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Re: Food For Thought (revised)

From: Krishna Kalale (
Date: Sat Nov 28 1998 - 10:47:00 PST

Namo narayana, Please accept this modification of my views.

AFter talking to sri dileepan, I stand corrected in the way I have
presented my previous email regarding this subject.  I have indicated my
corrections of my own previous statements below :

At 09:15 PM 11/27/98 -0500, Krishna Kalale wrote:
>asmad gurubhyo namaha
>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.

sri dileepan suggested, that why dont you remove your footwear and leave it
in the backseat, if you are planning to do japam. this way you obey your
acharyas command and also use the driving time effectively?

I agree with dileepan's views that I could accommodate acharya's views.  I
did not think of it at all.  I guess I did not try hard enough to find a way.

>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). 

Please note that ,  I am not suggesting that it is OK to drink coffee.
where there is a will there is a way.  I do feel that the classic western
view on desires is " the easiest way to get rid of a desire is to fulfill
it !!! ".  This view is definitely not supported by our shastras.  the
shastras state :  "na jatu kamah kamanam upabhogena shamyati "  - which
means -  never will desires will be conquered by fulfilling them by
actually experiencing the desires.  satisfying a desire basically makes
one's desire stronger and reduces one's will power.  

May be if I try hard enough I will be able to completely eliminate coffee
or tea from my diet. I need all your blessings for such a feat!

>.  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
>adiyen Krishna Kalale