Food for Thought

When we eat food offered to us by someone, our mind is affected by the good or bad conduct of that person.

Once when Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the great 15th century saint, was on the seashore, he saw a fish in the sea. At once he was reminded of the Lord taking Matsya avatar. Lost in ecstatic remembrance of the Lord, he walked into the sea and was drowned. But since he was a yogi, his breath had been pulled in and he began to float on the water. He was in bhava samadhi.

Some fishermen who had gone into the sea to catch fish, threw their net and along with the fish, caught Mahaprabhu too! They were surprised to see a man caught in the net and brought him to the shore. They then recognized him as the man who had sat on the seashore earlier, doing Mahamantra kirtan.

Some of the fishermen placed their hands on his stomach and chest, pressed hard and brought out the water that had gone into him. Mahaprabhu came down to this plane of consciousness, got up and walked away singing the Mahamantra!

But that was not really surprising. What was truly a miracle was that the fishermen who had touched Mahaprabhu now began to do Mahamantra kirtan!

The mere touch of Mahaprabhu’s body had brought this great change in them.

Early the next morning the fishermen’s wives found them doing kirtan instead of setting out to the sea to bring in the day’s catch. Frightened at what had happened to their husbands, they approached Mahaprabhu and said to him, “What have you done to our husbands? They are all doing kirtan and are not going out to the sea.” (Just as Hiranyakashipu said to Prahlada, on hearing him utter “Narayana”, that he had joined bad company and that wicked words were falling out of him!)

Mahaprabhu said to them, “Go to the house of those who have sinned, get food from them and give it to your husbands. All these will vanish and they will become as before!”

We have to be very careful about where we eat because food affects the mind. It’s a subtle transformation that we may not even be aware of!


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