The spiritual role of food
To this particular community food is very important, not only for its face value, but because we also utilise it in our spiritual lifestyle. Our relationship with Krishna is very personal; and although Krishna may not need, or has everything, the supreme God-head, everything’s come from God-head and everything will go back to God-head. But at the same time you can also have a personal loving relationship with the God head and, we, each of us can individually do that quiet easily; just um, simply by, for example offering something. You know. Like our, you can offer, Krishna says in the Gita, I may be the supreme Lord, but if you just offer me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower or a fruit. Even a little water, I will accept it from you. Not that I need it, because you offer it to me in love, so we want to get people attracted to Krishna, and feel to do something for Krishna out of love, just like you may have a friend that you love dearly, or a son, or a mother, or a daughter, or a boyfriend, or a girlfriend, whatever. The integral part, the thing that holds you two together is you attraction for each other, you’re love for each other. So Krishna is very attractive, he’s all attractive. Um, and due to that attraction we might offer something which is un-offer-able even, in the eyes of Krishna. But even a little bit of food, and Krishna says, I will accept that food.
So we get our food and we offer it in love and devotion to Krishna, and then we eat the food afterwards and that becomes what’s called preshard. And that, preshard means mercy of Krishna. Krishna is giving it back, and that food becomes absolved, because it’s been offered in love and devotion to the supreme, then the karma which has gone to create that food; because there’s karmic things. I don’t know if you understand karma, karma means law of action and reaction, you know for everything we do there’s a reaction to it, you know. So the food becomes free from karma.
For example, even to grow, even to grow a vegetable, I have to be violent to some degree. The earth is there, the worms are there. You know. If you really become introspective in your own life, even to breathe, right, all the germs that are going in and coming out you’re killing. We’re killing so many other living… we’re sacrificing other living beings’ lives just for our own existence. So that in itself is a bit of a, there’s a lot of karma there.
So a real spiritual life is a way to act, to absolve from the karmic reaction. Because of you can absolve yourself from karmic reaction then the wheel of karma will stop. You know. See if I do something which affects you, then it’s gunna come back on me. But if I do something which doesn’t affect you, or if you absolve me from that responsibility, or you forgive me then it won’t come back on me; you know what I mean?
So we have to be responsible for our activities because whatever we do is gunna come back on us in some form or other, so this kind of ah, this kind of offering of food, as far as, you know taking the life of something else to feed us. We become absolved from that… otherwise if you’re not, (especially like on a higher level when you take the life of a cow, or something like that and you don’t even worry about it).
But people wonder why there are so many wars going on, or they wonder why they are getting sick, or they wonder why they are getting killed and murdered or like that. If we live by the sword we’ll die by the sword. You know, that’s karma.
It’s sanctified food, its karma free…. Krishna’s accepted that food… and actually Krishna said “not only do I accept the food but I become that food.” In other words that food has wonderful spiritual potency. And there’s a difference there, not like you’ve scoffed a whole block of chocolate and think “Ohh, what did I do that for!” Course that doesn’t mean you can offer meat to Krishna and think you’re going to be absolved from killing a cow, cause Krishna doesn’t accept, there’s certain things that Krishna, says if is water, or leaf or flower, or fruit, like that. He doesn’t say go and just kill, kill a dog or kill your baby and feed that to, you know… and then you can eat your baby… There’s gotta be some kind of guideline, some drawn otherwise its anarchy… So we do the least possible. There’s a difference between pulling of a carrot out of the ground and killing your own baby to eat it. I mean that’s a drastic example.
To peg it back a little but there’s not much difference between, you know, that and killing a cow; something which is really higher up on the evolutionary scale. So, or better just live simply, there’s plenty of fruit and vegetables, most of the fruits and vegetables you don’t even have to kill their… host to take them. The fruit you don’t have to kill the tree, right. Most vegetables there the fruits of the plant… So live as non-violently as possible and then our life will become more non-violent and self and we’ll find there’s not much violence coming back on us, in our own experience as well. People wonder why their surrounded by violence and abuse; and basically its karma, as harsh as it might sound its karma either from this life or previous lives.