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Prabhupada:"You will be surprised. When I was family man, I had a servant who was only twenty-two years old. Oh, he was too stout and strong. You see? So one day I asked him that... His name was Buddhu. So I asked him, "Buddhu, what do you take that you are very stout and strong?" He said, "My dear sir, I take only these corns." Corns. You know corns? A corns and it is powdered. The powdered portions used to make bread, and the grain portion he used to cook as rice, and he was taking that. That's all.

Green: Cornmeal?
Prabhupada: Corn.
Devotees: Meal. Cornmeal.

Prabhupada: Cornmeal, yes. And he was very stout and strong. He was deriving all the vitamins. Because he was poor man, he could not eat any butter or milk or any other things, meat also no, nothing of the sort. He was simply eating... He was drawing, at that time, only twenty-two rupees from me. Twenty-two rupees means... According to your American exchange, it comes to five dollars, five dollars a month, his income. And what he could spend? So he was taking the cheap food. But he was very strong and stout. So whole idea is that these grains, these grains are meant for human being. Coarse grain or fine grain, there are so many varieties of grain, varieties of rice, varieties of dal, according... Now, the fine rice, the basmati rice... The laborer class... In India, of course, we have got this distinction. They are not satisfied for, with this white rice. They want coarse grain for satisfaction. While gentleman class, they cannot eat coarse grain. They want finer grain. So all these varieties of grains and vegetables and everything is there by nature's arrangement, by God's arrangement.

Here it is said annad bhavanti bhutani. Now, your body depends on the foodstuff supplied by nature. Annad bhavanti bhutani parjanyad anna-sambhavah. And these grains are produced by rains, parjanya. Parjanya means regular rainfall from the sky by the arrangement of God. It is not your arrangement. Rainfall is not your arrangement. It is supernatural arrangement. If there is regular rainfall, then it can produce all the necessities of our life.

I think, Carl, you were reading from the Bhagavad-gita about Maharaja Yudhisthira's reign, during his kingdom how rainfall was regular, and the necessities of human being were being produced. So here is the same thing. Annat. Anna, the grains. Grains are our life's subsistence, human being. Annad bhavanti bhutani. And grains are produced by regular rainfall. Parjanyad anna-sambhavah. Parjanya means rainfall. And yajnad bhavati parjanyah: "And rainfall is produced when you offer yajna, sacrifice, to the Lord." Regular rainfall will be possible when people are engaged in the yajna. Otherwise, nature will control rainfall. For want of rain, all your arrangement--mechanical arrangement, tractors, and all these things--will all fail if there is rainfall, there is no rainfall. So control of the rainfall is not in your hand. It is in supernatural power. So here it is said that rainfall is made possible by offering yajna, by sacrifice. Parjanyat... Or yajnad bhavati parjanyo yajnah karma-samudbhavah: "And yajna is prescribed according to the Vedic rituals."

Now, just see the link. Living entities, they can develop by eating grains. Grains are produced by rainfall. Rainfall is made possible by offering sacrifice. And the process of sacrifice is given in authoritative scriptures like Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavata, and Vedic literature, what is the process. So because the beginning is from the Brahman--Brahman means Veda, transcendental sound--therefore, if we work according to the direction of this Bhagavad-gita or Vedas, then the whole thing becomes, I mean to, spiritualized. Whole thing becomes spiritualized. Because... Karma-yajna... Yajnah karma-samudbhavah. Karma...

And if your karma is regulated by the direction of Krsna, just like Arjuna regulated his karma, his warfare, by the direction of Krsna, then by regulation of karma, you perform yajna, sacrifice, and from, for your performance of yajna, sacrifice, there is regulated rainfall, and from regulated rainfall there is sufficient production of grains and foodstuff, and from your sufficient foodstuff, you can grow yourself, body, maintain your body very nicely. The whole program is like that."

Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita, 05-23-66, Boston



Amaranth, also called ‘ramdana’, is said to be the world’s most nutritious grain. The nutritive value of amaranth with regards to proteins, amino acids, minerals, vitamins and food energy is superior to other conventional food grains. It is also a rich source of phosphorous, calcium, iron and folic acid. Amaranth is excellent for increasing hemoglobin in the blood and alleviating blindness from vitamin A deficiency. Amaranth seeds, which appear in black, brown, gold and white, can be popped, ground, baked and cooked. A pseudo cereal that is often eaten during fasts, Amaranth is an excellent substitute for those who are allergic to grains.


Bajra is the major food crop of Rajasthan. This millet is also grown abundantly in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Bajra flour is used to make roti and other breads, and its fodder is an important feed for the cows.


Pearled barley, with husk removed, is used in side dishes, soups, breads, and as a meat substitute. Barley flakes are used in bread and granola; barley flour is used in bread, cereal and cookies. A cracked buckwheat that is related to Barley is called kasha. The roasted, edible kernels have a wonderful flavor.


While corn is usually thought of as a vegetable, it's actually a cereal grass have grains, or kernals. Dried and ground into flour or meal, corn is a staple ingredient in many breads and savouries.

Jowar (Sorghum)

Jowar is one of the four major food grains of the world. Millions of people in Asia and Africa depend on Jowra as a staple food, and the fodder is fed to cows. Jowra has a digestive capacity that is less than wheat but more than the rice. Jowra is dried and ground to a meal or flour, for use much like rice flour. In Auyerveda, Jowra is recognized for its medicinal uses as a cooling grain, helpful for indigestion, constipation, improved appetite and taste, stomach disorders, etc.

Ragi (Finger Millet)

Ragi is rich in vitamins and fibre, and is the richest source of calcium among all cereals and grains. The protein of this millet is said to be as biologically complete as milk. It is considered especially suitable food for diabetic patients. Ragi flour contains most of its bran, which enhances its fibre content. The flour can be mixed with wheat flour in a ratio of 1:1, with only a little extra baking powder, which increase the nutritional content for making breads.


Rice is a staple food throughout the world, and some of the finest rice is grown in India. Hundreds of thousands of rice varieties used to grow in India, and just a few decades ago farmers grew over 30, 000 varieties of rice. Today, a much smaller number are grown for export. Of these, Basmati and Kasturi and two of the nicest. Basmati is highly esteemed for its unique aroma and flavour. Kasturi is quite similar to the aromatic Basmati, and is a favorite in sweet rice recipes.

Ayurvedic texts describe the various healing properties of rice. Mand (starch water) of rice is good for diarrhoea and dysentry. Simple rice water (uncooked) helps to relieve fever. Today’s commercial milling processes completely destroy the bran component of the rice, thereby degrading its nutritional value. Unpolished (or dehusked) rice is a healthy alternative. As rice soaks, it releases enzymes that increase its fibre, vitamin and mineral content and boosts antioxidant and amino acid levels. For example, Brown Rice soaked in water for a day contains three amino acid, 10 times as much lysine, a tissue repairing amino acid, and 10 times more kidney friendly gamma aminobutyric acid. Soaking the rice makes it taste sweeter since the germination process that triggers the release of enzymes also brings out sugars and protein within the grain. This also causes rice to cook faster.

Four Rices, Assam

Wheat has always been a staple food in North and Central India. Traditional Indian wheat varieties, having a high percentage of albuminoids and proteins, are not as starchy as the newer varieties. Indian wheat also has a high percentage of highly prized gluten, which gives the soft texture to Indian breads and rotis.

According to Ayurvedic texts, wheat possesses certain properties as Balkaraak (strength), Jeevaniya (rejuvenation), Madhur, sheetal, Varniya (complexion enhancing), Veeryajanan (spermatogenic) and Sandhankarh (healing).

Pulses & Legumes