Tasting the aura of a four day residential workshop at Bengaluru along with my Spiritual Guru – Swami Sukhabodhanandaji was of a great honour. He taught us many marvellous spiritual epitomes, one of them was ‘Anna-Poorneshwari Upasana’. We were taught to see food as a ‘Source of God’, which helps us to energise towards Ananda Lahari (Bliss), Prema Lahari (Love) & Saundarya Lahari (Beauty). With this feel of gratefulness towards God in the form of food, we were asked to take our first bite, close our eyes and chew very carefully and very consciously. Initially it was a bit difficult for me, but as we must respect a Guru’s teachings, I followed these instructions.
After having my lunch that afternoon with the advice given, I can tell you that the experience of seeing food as a ‘Source of God’ was lavishly blissful. It is impossible to describe my feeling, it can only be experienced. I have been eating food from the very first moment of life that I can remember, but it was on that day I felt the difference between eating and savoring.
Eventually, more than eating, simply observing the plate with eyes bounded with heart gave a whole new dimension to this heavenly creation.
For the very first time I noticed the beautiful colours, patterns, and aroma.
The salad king – sliced carrot had a cream & yellow centre and a glowing energy that radiates towards the pink exterior.
The chappati’s roundness looked more like a property of barren-land which I inherited from my ancestors with black but beautiful roast marks.
The sprouts looked fresh and tender, like nature’s little gems & pearls which I chewed & swallowed with love.
The Paneer cubes of Palak Paneer in the plate were like a snowfall in greenery of auspicious Shravan month in India.
The million dollars worth rice and dal had a rich natural aroma. I could sense the ‘tadka’ and the spices that had been blended smoothly.
The mango pickle was not simply red; I found different shades of red in it. There is beauty in its shape, may not be 36-24-26, but good enough to compete with the hotness of Miss. Universe.
I was feeling richness from within, and the digestive system became more humble & smothered.
As I took my first mouthful of food, I closed my eyes and chewed slowly, imagining that the food was giving me eternal energy. I hadn’t had half as blissful an experience eating any of the several thousand meals I had in my life till then.
I wonder somewhere in our daily routine our basic tradition of eating food has gone wrong. We gulp our food, often when we’re busy on the phone or watching television, discussing about a domestic or business matter. All these create stress, and we do not experience feelings of love and gratitude when we eat. We must evoke the right feelings when we eat and savour our food. Bliss, love & beauty are just a few ingredients of this divine act of eating food in the form of meditation called as ‘Anna-Poorneshwari Upasana’ which I continue everytime I take a morsel of food in my mouth.