Food and mind

Somik Raha somik at YAHOO.COM
Thu May 16 19:37:05 CDT 2002

Ah, I was waiting for this million-dollar point to come out.
Food, vegetarianism is helpful to get you somewhere. But if you have decided
to follow the Karma Yoga - and all actions that you do - you neither take
credit for the good nor sin for the bad - then you cannot do wrong by eating
meat - regardless of what the shastras say (unless you think the Gita lies).

Besides - I'd like to add one point which has not yet fully come out. What
makes anyone think that plants dont feel pain when eaten, or that they live
to suffer in the acid of our bellies ? J. C. Bose proved in scientific
experiments with super-sensitive instruments that plants feel terribly, and
they scream, cry - and respond to love. When you now "boil" these plants in
hot water - you kill them to death. To those who believe in the world around
them - we call this a law of nature - but to those who are against killing
creatures horribly - it is hippocrisy not to include plants. Of course, no
one would  -bcos then you dont have anything left to eat.

And yes  - I know I am going to be accused of using logic as opposed to
accepting the "shastras". But I have often wondered why the shastras are
indefensible that they have to be crammed down my understanding - with or
without the prayers of Shri Ghadiyaram.

To the above that I've mentioned- I know I will get to hear that its almost
impossible to follow the karma yoga completely - but if one has chosen karma
yoga as his path - just as someone mentioned that if someone has chosen
sadhana as the path - one has to be ready for the hardships - I'd be
prepared for hardships in my karma. What is the fallacy if I consider
"programming" to be my religion - and that every system I make is my "puja"
to the Lord. I dont do it for money but I dedicate my work to Him. And yes
of course - I need money to do it, so I can sustain myself and do my action
as I have chosen. In this path - if I find that I dont have time to cook -
and have limited options- I dont fancy torturing myself. The path of
self-mortification is not good  for karma yoga - it is good for those who
renounce the world or are into deep saadhana.

I ve been suggested that I try to find veggie options here in Tokyo.
Obviously you dont know the ground reality here. Do come over sometime and
try to eat veg Japanese. Definitely, it exists and is called "shojin-ryori"
but it is so expensive and such a rarity - that it costs above $100 for a
meal. I maybe wierd in my ideas but I am not crazy! :)

I can forget about my work - and cook - and I used to when I had the time.
But - you dont get to meet other Japanese people in parties and make
friends - or socialize - if you cant share at least some part of their food.
Almost all vegetarian Indians are most unsocial here - they have hardly
blended in and understood Japanese culture and the human beings here. I
really see them - and like Shri Ghadiyaram - I almost start to pity them.
But I dont - bcos I respect that they have convictions about their food the
same way as I do about mine.

Now - I am sure I will get advice to withdraw from society if I am
interested in spirituality  - but pls try to understand - I am not trying to
become a monk at this point in my life. There is a karma-yoga variety of
spirituality which has to be accomodated - for the working man. And this is
neither inferior or superior to the other fine paths.

> The goal of Sadhana should be to go beyond these food habits.
> This not to deny the role of food habits in some stages
> of the sadhana.

I whole-heartedly agree with this. This is the crux of what I believe in.
(Bytway Shrinivas, in which shastra am I to find this beautiful story ?)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Shrinivas Gadkari" <sgadkari2001 at YAHOO.COM>
Sent: Friday, May 17, 2002 8:20 AM
Subject: Re: Food and mind

> Namaste,
> Shri Sai Baba (Shirdi) used to freely eat meat.
> Once a yogi came to meet Sai Baba wanting to clarify
> some doubts on attaining samadhi. At that time Sai
> Baba was eating bread (bhaakar) with onion with some
> other person. Seeing this the yogi thought to himself
> "how can this fakir who eats onions help me attain
> samadhi ?"
> Continuing to eat his food, Sai Baba spoke to the
> other person "Bhau (brother) those who can digest
> onions, let them freely eat onions".
> The yogi understood the message. Later Sai Baba helped
> him attain the state of Samadhi.
> The goal of Sadhana should be to go beyond these food habits.
> This not to deny the role of food habits in some stages
> of the sadhana.
> regards
> Shrinivas Gadkari

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