Food and mind

Sankaran Kartik Jayanarayanan kartik at ECE.UTEXAS.EDU
Fri May 17 12:51:13 CDT 2002

On Thu, 16 May 2002, Shrinivas Gadkari wrote:

> 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.

Firstly, onions are not considered to be especially bad for saadhana
according to Ramana Maharshi, and he actually cooked several dishes with
onions in them for his devotees. There is also an anecdote that once
RM saw some onion peels lying on the ground of Ramanasramam and humorously
remarked, "Someone must clean up this mess, or people will wonder if this
is really an Ashram."

Secondly, the message is that the GYAnI is beyond food habits, not others.
Ramana has affirmed that the GYAnI's mind is stabilized and that he is not
affected by the food that he takes. BUT at the same time, he has also been
very insistent that vegetarian food is a requirement for saadhana.
Continuing the discussion between Mrs. P and RM (that I had quoted
Mrs. P.: Do these restrictions apply to the realized man also?
Ramana: He is stabilized and not influenced by the food he takes.

Did Sai Baba ask the yogi or others to eat meat? If so, it's a good idea
to not follow Sai Baba's teachings :-)

> 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.

The goal of saadhana is Self-realization. For this, saattvic mind is
absolutely necessary, for without the saattvic mind, Self-realization will
not be. According to RM, "Regulation of diet, restricting it to saattvic
food, taken in moderate quantities, is the best of all rules of conduct
and the most conducive to the development of saattvic (pure) qualities of
mind. These in turn help one in the practice of Self-enquiry."

(from "Teachings of RM" by A.Osborne)

> regards
> Shrinivas Gadkari



More information about the Advaita-l mailing list