Food that will be liked by everyone and sattvikta (Purity) received by the people who consume it depends on the love of the individual who prepares it and his/her bhav (Spiritual emotion) for God. It is therefore essential that those who perform the seva of preparing food should chant God’s Name instead of just chatting. Food becomes sattvik (Sattva-predominant) when one chants while cooking.
1. A woman who is an expert cook is sattvik
A patient recovers faster due to the ‘healing touch’ of some doctor. A woman who prepares good food is called an expert cook. A doctor who has a ‘healing touch’ indicates that his constitution is sattvik. Such an individual being kind-hearted, the proportion of sattvik vibrations generated is more in the task he undertakes. Due to the predominance of sattvik vibrations, the Raja-Tama components get destroyed in a short period. Therefore, a patient is cured faster with the ‘healing touch’ of such an individual. Similarly, a woman who is an expert cook is predominant in the Sattva component.
2. Effect of love on the food
A variety of food items are available in restaurants; but their taste cannot match the food prepared and served by a mother. Though the food items prepared at home are simple and less spicy when compared with those available in restaurants, they taste pleasantly different because of the mother’s love in preparing them. While preparing food, the mother always thinks that all her family members should get to eat items of their choice adequately and they should remain healthy. Her love-filled thoughts mix with the food and increase its sattvikta. However, we like the food prepared by our grandmother more than that prepared by our mother. She has lesser expectations and more love, which is visible in her story-telling and the food she prepares. Thus, the effect of love on food can be directly experienced.
3. The effect of spiritual emotion for God on the food
In April 2005, a seeker joined as full-time residential seeker at Sanatan’s Ramnathi Ashram. She did not have any appetite during the first 8 months due to negative energy distress. At that time, His Holiness Dr Athavale (Sanatan’s source of inspiration) gave her some food that had been prepared for Him. She was able to eat that. She could not eat the food prepared for everyone, but she could eat various food items that had been prepared for Him and which He gave her to eat. In fact, though all the preparations made for Him were less oily, less spicy and less pungent, their taste was different. When she asked Him the reason for the difference, He said, “The lady-seekers who have bhav prepared food for me, and due to that bhav the food tastes different. Therefore, you can eat this food despite the negative energy distress”. Thus, she was able to learn how bhav affects food.
4. God Himself accepts Naivedya if there is bhav
If an individual who has bhav prepares Naivedya for God, his bhav is reflected in the food and God also feels like accepting that Naivedya.
- In Dwaparyug, Shrikrushna went to Vidur’s house once. His wife’s bhav was awakened when she saw Shrikrushna. She peeled some bananas and fed their skin to Shrikrushna (and threw away the bananas). Shrikrushna happily ate even the skins due to her bhav.
- When His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj (Sanatan Sanstha’s seat of faith) went to Pandharpur and fed a peḍha to Shri Vitthal, He actually ate it due to the intense devotion of His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj.
5. Spiritual experiences related to cooking done with bhav for God
When some guests arrive, many housewives become tense about preparing food. The food is finally prepared, but it does not have the expected taste. The main reason for this is the fear and anxiety the housewife has about cooking. She has an attitude that it is ‘she’ who has to cook. She feels she knows how to cook for only four people, and now seven more have arrived. This wrong attitude alone causes confusion. When ‘I’ enters the picture, one starts taking doership. How is it possible for cooking to take place faster? Under such circumstances she has to keep her mind calm, pray to God and begin the seva of cooking as if Deities or Guru have come to her house for meals.
A. When food was prepared with bhav, many people remarked that it was good and sattvik : There was a workshop held on 21.3.2008 at New Jersey, when a seeker was expected to cook for 25 seekers. She was not used to preparing food for so many people. Therefore, she was anxious whether the food would be good. However, while preparing the food she had a bhav that she was cooking for His Holiness Bhaktaraj Maharaj. Later, when the seekers ate the food, they said that the food was good and sattvik.
B. Vision of Sages performing Yadnya in the bowl containing curry that had been prepared with a bhav that it must become sattivik : While at home on 19.2.2008, a seeker had a thought that the curry she is going to prepare for herself must become sattvik. Therefore she decided to prepare it without adding garlic. While seasoning it, she used a little ghee, mustard and curry-leaves. When the meal plate was ready, she sprinkled some water containing Vibhuti (Sacred ash) and Tirtha (Sacred liquid) obtained from bathing a Deity’s Idol. At that time, spiritual healing took place on her and she started belching, and through it the black energy in her stomach was expelled. While eating she perceived wood used in a Yadnya falling in the bowl of curry and Sages performing Yadnya in the bowl.
C. While performing the seva of making chapatis, Shrikrushna said, ‘I like chapatis very much’ and explaining its underlying meaning : On 6.1.2010, a seeker’s left leg was paining, but she wanted to perform seva. I was worried that she will miss the opportunity of seva due to the pain. She was given the seva of preparing chapatis. Though the chapatis were to be prepared while standing, she still accepted the seva. She had a bhav that her leg will not pain since Shrikrushna Himself is going to make the chapatis. She started talking to Shrikrushna in her mind, when He said, ‘I like chapatis very much’. She asked Him, ‘Why do You like chapatis so much ? He replied that offering doership to God destroys Raja-Tama components, bestows sattvikta and enhances bhav. She said, ‘I also like chapati. You and I have a common liking’. She saw Shrikrushna smiling; then, She also saw His Holiness Dr Athavale’s image on all the chapatis. When she looked at her feet, she saw the Holy feet of Shrikrushna. She then realized that Shrikrushna alone had performed the seva of making the chapatis. The pain in her leg had also stopped. The Anand (Bliss) of this spiritual experience lasted 5 to 6 hours. She also learnt how all the pain and distress of the body becomes unnoticeable when we perform seva while in communion with God.