There are certain things we just do better, with more ease, Tasks that fill us with joy and we excel at, Everyone is blessed with their own talents, their skills and their passions. When we are good at, we are most efficient and stress-free. In turn, the results are generally ideal, we accomplish the task with a great sense of satisfaction and we are not in any way taxed. Therefore, it is natural for us to want to gravitate towards these kinds of tasks and with habitual practice, we find we are constantly improving. This, in the Hindu scriptures is called swa-dharma, performing tasks and actions that are complementary to our in- built temperament or nature. To find our swa-dharma and to work in line with it, fortifies and reinforces our spiritual evolution.
To achieve swa-dharma, we need not escape to an ashram or a monastery, we need not exchange our everyday clothes for orange robes nor do we need to sit in solitary confinement chanting incessantly. We can unfold in our spiritual quest everyday as we go about our daily routine. This most practical, accessible and easily performed spirituality is called karma yoga. To find one's passion and talent and to work in line with it is a key ingredient in Karma Yoga. However, simply performing the action is not enough, it must be accompanied by an alteration of one's attitude while performing the action.
Before we engage ourselves in an action or a task, we very often base our decision on the end result of that action If the act brings us immense pleasure or in any way suits our personal agenda, we tend to engage ourselves in those acts or tasks. This type of action is self-benefitting and limited. However, if that very same act is undertaken not for one's own benefit or pleasure in mind, but as a service to humanity or with the thought of a higher cause in mind, that very same act of worship.
A group of ladies, predominantly housewives, who regularly cook for their husbands, children friends and neighbours endeavored to direct passion, talent, skill and knowledge to compile a cookbook to honor their Guru, Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda, with a view to dedicate what they did best, in order, to serve a greater cause of encouraging vegetarianism, non-violence and eco-friendliness. Recipes were created to cater to many different needs-to those who want a healthier meatless lifestyle, to those who want to enterain at home and those who want a bit more variety in their family meals.
In doing this Project, their actions evolved from Swa-dharma to Karma yoga, from work to worship. The result is this very informative cookbook, an offering by all involved, at the feel of Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda.
A heartfelt gratitude to all those who have contributed to this book in big ways and little, and have chosen, in the spirit of Karma yoga, to remain nameless. Cook, Nourish, Enjoy!!
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