Question: How does the cleanliness of the surroundings affect the food you cook?

Sri Chinmoy: The cleanliness of the surroundings does not immediately or directly affect the food. First it affects the consciousness of the cook. When the cook is affected, then naturally his product will be affected. Cleanliness is of paramount importance, purity is of paramount importance and good feelings towards the pots and pans are of paramount importance. Everything is of paramount importance from the beginning to the end when you cook. Again, while cooking it is always advisable to speak as little as possible so that you can remain in your own highest consciousness. Otherwise, your consciousness may remain high, but the person with whom you are talking may be in a very low consciousness and then your food will be affected. So, you should always try to remain in a high consciousness and, for that, silence will be a considerable help. It will also be of considerable help if you can be in a meditative consciousness. Otherwise, outwardly you may remain silent, but inwardly your mind will be thinking of the entire world. That kind of so-called silence does not make any sense. But to remain both inwardly and outwardly silent will help you to enter into a higher realm of consciousness.