You can read the previous post in this series here: Part 8
abrūtāmāvābhyāmabhiprajānīhīti te abravīdetāsveva
vāṃ devatāsvābhajāmyetāsu bhāginnyau karomīti
ca devatāyai havirgṛhyate
bhāginyāvevāsyāmaśanāyāpipāse bhavataḥ ॥5॥
Hunger and Thirst said to the Divine, “Please provide for us too.”
The Divine said, “I’ll provide you a part amongst these deities. I make you two the partakers.”
To whatever deity an oblation is made, hunger and thirst become sharers of it.
Quick Summary of Previous Verses:
- In the first set of verses, the Aiteraya Upanishad described Rig Veda’s creation theory.
- From there, the text moved on to sustenance, where it covered senses and its gratification.
- Some gratifications like food and water were necessities, but many others were merely pleasures that got us stuck in the ocean of Samsara.
- The means out of Samsara is to develop contentment towards our pleasures and recognize our latent divinity.
- We can know ourselves as the divine when we understand the concept of macrocosm and microcosm and then experience Samadhi.
Current Verse Insight:
The discussion on sense gratification continues here. Though, the focus now shifts to our necessities: hunger and thirst. Here, Sage Aiteraya compares these essentials to deities. This ideology reiterates in numerous Upanishads and Vedic texts.
In the Bhagavad Gita Verse 15.14, Sri Krishna says, “It’s Me who takes the form of Vaishvanara situated in the body of the living beings. Balancing the inward and outward breaths, I digest the four kinds of foods.”
Vaishvanara is another name for Agni or fire. Particularly, our digestive acids are referred to as Vaishvanara. Nothing can stress the importance of our food habits than to know that Sri Krishna describes himself as Vaishvanara!
Sri Krishna refers to four food types. Those are as follows:
- Bhojya: Chewable food like bread and grains.
- Peya: Drinkables such as milk and juice.
- Koshya: Food that’s sucked, like sugarcane.
- Lehya: Food that’s licked, like honey.
Importance of Eating Habits
In Sanatana Dharma, eating is considered equivalent to performing a Yagna, a sacred fire ritual. With each morsel of food that goes into our stomachs, we are making an offering to the Divine.
Ayurveda claims that a massive percentage of our diseases will disappear if we eat nutritious food mindfully and in the right quantities. Also, the Yogic texts refer to our stomach as our energy and emotional center. An imbalance in the gut shows immediate effects on the body and mind. Interestingly, the sages of yore also noted that our food habits have a direct tie-up with our creativity.
Modern research confirms most of those ancient observations. Our dietary choices directly affect our immune system and our energy levels. Hence, by ignoring our food habits, we’re at a high risk of damaging our physical and mental health. When we eat judiciously, our attention span increases, we feel energetic for longer, and our durability improves. In a nutshell, we are what we eat! Healthy eating is the basis of a wholesome and happy life.
This series has been discontinued.
The purpose of my writings is to educate my readers about Sanatana Dharma’s scriptures. For that, I’ll have to stay faithful to the texts. After thorough contemplation, I’ve concluded that there’s no point in discussing these Upanishads verse-by-verse.
To extend time, most commentators are just adding their stuff into these scriptures. That goes against my cause, and so, I don’t wish to do the same. Hence, I have decided to discontinue this series in its current form. In the future, this will reappear in a different form. Sorry for the inconvenience.