One must always do all the work as worship to HARI . When we love somebody , we go that extra mile in doing things for them ! A father acts a little liberal and grants all the wishes of a daughter to show that she means everything to him . A husband does that extra bit to show that he cares for his wife . A soldier leaps in front of the enemy to show he does not even care for his life for his mother . So we all do something extraordinary to please our near and dear ones . When a question arise who is best father in the world , the daughter says my daddy superman , because he does such and such thing and that such and such thing should be extraordinary never done by anyone in this world to declare him to be best FATHER [ as if you tear his shirt you see a “S” mark ] . Who is the best husband ? of course BHEEMSENA , just to get a flower for his wife DRAUPADI , he travelled 30000 yojanas away from the earth ,crossing Bharath khand , kimpurush khand and himavarta to Ketumaal and killing crores of rakshasas crossing mountains and valleys and oceans ,got Saugandhika Pushpa from Gandhamadhan PARVAT in another VARSH ! [ more than just - tum kaho to chaand taare tod lawoon ] So one does things in best possible way to the limit of capacity to impress the Loved one! Shastras say one must HARI more than anybody else in the life ! When such Love [sneha] is coupled with mahatmya gyana [ knowledge of supremacy and gunapoornatva of Lord ] it is called BHAKTI . Such amala Bhakti leads to MOKSHA !
So Bhakta does everything that is to perfection and such an act is Pleasing to HARI. The purpose of every act is to Please HARI ie. impress HARI . SO shastra describe do’s and donts’ of each act from getting up early morning to sleeping in the night . EVery act has a procedure and well laid in shastras . Every such act is composed of UTTAMA PAKSHA , MADHYAM PAKSHA GAUNA PAKSHA and ADHAMA paksha . leading to best medium and ordinary acts and wrong acts too . Each will have its own result . result always being HARI preeti .
EVen in UTTAMA paksha , there are various shastras and various sookshmas , which can be seen from the lives of the GREATS ! so gradation comesforth when such acts are carried out with perfection and level of perfection determines the gradation. So while variations in Uttama paksha leads to higher posts in tartamya , but failure does not lead to sin . But Madhyam gauna paksha are to be used in face saving situation , Adhama paksha is best avoided and can also be resorted to during apadhdharma !
So while all acts comprise vidhi nishedha , so also PAAKA , that cookery ! LAOGAKSH smriti and Vashishta vyasa Smriti lay out beautiful foundation for PAAKA vidhi ! As to how food be prepared in a household . Food is to be prepared not for self but for naivedya for HARI . even when we or our near dear eat its HARI who eats by being within us . Because VISHNUSAHASRANAAM praises him as BHOKTA ! YAGNYABHUk
So ultimate procedure should be followed to prepare the food for HARI [ and one must not resort to kutarka that HARI desires nothing so anything offered is OKAY and everything offered is OKAY as everything consists of HARI , AGHORAS FEEL BOTH SHUDDHA AND ASHUDDHA ARE HARIdatta , so why look down upon ashuddha ! some even say it should not matter who prepares food , how one prepares food ,what one uses to prepare food as all are creations of HARI , so a pizza burger , etc can also be a naivedya ] We shall see how these cannot become NAIVEDAYA !
Why should we cook for LORD , because , by eating VISHNU naivedya we get rid of sins , those sins that are factors for this samsaara !
We must prepare food with the smarana of HARI all through . WHy ? every work brings some kind of fatigue . But lord who creates this variety of universe does not get fatigue at all , thinking about him during work removes such fatigue as Lord manifests in such act there arises no fatigue !
Water should be brought with utmost cleanliness [ madi] from river shore or nearest water body [natural] into the house . Then it should be filtered thrice by a muslin cloth or cotton . and poured into a different vessel . This forms the clean water !
Sage VASHISHTHA says “SNIGDHAM PATHYAM TATHA SHUDDHAM SHUBHRAM RUCHYAM MANOHARAM | PAJAYEDODANADYAM TU JAYATE NIYATENDRIYA||”
The food should have six qualities
- snigdham:- What we eat ? we just don’t eat the food [ the material ] before us . We eat whole lot of other things along with the material food ! the food is not just the dish before us . it is a signature of the personality of the cook ! When we say signature , it comprises about his thought process , his habits , his philosophy , his beliefs , his morality , his ways of living , his emotions towards the diet and the guest forms the entire aura of the food . We have to eat and digest everything of the above ! The aura that comprises the above makes changes to our aura , and food makes changes to the body ! the thought makes changes to our thought ! So food should be well established in sneha [ the quality that introduces snigdhatva ] , one should have bhakti towards the HARI , Anuraag towards the spouse ,vatsalya on the children , and gaurav towards the elders and atithi and abhyagata and daya towards the dasa and dasi . Thus sneha takes so many forms according to the tartamya of relationship . such a sneha makes the food equal to the nectar amrutam and increases the satvikta among the sajjanas . the food that does not have sneha is akin to poison and brings misfortunes . The sneha leading to snigdhatva is responsible for the amount of ghee and oil that goes into the food and these also contribute to the longevity and health of the one accepting the food . Usually when we eat outside , all such sneha concept is missing .
- pathyam:- The food should be conducive to health ,nutritional. The ingredients that goes into preparation should follow right proportions and should be in accordance with ayurveda ie. milk should not be mixed with curds , honey should not be mixed with ghee , but we see in some dishes , even onions and garlic are used along with milk , cream is used on a spicy dishes . these leads to health hazards . stale food , over cooked or half boiled , these cause health complications . Food with non seasonal ingredients in opposite seasons cause health upsets . Seasons are also hourly as per paaksashtra , so certain foods should not be prepared in evening or midnight . certain foods should not be consumed early morning . so keeping in view all the pathya apathya ,if food is prepared , it brings happiness [moda] to chitta and stability to deha .
- Shuddham:- when we eat food ,it should give rise to satvik thoughts and increase satvik nature , so shuddha padartha should be used . One must know what are satvik ingredients , what is acceptable what is not , what is prohibited . so a food prepared with only acceptable satvik padarthas and bereft of nishiddha padarthas is known as shuddha . Food has three parts , one that goes to nourish the body , second that nourishes the mind and third is the one that affects the journey of soul . Second part arises out of the vegetables and ingredients used in the food , satvik food gives satvik prachodan , rajasik food gives rajasik prachodan and tamasik food gives tamasik prachodan .
- Shubhram:- Food should be clean . clean from dirt . Both inner and outer . a cook should not have unclean appearance and cleanliness of thought is very necessary. if the cook in unclean in thoughts so also we get unclean thoughts forcefully after eating the food . This leads to misfortunate events . In the west a survey says , every two minutes people think of kama . so such a person if he prepares food , he induces kama in the person consuming . The level of kama may be not at all within the conducive limits of the consumer , so misfortunes follow . such a food causes temporary ashuddhi and avesha . Similarly hatred , greed and anxiety and jealousy also get induced instantly with such food . Not to speak of ill will and criminal tendencies . .
- Ruchyam :- the food should be healthy and nutritional we have mentioned , but that does not mean it should taste like a medicine or kashaya or simple kichadi type without any happiness to taste buds . Food should be a feast to tongue . This would come if the science of cooking is well known , the varieties of dishes , varieties of tastes , and varieties of rasas [ sweet , sour , salty ,chilly , astringent and unripe ] and varieties of herbs and spices and how they should be mixed in what proportion to give great meal . for ex . usually astringent vegetable when fried in butter with right amount of sour ingredient and chilly instantly turns the preparation into a sweet smelling tasty dish . also The food should not be a tasted one [uchchista ] , this causes further degradation as it gives a share of misfortunes of the cook to consumer . the meal becomes tastier when presented for naivedya with all the mudras like tarkshya , dhenu , parvat and with a chant of dwadash stotra and Surabhi mantra makes it supernaturally tasty .
- manoharam :- the food should be feast to eyes and nose and extremely soothing and exhilarating to mind . Food should not only be pleasant while eating but should be pleasant even after eating . This feeling of well being should remain throughout the day . How is this possible ? this is possible by using good quality of products , second good presentation skill ie. seasoning and garnishing and decorating . The aroma plays a very important role in seasoning and garnishing . The food is usually prepared and then a [poogapatta – a special cloth ] is filled with aromatic substances like karpoora , patola , kesari , nagkesar etc sometimes fruits like bijora neembu ,oranges or flowers like champa , kevada etc are used in different poogapatta and then the netra of this patta is closed around the food and hot ghee is poured . This renders excellent aroma to the food . when we mention quality , quality also includes the quality of dravya , ie the money that has been used to purchase these products . The money earned if it is not of sanmarga or from a sat-swamy [ boss/organization] or sadvritti then the sins of swamy will come along with dushta dravya , this enters the food too . Suppose one is very sensitive towards a concept called failure in love divorce or separation from spouse or parents etc . And resolves to be a good spouse , lover or child . But suddenly events in the life turn out that he is shunned by spouse or he himself have to leave parents . this causes extreme mental imbalance and grief . Grief not account of event but more out of failure in philosophy . And one will never find fault with oneself and feel event was more or less as of driven by unknown force . All such force is because of asatdravya . The organization or boss you are serving is earning by means of kumarga or is indulgent in sins, all such sins of gohatya , sins leading to divorce , affairs , moha, losses , getting cheated and falling down morally , indulging in immoral acts , agamyagaman etc are shared and hits the consumer as everyday food is eaten out of such dravyas ,. So also dravya obtained by dana from such people give similar results .So though food will be tasty but will not be manohara in long run as it gives disturbed sleep and immoral karmas.
- The clothes or dhoti should not be wet while cooking . Such a food is not fit for naivedya or to be given to devtas. The food prepared by wet clothes goes to rakshasas and devatas do not accept such a food . However a wet cloth if beaten against wind eleven times is considered dry .
- The woman should never cook food for devatas without wearing a blouse or innerwears . without blouse and innerwears if prepared such a food is eaten by ILVAL named demon i.e. devatas do not accept it .
- Similarly one should not cook with wet hairs or one should not ether prepare with anger in mind . one must always dry the hair . hair must never be dried directly against the fire , one must use dhoop sugandha or sambhrani to dry hair and not blow hot air or directly against fire . Such a food will be discarded by devtas and VATAPI demon eats such a food giving a mind of partiality among the eater . anger causes one to become a fool among the group .
- one must not cook with tears in eyes or grief in mind . Devatas do not partake such food . these food is fit to be taken by dogs and crows .
- All food that digresses the vidhi nishedha is known as tamas and should not be consumed , if consumed by mistake or unknowingly the smriti gives following prayaschitta . Panchgavya prashana is the best remedy according to shastras . for men apat from panchagavya prashana 1000 gayatri is ordained . after that simhanuvaak parayana is ordained . if not done asuchi increases day by day .
- one must not cook in a sleeping position . When cooked in such a position or cooking directly after sleep , kali’s wife alakshmi immediately enters such a person . Thus the food becomes a good naivedya for KALI . Such a food good people should never touch . If taken such a food , once wealth gets destroyed . Misfortunes hit him in the following days . his luck evaporates . In such a situation one must immediately recite shantisukta for 108 times to regain luck .
- One must not cook facing west or south , such a food is taken by pisachas . pitrus and devatas dont touch such food . One must never give such food to atithis and bramhins . eating such a food one looses his learnings [ vidyahaani ] . In the long run becomes a amused fool without any respect in the society . The west food makes one suffer povert his belongings give way and loose lustre and slowly he becomes pennyless.Prayaschitta is that one must stand in the east and do punashcharana samput of vayahruti mantra for ten times . in the end pranav should be chanted .
- Agni is a bhuta tatva . it is very important in our life . it is a personal issue . Just like a good health conscious person does not use others belongings like clothes and utensils and bedsheets , towels and perfumery and soaps and other toiletries etc . similarly agni should also be not used . Agni is three types : one that is used to do agnihotra etc . two that is used to light the deepa before HARI nandadeepa and three that is used to light the house . The third one is suitable for cooking . first two should not be used for cooking . The first two is extremely protected since the day one gets sanskaara . The third is extremely personal . it is also protected .
- one must always use ones own agni to cook and not others agni or borrowed agni , this food will not be accepted by devatas and pitrus .
- Suppose one’s agni extinguishes then one must always get agni from a shrotriya only and follow the procedure to establish agni the house as per shruti and not just get it into the house .
- One must never get agni from avaishnav , shudra vaishya , fallen or pashanda or unclean houses . If there is not a single bramhana in a kugrama then in that case one can get agni from the VAISHNAV sudra . This agni should be brought via a dry twigs and not wood , such a twigs should be installed in the place outside of the house or garden . then one must increase the fire with few more twigs and when the fire is lit heavily , one can get a tulasi kashtha to light this fire and bring it inside the house and put in the chullaki . This should be then mixed with wood to keep the fire . This fire should be in the east of the room . Thus agni shuddhi is obtained .
- Agni obtained by friction , or by sulphur or by iron filings is prohibited as it is not “pavak’ agni .
- If agni is brought from a temple then some dakshina like rice , tamboola etc should be kept in the temple .
- Cooking is yagnya , so the fuel used should be clean , it should be made of cowdung ,or palash , khadir and bilva wood . Others are termed impure . butane , kerosene , methane ethanol , biogas , petroleum mixtures , microwave etc are not useful for the naivedya .
- Krsihnacharya in smritimuktavali says tulasi kashtha must be compulsorily used to prepare food . this will be very pleasing to LORD and even if small this will give punya equal to meru parvat .
- With senses under control and silently one must prepare naivedya .
- Rice should be washed thrice or four times before cooking .
- It should be then taken in another vessel and cooked by poring water.
- Rice should never be poured into hot water and then cooked , such a rice is unfit for naivedya .
- Similarly Daal is unfit for naivedya if cooked on fire along with the water . Daal should be poured into hot water after washing it four times .
- Shraddha cooking if done by daughter in law , it is liked by the pitrus .
- The vessels to be kept before naivedya should be kept on a mandala square .
- North east one should keep kheer vessel , south east one must keep vesels containing bhakshya , daal preparations in the southwest , all curries in the north west and rice in the centre , a ghee vessel in between rice and kheer ,
- everyday new vesels should be used for cooking , or vessels made of wood used in yagnya should be used . but still once every month a new vessel should be used .
- salt should be served on left
- rice in the centre , kheer in the right upper ghee in the right .
- curries of vegetables on the front .
- bhakshya bhojya on the left .
- no each dish should each other while serving .
- tur daal preparation is good for devata karya
- udid daal for pitru karya .
- moong daal specially for pitru karya .
- similarly til is good for pitru naivedya .
- when all the dependents have eaten , dev, pitru ,bramhins , family members , friends relatives , atithis , servants ,antyaj chandaladi , beggars , dogs , animals , birds , pisachas etc . then the yejamaana should eat and after his meals wife should eat in the same plate as that of husband . this increases love between them as wife imbibes the qualities of husband more and more .