Wednesday, October 21, 2009

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 140- (Vol #3) Dated 20 Oct 2009.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 140- (Vol #3) Dated 20 Oct 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 the second para on page 625 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.)

146. (Note:- What was mentioned in the last para 145, should have been, Swayam Paakam and not Bhagam. I have spelt it as we pronounce it in spoken Tamil. The error is regretted. However, Periyaval himself had to give this same correction, that it is Paakam and not Bhaagam. Paakam means the cooked food.) In talking on this subject, I am going to sing differently than usual. Normal song is that women should stay at home instead of going to offices and colleges and do the cooking. Now the new tune is that men should also learn cooking and all should resort to cooking their own food as, 'Swayam Paaki-s'!

147. There are many reasons for recommending this 'self cooking'. When we cook for ourselves, all the time spent in cooking could be spent in chanting the God's names or chanting some portion of the Veda or sing some prayer songs of devotion. The food so cooked will be saved from any contamination and rendered more Saattvic.

148. We do not have to stand next to the cooking range all the time. Having put the oven on simmer, we could go and do our japa or meditation or reading of scriptures. This essence will automatically add to the 'nava rasa', that, is the nine tastes of the food. We should not make our anxiety about whether the food would have been cooked or not, become the 'paaraayana mantra'! Initially it may be the case, till a sense of time becomes natural and we would be able to achieve perfect concentration.

149. The material cleanliness, coupled with the our devotional purity will become God's Grace as we offer that food as 'Naivedyam' to God and then we partake the same as, 'Bhagawat Prasada'! Then while eating we should chant God's names, "Govinda, Govinda". The rule is that while eating there should be silence, "...mounena bhoktavyam...". What is meant is that while eating we should not be gossiping and or ordering about, 'bring that and serve that and so on!'. Whatever falls in the leaf or plate should be eaten with reverence to the Almighty as Govinda Rasa. The 'Jatara Agni' in the stomach will digest that and give you 'clarity of mind and health, strength, vim, and vigour of the body!' So says Sri Krishna in the Bhagawat Gita, Ch-15, Sloka-14. "Aham vaiswanaro boothvaa praaninaam deham-aasrita: I
praanaapaana samaayukta: pachaam-yannam chaturvidham II"

150. Food is of four types (annam chatur vidham). What is munched, like cooked rice or bread, is 'khadyam'. What is crushed, like chips or fried crisp, is 'choshyam'. What is gulped not requiring the use of teeth at all, is 'lehyam'. What is poured in to the gullet as a liquid is 'peyam'. All these four types are digested by the 'vaisvaanara agni' in the stomach. It then sends the energy all over the body. 'Praana - apaana' are the first and second of the five airs which are responsible for breathing, absorption, distribution, assimilation, rejection and balancing; in the body. The 'vaisvaanara' agni with the five airs, is responsible for this process of digestion of the food. Bhagawan says that He is the power which does all this.

151. Every time we have food, those authorised to say these mantra-s, sprinkle some water around the food, (part of the reason I suppose is to prevent immediate onslaught by the ants), cleanse the food by some Ghee and the Gayatri mantra. Then the food is offered in oblation to the five vital airs, exactly like they do in a Homa. So this becomes a mini Yagna in the fire in the stomach! It is the power of God in us, who has made this food available to us this day. With gratitude to Him, let us pray that this food may be absorbed in us with His blessings. That is the purpose. What is offered is for the Easwara. The food being offered is also Easwara. The digestion is done by the fire in the stomach, which is also the same Easwara. The person eating the food is also Easwara. Finally the abode to be reached is also the same Easwara. As said in Bhagawat Gita, Chapter 4, Sloka 24 :-
"brhma arpanam brhma havir, brhma agnow brhmanaa hutam I brhma eva tena gantavyam brhma karma samaadinaa II" .

152. One additional advantage in doing this 'Swayam Paakam' is that there will be a general tendency to cut down on the quantum of work and hence we are not likely to make too elaborate arrangements. So we will not spoil the mind with indulgence. When you relate cooking with chanting God's name and intend to offer the food as Naivedyam, we will desist from cooking items too Rajasic or Tamasic. Since non-veg items will take more time to pare, sort and cook; we are likely to avoid such items on our own. Even if we do not care to follow what is said in Dharma and Yoga Saastraa-s, by the simple fact of saving our time, vegetarianism will become preferable. Once it comes in to practice, automatically the mind will start preferring the ease and comfort of vegetarian food over non-vegetarian! Anyhow the individual will be benefited with the 'Punyam' of Dharma and 'Chitta Shuddhi' of Yoga. As the number of items become less, expenditure will also be less. So the method of 'Swayam Paakam' is economical too!

153. One more point. When others cook the food, we tend to comment variously. This results in dissatisfaction to ourselves and some disgruntlement to the one who cooked. When we have cooked ourselves, then the food will taste very nice and beyond reproach! Satisfaction is the result by which, the food will be more easily absorbed and will do good to the mind. Other people's mind set, personal magnetism, aura and such things that are talked about by para psychologists, will not affect the individuality that is innate. Thus 'Swayam Paakam' is multi beneficial! This system further obviates any discussion on subjects such as, higher and lower castes and who can eat whose cooking and so on.

154. That brings to my mind an aspect that I have not covered so far. While talking about food materials and its handlers as the farmer, tradesman, handlers, cook and the server, I have not touched the presence of yet another third party. They are the people with whom we have our food! While partaking our food, those who are present in the company also do affect all those present. There are those who affect all present in a salubrious manner, known as 'pankti paavanaa-s'. There are also those who affect all those present in a negative manner, known as 'pankti dooshakaa-s'!

155. Not only this. When a vegetarian sits to have meals with a non-vegetarian, one is likely to experiment, there by lose one's control and discipline. In the name of equality, if a Sannyasi who is supposed to eat only roots and fruits; is made to sit with people eating all sorts of things of fragrances and aromas; that may lead to his going astray for the first time as a prelude to further fall and degradation! Those who claim to be working towards social parity and equality, should stop and think of the greater loss to the society. Sama-pankti, common mess in hostels, cooking non-veg and veg items in the same cook-house and such arrangements, can only bring down all equally!

(To be continued.)




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