Be happy to eat in constant Divine thought
whatever you get,
with due regard to honest and pious earnings.
The food that we eat must be firstly piously and honestly earned.
Unrighteously earned food is like poison to the
very system. Foods are of good quality when they
are Sattva, both regards to the means and with
regard to their quality as such, that is which
have sattvic nature, as distinguished from
Rajasic and Tamasic. Tamoguna foods produce
inertia, perversion, sleep and so on, whereas
Rajoguna foods are those which increase heat and
perverse activity and passion and more desire.
Sattvic foods grant lightness to the system and
help making the Indriyas of the body do their
allotted work (Dharma) skillfully and
efficiently. The body is made up of several
organs all of which are intended in a sense to
develop skilful work and efficiency; and they
have right activity as well as wrong activity.
Desires feed the wrong activity or make for
wrong activity and inertia too, whereas work in
the consciousness that this body is for work of
God or liberation from the body's inertia and
desires for doing service to God or to know God
will not bind man (Na Karma Lipyata Nare).
Karmas performed with the awareness that all
belong to God will not stain or touch man.
Sattvika-Bhava is necessary, along with the same
there must be Sattvika-Food. In our ancient
Ayurvedic Materia Medica (Dhatu-patha) we have
clear instruction about the value of our food,
different kinds of vegetables whether they are
Satva-producing or Rajas- producing or Tamas-producing.
This wholesome method has been completely
forgotten nowadays when the hotel-keepers and
chefs prescribe what is tasty according to their
capacity to tempt an eater to ask for more of
it. Thus appetizers are being created which
create more and more desire. The modern
civilization is a dinner civilization.
I remember Svami Vivekananda called Hinduism
kitchen-religion; it was rather unkind of him.
There is a great truth if it is said that eating
is not the primary test of religion, but perhaps
he was referring to the exclusiveness and
privacy of eating some people have counselled.
The fact is that eating must be done in the
consciousness of God, the giver being God, and
in fact it is for God that one ultimately lives
and eats to live rather than lives to eat, which
is its inversion. We all know that there is some
truth in saying that if any man casts his eyes
on another when eating and says that he is a
good eater or that child is eating nicely that
man or child begins to develop nausea for food.
There is an evil eye in this. We also know that
the modern dinner system, whilst it may promote
certain classes of persons, is unsuitable to
spiritual purposes. The have-nots of food do
envy the haves of food, and we are having today
the food-crises in a psychological sense, in so
far as all are demanding more and more food and
of all sorts and kinds for all irrespective of
real needs. Indeed the unscientific goal about
the health leading to feeding and fattening of
man thanks to what is called the calorie need
per capita is one of the worst phenomena that we
have. It does not mean that men are becoming
healthier or better capable of work.
Simple food, food that has not been got by
ill means or cruelty, food that is wholesome and
Sattvika, food that will promote spiritual
thoughts, moderate and sweet or pleasant rather
than pleasure provoking and
passion-and-desire-increasing, is basic to the
proper maintenance of our bodies. It will not
accumulate darkness within, and will make all
organs obey the supreme consciousness and unknot
the whole and link us up with the Divine.
Sri Krishna has spoken about the importance
of this food-management. Shri Ramchandraji has
also spoken about the same. The upanishad has
pointed out that Annam is Brahman. It speaks of
Prana as of the Bhuh (this world), and Apana as
of the Bhuvah (mid world), and Vyana as of the
Suvah (higher world) and speaks of Annam as that
which is of the Mahah world and it is with Annam
that everything becomes big or Mahat
(Mahiyante). Annam here does not mean ordinary
food but by which all things live and grow or
evolve. God is verily the food or nectar which a
soul drinks and grows into His nature. It is not
this food that makes one grow but the
Divine-prasad (grace food) given by God with
blessing that makes one grow, that increase
one's real being (sattva) and makes all organs
work properly (dharma or artha). The Veda
rightly insists that very earnest seeker after
Divine life must therefore sprinkle his food
with the mantra: By Rta do I sprinkle my satya
(existence or being) and By Satya do I sprinkle
my Dharma: Satyamtva Rtena Parisinchami, Rtamtva
Satyena Parsinchami. This is the basic truth
It follows without saying that questions
regarding the eating of animal food etc... are
to be discovered by each individual as not
conducive to the spiritual development though
they may be compromise formula for those who
follow the paths other than spirituality. The
subtler and spiritual the food that one eats the
more perfect becomes his capacity to respond to
the Divine force that is always flowing into
one. Indeed in a sense it is that which gives
such power to spiritual men. It may be perfectly
possible that some may claim the spiritual force
to be capable of changing the bad food into
excellent material or transform blood and wine
into spiritual food:- the veera-marga tantrics
have held that the panchamakara could be
utilized and sublimated into spiritual forces.
Mada, matsya and mamsa are said to be
necessities on the sadhana. Such a view however
tempts the worst possible developments and
should not be undertaken.
We are seeking the Ultimate. The Ultimate
discards all desires and anything that produces
desires or intensifies them must be said to be
nishiddha or prohibited. Thus constant Divine
thought is necessary and one must receive all
that one gets or earns as given by God. The
Ishavasyopanishad puts it: Tena Tyaktena
Bhunjithah- renouncing that any thing is yours
(i.e. thinking that everything has come from God
as Prasada), one should enjoy (be happy) that
which is given (Yadrccha Labha Santushti).
This will make all organs, organs of God,
oneself the body of God, and no activities will
go perverse or bind one. Desirelessness will be
improved and one begins to get the glimpse of
the Ultimate in oneself.