Food is an important part of Vaishnava culture, with cooking considered one of the fine arts. Since Vaishnavas are natural vegetarians and their culture is Eastern, their cuisine contains an abundance of spiced vegetable dishes and exotic flavours.
As in many cultures, cooking is an important part of Vaishnava hospitality – as anyone will know who has visited a Vaishnava temple (especially during festivals). Srila Prabhupada, the founder acarya of ISKCON, also loved to cook. He used his considerable culinary skills to make delicious preparations for the visitors who came to see him and also taught others how to cook.
Those who visit an ISKCON temple will also notice that we only cook vegetarian preparations. Vegetarianism is an integral part of the basic living principles within Vaisnavism. The are two principles that are developed when vegetarianism is practiced:
- Ahimsa (non-violence)
- Service to God (Krishna)