Kitchen is a space meant for cooking. It should be clean and well-lit. Only where there is cleanliness and tidiness, Shri Annapurnadevi and God reside there. Similarly, the utensils, food items and water in the kitchen should also be clean. Let us understand precautions to be taken at physical, psychological and spiritual levels while cooking food.
1. How to maintain purity in the kitchen ?
It is essential to maintain sattvikta (Purity) in the kitchen so that cooking can be sattvik (Sattva-predominant). For this, follow the measures given ahead.
- Always prepare and keep the food in a clean and good place, meaning, in a sattvik place. Get rid of any clutter in the kitchen. Do not store any unnecessary items there.
- The kitchen should be arranged neatly. The tins containing cereals, pulses & eatables should also be arranged in one line and according to the height so that positive vibrations are emitted by such an arrangement.
- Create a ceiling with the help of sattvik Name-strips of Deities.
- Light sattvik incense-sticks in the kitchen.
- Chant the Name of your Deity of worship or chant stotras such as the ‘Ramraksha’ while cooking. You can also play some Name of God on a ‘Chant-machine’.
- Pray with bhav (Spiritual emotion) to your Deity of worship & Shri Annapurnadevi periodically, for example, every ten minutes.
2. Wearing sovale while cooking and having meals
Having food is not merely an act of filling the stomach but in fact is a ritual of Yadnya. Yadnya is a Holy ritual. That is why, in the earlier times women used to wear a sovale while cooking and serving the food and men used to wear a sovale and keep a pancha on their shoulder as an upper cloth while having meals.
3. What precautions should be taken while cooking ?
A. ‘In the beginning, pray to Shri Annapurnadevi, Jaladevata (Deity of water) and Agnidevata (Deity of fire) that, ‘O’ Deities ! You alone are going to get this seva of cooking performed through me. Let the doership of this seva lie with you’. Then begin cooking with a calm mind.
B. Any action while cooking should be performed by mentally telling God or asking Him.
C. Have a bhav that the utensils we use for cooking are filled with nirgun-Chaitanya (Non-materialised-Divine consciousness) and we have kept in them the Prasad (Holy sacrament) given by our Guru.
D. While cooking, light an incense stick and play the bhajans (Devotional song) sung by His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj (Seat of faith for Sanatan Sanstha).
E. Express gratitude after cooking.
4. Precautions required while the food is actually being cooked
A. Precautions required at the physical level
- Do not play radio, tape-recorder & television set in and around the kitchen as it has harmful effects on the nutritious factors in the food.
- The loud sounds of the utensils while cooking generate distressing waves that strike the food and destroy its vitality.
- If the oil is burned out of proportion during cooking, carbon component is generated which makes the food Tama-predominant.
- Walk slowly in the kitchen.
B. Precautions required at the psychological level
- Avoid unnecessary talkDo not curse while preparing food Do not get trapped in desire for food Avoid anger
C. Precautions required at the spiritual level
- Purification of the kitchen : Kitchen should always be in a purified state. The floor should be purified with measures such as blowing vibhuti (Sacred ash), sprinkling water mixed with vibhuti, waving an incense-stick, waving dhoop (Frankincense), etc. These measures destroy or eliminate the distressing vibrations that may be present.
- Purifying oneself: An individual who cooks the food should be sattvik. He/she should enter the kitchen only after a bath.Chant God’s Name
5. Attack of negative energies on
the food in the kitchen and remedies on it
A. The cooked food becoming inadequate or at times excess Sometimes, despite the fact that the number of people eating is steady, it is experienced that the cooked food either becomes inadequate or at times in excess. After performing the following spiritual remedies, this distress is reduced.
- Remedies : Making a sattvik protective sheath of Name-strips of Deities around the utensils or below the stand on which the food is kept, adding water mixed with vibhuti, waving incense-sticks etc.
- People who suffer from severe negative energy distress do not take food when a sattvik protective sheath of Name-strips is made around the utensils or below the stand on which the food is kept. They consume it only after the protective sheath is removed.
B. Spoiling of milk :When the proportion of unexplained spoiling of milk increased suddenly, the following remedies can help reduce it.
- The milk container is washed with water containing vibhuti in it and then kept for boiling, incense-sticks are lit, bhajans of His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj are played and a protective sheath of Name-strips is made around the pan.
C. Sudden appearance of ants on the kitchen platform Remedies
- Half of the ants die on blowing vibhuti and the remaining disappear on lighting an incense-stick.
6. Importance of covering the food
Food should not be kept open but be covered with a lid. We cover the food to prevent entry of germs and for some other reasons too. Cover the food to protect it not only physically but subtly too. When covered, food is not affected by the physically present living beings as well as from the sound of subtle-energies in the environment. Covering the food prevents its easy pollution by the black energy created by the evil-eye of negative energies.
7. Cooking by sitting near a mud chulha
In the earlier times, women would sit near a chulha to prepare food. The contact with the fire that was kindled in the chulha would purify their body.
A. Benefits of cooking on a chulha
The regular process of cooking on a chulha purifies the place and enhances the Sattva component in that place. This makes that place more sattvik and pure.
The food cooked on a chulha is least affected by the attacks of negative energies.
A protective sheath is created around the food and the utensils used in cooking when the food is cooked on a chulha. According to the bhav of the individual who prepares the food, superior Deities become active in the area.
B. Benefits of consuming the food cooked on a chulha
- The food cooked on a chulha attracts God Principle to a greater extent, thus enhancing the Sattva component in the individual who eats it. Since the food cooked on a chulha comes in contact with Divine qualities, it becomes tastier. Therefore, it satisfies the individual who eats it.
8. Benefits of using traditional
grinding stone for grinding chutneys or spices
A. Physical benefits
- Upper part of the body gets exercised well during the action of grinding
- The body posture required during the process of grinding awakens the Panchapran (Five vital energies) of the woman.
B. Spiritual benefits
- Any action or process performed on a machine reduces the sattvikta of the food due to Raja-Tama-predominant effect of the machine. Traditional method of grinding helps retain the sattvikta.