Should one Offer food to Krishna in meat eating families?
Question from a devotee:
“Namaste Prabhu ji I have one serious question about food to God. I generally cook food for pooja only on special festivals like Diwali, Karwa Chauth and Navratri. I want to start to do it daily but i have some doubts. As coming from Christian family i am the only hindu inside my house so the managing of the food matter is a struggle sometimes. Sometimes happen that i have to cook meat or egg for my little brother and meanwhile making my meal. How should i manage it? Should i make before food for God and give as an offering and after cook my family food?
If sometimes happen as an example i have to cook egg for my brother… should i before make roti for pooja (in the different pot) serve to God and AFTER cook the egg? Thanks prabhu ji”
It is very difficult to manage to offer food to Krishna in meat eating families. If you expect me to speak from my heart in this matter, I myself will not eat from a house where they cooked vegetarian food in the same kitchen where meat is cooked. I will never eat in that house except fruits and milk.
Then how can I expect Krishna to eat the food cooked in the house where meat is also cooked?
Isn’t it an insult to Krishna?
You may have love behind that cooking and offering. But Krishna is very pure and we should follow utmost purity in our offerings to Krishna.
(5 Conditions for a Krishna devotee to marry a Non devotee Meat eater! READ HERE!)
My heart tells me TO ADVICE YOU NOT TO OFFER COOKED FOOD TO KRISHNA IN A HOUSE WHERE MEAT IS ALSO COOKED.
However if you are surely willing to cook for Krishna from a meat cooking family let me try to tell some rules:
If your family cooks and eats meat and you alone have to cook vegetarian foods and offer that food to Krishna, you should use separate vessels and stove to cook for Krishna.
It is better not to use the same kitchen where meat is cooked. You can cook in another place offer to Krishna and honour the prasadam.
(Is it dharma to refuse if my parents compel to take meat? READ HERE!)
But, cooking in a different place may not be possible for all the devotees as many people live in flats that have no or less flexibility to alter the home.
And, the tablespoons should be used only to take the spices to cook for Krishna. You should not use the same spoon for cooking both the veg and non veg.
You should not use the same water that you use to drink or clean meat. Keep a separate vessel with water exclusively for Krishna.
If possible, keep separate grocery items such as chillies, turmeric and other spices, dhals, oil in separate small bottles or vessels to be used to cook for Krishna, because your family members may touch garlic paste, meat and use the same fingers to take spices from the same bottle that may contaminate/ impurify the cooking ingredients.
(How to have only Prasadam during sensitive jobs? READ HERE!)
First, cook for Krishna. Before cooking, ensure that the kitchen and cooking spot has been cleaned with water. Do not use the same cloth to unload the preparations from the gas stove. The cloth may contain meat food ingredients if it is used to unload non veg preparations also.
And, please do not cook meat and food for Krishna simultaneously in different burner of stove since the vapour from meat food will get deposited into the food prepared for Krishna. This is not a good practice.
In case you happened to cook meat first, clean the kitchen platform very well and then cook for Krishna using separate utensils and products. In case you feel that the preparing food to Krishna is impossible on any day, offer fruits to Krishna. Even in the case of fruits, you should not offer the fruits that is the remnant after others take. If you buy five apples, first offer to Krishna. Do not eat three apples and offer the remaining two to Krishna.
(My family cooks meat on ekadasi and I am unable to fast . What to do? READ HERE!)
I always keep 200-300 grams of Dates in a separate bottle in my altar. I use the dates for Krishna for unavoidable reasons rarely on any day. I never take even a single piece of dates from that bottle for me. I take dates after offering to Krishna. Whatever I buy, I first offer them to Krishna and then I take it. This is a good practice. Make it a habit.
Try your best to keep everything – vessels, stove, spoons, plates, bottles for spices/ dhaals/ nuts, etc, clothes, water, etc separate for Krishna, if you are living in a non veg family.
Though I have written all the above precautions, I do not get satisfied because cooking in the same house for Krishna where meat is also cooked is not a good practice. My heart does not support it fully.
(TIPS TO BE A VEGETARIAN DEVOTEE IN A NON VEGETARIAN FAMILY! READ HERE!)
So my humble advice will be the following:
(i) Try all the ways to stop cooking meat in your house and make all as vegetarians.
(iii) If this is not possible, do not offer food to Krishna at all TILL YOU GET MARRIED (or) TILL YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS GET REFORMED. Instead offer fruits every day. You cook separately in the same place where meat is cooked and take that food after chanting Hare Krishna Maha Manthra 3 times in front of fruits.
You can start offering cooked food to Krishna after you get a separate home after marriage or when the family members agree to cooperate with your NO MEAT Policy. Cook delicious vegetarian foods to them that may make them to think of becoming vegetarians.
Remember Egg is also a non vegetarian food and hence should not be offered to Krishna.
Hope you are clear about whether one should Offer food to Krishna in meat eating families.
(PROCEDURE FOR OFFERING FOOD TO KRISHNA CAN BE READ HERE!)