Updated: Feb 17
One of the things I love the most about the Vedic spiritual tradition of India is how very inclusive it is, of ALL faiths and religious beliefs, which are seen as 'many paths towards the same aim.'
Salvation in Christianity and Abrahamic religions is the same end goal as enlightenment in eastern religions. That is why you will see people celebrating Christmas in Hindu temples. It is also why there are beautiful interfaith temples in India that feature the gods of all traditions. I love those temples.
Having grown up in Toledo, Ohio, I worked hard to convince my parents to send me to all-girls Catholic high school, as I loved the schools' reverence for Jesus and especially Mother Mary. Today, I still keep a photo of Mother Mary on my desk/altar space in my small NYC apartment, alongside the Vedic Indian goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati. They ALL remind me of the need to keep my life focused on the one main aim of human life - to find freedom from all desires.
As Swami Parthasarathy often says "A human being - desires = God."
The purpose of the human life is to eradicate ourselves of all desires, so that we may be one with our true inner divinity. The God that lives deep within us all.
Jesus Christ is such an incredible example of a divine being who role modeled this journey for humanity to follow.
I remember accepting Jesus into my heart while attending Bible School as a young child. That was a profound experience, and I always remember Jesus in my heart when forgiveness is needed.
Forgiveness is ultimately what keeps your heart pure and sweet, leading you toward experiencing your own divinity. I have found this to be true over and over again, no matter how badly I have been hurt by others in my life.
So it felt totally fitting to bake my very first cake in honor of this wonderful teacher's birth, life and message. It is a special Vegan, Ayurvedic pecan coconut flake cake, offered to wish Jesus a very happy and blessed birthday!
VEGAN CHOCOLATE CAKE INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut or almond milk
1 1/2 cup jaggery
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pink rock salt
1/4 + 1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling hot water
CHOCOLATE FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups jaggery
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons almond milk (or coconut milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
CAKE TOPPING INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons pecans
1 tablespoon Vegan dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon coconut flakes
MAKE THE BATTER: preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Line a 9" cake pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix the apple cider vinegar and coconut milk together. Stir and then set aside. In a big bowl, whisk together jaggery, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt until they are thoroughly blended together. Add milk mixture, coconut oil, vanilla and hot water. Stir extremely well so that everything gets combined together well.
MAKE THE CAKE: Pour batter into the cake pan. Bake for 35 minutes.
MAKE FROSTING: Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir extremely well until everything blends together in a nice thick frosting consistency. Spread it over the cake after it has cooled for at least one hour after coming out of the oven.
ADD TOPPINGS to the cake after you add the frosting.
Take a moment to place your hand on your heart and feel love for yourself, as well as anyone you need to forgive. Doing so will leave your heart more open to love - the core message of all the great spiritual teachers of all traditions.
To learn more delicious recipes like this, and to learn how to design your own Ayurveda lifestyle, in harmony with the rhythms of nature, join The Ancient Way's Wellness Ambassador Program starting March 26th, 2022, to spread the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda in your community.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ANANTA RIPA AJMERA is founder and CEO of The Ancient Way and Advisor of Ayurveda at THE WELL, a modern wellness club that brings together world-class doctors and master healers for a more balanced you. She is author of The Ayurveda Way, a compilation of 108 simple, doable practices for better sleep, less stress, optimal digestion and more.