In the previous episode, we had witnessed a quick summary of all the thirty common aspects of “Dharma” that Sage Sukhaachaarya had described in detail to King Parikshit. As we had witnessed in the earlier episodes during the start of the eighth “Skandha”, Sage Sukhaachaarya lists out several aspects of “Dharma” that are to be commonly followed by all human beings in this world, irrespective of their gender, race, caste, creed, background, etc. and further goes on to list out further specific aspects of “Dharma” that are to be followed by various categories of people such as “Grihastas”, “Brahmachaaris”, “Sanyaasins”, “Yatis”, “Vaanaprastas”, etc. Commencing today, we’re going to witness few of these aspects of “Dharma”, as we move on with Sage Sukhaachaarya’s narratives further. As we proceed forward from the thirty-“Dharma” discussion into the next one, Sage Sukhaachaayra explains thus:
“Griheshwavaschito raajan kriyaah kurvan gruhochitaaha!
Vaasudevaarpanam saakshaath upaaseetha mahaamunim!!”
Now Sage Sukhaachaarya talks about an important aspect of life, which is “consumption of food”. All of us have to consume sufficient quantities of food for our day-to-day survival. But the question here is that, whether are we cooking at home and consuming the food today? Are we offering our cooked food to Bhagawan before consuming it? If we’ve to ask these two questions in the present day, both these questions would entail an answer “No”, in most of our cases! As we’re in a “hurry” every day, we fail to cook at home and nowadays there is a new practice that has come up amongst all of us – “Elaborate cooking at home only during weekends”! This is because, many of us “claim” that we do not have sufficient time to cook at home before we go to work. In most of the cases, sadly this is just an excuse for not doing things the right way, as per our “Sanaatana Dharma”. As a result, we often end up eating in outside restaurants, cafeterias at our offices, etc. wherein none of us are even aware of the quality of food that is served to us. In a hurry, we just gulp whatever food we find in the restaurant and move on with our daily work schedule. This is an extremely bad practice. The reason why I’m saying this is that, we should know what we are eating and should be aware whether the food that we’re eating is good for our health or not. It is for this reason today, many of us are suffering from various kinds of ailments, starting from diabetes, blood pressure, to various other kinds of diseases. In fact, doctors and medical researchers claim today that this present-day Coronavirus COVID-19 attacks those people with a medical history more severely than the others. We can also witness everyday that there are quite a few people who successfully get cured from this deadly disease. This is simply because their body’s immune system is very strong and it quickly produces the required anti-bodies to fight the coronavirus. To maintain our immune system at a desired level, we should consume food of a good quality and this would be available only if we cook at home by ourselves. We would not be able to get this anywhere in any restaurant or cafeteria. Hence, we should develop the practice of cooking at home daily.
Following up on this further, we should also make it a habit of cooking every day and consuming all the food that we’ve cooked on the very same day. We should never carry forward the food that we’ve cooked today to the next day. This invites lot of contamination to creep in. This is the very reason why we advise not to consume food at outside restaurants s much as possible. We would never know when the food has been cooked, how was it cooked, what was the cleanliness level at the kitchen, what kind of raw materials, vegetables, fruits, etc. have they used, etc. Thus, by eating outside, we should understand that we’re pushing ourselves into a major health risk and a hazard! Especially during critical times like these wherein the whole world is gripped with a pandemic, we should be extremely careful with the food that we consume.
Another aspect that we need to understand here is that, whatever food we cook at home should be offered to Bhagawan before we consume it. This is extremely important and this is exactly what Sage Sukhaachaarya also explains here. If we consume food that is not offered to Bhagawan, it is equivalent of consuming truckloads of poison! It is also equivalent of accumulating more and more sins by the way of eating! Already our list of sins that we’re doing is long enough, and by consuming food that is not offered to Bhagawan, we are only making the list even longer! Hence, we should make it a point that we consume only that food which is offered to Bhagawan and nothing else.
Hence for today, let us realize and understand this important aspect of “Dharma” of consuming food as narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya. We should remember two things from today’s episode – Firstly, we should avoid consuming outside food as much as possible and secondly, we should only consume food that is offered to Bhagawan. We shall ponder over these two points for today and let us continue this discussion further in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 😊