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                                                                                               Chinna Katha

To purify the mind and the intellect for the correct reflection of the truth, the first caution is in regard to food. Indeed this is a very serious matter for saadhakas.

There lived in Malur, Mysore State a pious Brahmin who was a great scholar. He had an equally pious wife. He was always intent on puja & Japa-dhyaana and was known far and wide for his virtuous character.

One day a sannyaasin called Nityaananda came to his door seeking alms. So he was happy beyond measure. He invited the monk to take dinner with him the next day, so that he might honor with due hospitality. He hung green festoons over his doors and made elaborate arrangements for the reception. But at the eleventh hour, physical impurity rendered his wife unfit to prepare food for the honored guest or for any one else.

A neighbor volunteered to cook the meal and she was brought in and introduced into the kitchen. Everything went off well and all were as happy as they could be, under the circumstances.

Only the Sannyaasin was wrung during meals by an overpowering desire to steal the silver cup, which the host had placed near his plate. In spite of his best efforts, the evil idea won and the Sannyaasin hurried to his abode with the cup hidden in the folds of his robe.

He could not sleep that night, for his conscience pricked him. He felt he has brought disgrace on his Guru and on the Rishis whom he invoked by the mantras he recited. He could not rest until he ran back into the Brahminís house and falling at his feet restored the article with tears of repentance trickling down his cheeks.

Everyone wondered how such a saint could stoop so low, then someone suggested that it might be the fault transmitted to the food he ate, by the person who cooked it and when they examined the history of the neighbor they found that she was an irrepressible thief! The thieving tendency had by subtle contact affected the food she prepared.

This is the reason why saadhakas are advised to live on fruits and tubers only, when they reach a certain stage of spiritual achievement.


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