Thursday, July 06, 2017

Food cleanliness and vibrations...

 A food vendor in India caught urinating in the jug used for serving food

Nowadays, awareness of physical cleanliness regarding food has increased. Countries in the West have even made laws and regulations in regards to standards for acceptable and unacceptable food hygiene. However, even still, a lot of people believe "ignorance is bliss" and "what you don't know, won't hurt." Most people would rather not think about the people cooking their food when eating outside of their home, knowing in the back of the mind that there is a chance that someone has probably picked their nose and served the burger, wiped their sweat before serving the gol gappe, or not washing their hands after going to the toilet 

In accordance to Gurbani, just by the fact of "not knowing" or "not thinking about it" does not mean that it doesn't have a physical effect on this. This is what science says as well. If someone doesn't cook in a hygienic environment, adhering to hygiene rules, whether it is a restaurant, your own house, or the Gurdwara Sahib, it is inevitable that there is a high risk of the eater falling sick or not feel well after eating. Gurbani says:
ਜੋ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਭਾਂਡੇ ਵਿਚਿ ਵਸਤੁ ਸਾ ਨਿਕਲੈ ਕਿਆ ਕੋਈ ਕਰੇ ਵੇਚਾਰਾ ॥
"Whatever You place in the body-vessel, that alone comes out again. What can the poor person (now) do?"
(Aasa M:4, 449)

So, being conscience of what you eat, who cooks it, where it is cooked, and how it is cooked, plays a role in your physical well-being. However, Guru Sahib goes one step further, and says, spiritual cleanliness is just as important in order to preventing one from falling spiritually sick or unwell. Gurbani says:
ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਖਾਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥
ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
"O Baba! The pleasures of all other foods are false, eating which the body is ruined, and negative thoughts and vices enter into the mind. ||1||Pause||"
(Siree Raag M:1, 16)

Gurbani tells us that food devoid of Naam, i.e. spiritual vibrations, is cursed. This means that our thoughts, our vibrations, go into the food when cooking it. Practitioners of health and spirituality state that cooked food becomes sensitive to vibration. Whoever handles it imbues it with their vibration. In a house where there's affection, that will go into the food and that will nourish the people's minds. But in a hotel or a restaurant, there's nothing like that. Eating fast food, will make the mind wander fast. For this reason, Gurbani says:
ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਚੇਤਨੀ ਤਿਨ ਧਿਗੁ ਪੈਨਣੁ ਧਿਗੁ ਖਾਣੁ ॥੧॥
“O Nanak! Those who do not contemplate on Naam, the Name of the Lord – cursed are their clothes, and cursed is their food. ||1||”
(Sorath M:3, 646) 
ਚੋਰਾ ਜਾਰਾ ਰੰਡੀਆ ਕੁਟਣੀਆ ਦੀਬਾਣੁ ॥
ਵੇਦੀਨਾ ਕੀ ਦੋਸਤੀ ਵੇਦੀਨਾ ਕਾ ਖਾਣੁ ॥
ਸਿਫਤੀ ਸਾਰ ਨ ਜਾਣਨੀ ਸਦਾ ਵਸੈ ਸੈਤਾਨੁ ॥

“Thieves, adulterers, prostitutes and pimps (i.e. immoral people) make friendships with the unrighteous and eat the food prepared from the unrighteous. Those people do not know the value of the Lord’s Praises (i.e. their internal Naam Jaap stops), and Satan (desires, anger, greed, emotional attachment, and ego) takes residence in the mind.”
(Soohee M:1, 790)

Bhai Chaupa Singh's Rehatnama gives instruction to choose one's chef wisely, and choose a spiritually-disciplined individual.
ਗੁਰੂ ਕਾ ਸਿਖ, ਸਰਦਾਰ ਹੋਵੈ, ਸ਼ਾਹੂਕਾਰ ਹੋਵੈ, ਮੁਸਦੀ ਹੋਵੈ,
ਆਪਣੇ ਲੰਗਰ ਰਸੋਈ ਵਿਚ ਸਿਖ ਰਖੇ ॥
ਹੁਕਈ, ਟੋਪੀਆ, ਭਾਦਣੀ, ਚੋਰ, ਯਾਰ, ਜੂਏਬਾਜ਼, ਕੁਰਹਿਤੀਆ ਨਾ ਰਖੈ ॥
“A Sikh of the Guru, whether a leader, wealthy or educated, should keep only a Sikh in their langar and kitchen. Smokers, hat-wearers, those who shave their hair, thieves, gamblers, and those who commit any of the cardinal prohibitions should not be kept”
(Rehitnama Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji – Piara Singh Padam, pg. 85)
Each person's thoughts, words, and deeds play an important role in the differences in vibrations. When we go to some places we get a good feeling and there is a good atmosphere, whereas other places make us want to leave as soon as possible. This depends on the thought vibrations of people who live there. This is why we feel a divine presence in the Saadh Sangat that brings calm, whereas the atmosphere where there is meat and alcohol is confused and tense. For this reason, Gurbani tells us to avoid the company of the faithless. This includes eating food cooked and served by the faithless:
ਕਬੀਰ ਸਾਕਤ ਸੰਗੁ ਨ ਕੀਜੀਐ ਦੂਰਹਿ ਜਾਈਐ ਭਾਗਿ || 
ਬਾਸਨੁ ਕਾਰੋ ਪਰਸੀਐ ਤਉ ਕਛੁ ਲਾਗੈ ਦਾਗੁ ||੧੩੧||
“Kabeer, do not associate with the faithless; run far away from them. If you touch a vessel stained with soot, some of the soot will stick to you.”
(Salok Bhagat Kabeer Ji, p. 1371)
ਜਾਕੀ ਰਹਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਣੀਐ ਗੁਰਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਨਹੀ ਚੀਤ ||
ਉਨਕਾ ਭੋਜਨ ਖਾਇਕੈ ਬਿਸਰਹਿ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਉ ਪ੍ਰੀਤ ||

“One has no Rehat (spiritual discipline) and doesn’t contemplate on the GurMantar (given by the Panj-Piaare). Eating from such a person you will forget the love of God.”
(Rehatnama: Bhai Chaupa Singh Ji)

According to Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, in Mahan Kosh, he describes this commitment to conscience spiritual living in accordance to the guidelines instructed by the Guru as being called 'Bibek'. He writes, a 'Bibeki' is one who reflects Gurmat on all aspects of their daily living, and firmly strives to live to Sikh principals. 'Bibek-Daan' is something we pray for everyday in our daily Ardaas. We pray for the gift of able to discriminate what is good and bad for our spirituality in all aspects of our life.
ਤੈਸੇ ਖਲ ਦ੍ਰਿਸਟਿ ਮੈਂ ਅਸਾਧ ਸਾਧ ਸਮ ਦੇਹ
ਬੂਝਤ ਬਿਬੇਕੀ ਜਲ ਜੁਗਤਿ ਸਮਾਈ ਕੈ ॥੫੯੭॥
"Similarly, in the eyes of a foolish person, spiritually good and spiritually bad people are seen the same; but a Bibeki knows how to separate milk from water like a swan. They have the ability to distinguish between the two. (597)"
(Bhai Gurdaas Ji, Vaar 42)

As spiritual-beings we have to live and contribute to society. It is inevitable to come across people with both negative and positive thoughts, and those spiritually intuned and those spiritually disconnected. Gurbani lays down the principal that a Sikh, whilst intermingling with others, remains distinct. Gurbani says:
ਸੋ ਜਨੁ ਰਲਾਇਆ ਨਾ ਰਲੈ ਜਿਸੁ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਬਿਬੇਕ ਬੀਚਾਰੁ ॥੨॥
"Those humble beings who are filled with 'Bibek-Beechaar' (divine wisdom and contemplation to analyse)-even though they intermingle with others (that are false or unrighteous), they remain distinct and do not conform. ||2||"
(Siree Raag M:3, 28)

This distinctiveness that safeguards our spirituality and mind, encompasses distinctiveness in physical dress, they way we speak, the way we eat, the way we conduct ourselves, and the principles we adhere to. This is called Rehat, or code of conduct, which is given to us when one commits to the Guru by taking Amrit.
ਸੰਤਨ ਕਾ ਦਾਨਾ ਰੂਖਾ ਸੋ ਸਰਬ ਨਿਧਾਨ ||
ਗ੍ਰਿਹਿ ਸਾਕਤ ਛਤੀਹ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਰ ਤੇ ਬਿਖੂ ਸਮਾਨ ||੨||

“The dry bread from the (homes of the) Gurmukhs is equal to all treasures. The thirty-six tasty dishes from (the home of) the faithless one, are (known to be) just like poison.”

(Bilaaval M:5, 815)

ਊਤਮ ਸੰਗਤਿ ਊਤਮੁ ਹੋਵੈ|| ਗੁਣ ਕਉ ਧਾਵੈ ਅਵਗਣ ਧੋਵੈ ||

“In the uplifting society, one is uplifted. He chases after virtue and washes off his sins.”

(Aasa M:1, 414)

ਨਾਨਕ ਕਚੜਿਆ ਸਿਉ ਤੋੜਿ ਢੂਢਿ ਸਜਣ ਸੰਤ ਪਕਿਆ ||

“O Nanak! Break away from the false, and seek out the Saints, your true friends.”
(Maaroo M:5, 1102)

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