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Purity of the Food, the Cooking Vessels and the Cook

The Gita has also declared that there should be purity of the vessels and utensils used in cooking, and purity of the cooking process itself. The vessels used must be absolutely clean. Purity refers not only to physical cleanliness but also to the way in which the implements and the articles of food have been acquired. You have to see whether these things have been acquired by proper means and honest work or whether they have come through dishonest means. Articles which are acquired by improper means and used for cooking food, will not only generate bad thoughts but will lead you down the wrong path.

The next step is to inquire into the purity of the cooking process itself by ascertaining the thoughts and feelings of the person who is cooking the food. There are three things that have been mentioned that must be carefully looked into and controlled. Normally, you pay attention only to the purity of the vessels and not the other two, namely, the purity of the person cooking and the purity of the food itself. You do not know the feelings in the mind of the cook and you do not know if the shopkeeper has acquired the articles you buy in the market by proper or improper means.

Therefore, just before taking your food, you should pray and offer the entire meal to God in order to cleanse and purify it. This prayer which is offered before food is not for the benefit of God but for your own benefit. It will purify your food by evoking God's blessing. Before eating, you can say your own sincere prayer from your heart asking God to purify and bless the food. Or, you can use formal prayers such as the verses from the Gita that are traditionally used before food. These are the 24th verse from the 4th chapter and the l4th verse from the l5th chapter, which are particularly efficacious.