Regarding your several questions; yes, it is best to get all such points cleared up so that our understanding may be firmly fixed up in our philosophy. The best process is to rigidly execute one's prescribed devotional duties regularly, and to study the books and literatures very carefully in the company and guidance of experienced devotees. The essence of our program is to chant daily Hare Krishna mantra at least sixteen rounds without fail, and thus one remains strong in spiritual life.
So far chaunce is concerned, I think you have been wrongly advised to burn the cumin seeds and chilis until they are very black. The chili should be added to the hot ghee just after the cumin seed begins to darken in color, and both of them should become brown, but not black or burnt. I think this adjustment with a little trial will improve the dahl for offering to the Deities.
But I see that you have many such questions about our philosophy. Under the circumstances it would be very good if you come to Los Angeles for some time to learn these questions and answers in the daily classes here. This is a good opportunity to clear up any doubts or misunderstandings, and the best program is if you come here for study. I am personally lecturing here weekly especially for our devotees.
Regarding Neil's study of Sanskrit, I am very glad to learn of his seriousness to study, and we need many such Sanskrit scholar devotees. When it is convenient, he may study with Pradyumna in Boston, and there are Sanskrit courses at the university there also. In the meantime, for his studies, Manva Dharma Sastra is not bona fide. The Hitopadesa is alright for study.
Yes, I will visit Boulder temple, so please inform me what is the best time. And when you come to Los Angles, you can advise me in particular how I should come there.