Australia: February 11, 1997
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
As you know, Srila Narayana Maharaja's classes are mostly all philosophical, with practical application. But sometimes he also gives practical instructions, in Deity worship and other areas. While looking for something else, we accidentally came across this excerpt from one of his classes explaining some brahminical rules and regulations for serving the Deity:]
My Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, used to teach all this to us. When you are going to give any water from any vessel, you should not put your nails in the water. If you are cooking and you are putting some salt in dahl, or any other preparation, you should put the salt away immediately, before offering the dahl; otherwise it will become contaminated (juta).You should be very careful when preparing anything with water, salt, masala and so on for Thakuraji, so that everything is pure. Do not do anything without washing your hands.
If you are doing anything outside the temple or outside the kitchen, you should not run back into the kitchen at once. You should first put water on your hands and feet. Don't wear shoes in Thakura's temple or in the kitchen. The kitchen is also a temple – where Srimati Radhika is cooking for Krsna with Her sakhis. You are not the cook. The cook is Srimati Radhika, and therefore the kitchen is like a temple. You should always try to make it very pure.