foods that are cooked by a spiritually elevated person. The Vedic concept of God is not vague, as some may speculate; it is very specific and detailed. In the ancient scriptures of India, the features of the Lord have been described endlessly and that is why His name is Krsna, "The  all  attractive  Lord." When  we understand  the personal identity of God then it becomes very easy for us to meditate and offer  Him our food which became then prasada. He is all pervading, He can reach everywhere. Therefore, He accepts what we offer Him with love and makes it pure.

While cooking the food, meditate that you are cooking for Lord Krsna.  After cooking the food, place it on metal plates and bowls and offer them with  Mantras or prayers. Mantras should be learnt from a bonafide Guru. If the  Mantras are not known, then simply place the plate before the picture of Krsna and say, "O Lord Krsna please accept this food and forgive me for my mistakes." And then chant HARE KRSNA HARE KRSNA KRSNA KRSNA HARE HARE / HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE, three times with folded hands and closed eyes. God is complete in Himself and self-satisfied; He does not need anything from anyone. He only wants to see how much we love Him. Therefore, the Vedic scriptures state that He only wants our love and devotion, and this procedure of offering food is one of the main ways to show Him our gratitude and love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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