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Spiritual Dimension of Food

By Karmayogi

Every act has its spiritual dimension. Each act has a physical aspect, vital expression, mental component and spiritual dimension.

What we cook at home is food. It is physical. What is given to us at the temple is prasad. Physically it is the same food, but as it is offered to the Divine, it is called prasad. Tobacco chewing had given an officer an uncertain intestine. It did not bother him all the time. But after each meal the weakness of the intestine expressed itself as mild discomfort. He visited a devotee, a very ordinary person in every respect. After eating lunch in his house, the stomach did not exhibit any discomfort. He said he felt a comfortable sensation. Suddenly he remembered that the lunch was delicious. It is Mother's atmosphere that turns food into prasad.

In the South Indian meal, rasam is the crown. Rasam expresses the rasa, the essential divine sweetness of any food. One should be a Rishi to enjoy the rasa behind annam. What about the householder, living a domestic life. What tapas gives the Rishi, Sri Aurobindo's Force gives all of us. Modern technology has given the common man what only the elite could enjoy in the past. Democracy has given the adult, by virtue of his being a citizen, literate or illiterate, rich or poor, the power to rule his country, if only he has the ability. The Force that descended in 1956 can be called Spiritual Organisation or spiritual technology. It gives us, ordinary people, what was the close preserve of the Rishis, yogis, munis, tapasvis. In that sense, Sri Aravindam is Spiritual Democracy.

One can feel very humble and feel he is a simple, ordinary person. Is there anything for him from this Great Force? Yes, there is. Food offers the basic sustenance to life and existence. It gives physical, vital energies. Even to the Mind, it is energising. One can eat a great quantity of food and be a glutton, which most of us refrain from. We can eat for taste, not for quantity. We can eat for health and only for health, which is mental, while the physical person seeks quantity. Even if we are not able to enjoy the rasa, our food prepared ordinarily will become delicious if we do not indulge eating but enjoy its taste. As a rule, food in any devotee's house will be tastier and more delicious than in other places. That is the spiritual dimension of Food. In such houses, there will be no dearth of food in future.
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