Methods of cooking, appliances, their benefits and harm

The modern day machines such as pressure cooker and microwave oven that use scientific technology and are meant for improving the quality of human life are in a way harmful to the development of human life. Man tries to reduce the time for cooking with the help of science, but in fact reduces his life span. When food is cooked in a short time, the nutritional fluids in the food are also destroyed within a short time. Therefore, nothing remains in it that requires further cooking. Man is happy that the food is ready within a short time, but he actually causes incalculable harm to the human body.

Hindu Dharma prescribes conducts related to substances used in food (for example, not buying cooking oil on the new moon day), conducts related to substances used for cooking and in food (for example, women should not break a coconut), importance of having love and bhav (Spiritual emotion) towards God while cooking food and remembering Shri Annapurnadevi. One should chant God’s Name and pray while performing acts related to cooking. Let us understand more from this article.

1. Why should food be cooked on fire?

Food (such as vegetables, grains, etc.) grows from earth. Therefore, the mantriks (A subtle-sorcerer) and negative energies emit their black energy into it. When food is cooked on fire, meaning, when it is offered to fire, the black energy in it is destroyed. Such food provides sattvikta (Purity) to us. When food is offered to fire, meaning, when it is accepted by fire as Naivedya, negative energies do not have any desire for it. Hence, food is cooked on fire.

2. Benefits of cooking food on a low flame as was followed in the earlier times

In the earlier times, food used to be cooked on a low flame. Benefits of such cooking are given ahead.

The nutrient juices (that provide nutrition and enhance health) of food ingredients in the spaces become active by gradually imbibing the Raja component with the help of heat in the low flame.

Destruction of nutrients is avoided : A low flame activates the process just enough to cook the food, thus preserving the nutrients and then promptly activates the next process. This helps in avoiding the destruction of nutrients during the next process of cooking.

Preservation of subtle-gas containing vital energy : The appropriate and natural process carried out with the help of temperate energy helps in the gradual accumulation of steam in the food, thereby preventing the harm to the subtle-gas containing vital energy and it constantly remains in an active state. 

Activation of the Panchaprana (Five vital energies) in the body : Such food activates the Panchaprana in the body, kindles the subtle-fire in the stomach and thus bestows the body with nutrients over a prolonged period. The points mentioned above help us understand the importance of cooking food on a low flame.

3. Why should we not bring oil and ghee together ?

Oil is symbolic of Raja-Tama components and can attract and emit Raja-Tama waves. On the other hand, ghee (Clarified butter) is rich in the Sattva component and can emit Sattva particles into environment. When oil and ghee are brought together, an environment of Raja-Tama rich speedy waves are generated around the oil and Sattva particles around the ghee. Since the Raja-Tama waves are speedier than Sattva particles, the friction of these waves with Sattva particles emitted by ghee causes these particles to disintegrate in the environment itself. The subtle-gas generated from this process then forms a covering around the ghee, and the Sattva waves emitted by the ghee are blocked. This reduces the sattvikta obtained from the ghee and hence, oil and ghee should not be brought together.

4. Why should we not bring groundnut oil on New-moon day ?

Raja-Tama particles are in abundance in the environment on Amavasya (New-moon day). When compared with other days, the movement of negative energies in the environment is more on this day due to the predominance of Raja-Tama waves. Groundnut oil attracts and emits Raja-Tama predominant waves. This causes the environment in the house to become polluted with distressing vibrations. If groundnut oil is brought on this day from outside, it is likely that a negative energy may enter our premises with the help of Raja-Tama particles in the groundnut oil. Hence, whenever possible we should not bring groundnut oil on this day in the house.

5. Why should we not go out of the house carrying oily items ?

Basically, oil emits Raja-Tama components. The oily or fried items are tamasik (Tama-predominant) & easily attract negative energies; hence, we should not go out carrying oily items.

6. Why is flour of black gram mixed
with coconut water or juice of Ash gourd ?

Black gram has more capacity to attract Raja-Tama components. While carrying black gram flour on the road or when someone arrives from outside while preparation of black gram papaḍs is in progress, the Raja-Tama particles coming with that individual get attracted towards the black gram flour. Similarly, when women who are having their menstrual period come in contact with the black gram flour, the Raja particles in them get attracted towards the black gram flour and it gets spoiled. Therefore, to maintain its Sattva component, black gram flour is soaked in coconut water or juice of Ash gourd.

Reference: Sanatan’s Holy Text “Correct method of cooking a meal”

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