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An Offering of Love: Recipes of Newfound Meaning

By: for ISKCON News on Sept. 11, 2014
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Jahnavi and her mother Laksmidevi

She was in the prime of her youth when her world flipped upside down in an instant.

Up until the year before, Jahnavi had been enjoying all of the thrills and fun that life could offer. Not worrying about the future, not taking the Krishna consciousness that her parents had given to her very seriously. But then it happened – the harsh pains of suffering that many of us have faced in this world hit her family like a storm. Her mother Laxsmidevi, dear friend, caretaker, the self-less most gentle and kind person that she had ever known, was diagnosed with cancer and she received the lesson of a lifetime of love and loss.

The entire Santos family was devastated. They all grieved in their own ways, sometimes one being stronger than the others, and sometimes all in despair together. It was a very difficult time for the family, and it took a toll out of her life in ways that she is still recovering from to this day.

Laxsmidevi’s heart and passion was in making prasadam –it was her connection to serving Sri Krishna. During her last years of life Laxsmidevi was organizing a new cookbook with her best and favorite recipes. The book was left unfinished when she departed from this world.

Time has passed but the wounds left from this traumatic loss are still very present.

It in February of this year, when Jahnavi was in Sri Dham Mayapur finishing the Deity Worship course she remembered her mother’s project and decided to make it her own: as an offering of love.

“This cookbook; a compilation of handpicked recipes by such an influential and important person to me, speaks on every ingredient she chose as if it is her hand caressing my head before bed, or a kiss on the cheek. It is as if my mother’s love has imbibed every page of the book, and it is that love that I am sharing with all of you,” says Jahnavi.

With the help of Jahnavi’s friends and supporters “Menus e Mimos” (“Menus and Love”) has been completed and published in Portuguese her native tongue. But it needs help to complete the project.

Menus e Mimos

Laxsmidevi eagerly wanted to share the beauty of prasadam with whomever she met and translating and publishing her book into English allows for her dream to come true.

“She was an incredible cook that kept on surprising and pleasing devotees throughout the years, cooking for different festivals and events, and always doing so through her heart,” says Jahnavi.

“Menus and Love” is a book that has the power bring a higher consciousness to anyone who reads it.

“Thus, just as Laksmidevi began the compilation of her recipes in Krishna consciousness—with love and devotion for her family members, devotees, and others—so her daughter, Jahnavi, has completed the work in Krishna consciousness, with special love and affection for her mother,” says Giriraj Swami.

A crowd-funding project is taking place in order to gather the funds needed to print the book and to translate it to English making it available to everyone and anyone. 

“I have great hope that this book will help people fall in love with prasadam and allow them a deeper taste for Krishna consciousness,” says Jahnavi.

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For more info about the fundraising campaign:

www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-printing-laksmidevi-s-veggie-vegan-cookbook

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[ cookbooks ] [ jahnavi ]
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