Hello and welcome to episode 6 of The Ask Sri Vishwanath Show. Today I want to talk about the mysticism of Indian idols, how they speak and consume food and how you can benefit from one simple tip that will serve you for life.
Today’s question comes from Liz and she says: “I’ve always been fascinated by stories from India. Do the Idols really speak? Do they consume the foods given to them?”
Thanks for the question Liz. I was also fascinated by this when I was a child. I would go to the temple and see my mother and father offering food and I’d always wonder where would this food go? What’s the big deal of serving it to the idols? What’s it all about?
One of the most important things I want to talk about is food. Food has two important uses. One it helps the body. It nourishes us and gives us strength. Most people only look at food in this way, as a way to nourish the body, mind and intellect. This not correct.
Food also builds characters. You may think this is a strange thing to say but it’s true. You need to think about who is preparing the food and what types of foods are being prepared. There is so much written about this in scripture.
Krishna says “whatever you do, whatever you eat, offer that as an austerity to me” If you prepare food and then offer it to god and then eat it yourself – within in 3 months you will develop what’s called sattvic gunas. People in ancient times knew this. They offered up whatever they prepared and they were better for it.
So when you offer food to God and consume it yourself that food will help you achieve a sattvic gunas. It will replenish your body but more importantly it will also replenish your spirit. It will rebuild your gunas and you will become closer to your consciousness. It is one of the easiest ways to get closer to God.
It also builds devotion. You can’t buy devotion. In scripture it’s called bhava. You can’t buy it but you can generate it. It’s almost like an attitude. You can’t force attitude. You won’t get it from a book. It’s nurtured. You need to add the right ingredients to achieve it. The easiest way is to make your own food, offer it to god and then consume it yourself.
A lot of people these days eat outside of the home in restaurants and take always. This will not work. The only exception is if you are old and cannot prepare it yourself. Otherwise you must make time to prepare your own foods if you want to understand the most important things in life.
I understand that at times you may be traveling or away from home. Those exceptions are also fine but if you are at home then you must make the effort to prepare your own food. If you have a kitchen then you must make use of it. Prepare your own food. It’s so important.
Look at food like a financial investment. Would you invest your money into some shady scam? No you would want to put your money in an investment that will benefit you. The same applies to food. You shouldn’t fill your body with junk food. Fill it will pure healthy food that will benefit you.
If you become careless and just think of food as a way to fill your stomach you’ll develop an attitude that won’t benefit you in any way. Think of food as purifying and fluffing. Think of eating as a spiritual act. Think of it as a step towards your consciousness.
Vivekananda was staying at a hotel when he was visiting the US and when he came back home he was very ill. People had commented saying the food must have been bad. Vivekananda pointed out that the food was not bad. The cook was bad. He understood that the person who prepares your food is also very important. If you eat food prepared by someone who has a lot of negative qualities then a lot of those qualities will seep into you. This is proven. This is why people are suffering because they don’t care about who prepares their food.
Change this one simple habit. Prepare your own food in your own kitchen and you will see a dramatic change in your health and spirituality.
People also wonder how the idol consumes food that is offered. The answer to this was provided by Sharda davi who was the wife of Sri Rama Krishna paramhansa. She said that when you offer food to powerful idols a light is projected into the food. This light consumes the food by licking the food and replenishes the idol. We don’t see this happening but it happens. Remember Sri Ramakrishna has no peers. If he says it, then it’s fact and that’s it.
Even though you don’t see the process you still have to trust it. Know that what you eat must first be offered to god. The idols will use light to replenish themselves and then you in turn will be replenished.
All of the top idols in India Guruvayoor temple, Tirupathi Balaji, Amarnath, Vaishno Devi, Madurai Meenakshi, Sringeri, Manapully Kav Bhagavathi Palakkad Temple, Kanyakumari Temple, Dakshineshwar Kali Temple and many more All of these temples contain consciousness. Ram Krishna witnessed this happening at the temple. He spoke with the idol. Others cannot but we must trust it. Some people will never see because they are blurred to the truth. Only very few are true men of God.
So remember the idols are full of consciousness and when you come to that level of awareness your consciousness can connect with theirs. I wrote the book called The Stolen Idol when I visited the Madurai Meenakshi Temple in South India. At the time my level of awareness was so high that I was able to write it in only 70 days. It’s like the words were spoken to me by the idol of Madurai Meenakshi. I trusted the process and my book became a bestseller.
Vivekananda says “God in the idol is perfectly fine but God as the idol is an issue.” So when you do it properly with the proper teaching – preparing the food, offering it and then eating and trust the process. Do this and you will grow spiritually and you’ll develop all these wonderful qualities.
You’ll be able to love those who cause you pain. Everyone has a right to come into contact with the consciousness. It’s not reserved for the few. I very strongly believe that everyone should get a chance to experience the wonder that comes when you get in touch with your consciousness.
Just the time to show importance to the preparation and offering of your food.
I hope this answers your question. Remember you keep asking questions and I’ll keep answering them.