June 2010


Learnt this from my friend Gaura-sakti das. Modified a bit with the help of Madhumangala das

1. Wash 2 and 1/2 bunches of spinach, then add to boiling water. Add salt. In the meantime, turn oven to full heat, then down to 180C.

Defrost two puff pastries – for the base and the top of the pie.

2. The White Sauce.

Bring 500 ml milk to boil. Add 5 tablespoons (tbsp) butter to milk. Thicken with maizena (thickening agent), until it starts to thicken. Add tbsp crushed black pepper, a small punnet of sweet basil (my addition) and 1 teaspoon (tsp) hing/asofoetida. Allow sauce to simmer and get thick. Add tbsp salt at the end and five or six tbsps of eggless mayonnaise (“Knorr” makes a nice on in South Africa). Allow to cool.

3. Shallow fry soya chicken strips in oil, ghee or butter until crisp. Stir spinach into the sauteed soya chicken strips. Add white sauce to spinach and chicken.

4. Place one of the puff pastries on a smooth surface. Roll it out a little, so it can amply fill the baking tray. Place the pastry at the bottom of the baking tray (the large ones that we usually use to roast vegetables in) and bring the pastry up to the of the tray. Fill the pastry base with the spinach/soya chicken mix.

5. Cover the pie with the second rolled-out puff pastry. Seal the pie by joining the top pastry with the bottom one. Brush milk over the covered pastry (to give it a golden appearance and to make it less crispy) and puncture the top with a fork.

6. Place in the oven at 180C for about half-an-hour. Turn the top grill on for the last few minutes (be careful you don’t burn the top of the pie). Turn off the oven. Allow to cool a bit. Offer to Krishna.

7. Serving suggestion (from Madhumangala prabhu): serve with mash potato and baby carrots cooked in butter with a little cinnamon. It is also nice with date and tamarind chatni.

Manusya-janama paiya, radha-krishna na bhajiya/janiya suniya bias khainu‘. ‘O, Lord Hari, I have spent my life uselessly. Having obtained a human birth and not having worshiped Radha and Krishna, I have knowingly drunk poison’.

Here we are calling out to Lord Hari. There are many meanings of Hari. One is, ‘That Supreme Personality of Godhead who steals all inauspiciousness from our heart. Once all inauspiciousness is removed from our heart, what is left? Pure, unadulterated love. In that state of love the Lord Hari steals our heart itself. Krishna is Makana-chora, He is butter thief. When our heart becomes so melted from its steel-frame condition and becomes soft like butter, then Lord Hari will come and steal that heart.

Rupa Goswami warns, ‘If you are very much attached, and want to remain attached, to worldly pleasures of property, prestige, wealth, family – do not go to the Keshi Ghata where, standing on the bank of the Yamuna, is the beautiful threefold-bending form of Govinda playing upon His flute. When you hear that flute, and His glance of love touches your heart, He will take your heart as His own property.

Actually, love – on all levels – is an act of thievery. When someone loves us we take their consciousness, we take their hearts, we take their minds. You see how, in this world, when love is frustrated how much the heart is broken. Because the heart becomes the property of the object of your love. And if they mistreat it, they can do more damage to your heart than you can do yourself or anyone else. But, in this material world, such love is a material reflection of true love.

Krishna is Hari. He is the ultimate object of everyone’s love. In fact, He is the exclusive object of everyone’s love. Bhismadeva, the grandfather of the Pandavas, he defined love, ‘To repose all one’s affection in one object’. Only Krishna, who’s all-attractive, can perfectly accept and reciprocate with our soul’s love. Love of the flesh, love of the mind, are temporary and ultimately they frustrate . But real love is love of the soul. The soul manifests its consciousness through our heart.

So Krishna, He is that personality who can liberate us from all the quarrelsome difficulties in this Age of Kali. How? Mahaprabhu has explained, ceto darpanam marjanam bhava maha-davagni nirvapanam. This hari-sankirtan, this kirtan of the great thief Hari, congregationally, it cleanses our heart. How does it clean our heart? Ultimately, it is a scientific process in seven stages. But, in essence, it is all happening by the mercy of Lord Hari. Lord Hari steals away all the anarthas – all the unwanted attachments that we’re clinging to since time immemorial. Lust, envy, pride, greed, anger, illusion. Stolen away. HARI HARI!! And, in that pure state, our heart becomes soft. And then Lord Hari steals our heart…eternally.’

(From a lecture by His Holiness Radhanath Swami, given in Chowpatty, Mumbai, on Sunday 14 April 2002)

‘Everyone is longing to love someone. Everyone feels an unprecedented need to be loved by someone. Because it is our nature, without expressing the dormant love in our heart and without receiving the love of someone who has the capacity to love, we cannot find any real happiness. You may find some peace in the environment around you, but the mind, the heart is dissatisfied, because this is the essential, most fundamental need of every human being – to love and be loved.

The entire civilization around us is somehow or other trying to figure out various ways of finding that fulfillment of the heart. But, however much we are scientifically, technologically and industrially advanced, we find that the heart remains empty. Unfulfilled, until we learn that Krishna is the all-attractive, the supreme object of everyone’s love. And He is the supreme giver of love.

We will go on, birth after birth, searching for one mirage after another in the desert of material existence. But the process of Krishna consciousness really is joyful’

(From a Sunday Programme lecture by H.H Radhanath Swami given in Chowpatty, Mumbai, on 23 December 2001)

‘All around us we see the results of the industrial paradigm’s focus upon commodities and money, and its worship of fame, power, and control. As a result, modern culture does not give human beings and other living creatures the respect they deserve. Our planet – itself a living being – suffers profoundly from a lack of love. As we have seen, we treat the Earth and other species of life with such disregard that all around us are appearing symptoms of serious illness: floods, famines, earthquakes, droughts, hurricanes, plagues and countless other scourges. In addition, instead of relating to other humans with love, care, and compassion, we manipulate and exploit them in a vain search for self-gratification

Loving relationships are the way to counteract this negativity. Our personal relationships are a microcosm of how to deal with each other on an organizational, national, and global level, and how we treat other forms of life and the Earth itself. Healing our planet ultimately depends upon how we relate to one another in the simple interactions of daily life. By relating to others lovingly, each of us can make a positive difference in our immediate environment.

In society today, many people do not experience sufficient love in their families, schools, or places of work. Love that cannot find a healthy means of expression often emerges in various perverted forms. We have already noted the rising levels of child abuse, incest, and rape all around us, as well as many other social and environmental ills. Sexual crimes are distorted manifestations of a natural tendency to love that cannot express itself constructively. Whenever people reject their own divine nature, their thwarted loving energy becomes a destructive force in the world’

(HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami, Spiritual Warrior II, p.173-74)