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Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari Complete Works Vol -1

Discourses on "The Commentary on the Ten Commandments" of the system of Sri Ramchandra's Rajayoga - Commandment -8

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 about food.

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.