Be thankful for the food we eat

Food, is the basic necessity of life, the substance we consume to provide nutritional support to our body, and which helps in growth and other functions of our body. When you taste your food or drink you are appreciating it, and you are being grateful. Being thankful for the food and water, is one of the deepest ways to express gratitude. On world food day – 16 October, let’s watch our food, be grateful for the food on our plates and create less waste.

Eat for Agni

The Fire/ Agni Tatwa is associated with food. The Ayurvedic concept of fire, or Agni, is critically important to our overall health. When Agni tattva is balanced, it helps with digestion, which provides physical energy for the body and sustains life, but it also provides emotional digestion and absorption.
We eat not to fill merely our stomach or hunger, but it’s an act of consuming and like aahuti in yagna.
वदनि कवळ घेता नाम घ्या श्रीहरीचे ।
सहज हवन होते नाम घेता फुकाचे ।
जिवन करि जिवित्वा अन्न हे पूर्णब्रह्म ।
उदरभरण नोहे जाणिजे यज्ञकर्म ॥१॥
This shloka means oh lord, thanks for the food you have given me on my plate.
I accept this food as prasadam after offering it to you and praying.
I thank all elements of this nature for this food.
It’s not only hunger I eat its for the Agni energy to seek.

Sitting on floor

A healthy body is a sign of not only what we eat but also how we eat. Fast eating and fast food are becoming a trend in this fast-moving age.
Eating while standing or while rushing is termed as ‘mindless’ eating because we have no thought or respect for what we are eating or putting in our bodies while rushing. While we are sitting down and eating, our body knows when to stop. It is very important to note that how we eat affects our bodies and our health.
In many Indian households sitting down on the floor while eating is still a custom, which is slowly fading. Although floor sitting has now been replaced by dining tables. A buffet system or work culture where everyone is standing and eating is catching up, as a place to sit becomes harder. But what we don’t realize is that the position of sitting on the floor is beneficial in many ways. When we sit down on the floor in the cross-legged pose, it aids digestion. Also, in yoga, this pose is called sukhasana or half padmasna, which makes one calmer and slightly more conscious. In this position the muscles in our lower back, pelvis, around our stomach, and upper and lower abdomen stretch. This in turn helps our digestive system relax and stay in a normal position.
Among other health and natural benefits, sitting and having food on the floor helps you to stay connected to Earth.
It’s a simple healthy yogic ritual of sitting on the floor and having your food/ meals.
When forks meet roads I mean when we are having food sitting on the floor we are connected to the Earth element.
Sitting on the floor with legs crossed had been a ritual in India since ancient times. In my house, we still follow it, especially at all festivals. It has many health benefits such as-
  • When you sit down and eat, your brain calms down and is better equipped to focus on the food you eat.
  • Having a plate on the floor naturally tends to make us bend forward and back for every mouthful. This movement causes the muscles in our abdomen to be activated which helps in the increased secretion of stomach acids – making it easier to digest food.
  • Helps our joints to be flexible. By sitting on the floor, we strengthen the lumbar region of the body.
  • We are automatically in a yoga posture.
    So do this yoga stay connected to Earth and travel to places to soothe taste buds.
    Related image

In Maharashtra, while we sit on the floor and offer nevedyam we chant the above shloka and offer gratitude and be thankful for the food we are eating as a daily habit while consuming food. 


Be thankful for the food we eat

If you have a plateful of food on your table, be thankful for the food. Remember the school days when we use to say the thank you prayer daily before eating our tiffins?

In many Indian households, we offer cooked food to a deity as naivedya, but it does not mean that we expect ‘God’ to actually eat it. Nivedana is the act of making it known. Nivedan or ‘Nivedyami’ means we are stating that means ‘I am making it known to you or ‘I am informing you That we acknowledge that the food we eat is a gift. To eat mindlessly without acknowledgment is traditionally considered rude.

It does not mean ‘I am offering you food’ or ‘I am feeding God’. It is our farmers who toil to grow that rice. As mentioned in Maitri Upanishad-  ‘Annam brahmeti’ or ‘Food is God’ says it is considered a sin to reject or waste food. In today’s world, where food is a basic necessity it’s ungrateful to reject or waste food.

This is Fire Tatwa’s post, Do Check out my ‘Don’t waste your food’ poem here.

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