Monday, June 6, 2011

Food - do's and dont's

It is quite a while since i posted here and i sincerely apologise for it. I shall try to be more regular.
Usually one should not drink with a vessel from the left hand.. but here is an exception – while eating one can drink so while touching the plate with the right hand.
Salt, pickles, vegetables, ghee, oil, paayasam and rice should always be served with a ladle – not with hand. What has been fried in oil can be served with hand if need be. Fruits too can be served with hand. Any fruit or snacks must be served to children first and then to guests.
Ghee, honey, payasam, curd and fruits can be eaten with out leaving any remnants. Other things – a little at least must be left in the plates. (perhaps this was meant for the dogs and a few gypsy clans whose dharma it used to be to partake only the leftovers from the plates or leaves used to eat. Dogs exist still but the gypsies have taken another path of life.)
one should not eat while walking or standing. One should not be wearing a headdress; one should not sit facing south. In such cases the nourishment from the food will only go to the rakshashas.
While eating one does not touch the feet; one should not have the food in the hands and eat from it – I mean the entire food in hand; one does not sit on the cot and eat (the ants will visit?); one does not eat while in transit; one avoids eating with the footwear on the feet.
Fruits, semi fruits, roots, sugarcane are not to be eaten using teeth to tear them. (serve them pre split)
what slipped out from the plate is also not worth eating.
Of course one does not eat with a dirty hand, dirty body...when you sit and eat dont put out the lower limb straight. Dont let the mind wander on other things – like reading a book- while eating. One is supposed to enjoy eating!
When is one not supposed to eat? During the sandya (twilight time) pradosham, (daily evening from about an hour before sunset) after ten in the night, (of course assuming a sunset time of six o’clock,) in the dark without light.

What of contaminants?
If any ant, hair, worm are found the food surrounding it immediately should be removed and thrown away. After sprinkling a little water on the food one can continue eating. In case one realises the contaminant after putting the food in the mouth, one spits it out rinses the mouth with water, takes a little ghee and then continues with the eating.

How much to eat?
Simple, guided by one's hunger!
Well if some guidance is needed – for sanyasin 8 mouthfuls; for vanaprasthan 16; for gruhastha 32.

how many times a day?
The saying goes – one who eats once is a yogi; twice is a bhogi 9one who enjoys); thrice is a rogi (sick man)
Exceptions are made for some people – a brahmacary, agnihotri, bull, one who is doing samaveda recitation. Such people need a lot of energy and so there is no restriction.

Why am I writing about eating this much? It is the only karma that everyone still keep doing!

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