Cooking and kitchen rules by SP

July 20, 2022 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

COOKING AND KITCHEN RULES to be followed in a temple or at a home ashram-these are some but not all………….
Feb 15 1968 letter
If, in the cooking process, food falls on the floor, if it is raw and can be washed nicely, then it can be offered. But if it is prepared and cannot be washed, then it is not to be offered, but can be eaten rather than be wasted.
Brijbasi Co. are not ordinary businessmen, they are devotees. So their pictures aren’t poisonous. Even it is poison, because we are paying for their goods, therefore if poison is there, it becomes ineffective. Just like we are buying so many things at the market which are not fit for offering to Krishna, but because we are purchasing them, we can offer.
March 3 1968 letter
I am so glad to learn that you are now editing TLC with keen interest. Please do it nicely and finish it as soon as possible. Regarding kitchen affairs, as a rule those who are not initiated may not enter into the kitchen affairs, but uninitiated members can work under the guidance of another initiated member when there is great need. So the direction which you are giving to the willing girls to help with the kitchen affairs is not objectionable. You can go on doing that.
March 16 1968
The dishwashing occupation is open to anyone who wishes to help. There is no restriction. Also, non-initiates may help in cooking prasadam under the direction of devotees. That is all right.
April 9 1968
Milk and salt should never be mixed, it is improper, and will cause leprosy. But salt can be mixed with yogurt.

June 16 1968 letter
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of June 5th, 1968, and I thank you very much for it. Yes, I have noted your questions about the serving of prasadam. The main thing is that whenever prasadam is offered to the Lord, everything should be very respectfully and cleanly presented and prepared. In Jagannatha Puri, the Lord eats 56 times. So the Lord can eat as many times as you can offer. But only thing is whatever is offered must be with respect and devotion. (He is neither hungry nor poor, nor unable to eat, but He accepts everything, when such eatable is within the groups of vegetables, fruits, flours, milk, water, etc. is offered to Him with love and devotion, and faith. He wants our love only, and that makes Him hungry for eating as many times as you may offer. He is absolute, therefore, all contradictory points coincide in Him. He is hungry and satisfied simultaneously. So the purport is that everything should be offered very cleanly and pure things should be given.)
If a preparation is cooked all together, then offer all together. But if it is prepared separately, then the milk, the sugar and the cereal should be offered separately. But if the milk, sugar and grains are all cooked together, that can be done. (Everything should be prepared very carefully and cleanly within the groups of foods listed. And nothing should ever be eaten before offering to the Lord. Best thing is to prepare separately each preparation. No, food which has been offered should never be put back into the refrigerator with the unoffered foods, or brought back into the kitchen. You should prepare as much as can be consumed, and after offering, nothing should be put back in the refrigerator, or kitchen. Refrigerator should always be very cleansed and pure. Everyone should be careful to make only as much as they can eat; they cannot keep any leftovers in refrigerator. I know this is a practice in your country, but in the temples or at homes of any Krishna Consciousness persons, a person should not indulge in such unclean habits. If there is any food extra, that should be kept separately; and if there is a separate refrigerator, not within the kitchen and not having in it any unoffered foods, then you may have such special refrigerator for leftover prasadam. But it cannot be kept within the same refrigerator as the unoffered, unprepared foods. That cannot be. One should never eat within the kitchen, there is ample place to eat so why should one eat in the kitchen? Kitchen should be considered as good as the Lord’s room, and nobody should wear shoes in the kitchen, smelling and tasting of foods being prepared for the Lord should never be done, talking within the kitchen should be only what is necessary for preparing the prasadam, or about the Lord, and dirty dishes (those taken from kitchen and eaten from) should not be brought back into the kitchen (but if there is no other place to wash them, then they should be put into sink and washed immediately.), hands should always be washed when preparing prasadam, and in this way, everything shall be prepared very cleanly and pure.)
What is the difficulty of enforcing these rules? They are rules, and they are simple rules, and must be followed. One must be prepared to follow the rules for Krishna. Otherwise where is the proof that he loves Krishna. And they are not very difficult to follow.
March 24 1969 letter
So far the cucumber pickles: As far as possible we should not offer to the Deity things which are prepared by nondevotees. We can accept from them raw fruits, grains or similar raw things. So far cooking and preparing, that should be strictly limited to the initiated devotees. And aside from this, vinegar is not good; it is tamasic, in the darkness, nasty food. So I think we shall not accept this pickles.

Jan 10 1970 letter
Regarding your question—What is meant by an object regaining spiritual quality?—the answer is that Krishna is pure knowledge and, therefore, He is the Supreme Person. In other words, He is the Supreme Power, and His Power is manifested throughout by different energies as much as the power of fireplace is expanded by light and heat. When we perceive heat and light, it means that we perceive the original fireplace. The perception of Krishna in everything is actually Krishna consciousness. In our conditioned state, we take it for granted something as separated from Krishna. But actually it is not so. Nothing can be separate from Krishna, everything is resting on Krishna, therefore, things which we consider now matter, when dovetailed for the cause of the Absolute Truth or Krishna, regains its spiritual quality. Another example may be cited in this connection. When we cook foodstuffs in the kitchen for eating ourselves, it is a different thing from the foodstuff which is prepared and offered to Krishna. The same dahl, rice is material for one purpose but the same thing becomes spiritual when it is dovetailed with Krishna. So on the higher platform, there is nothing material when everything is accepted in relationship with Krishna or the Supreme Spirit. I think this will clarify your question.
Jan 22 1971
Bruce has not yet taken his initiation. He wants to remain with us independently. I have no objection for such conclusion but unless he is properly initiated, he cannot help you either in the kitchen or with Deity worship, but he can help you in translating and other activities. Our whole process in on the basis of surrender. I think he is lacking in that spirit. So I have given my permission for him to return to Japan. Try to train him to the right path.
So far as recruiting men is concerned, we have to create men. Preaching means to recruite more and more men. This process is called gosthananda which means pleasure by seeing increase of followers. So far I know, not a single Japanese has been initiated. What is the cause of it?

May 19 1971 letter
Yes, do not take too much foodstuffs; take so that no remnants are left. Immediately after, the dishes should be washed, or paper dishes thrown away. But do not throw away prasadam. Better to take a little less than to have leftover for saving. That is not good.

July 8 1971 letter
So you must live up to the rules and regulations of brahminical life. First and foremost is cleanliness. In your country they have so many filthy habits. For example, they don’t wash after eating. A brahmana does not do like that. If he did so in India, he would be highly criticized. So even if you eat a little, still you must wash immediately. And the place that you eat at must be washed off immediately also. In this way.
A brahmana’s name is suci, or one who is clean. In the toilet room wash with water and wash your hands with soap. Then wash feet, face and mouth. Your cloth must be washed daily, especially any cloth used to sleep in. In the kitchen also, things should be kept spotless and cooking should only be done by brahmanas; others may assist. That is the same procedure followed with Deity worship. So these are some of the points to note in Brahminical life. Keep yourself clean outside by bathing, etc. and clean inside by chanting Hare Krishna Mantra. Go on in this way and your rapid advancement in Krishna Consciousness will be certain.

July 8 1971
Regarding the prasadam, I never approved Mr. Malkani cooking in the temple. He is not initiated. Of course he is Hindu, but he went there to start his business. But, he is not initiated to cook in the temple. Any paid cook is not desirable. Who was cooking formally? He wanted to start his business, not to be engaged by us. The independent cooking done in the temple kitchen is not good.*

Nov 23 1974 letter
*The right thing is that only twice initiated brahmana disciples cook in the temple.