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Re: Food For Thought

From: Krishna Kalale (kkalale1_at_san.rr.com)
Date: Fri Nov 27 1998 - 18:15:25 PST

asmad gurubhyo namaha

At 02:41 PM 11/27/98 -0800, vraghuna@CALFED.COM wrote:
>

>
>You Become What You Think About
> -----------------------------------------------------
ainst:
>
>1. "Ahankaram" that I follow rules and "don't do these bad things that these 
>others do".
>2. Anger at someone for breaking one of the lesser rules.
>3. Forgetting that the converse is not true: By avoiding certain foods, one 
>does not necessarily lessen influence of "Rajo, Tamoh GuNaas" or suddenly 
>acquire Satvik ones. Mental exercise and control have greater and more 
>direct influence.
>
>ime and more...
>
>Aao Bhog Lagaao Mere Mohan
>Jo koi tera parsaad khave, Jo koi teri SharaN lagaave,
>Teraa hi ho jaaye mere Bhagwan
>Aao Bhog Lagaao Mere Mohan
>Aap hi ki vastu, aap hi ke aage
>Ruch ruch Bhog lagaao mere Mohan
>Aao Bhog Lagaao Mere Mohan..
>
>Sarvam KrishNaarpaNam Astu...
>Viji Raghunathan
> 

Interesting stuff deleted from this email to save bandwidth.

I really liked sri Viji Raghunathan's views.  One has to modify the
principles laid down in by our acharyas and shastras in the light of our
lives here today. THis does not mean we have to ignore the shastras.  We
have to be sure that whatever modification we do is justifiable.  Just to
add support to sri Viji Raghunathan's views :

Once I asked my acharya whether I am allowed to chant strotras or do japam
(like dvaya mantra) while driving, since I was driving a couple of hours a
day at that time ( and I did not have enough free time at at home) . I
wanted to use  driving time usefully.  I did mention that my grandfather
had told me that there are really no rules while chanting dvayam and that I
wanted to confirm it.  my acharya  told me to loosen or remove my footwear
before doing japams even in a car. I am sure my acharya did not consider
whether that would be a hazard or not, since the way I was explaining the
situation to him did not bring that point at all.  I just followed blindly
what my acharya told me.  then while driving I started loosening my
footwear and then continue chanting or reciting gita or whatever made me
feel that I was remembering GOD.  

then I did feel that instead of meditating on GOD, I was worried about my
footwear constantly that it may  accidentally get stuck near the brakes or
accelerator pedal (I have a manual stick shift vehicle) and force me into
an accident.  While I was worried, one day, my footwear did stick to the
accelerator and almost forced me into a bad accident, which by god's grace,
I could avoid by some last moment maneuvering.  Then I realized, it is no
use getting worried about the footwear getting caught; one has to use the
time efficiently in thinking about GOD. One has to meditate on GOD not on
one's foot wear!  I am so used to having my shoes on, I dont even think
about it while driving.  It is better to think about GOD and leave  the
rest to GOD.

Another instance, which comes to my mind is that when people look at these
rules regarding Coffee etc. some important information is forgotten.  I do
agree that coffee and similar substances should be avoided.( Let me state
here that I do drink coffee infrequently;  I am trying to quit it but under
some circumstances such as , when I have to prepare for a meeting and when
I am feeling totally unmotivated about preparing for it I try to sip half a
cup of coffee to get motivated; I dont know whether it helps, but I feel
that it helps (I may be fooled by some chemicals). 

.  Let us take the shloka in gita :  katvamla lavana atyushna teekshna
riksha vidaahinah : which mean that a rajasic person like foods which are
bitter, sour, very salty, exceedingly hot, very pungent, dry and burning
all of which produce pain, sorrow and diseases.  In my experience, Coffee
is singled out, thinking that it is OK to eat spicy foods such as puli o
hare, which many folks enjoy.  ( I bet many of the readers' mouth are
watering now!)  Puli O hare is as bad as coffee according to bhagavadgita.
People usually miss this point totally.  I havent seen many postings
talking about avoiding sour or hot stuff like chillies; but most of them
talk only about onions, garlic, coffee etc.  (exception :  I think one
person sri Gora Keshavadas, mentioned this view a while ago) 

Some people think that "ahara" means food only!.  actually "ahriyate iti
aharah" ie. that which is taken in; it could be via any of the senses not
just taste and mouth.  even sense objects such as watching "sensual" stuff
on TV or in real, etc.  also come under "ahara" to be avoided.  ahara
niyama is not to be applied only to food, (though, in usual practice the
word ahara is taken in its restricted meaning of food).

the last item mentioned by sri viji raghunathan :

>Aao Bhog Lagaao Mere Mohan
>Jo koi tera parsaad khave, Jo koi teri SharaN lagaave,
>Teraa hi ho jaaye mere Bhagwan
>Aao Bhog Lagaao Mere Mohan
>Aap hi ki vastu, aap hi ke aage
>Ruch ruch Bhog lagaao mere Mohan
>Aao Bhog Lagaao Mere Mohan..
>

this reminds me of a system of thought which has roots in chaitanya
sampradaya,  known by its originator, sri kripalu maharaj, who insists on
offering food to lord Krishna using such prayers as the one quoted here.  I
witnessed the sanyasin of that order offering food with great affection
mentioning that "O lord Krishna, I dont have the bhakti in you like how
shabari etc. had.   Neither do I have enemity such as putana who wanted to
poision you.  hende, since, I have come here with very little bhakti and
whatever food I could prepare with items earned by just means, please come
and accept my humble offerings.... please do so....even from such a low
undeserving person as myself.  This system of thought sort of criticizes
our  vedic ritualistic system of offering in which we chant mantras....
such as ...."madhu vaatha rathayate.... madhu ksharanti....etc." charging
that we dont show bhakti.  The important ingredient in ritualistic worship
should also be equivalent bhakti in GOD in addition to just uttering or
muttering those mantras..  One has to feel those mantras.  But most often ,
in our system, the rituals are so elaborate, many do not get to know the
meanings of those mantras and make the whole issue so ritualistic devoid of
bhakti, which is the most important item.   Our mantras also are full of
bhakti : for example the JITANTA STOTRA is splendid.  But one should work
hard to understand and feel the words as they are spoken while doing
aradhanam.

adiyen Krishna Kalale