Shri Datta Swami

You are here: Jnana Saraswati | For-All | Discourses

WASTAGE OF FOOD IS A BIGGEST SIN

Posted on: 12 Jun 2009
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

Lord Krishna stated in the Gita that human beings with demonic nature are not only unaware of the path of pleasing God (path of liberation or Moksha marga) but also unaware of worldly justice (Pravrittimcha Nivrittimcha janana vidurasurah...). Demonic nature means that neither do they know on their own nor listen to others. This is due to ignorance combined with egoism. These people fail even in the worldly duties like marriages by doing unnecessary rituals and leaving aside the necessary. Example: one devotee gives one and half lakh rupees towards dowry and gifts to the bridegroom side and spends five lakhs towards marriage expenses. This should be done the other way i.e., give five lakhs rupees to your daughter and spend only one and half lakh rupees towards marriage expenses. Infact, the best way is to give six lakhs to your daughter and spend half lakh towards marriage expenses. Some people say that the more you spend towards marriage expenses, the more you have love on your daughter. This is not at all true. The truth is that the more you give to your daughter, the more it shows your love on her and this cannot be denied. Actually, the money spent in performing the marriage is only the exhibition of self-pride but in no way does this show your love on your daughter.

The Gita says this exhibition of self-pride as demonism ( Ishwarohamaham...). Some people support this and twist it as celebration of some memorable event of life. There are two categories of people supporting this opinion. The first category of people, who loot the money, belong to the music band, the flower decorators of the marriage podium etc. These people speak like this for the safe sustenance of their business and therefore, have some justice in it. The second category of people, belong to friends and relatives. The reason for their support is due to their subtle internal desire to see you suffer poverty and amidst of problems after heavily spending on marriage. This puts them in better financial position relatively with reference to the parent of bride, which is more enjoyed. This subtle internal desire is not known even to them but is hidden in sub-conscious state (Avyakta Praaktana Samskara). This subtle internal desire is reflected in utterance of some words and the indifferent actions done by them. Even the donors of the bride (bride's parents) will have a subtle quality (Samskara) in their mind, which is not known in the conscious plane. This quality is the desire for name and fame. He likes people to surround him with praise for this special celebration of marriage. This sort of appreciation should come when you have done a good job for the upliftment of society but not in this way. But, when this opportunity does not exist at all in one's life, one may get satisfaction of name and fame by performing the marriages like this. This internal desire for name and fame is masked and donor of the bride says that the marriage is performed with so much grandeur because of the affection towards the daughter. This subtle quality is not known in the conscious plane and hence, he does not agree even if it is told by others.

You should always spend as per your capacity. You should not imitate the rich and get in to trouble. This remembers Me one proverb, which says 'Fox puts on hot rod on its body, seeing the stripes on the body of tiger'. If you save those six lakhs in the name of your daughter, it gets multiplied with the time and will be of immense help in her difficulties. This in fact gives her more enjoyment. During the difficulties, even if you remember those moments any number of times, will these difficulties subside? Will the people, who looted your money (music band, flower decorators etc.), come to your daughter's rescue?

You invite your friends and relatives only when you perform marriage function for giving food and clothes. Sacrifice is to be done based on the deservingness. The sacrifice to undeserving is a sin and consequently, the newly married couple undergoes sufferance. But, the same sacrifice done to deserving people reaps good fruits and the new couple enjoys the married life. Sage Vyasa says that both sacrificing to undeserving and not sacrificing to deserving result in sin. But, you invite based on your blind love towards your friends and relatives. Hence, most of the people are only undeserving and do not practice even the minimum worldly justice. The newly married couple suffers because of the ill blessings of these undeserving people. So, you should not go in the line of Arjuna, who was blinded by the relations at the start of the Gita, but invite the deserving with the discrimination and offer food and clothes to them. This makes the married life of the couple filled with happiness. If such deserving people are not found, you distribute the food to beggars. Atleast, they will not throw the food, which is the basic eligibility for the receiver of food as per the Veda (Annam Na Parichaksheeta ...).

Lot of food is wasted in the present day marriage feasts. Once, a feast was going on at one place. Some people are enjoying the feast throwing lot of food in the plates on one side of wall. On the other side of the wall, some people are searching plate by plate and eating the leftover food. A devotee of Bhagavan Shri Satya Sai asked Him like this. 'What is this paradox in the creation? On one side, people are throwing the food and on the other side, people are searching for such thrown food!' Shri Baba replied the devotee with all serenity. 'Those, who are eating the food in the thrown away plates, also threw the food in their previous births. They are searching the same thrown food now in these plates'. So, who ever throws the food, will get the birth of beggar in the births to come. Even the parent of bride, who arranged the feast and the parent of groom, who brought the undeserving, will also share the sin ( kartaa kaarayitaachaiva...) and also get the births of beggars proportionate to the number of plates in which food is thrown. The word 'Pari' in the Vedic verse 'Parichaksheeta' means that not even a morsel of food should be thrown. Similarly, money also should not be misutilized i.e., should not be spent in wrong channels. Otherwise, the future births will be filled with poverty. The right channels of spending money are giving to daughter or deserving people or donating to deserving beggars. Giving to undeserving people or spending unnecessarily beyond ones own capacity are wrong channels.

The people, who have thrown food, insulted Goddess Annapurna and those, who have spent money in unnecessary channels, insulted Goddess Lakshmi. Such people will taste the anger of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu respectively. The parent of bride spends as per his capacity and love and arranges the function accordingly to respect the guests. These arrangements form the spending towards conducting of the marriage. The respect and love shown by host should be natural and should not be demanded. The guests should not even mention that such and such service is required. Otherwise, they are not receiving real respect and love at all. Natural respect and love shown by host are only real. The natural respect and love shown by parent of bride should be admired and this is only the noble tradition.

The main aim of the marriage function is only to understand the meanings of mantras recited there. The essence of these rituals is to attain the grace of God by praising Him for mutual help of wife and husband for success in dharma, artha and kama in Grihastha ashrama, followed by attaining Moksha in Vanaprastha ashrama. These praises of God form the mantras recited during the marriage ceremony. But, because the priest does not know the meanings of the mantras, he does not convey the meanings to the couple and the gathering there. Therefore, the main effort to achieve the grace of God has already lost its due importance. Unnecessary other issues have taken its place, which are celebrations, gifts' business, criticizing each other, harsh criticisms, inducing fear in the heart of parents of bride etc. By this way, the whole marriage function and its intent is destroyed. The root cause of this total collapse is the priest, who does not know the meanings because of simple by-hearting and so, does not explain the meanings to the couple and the gathering there, to attract their attention towards God. In the case of other religions, the scriptures are in their mother-tongue and hence, such pathetic state does not arise in their ceremonies. Even in Hinduism, during the time of the ancient sages, they used to understand Sanskrit verses uttered during the ceremonies without any explanation and therefore, this condition did not prevail, since Sanskrit was their mother tongue. But, today, even the priests do not know the Sanskrit and so cannot explain the meanings, which lead to bad traditions.

For example, the priest (bhokta) coming, for performing the father's or mother's (who passed away) annual ceremony, recites Anna Sukta but because he has not understood its meaning, he throws away lot of food in his plate. At the start of taking food itself, the host says 'please keep whatever is liked by you and remove the food, which is not liked by you' ( Yat rochate ...). Nobody understands its meaning as it is in Sanskrit language. According to this statement, the bhokta has to keep the unwanted food in a separate cup of leaf before the start of tasting the food. After the completion of food by the priest, the host asks the priest 'what is to be done with this food, which is kept in the separate cup of leaf?' ( Anna sheshah kim kriyatam ...). Then the bhokta says, since this food is not tasted, you can eat it along with whom you like ( Ishtaih saha bhujyatam ...). Since the tasted food cannot be taken by others (Yaduchchista mabhojyam ...) and since the food cannot be thrown (Annam Na Parichaksheeta ...), this type of arrangement is made. We should follow the concept behind the cup of leaf, denoted by the Aapastamba Sutras, by understanding the internal concept properly to be implemented in the functions. This is possible in this way - when food is being served, enquire the guest (Bhokta) whether he or she likes that particular item or not and then serve him or her. Otherwise, put a separate plate on his or her side and request him or her to keep the items not liked by him or her in that plate before tasting the food. Even in big the feasts, servers can go around with an empty plate requesting the eaters to keep the food items not liked by them in that plate before tasting the food. Some people argue with bad logic and say that the food thrown will be eaten by other living beings. The Veda says that such sacrifice (bhuta yajna) to other living beings should be done even before you eat the food. Above that, there is also a probability that the food thrown by you may not be eaten by other living beings. In such case, the food thrown rots and becomes the source of bacteria, which causes the diseases. When such bacteria cause diseases to good devotees and make them suffer, you become sinner and get the birth of beggar in your future life cycle.

Since the meaning of the Veda is not known and is not discussed, it led to misinterpretations and twisted meanings. When it is said that you remove the unwanted food in a separate cup of leaf, the priests misinterpreted it as 'eat as much as you like and throw the remaining'. Now, the separate cup of leaf is used for throwing the food. It is further misinterpreted that such throwing of food indicates the complete satisfaction of the bhokta. The left over food, is misinterpreted as the food left over in the kitchen. The food left over in the kitchen any way will be served to all including the host. So, this does not require the permission of bhokta to serve it to others. All these misinterpretations are violating the Veda, which strictly says not to waste even a single morsel of food. Any counter argument against the Veda is invalid (Shruti smruti virodhetu ...)! Above all, as per yoga shastra, food is to be taken only half the capacity of stomach! They do not know the meanings on their own nor do they listen to others because of ego and so demonic nature resulted. God is always punishing the demons. If the ignorant general public does mistake, they may be excused, but not the gurus, who have to guide the common people in the right direction. Because of this, the priests are suffering from poverty. Due to their throwing of the food, which represents Goddess Annapurna and Dhanya Lakshmi, these priests have fallen to a stage where they are daily searching for the same food.

Even the form of yajna also got destroyed due to the ignorance of the meaning of the Veda. Fire is of three forms: Laukikaagni, Vaidyutagni and Devataagni. Laukikaagni means the physical fire made of firewood. Vaidyutagni means that, which is related to electricity and it is electric power. Devataagni means the deity form of the fire of hunger present in the stomach (Aham Vaishwanaro bhutvaa ...Gita). The first two forms of fire are instrumental to cook the food and perform the yajna practically. Serving this cooked food to the people suffering from the fire of hunger is the real Homa of yajna. This fire of hunger is the deity form of fire, called as Vaishwanaragni or Upasyagni and is being worshipped. The serving of the best form of food i.e., food cooked with ghee or oil and cooked food to the hungry man is called as Yajna. Interpreting the fire as the physical fire and burning the food in it is the climax of foolishness as per the preaching of sage Kapila in Bhagavatam, who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This bad tradition of burning of food in physical fire is also due to ignorance of the Vedic meanings and is one of the reasons for their poverty of food. The present day Science proves that the smoke coming from such Yajna causes environmental pollutions creating natural calamities. How much foolishness is it to say that this smoke from these Yajnas causes rains!

The Veda says that the performance of Yajna must be as per Science (Vijnanam yajnam tanute ...). In the olden days, population-density was less and trees were in plenty. Therefore, the smoke from the yajna did not cause atmospheric pollution. This smoke was used to throw away the mosquitoes from ashrams and also, wild animals will not come near when the flame exists continuously. These benefits were present during those times, which are not required in the present time. In addition to this, Vaidyutagni (fire from electricity) is also a form of Bhautikagni (fire from firewood) and therefore, the electric stove can also be used to prepare the food and this is clearly not wrong. All the deities reside in the body of satguru, who is God Himself (Yaavateervai ...) and if such satguru-priest is satisfied, all the deities get pleased and rains will come. The present day Yajnas result in atmospheric pollution and consequently cause famine, floods as per Science. In the olden days, ghee was used for lighting the fire, which is called as Chakshushi Homa since kerosene was not discovered then. Remaining ghee was used to prepare fried food to feed the hungry and this is only the real Yajna. Soma Yajna means serving drinks (tea) etc. Haviryajna means serving the snacks. Serving the food is the Paka Yajna. The hungry priest is the fire as per the first mantra of the first Veda (Agni meele...).

The meaning of Agni is to worship such hungry priest first and hence, the word Agni came from the word Agri. Agri means to worship first. Such guru-priest, who is said to be the fire of knowledge (Agneyo vai brahmanah ...) accepts the food and preaches the divine knowledge. Hence, simple Vedic sound is not at all effective. So, the priests should stop by-hearting the Veda and should change to the level of guru by analyzing and preaching the meaning of the Veda, which is called as Jnana Yajna. In the olden days, documentation facility was not available and therefore, the sages recited the Veda to pass it on to the next generations. This was the requirement during those times for the Vedas to maintain for future generations and such people really deserve praise! The ancient sages not only recited the Veda but also enquired its meaning and hence, they are remembered not only as the Veda Pathakas but also as the Veda Panditas. When the very meaning of the Veda is knowledge, it can be understood that how much important are the Vedic meanings (Vidul Jnaane ...).

Even in thread marriages (Upanayanam), the meaning of Gayatri mantra and its Upadesha (conveying it to boy), is not known and so led to developing wrong traditions. Upanayanam means diverting the soul towards God. The word Brahmana means that he who takes the human beings (jeeva) towards God (Brahma nayati iti brahmana). Gayatri means praying God by songs (Gaayamtam traayate ... ). Therefore, the real meaning of Upanayanam and Gayatri Upadesha is to teach everybody, the praying of God by singing, in their childhood. There is no discrimination of caste and sex for this. Gayatri is the name of meter (Gayatri chandah ...) but not the name of the deity. The deity is God, who does the creation and is mentioned as Savita (Savita devata ...). Without analyzing the meaning of the Vedas, it is misinterpreted that Gayatri is the deity, a particular verse in Gayatri meter alone is Gayatri mantra and this Gayatri is applicable to males of a particular caste only. These misinterpretations led to hatred among castes, discrimination of sex in Hinduism and this destroyed the unity within Hinduism. Any song that praises the qualities of God and sung in their mother tongue after knowing its meaning and which prompts for repeated recitation is Gayatri mantra. The present day Gayatri mantra is not a song at all. Meaning is not known. There is no attraction to the mind. Any divine song that attracts mind and prompts for repeated recitation is Gayatri mantra. This is applicable to all languages in the universe. Therefore, the preacher who preaches in the interest of all the people in the universe is called Vishwamitra (Vishwamitra rushih ...), who is the sage of the Gayatri mantra.

The Veda says that if the priest explains the meanings of the Veda, he shines as an Acharya (Acharyavan purusho Veda ...) or preacher. Example: the cross-belt worn in the thread marriage (Upanayanam) carries 3 threads and wearing of this means that the God in the human body, which is made of nature, associated with trigunas or three qualities (sattva, rajas and tamas), is to be praised with songs. This is the internal meaning of the ritual in which the devotee holds the cross-belt and recites Gayatri mantra. Brahmopadesha means to preach that the Parabrahman (absolute God), who is beyond even imagination, enters the creation through a human body associated with trigunas. One cannot directly approach the absolute God. Therefore, the only way is going (Nayanam) near (Upa) to the medium in which He entered. There is no other means of approaching God directly. In the Suryopasthana Prakarana, the worship of Surya (Sun), an inert form of the creation, as representative of God is mentioned (Adityam Brahmeti ...) in Veda. It is difficult to search the human form of God associated with trigunas in the beginning itself and hence, an inert form of the creation is worshipped as representative of God and since the whole creation is associated with trigunas, the three threads of cross-belt is correlated here also. After returning from Brahmacharya or education (Samavartana), Satguru is to be searched for entering Mukti Marga or salvation as per the Veda (Sagurumevaabhigachchet ...). In this way, mantras have to be correlated with respective issues of Prakarana. When the meaning of Prakarana itself is not known, how can anyone correlate the meanings of mantras? Therefore, when the meanings are not known, entertainments entered the ritual and distorted their very essence and so, even the Vatu or boy (who is being performed of thread marriage) is being called as Vatu bridegroom!

In the marriage ritual, there are: Snatakam, Vara puja (worship of bridegroom), Sthalipakam, Nakabali and Homa as main prakaranas (sub-rituals). Snatakam means completing the Brahmacharya and coming out as Jnani (after learning knowledge from Satguru). It means searching Satguru, who is Parabrahman, to enter Sanyasa ashrama as per the Veda (Tadahareva pravrajet ...). Shankara followed this path and approached the Satguru, Govinda Bhagavatpada. But, this path can be followed only by the incarnation of God like Shankara. In this path, dharma, artha and kama are left indicating only the path of salvation (Moksha marga). This is impossible for normal human beings. Without knowing this, the boy being performed the Snataka emotionally decides for sanyasa and this is called as Kashi Yatra. Kashi means the Satguru, shining as the embodiment of jnana (Kashate iti kashi). Kashi Yatra means the journey performed to reach the Satguru. The boy, who is normal jeeva, cannot achieve this and may fall spiritually. To avoid this fall of the boy, the father of the bride, inspired by Satguru, preaches him to enter Grihastha ashrama and follow dharma, artha and kama and then enter Vanaprastha with the help of wife to achieve the Moksha. The father of the bride sacrifices his daughter to such Snataka and becomes instrumental in his Krama Mukti or gradual journey to salvation. The groom, being the deserving, is worshipped as representative of God Lakshmi-Narayana to attain the punya (good fruit) from the sacrifice of his daughter to him. This is called as Vara Puja. Even in this Krama Mukti also, the final aim is to search the God.

In the Vanaprastha, the inconvenience involved in going out for Bhiksha (food) is removed, since the wife can prepare the food and therefore, that time can also be fruitfully utilized in Satsanga (discussion of knowledge). In Sanyasa ashrama, a part of time is lost in going out for food. That is why, Shankara took Ubhaya Bharati, wife of Mandana Mishra, along with Him to save the time spent in going out for food and that time was also diverted to God in the form of Satsanga. Sthalipaka-ritual is to prove that such assistance can be provided by the bride. Preparing the food in an utensil is Sthalipakam. Naka Bali means serving this food to jnanis or scholars. Nakam means heaven i.e., the angels residing in heaven, who represent the scholars. Ubhaya Bharati used to prepare the food and serve it to Shankara and His disciples. While preparing the food, wife cannot participate in the satsanga and the additional thread in the cross-belt indicates the responsibility of husband to impart the essence of the lost satsanga to her. Sanyasa is similar to walking alone towards the goal. Since Grihastha ashrama has this facility, the word Vivaha (marriage) means reaching the goal more quickly (Visesho vahah ...). Vivaha means the Visesha (special) Vahana (vehicle) to reach the destination quickly. Finally, Homa means putting ghee-fried food in the fire of hunger present in the stomach, called as Vaishwanaragni, but not throwing ghee in the physical fire. This way all the Prakaranams (rituals) of marriage are only aimed at God and are essentially Jnana Yajna only involving the knowledge of God. The main idea of the marriage is to explain all these rituals to the people by Acharya. Today, the knowledge regarding this goal is not known even by an iota and therefore, the marriage functions are ending as worldly entertainment. This is the pathetic state of Hinduism in the present time.

Therefore, O Priests, who are best among Brahmins! Get up. Wake-up. Stop by-hearting the Vedas. Now a days, the Vedas are published and so they are safe. You learn Sanskrit language, analyze the Shastras deeply, enquire about the meanings of the Vedas to become Vedic scholars and perform all the rituals in Hinduism as the Jnana Yajna and propagate the divine knowledge to all the people in the universe, develop devotion in their hearts towards God and make the Hinduism rise to its original level as was in the ancient times and you also shine as Brahmarshis or sages. Remember the advice of sage Yaska in the interest of priests and do not live like a coolie or servant by simply by-hearting the Veda and performing the rituals with materials to earn the wages (Swarnabhaaraharah ...). The priests, who by-heart the Veda, are called as divine animals and can be treated as only relatives of Brahmarshis (who are Brahmins) but cannot be called as Brahmins as per the Veda itself (Devaanam pashurahah ..., Brahma bandhuriva ...). The priest is adored as sacred fire as per the first mantra of the Rig Veda. But, when such priest leaves the jnana or knowledge and simply by-hearts and reads the Veda, think how much laughable has he become in the society. Such priest is severely abused by saying, the word 'Purohita' containing the four letters 'pu', 'ro', 'hi' and 'ta', which are considered to be the first letters of four words pureesha (excretory matter), rosha (anger), himsa (torture) and taskara (thief) (Aadyaksharaani samgruhya chakredhaata purohitam ...) and imagine how much deeply painful this is! How much the Brahmarshis, who were like sacred fire, were revered by the people in the past! But, when the same fire is quenched, remained as coal and finally turned to ash, they are being crushed under the footsteps of the people (Jvalitam na hiranya retasam, chayamaskandati bhasmaanam janah :- Bharavi).

This divine message is taken from a series of messages delivered by His Holiness Shri Datta Swami (Shri Jannabhatla Venu Gopla Krishna Murthy) for the Rejuvenation of Hinduism.

   

Filters for Discourses

Browser Compatibility: Firefox, Opera, Safari, Chrome and IE10+ on all Desktops, Mobiles and Tablets

Visitor Statistics

free hit counters

Copyright: © 2003–2017 Shri Datta Swami