The Higher Taste

The Higher Taste

This is a nice little cookbook, with information on vegetarian cooking, health, nutrition, cow protection, bhakti yoga, etc. We offer it as a free download which you can view, print or save to your computer by following the link below:

click on link to veiw or download book; The Higher Taste

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The Perfection of Human Life

human body

…The perfection of human life is attained by following three principles of civilization: protecting the cows, maintaining the brahminical culture and, above all, becoming a pure devotee of the Lord. Without becoming a devotee of the Lord, one cannot perfect one’s human life. The perfection of human life is to be elevated to the spiritual world, where there is no birth, no death, no disease and no old age. That is the highest perfectional aim of human life. Without this aim, any amount of material advancement in so-called comforts can only bring the defeat of the human form of life. (from purport SB 3.3.28)

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If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.

Patram puspam

One of the first slokas I ever memorized from the Bhagavad-gita was 9.26 patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ… “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Full text and purport follows). This was practically the beginning of my spiritual life. ‘Just try to love God by offering Him something, with devotion. A leaf, a flower, fruit or water.’

One does not need great wealth, education or opulence to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If one is fully absorbed in love and ecstasy, he need offer only a flower and a little water. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower. fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Bg. 9.26)

The Supreme Lord can be pleased only by devotional service: therefore it is said here that the Lord is surely satisfied by devotion and nothing else. Quoting from the Gautamīya-tantra, the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa states:

tulasī-dala-mātreṇa
jalasya culukena vā
vikrīṇīte svam ātmānaṁ
bhaktebhyo bhakta-vatsalaḥ

“Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is very affectionate toward His devotees, sells Himself to a devotee who offers merely a tulasī leaf and a palmful of water.” The Supreme Lord is causelessly merciful upon His devotee, so much so that even the poorest of men can offer Him a little water and a flower in devotion and thus please Him. This is due to His affectionate dealings with His devotees. (SB 5.3.6 purport)

Everyone is searching after peace of mind. This is obtainable only when one is completely freed from the desire for material sense gratification and is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā: patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (9.26). Worship of the Lord is not at all expensive. One can offer the Lord a leaf, a flower, a little fruit and some water. The Supreme Lord accepts these offerings when they are offered with love and devotion. In this way, one can become freed from material desires. As long as one maintains material desires, he cannot be happy. As soon as one engages in the devotional service of the Lord, his mind is purified of all material desires. Then one becomes fully satisfied. (SB 5.7.11, purport)

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Prasadam; The Lords Mercy

Krishna Prasadam, The Lords Mercy

Prasadam
How to Prepare and Offer Food

Food prepared for and offered to Krishna with love and devotion becomes completely spiritualized. Such food is called Krishna prasadam, which means “the mercy of Lord Krishna.”

Lord Caitanya said of prasadam…”now that they have been prepared for Krishna and offered to Him with devotion, these foods have acquired extraordinary tastes and uncommon fragrances. Just taste them and see the difference! Apart from the taste, even the fragrance pleases the mind and makes one forget any other fragrance. Therefore, it should be understood that the spiritual nectar of Krishna’s lips must have touched these ordinary foods and imparted to them all their transcendental qualities.”

Eating only food offered to Krishna is the perfection of vegetarianism. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna says that unless one eats only food that has been offered to Him in sacrifice, one will suffer the reactions of karma. He also states, “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I will accept it.”

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Health Consciousness/Standard Devotee Diet

Once when Srila Prabhupada saw what was being served to the devotees, lavishly prepared multi-course lunches, he told the managers that it was too opulent. He said we should eat simply during the week with rice, dhal, chapatis and a little subji and once a week on the Sunday love feasts we could be more lavish. Today with more of us becoming Health Conscious, it is good to remember the very simple devotee diet that was recommended to us so long ago.

Standard Devotee Diet

Srila Prabhupada recommended a standard diet for the devotees, and instructed that all of the temples should follow it every day. That menu follows:

BREAKFAST:

Simple farina cereal with nuts and raisins
Milk (steaming hot), or yogurt in the summertime
Chick peas (raw, soaked overnight)
Ginger root (raw)
Oranges, apples and/or bananas

LUNCH:

Rice
Chapatis
Dal made with freshly ground ginger root and freshly ground spices
Subji made with ghee, freshly ground ginger root and freshly ground spices

BEFORE TAKING REST:

Milk (steaming hot)
Bananas

For a free download of the Hare Krishna Cookbook on pdf More

Kṛṣṇa Prasādam; The Lord’s Mercy

…By development of Kṛṣṇa consciousness one can know that everything has its use in the service of the Lord.

…After cooking is finished and when it is offered to the Deity, then you take as much as you like, as much as you like. So that means there is God consciousness, that “This thing is being cooked for the Lord.” The cooking will go on. If you don’t think of God, you require cooking because you want to eat. The cooking is there in the program. But if you think that this cooking is done for God, then your God consciousness is there. The cooking you cannot avoid. As a householder you have to cook for yourself, you have to cook for your children, you have to cook for somebody else or for your own self. Just like I am cooking. I have no here family or children, but I am cooking for myself. So cooking you cannot stop. But if you cook with the understanding that “This foodstuff is being cooked for the Lord. The Lord may be offered first; then we shall take,” this is God consciousness. This is God consciousness. But is it very difficult thing? Anyone can accept this.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita, 04-01-66, New York)

…So on the higher platform, there is nothing material when everything is accepted in relationship with Krishna or the Supreme Spirit.

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1970’s Devotee Cookbook

Ran across this fine devotee cookbook on the Sampradaya Sun this morning, and thought we should share it with our readers. The recipes did in fact remind us of the early “love feasts”, and devotee diet in the early days of the Hare Krishna Movement. Very Nice!

1970’s Devotee Cookbook
BY: SUN STAFF
Aug 02, 2012 — CANADA (SUN) —

The following cookbook manuscript, which contains a wonderful collection of vintage Hare Krsna recipes, was handed to us several years ago by a devotee, who’d been carrying an old photocopy of it around for many years. While the manuscript doesn’t bear the author’s name, we’re told that it was likely compiled in the early 1970’s by Revatinanda dasa.

A bit of the text was illegible, but the manuscript is reproduced below. Obviously the cookbook was written while Srila Prabhupada was still physically present. Judging from the language and recipes, our best guess is that it’s circa 1972-73. The recipes will be pleasurably familiar to devotees who remember the wonderful prasadam pastimes in ISKCON temples during the ‘early days’.

Devotee Cookbook

“This is a very limited presentation of recipes for prasadam offerings that I have become practiced in preparing over the last few years. The ingredients and basic techniques used in the preparations are according to parampara tradition. Whether the details are as Srila Prabhupada would have exactly instructed, I do not know, but I have experienced on many occasions that He has been pleased by some of these exact preparations. Also I have experienced that devotees especially, and usually karmies (non-devotees) as well, are very much attracted by my preparations. For these reasons – to increase the attractiveness of our offerings to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, and to increase the satisfaction of both the devotees and karmies with the prasadam they take to purify their existence – I have prepared this small cook-book. It is simply an offering of one devotee’s experience in the matter of prasadam preparation.

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Bhaja Bhakata-Vatsala Srī-Gaurahari (Sri-Bhoga-Arotik)

This was the song that Srila Prabhupada introduced to be sung at the noon Bhoga-Arotik when offering Krishna His lunch

Bhaja Bhakata Vatsala
By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur

Just worship Sri Gaurahari, who is always affectionate toward His devotees. He is the same Supreme Godhead, Krsna, who sported in the cowherd pastures of Vraja and stole the hearts of Nanda and Yasoda.

Mother Yasoda calls to Krsna, “My dear Damodara, it is very late. Please come right now, sit down in the dining hall, and take Your lunch.”

On the direction of Nanda Maharaja, Krsna, the holder of Govardhana Hill, sits down, and then all the cowherd boys, along with Krsna’s elder brother, Sri Baladeva, sit down in rows to take their lunch.

They are then served a feast of sukta and various kinds of green leafy vegetables, then nice fried things, and a salad made of the green leaves of the jute plant. They are also served pumpkin, baskets of fruit, small square cakes made of lentils and cooked down milk, then thick yogurt, squash cooked in milk, and vegetable preparations made from the tower of the banana tree.

Then they receive fried squares of mung dahl patties, and urad dahl patties, capatis, and rice with ghee. Next, sweets made with milk, sugar and sesamum, rice flour cakes; thick cooked-down milk; cakes floating in milk; and sweet rice.

There is also sweet rice that tastes just like nectar due to its being mixed with camphor. There are bananas, and cheese which is nectarean and delicious. They are also served twelve kinds of sour preparations made with tamarinds, limes, lemons, oranges, and pomegranates.

There are puns made with white flour and sugar; puns filled with cream; laddus; and dahl patties boiled in sugared rice. Krsna eagerly eats all of the food.

In great ecstasy and joy Krsna eats the rice, curried vegetables, sweets, and pastries cooked by Srimati Radharani.

Krsna’s funny brahmana friend Madhumangala, who is very fond of Laddus, gets them by hook or by crook. Eating the laddus he shouts, “Haribol! Haribol!~’ and makes a funny sound by swapping his sides under his armpits with his hands.

Beholding Radharani and Her gopifriends out of the courters of His eyes, Krsna eats at the house of mother Yasoda with great satisfaction.

After lunch, Krsna drinks rose-scented water. Then all of the boys, standing in lines, wash their mouths.

After all the cowherd boys wash their hands and mouths, in great bliss they take rest with Lord Balarama.

The two cowherd boys Jambula and Rasala then bring Krsna pan made with betel nuts, fancy spices, and catechu. After eating that pin, Sri Krsnacandra then happily goes to sleep.

While Krsna happily takes His rest on an excellent bedstead, His servant Visalaksa cools Him with a fan of peacock feathers.

At mother Yasoda’s request the gopi Dhanistha brings remnants of food left on Krsna’s plate to Srimati Radharani, who eats them with great delight

Lalita-devi and the other gopis then receive the remnants, and within their hearts they sing the glories of Radharani and Krsna with great joy.

Thakura Bhaktivinoda, whose one and only Joy is the pastimes of Lord Hari, sings this Bhoga-arati song

Bengali lyrcis follow… More

The Importance of Prasadam

Prasadam

Bhunjante Te Agham Papam Ye Pachyante Atmakaramak. Anyone who is cooking for himself, he is eating simply volumes of sin. So in the material world, either a man is vegetarian or non-vegetarian, they’re eating simply sin, and they will have to suffer the consequence. But so far we are concerned, we are eating remnants of foodstuff which was offered to Krishna, so we are not afraid of anything. If Krishna wants vegetable foodstuff, therefore we supply Him vegetable foodstuff, and if He wants non-vegetarian foodstuff, we can offer Him also, but He does not want it, as it is explicitly stated in the Bhagavad-gita. So we are concerned with Krishna Prasadam, neither vegetarian or non-vegetarian. … There are many vegetarians animals also; the monkeys are vegetarians, the pigeons are vegetarians, so to become vegetarian is not very good credit. But to become Krishna Consciousness is the most important business of life. You should try to convince your friends in that way. They should try to learn about Krishna Consciousness. But because they are vegetarians, there is great possibility for them to understand this philosophy.

This article includes both the Bhagavad-gita verse 3.13 and a letter written in 1968 to Nandarani dd which both help explaine the importance of Prasadam

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How To Offer Your Food To The Lord

How to Offer Your Food To The Lord

Everything comes from God (Krishna), the air we breath, the water we drink, and the food we eat. But this process of Krishna Consciousness or bhakti-yoga, is the method for re-awakeing our dormant love for God. When you love someone, then there is service. Isn’t this so? A mother loves her baby, and cares for the babies needs; she baths the baby, dresses the baby, feeds the baby etc. So this process of Krishna Consciousness is giving back to the Supreme Lord, in the mood of loving devotional service. Although the Supreme Lord is providing everything, still a devotee thinks, “I want to give something back. I want to offer something to the Lord” Not that we just take from the Lord, ‘O Lord thank you for our daily bread’. No, a devotee wants to bake some bread for the Lord, cook some rice and offer it to the Lord, offer some fruits, and flowers, and water for the Lords pleasure. This is the begining of Love, through service.

A young boy meets a young girl, and he gives her a flower, carries her books, gives her gifts and offers her service. Similary, we want to love God, so we begin with gifts and service, to develope our love and devotion. So this process of offering very nicely prepeared foods to the Lord is Bhakti Yoga. Yoga means ‘union’, and Bhakti means through loving devotional service. It is a very blissful process. I want to Love God, so let me offer some service, some flowers, some nicely cooked food,etc. And we can link up with God (yoga) by thinking of Him, offering prayers, chanting His holy names, and offering the food we eat.

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Preparing and Offering Prasadam

By His immense transcendental energies, Krsna can convert matter into spirit. If we place an iron rod in a fire, before long the rod becomes red hot and acts just like fire. In the same way, food prepared for and offered to Krishna with love and devotion becomes spiritualized. Such food is called Krsna prasadam, which means “the mercy of Lord Krsna.”

Eating prasadam is a fundamental practice of bhakti yoga. In other forms of yoga one must artificially repress the senses, but the bhakti-yogi can engage his or her senses in a variety of pleasing spiritual activities, such as tasting delicious food offered to Lord Krsna. In this way the senses gradually become spiritualized and bring the devotee more and more transcendental pleasure by being engaged in devotional service. Such spiritual pleasure far surpasses any kind of material experience.

Lord Caitanya said of prasadam, “Everyone has tasted these foods before. However, now that they have been prepared for Krishna and offered to Him with devotion, these foods have acquired extraordinary tastes and uncommon fragrances. Just taste them and see the difference in the experience! Apart from the taste, even the fragrance pleases the mind and makes one forget any other fragrance. Therefore one should know that the spiritual nectar of Krsna’s lips must have touched these ordinary foods and imparted to them all their transcendental qualities.”

Eating only food offered to Lord Krsna is the perfection of vegetarianism. In itself, being a vegetarian is not enough; after all, even pigeons and monkeys are vegetarians. But when we go beyond vegetarianism to a diet of prasadam, our eating becomes helpful in achieving the goal of human life–reawakening the soul’s original relationship with God. In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna says that unless one eats only food that has been offered to Him in sacrifice, one will suffer the reactions of karma.

Tommorow we will feature an article entitled “How to offer Your Food to the Lord”. So stay with us!

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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