Saturday, September 26, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 130 (Vol #3) Dated 26 Sept 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 130 (Vol #3) Dated 26 Sept 2009.
(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. To day we are proceeding from page 570 of Vol 3 of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too, mostly. These e-mails are all available at http://advaitham. blogspot. com constantly updated.)

45. Even one time food on an otherwise day of fast, still remains quite tasty, filling and satisfying. There are many fruits and vegetables not on the discard list. They are of the quality of ‘Sattva’ and nourishing. Saambaar, Rasam, Kari, Koottu, Pachadi, Togaiyal, and many such items on the menu have the stamp of approval of the Saastraa-s. Then there are Iddly, Dosai, Pongal, Uppuma, Adai, Sevai and so on, with each of them having their own variations. For example there is Kudalai, Rava and normal amongst Iddlies; Pesarattu, Rava, normal and Karaicha amongst Dosas; Arisi, Rava and Semiya amongst Uppumas! Then there are Bajji, Vadai, Vadaam, Bonda, Appalaam, etc.

46. For each special occasion of the celebration of the Devata-s Birth day or Thiti such as Akshaya Thritiyai, Pillaiyar Chaturthi, Naaga Panchami, Maha Shashti, Ratha Sapthami, Gokulashtami, Rama Navami and Vijaya Dasami; there are special items with their own method of preparation leading to special taste! Seedai, Vella Seedai, Murukku etc for Gokulashtami. The Modakam or Kozhukkattai is as important as Pillaiyar in Ganesha Chaturthi! For Deepaavali, we have to eat as many sweets and savouries as they are or offered; as per the boon obtained by Narakasura from Krishna Paramatma! Navarathri means nine different varieties of Sundal, each day! Is it Pournami Pooja for Ambal? Then there will be Sarkarai Pongal (dripping with fragrant clarified butter of cow’s ghee), Vadai, Chitra Annangal. For Subrahmanya Sashti, there will be Thenum Thinai Mavum, (Honey with powdered cereal from the mountains) and Thinai Payasam too. On Rama Navami there will be Paayasam, Paanagam and vadai paruppu. We do keep fast on Vaikunta Ekadasi, Siva Rathri and Shashti. But, throughout the year, there are more occasions for feasting than fasting!

47. As per instructions of the Saastraa-s, you have to get up early in the morning around four, keeping yourself busy with a series of karma-s including physical hard labour till noon with hardly a glass of milk or kanji to sustain you. After all that, this sort of nutritious food will be rather welcome! Even on days when you may be busy with Sraddham till three in the after noon, the food served to the reps of pithru-s is served to all. Then the food being made with black pepper and cumin seeds as the main spice are more body friendly. On such days ‘gingelly cum jaggery balls’ (ellurundai) and ‘adhirasam’ (a sweet patty of rice powder, jaggery fried in clarified butter of cow’s milk), are the additional attractions!

48. All said and done, you never go totally high and dry! On normal days, you may appease your hunger with some kanji (that is, a kind of porridge,) with butter milk and some fruits. If you bring this in to habitual routine, one main food, call it lunch or supper, followed by some light food in the night, is what we can easily get adjusted to. It is not good to keep on munching and eating, filling your stomach. Neither is it good to starve this body. Amongst the five spheres of Anna, Prana, Vignana, Gnana, Ananda Maya Kosha-s, Anna Maya Kosha is the first. It has to be taken care of and not indulged in! The Upanishad itself says, literally, “Do not insult food. Grow more food” and so on. At the same time however, it does not mean that you can eat what you want, when you want, taking it from whomsoever you want! There is a proverb to the effect that, ‘Yogi eats one meal a day, Bhogi eats twice and the one who eats thrice is a Rogi!’ Evidently the one who eats many times with endless number of coffee, tea and other drinks is the repository of many diseases!

49. People call this the Yuga of Democracy in which, quantity is more important than quality. The same has become true in the matter of food also. Every alternate shop is a hotel or motel or tea shop or a bakery or a canteen! So there is a constant urge to eat or drink, without ever a care about the quality of food. Then having said that mother and wife as the cook and server are preferable, I have immediately put a spoke in the wheel saying that there is no assurance that they will be functionally within the parameters of what is conducive to ‘Saatveekam’! So, the question is natural as to what does the Swami want us to do? Cooking ones own food is the best! I will come back to this shortly. Let me delineate some more on the food materials having Saatvic quality, before coming back to this ‘swayam bhagam’ that is, cooking ones own food!

50. Amongst materials which are palatable, let me talk to you about what is Saatveekam, Rajasam and Tamasam, from what Bhagwan Sri Krishna has described in the 17th Chapter of the Gita. In Sloka 8 He describes the food that is acceptably Saattvic. I quote:- “aayu: sattva bala aarogya sukha preeti vivardhana: I rasyaa: snigdhaa: sthiraa hrudyaa aahaaraa: saatvikapriyaa: II” This means that, ‘those which increase Ayus (life), Sattva (purity), Bala (strength), Arogya (health), Sukha (joy), Priti (cheerfulness and appetite), rasyaa: (savoury), snigdaa: (oleaginous), sthiraa: (substantial and not too flimsy), hrudyaa: (agreeable and fetching), aahaaraa: (foods), Saatvikapriyaa: (are dear to Saatvic nature)!

51. How is the Rajasic food? “kat-vamla-lavanaat-ushna-teekshna-vidaahina: I aahaaraa rajasasya ishtaa: du:kha-shokamaya: pradaa: II” The foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, pungent, dry and burning, are liked by the Rajasic and are productive of pain, grief and disease. The word ‘ati’ meaning excessive should be taken to apply to all the seven qualities. (This is Sloka 9 of B.G. Chapter 17.)

52. Now about the Tamasic food. “yaata yaamam gatarasam pooti paryushitam cha yat I uchchishtam api cha amedhyam bhojanam tamasapriyam II” That which is stale, tasteless, putrid, rotten, refuse and impure, is the food liked by the Tamasic. Cannabis indica (Ganja), Bhang, opium, cocaine, charas, are all tamasic. Yaatayaamam is stale, literally cooked three hours before. Gatarasam is similarly whose freshness is gone. Paryushitam is rotten. Uchchishtam is what is left on the plate after a meal! (This is B.G. Chapter 17, Sloka 10.)

(To be continued.)




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