The Yoga of Food
What’s the difference between spiritual food and material food? It’s the same as the difference between spiritual and material anything: spiritual means “alive, real, and satisfying” whereas material means “temporary, illusory & disappointing”.
Bhakti yoga aims to spiritualise every aspect of our lives, turning everyday, mundane activities into opportunities to experience the deepest happiness. So, when we cook as a conscious, loving act of service to the Divine – offering everything we make to Krishna – and eat in the same way, both our cooking and our eating become spiritualised, nourishing body, mind, and spirit.
Once you taste prasadam (food prepared in such a way), you won’t want to eat anything else!
How do we know what Krishna accepts and what He doesn’t? Krishna tells us Himself in great detail in authorised books such as Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.
So.... is it really possible to become self-realized simply by eating? Absolutely!
Prasadam, which literally means “mercy,” nourishes the body, mind, and soul. It can liberate anyone from suffering and bestow eternal happiness upon them. Prasadam is so powerful because food offered to Krishna becomes transformed into a spiritual substance which is nondifferent from Him.
In a purport to Bhagavad-gita (4.24) Srila Prabhupada explains how this is so: “The Absolute Truth covered by maya is called matter. Matter dovetailed for the cause of the Absolute Truth regains its spiritual quality.”
From this quotation we can see how the concept of prasadam extends beyond food to anything with a connection to Krishna. As soon as something or someone is connected to Krishna, it, she, or he becomes spiritualized—Krishna-ized.
The secret of this conversion is LOVE! Krishna is attracted by the humility and love of His devotee. The spice of love is the tasty ingredient that induces Him to eat an offering.
Devotees therefore try to do everything with love. They strive for every word, thought and action to be heartfelt, and in so doing they attract the attention of Krishna, who is sometimes known as “Madhan Mohan” – He who can enchant even Cupid.