Cookbook:Karma-Free Diet

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The karma-free diet or lifestyle is a form of vegetarianism associated with Srila Prabhupada, the Hindu deity Krishna, and Vaishnavism. It has various dietary and ritual requirements for preparation.



In Vaishnavism, food is considered prasadam, or the Lord's mercy. In keeping with the philosophy of offering everything to the god Krishna, devotees offer everything they eat before they eat it. In this way the food is considered sanctified.



Vaishnavas follow a strict vegetarian diet, eating no meat or fish. In addition, they avoid eating eggs. Onions, garlic, and mushrooms are also avoided due to their association with adverse effects on the consciousness of the eater.

Ritual Cooking


The most important ingredient in any offering is the devotion of the cook and of the person doing the offering. It is also important that the people offering the food are in good consciousness. This can be accomplished by:

  • Making sure the kitchen is clean
  • Using pure ingredients
  • Wearing clean clothes while cooking
  • Having peaceful music or chanting going on during the preparation of the meal

Because devotees are cooking for Krishna, it is important that no-one else tastes the preparation before it is offered.



A simple offering can be made by placing the food on a plate in front of a picture of Krishna and chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra a few times while asking Krishna to please accept the humble offering. It is preferable to have one or more dishes used only for this purpose.

A slightly more elaborate offering can be made by chanting each of the following prayers three times while ringing a small bell. However, the most important part of a successful offering is the devotion.

Prayer to Srila Prabhupada, or your own guru

nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale

srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine

namas te sarasvate deve gaura-vani-pracarine


Prayer to Lord Caitanya

namo maha-vadanyaya

krishna-prema-pradaya te

krishnaya krishna-chaitanya-

namne gaura-tvishe namaha

Prayer to Lord Krishna

namo brahmanya-devaya

go-brahmana-hitaya ca

jagad-dhitaya krsnaya

govindaya namo namah

Chant Maha Mantra

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Compatible Recipes


Moong Dhal (Green Dahl)





  1. Boil moong dal with turmeric until it disintegrates.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add jeera, mustard seed, ginger, curry leaves and hing.
  3. Allow oil to sputter, then add masala and tomatoes.
  4. Allow to cook for a few minutes.
  5. Add boiled moong and cook until dahl starts to thicken.
  6. Add lemon juice when dahl is almost ready.

See Also