|(continued from My Early Days, below…)
Upendra, an excellent cook, regularly spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning preparing an assortment of tasty dishes: rice, vegetables, salted peanuts with raisins, buttery halava, and thick, cold sweet rice pudding.
These were served to guests in small quantities. Upendra had been personally taught to cook by Prabhupada, and Upendra had taught Upananda. And now Upananda was teaching me! “What an honour”, I thought.
By now the gulab jamuns were soaking in their thick syrup. Upananda sloshed in a good quantity of highly scented rose water, filling the kitchen with a divine fragrance. The sweets looked good enough to eat right now, I thought, but Upananda seemed to read my mind.
“No”, he explained, “these are for the ‘Love Feast’ on Sunday”.
Prabhupada had originally adopted the name ‘Love Feast’ back in 1966, and he had told the devotees that such feasts for the public should become an important part of the Hare Krishna movement.
“Vegetarian food offered to Krishna becomes spiritual”, Upananda said, “and whoever eats the food – called prasadam – receives great spiritual benefit.”
What Upananda said next really impressed me. “This cooking is actually called bhakti-yoga, the yoga of love”, he said. “Giving people spiritual life in the form of delicious pure vegetarian food cooked with love is what bhakti-yoga is all about”.
to be continued…
Posted by Kurma on 12/2/07; 12:05:38 AM