How to Spiritualize Your Food in Three Easy Steps
Fruits and vegetables are living and growing beings but they are much less sentient than animals, and so the karma (mental and physical reactions) for eating them is much less. To completely nullify the effect of karma, one can spiritualize their vegetarian food by offering it to God. In the Vedas such pure, soul-nourishing food is taken beyond vegetarianism and is known asprasadam, which literally means “God’s mercy”. When you prepare prasadam, even cooking becomes an act of meditation and loving devotion.
1. MAKE SURE IT’S VEGETARIAN. As Krishna accepts only vegetarian offerings, make sure your food does not include any meat, fish or eggs. Dairy products are fine, honey is fine. Cook with the consciousness of love, knowing that the food will be offered to Krishna. For example, when you look at any painting, you can say a lot about the emotions and the consciousness of the painter, just by seeing how they used the brush, which colors were chosen, etc. Similarly, your consciousness “enters” the food you cook as well. Also, in cooking for Krishna, we do not taste the preparations while cooking, but leave the first taste for Krishna when it is offered.
2. PLACE THE FOOD, OR LITTLE PORTIONS OF IT, IN FRONT OF A PICTURE OF KRISHNA. (Or a Deity of Krishna, if you have) Generally people keep special plates or little bowls that are used for offering foods to Krishna, and nobody else eats from those plates. If you are traveling or for any reason don’t have a picture of Krishna with you, you can still offer your food to Him – after all, God does not need to eat. The most important thing He accepts in your offering is the love with which it’s offered. So think of Krishna, meditate on Him, and go to Step 3.
3. ASK KRISHNA TO ACCEPT YOUR OFFERING. You can use your own words, to humbly ask Krishna to accept your loving offering. There are special mantras that can be chanted. The Vedas describe how the maha-mantra includes all other mantras in it – you can just chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Wait a moment, let Krishna peacefully accept your offering, thank Him for doing so, and you are ready to enjoy your spiritual, karma-free prasadam meal!