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How to Fast on Ekadasi

Ekadasi (sometimes spelt Ekadashi) is a fast observed by both Hare Krishna devotees and Hindus on the eleventh day of the waxing moon. There are many rules regarding foods that can be consumed and differ depending on the strictness of the fast. A Vaishnava calendar should be consulted so individuals can fast on the correct day. Rules for Observing Ekadasi Fast Full fasting on Ekadasi is good practice in restraining the senses, though the main reason for observing the fast is to remember Krishna. The needs of the body are simplified on this day and it is advised to sleep less to concentrate on devotional service, read scriptures and chant. The fast begins at sunrise and lasts until the next sunrise so if one eats grains during this period the fast is broken. It is not advised to eat in the pre-dawn hours in Vedic teachings, and especially not on ... Read More »

Milk Products

BOTH modern textbooks and the ancient Vedas praise milk as a miracle food because it contains all the nutrients needed for good health. The Vedic scriptures add that milk develops the fine cerebral tissues needed for understanding Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In the Vedic age, many yogis lived only on milk, which was so abundant that householders gave it away freely. Because milk nourishes man both physically and spiritually, Vedic culture considers it the most important of all foods, essential to a civilized society. The importance of milk indicates the importance of protecting cows. Like human beings, a cow is happy when she feels protected. A cow that can suckle her calf and trust her owner not to kill her when she runs dry is happy, and naturally gives sweeter, more abundant milk. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam tells us that under the protection of the saintly king Yudhisthira, the cows were so happy that ... Read More »

Spices and Herbs

The heart of Indian cooking is the seasoning-the wise use of the spices, herbs, and seasonings. Spices are roots, barks, or seeds, used whole, crushed, or powdered. Herbs are fresh leaves or flowers. Seasonings include such natural ingredients as salt, citric juices, nuts, and rose-water. The imaginative use of selected aromatic spices and herbs to bring out the dormant flavors of a dish gives Indian cooking its unique character. It is not heavy spicing but delicate spicing that is responsible for the appetizing nuances of subtle taste and aroma. The extent to which a dish need be spiced is not rigid; it’s a matter of personal taste. Although Indian food is always spiced (a dish may call for one spice or more than ten), it doesn’t have to be hot. The hotness in Indian food comes from chillies, and you can use as many or as few as you want. ... Read More »

Preparing and Serving a Vedic Meal

Preparing food for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is a wonderful way to express creativity. Combining colors, flavors, and textures in various dishes (and not going over your budget) develops the skill of a true artist. Cooking for Kṛṣṇa calls for a personal touch, and the cook should desire not only to feed but also to delight. Vedic cooking is practical because it means making the best dishes in the shortest time. One who cooks to please the Supreme Lord cooks efficiently, without haste or waste. Śrīla Prabhupāda showed us how to make a complete meal in less than an hour. Use time to your best advantage by being organized. For example, plan the sequence in which you’ll cook the dishes. Start the meal the night before. It takes only a few minutes to start a yogurt culture, make paneer and hang it to drain, or put ... Read More »

Suggested Menus

Following the Vedic custom of a substantial breakfast, an even more substantial lunch, a light dinner, and from time to time an elaborate feast, the suggested menus in this section will give you an idea of which dishes go well together. With the recipes in this book, you’ll be able to make a different menu for each day of the month. Feel free, of course, to add preparations to the menus or delete them, as you wish. • A typical breakfast consists of a main dish of grains and vegetables, a light bread, a little yogurt, and a slice of fresh ginger. A natural herb tea (like ginger tea) will go well with this meal. If you prefer a lighter breakfast, there are many possibilities, such as puris and jam, shrikhand and papadams, vegetable or fruit pakoras, a raita, or fresh fruit and yogurt. Scrambled cheese with fried tomatoes Whole-wheat ... Read More »

The Science of Eating and Good Health

India is the home not only of vegetarian cooking, but also of the science of healthful living. The scripture known as the Āyur-veda, is the oldest known work on biology, hygiene, medicine, and nutrition. This branch of the Vedas was revealed thousands of years ago by Śrī Bhagavān Dhanvantari, an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. “Old” is not the same as “primitive”, however, and some of the instructions of the Āyur-veda will remind today’s reader of modern nutritional teachings or just plain common sense. Other instructions may seem less familiar, but they will bear themselves out if given the chance. We shouldn’t be surprised to see bodily health discussed in spiritual writings. The Vedas consider the human body a divine gift, a chance for the imprisoned soul to escape from the cycle of birth and death. The importance of healthful living in spiritual life is also mentioned by Lord Kṛṣṇa in the ... Read More »

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