Food is the main element that can bring us closer to ourselves, to others, to the phenomenon of nature and to God.
During gestation we are connected to our mother by the umbilical cord. After our birth, we are fed first by our mother’s breast, then by the hands that cook for us. We spend many of our most important moments eating, with our family, at the school canteen, with friends, when we first go out with our partner, when we marry, during business dinners and so on.
It is easy to see how the food we receive or choose is crucial to good relationships.
Food always accompanies us: when we are healthy, to keep us strong, or when are sick, to heal us. There are moments in life when we need more food and others when we need less. However, certain rules are difficult to follow all the time because there are endless exceptions and changes.
In general, for example, when we have to do something physically draining, we should not eat too much. When we need to think clearly, or are under pressure, we should eat nutritious, hot food, while if we meditate, we should eat very little and breathe a lot. If children eat heavy food before going to school, they will not be able to concentrate properly during the lessons. Food cooked with indifference by a mother will not convey affection to her child.
Sometimes, however, if we are inspired or in love, we can digest anything, but if we have lost control over accumulated tensions or frustrations, we are unable to assimilate anything. In this case, we must strive to achieve a better life balance, and then everything will begin to flow seamlessly again.
When we eat, we understand a lot about our body and the energy required to make it function. We feel gratified when we eat food. Our degree of appreciation depends on our psycho-physical state.
It is very important to adapt the food we eat to different situations. How many times have we found ourselves in circumstances that did not sit well with us? Weddings with bad food, heavy business dinners, or meals with friends with too much alcohol involved, when you are unable to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, and so on.
It is equally important to choose our dining companions well. In biblical stories, food always has a precise connotation according to those with whom it is shared. This happens in every culture. For example, Shri Caitanya Maprabhu, the inspirer of an important religious movement of Vedic culture, was compassionate with all beings, although he was rigorous in choosing the person with whom he ate his meals.
What we eat speaks for who we are, and the type of food we eat can affect those around us, for better or worse.
People are identified according to what they eat and the company they keep.