Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Food, Festival and Family

With Diwali just past and Christmas and New Year round the corner, the general mood is festive. And food is synonymous with festivals and family time. Interestingly, every mahatma has performed leelas in relation to food.
Sri Krishna in the Mahabharata, saved the Pandavas in the forest from the sage Durvasa's curse, by partaking a single morsel of rice left over in their Akshayapatra, thus in effect feeding all the hungry sages.

In the Sree Guru Charitra (click the title to read the book), Chapter 19, there is the story of Bhaskara Sharma, a poor but devout brahmin who came to offer food to  Sree Guru with provisions enough for only three persons. The Master asked him to invite all for lunch. When he did so, '...they (other disciples) heckled him saying, ' We are more numerous than the grains you have cooked. How dare you invite all of us?'....When the food was being served it was found that though the preparations were meagre, what was being served was enormous in quantity...'

In The Supreme Master (click the title to read the book), Chapter 2, there is a similar great leela performed by Sri Akkalkot Maharaj

One of our fondest memories of Pujyasri Mastergaru is an occasion when he mixed rice with his own hands and fed young and old alike. During the summer months, when it is very hot in Ongole, and kids would often skip food in favour of cool drinks, Ammagaru would herself mix rice and making every one sit around her, with lively words would make them eat enough to last a few mealtimes. At Nagole too the tradition continues. Ammagaru has taught us to cook for large numbers, for everyone is family!, and spend our leisure time together. Ammagaru herself plans surprise, special treats made out of the simplest ingredients; made all the more special because there is no formal occasion for it. And the taste is indescribably delicious. While we savour the food, all we are asked to do is to think, ' What am I here for? What do I hope to achieve? Have I achieved it? '  

Such is their love and grace!

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The Gospel of Matthew VI: 
[31] 'Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?' 
[32] (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.


[33] But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

[34] Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof


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