The Role of Food in our Character
This Sunday, we have a story from Deivathin Kural(Voice of God). Let us go straight away to the story.
There was a king. He had a Guru. His Guru was a great person who has renounced the world. One morning, his Guru came to his palace. The king extended a warm welcome to his Guru. Guru advised the king on many matters. It was afternoon. The king requested his Guru to take Biksha in his palace. Guru accepted his request. After eating, Guru was tired. So, he rested in a room for a few hours. He saw a precious pearl which belonged to the king. Even though he was a Sanyasi, that day, because of something, he wanted to steal the precious pearl. He took and hid it in his cloth. He returned to his home.
The king noticed that his pearl was missing. The guards went to check every person in the kingdom. But, there was no clue. As the king had more faith in his Guru, he didn't even think of checking his Guru. That night, his Guru had many bad thoughts.
Then came morning. The Guru suffered with Diarrhea that morning. So, he became so tired. He thought that stealing was wrong and he decided to return it back to the king.
He went to the palace and told the truth to the king. The king couldn't believe it. He said that the thief would have surrendered to Guru. To save him, Guru is taking the blame on him. The Guru told that there was no one who surrendered and he himself was a culprit. Guru told to give him a punishment.
The king said, "Oh Holy One!. To give a punishment, one must know the reason of the crime". The Sanyasi went to meditation to know the cause/motive of his crime. He realised that it was because of the food eaten in the palace. He conveyed it to the king immediately. The king ordered one of his guard to find what rice was given the previous day.
He investigated everything and told that the rice that was served was stolen by a thief from a marketer. The thief was caught by the guards. Since no one claimed the rice bag, it was taken for the royal kitchen. The rice from that bag had been used that day.
The king apologized to his Guru and said, "Oh Holy One! Please forgive me. You are not the thief. It was all because of me". The Guru accepted his apology.
From this story, we understand that the food that we eat can influence our thoughts and behaviour too. So, it's important to know the source of food that we eat. Also cooked food, can easily absorb the thoughts when compared to uncooked food. That is why our Sastras suggest to accept raw items from others but not the cooked rice. In the above story, the thief's thoughts were absorbed by the rice which when was taken by the Guru, affected his thoughts. The next day, when he suffered from Diarrhea, the bad thoughts too vanished.