Food Mantras by Vikram Achreja

Our bodies are entirely made up of the food we eat the water we drink and the air we breathe. The entire physical composition of our body is recycled many times over during our lifetimes. The basic idea of food mantras is to invoke the underlying divine principle before ingesting any food, with the feeling (bhAva), that let this food be metabolised in a way that gives me a healthy (different from non-disease) body, which contains a healthy mind, in which rests a healthy spirit. Another bhAva, is one of gratitude to the divinity that provides all food and other essentials to life. Now then it matters less which precise mantra is used for invocation. My mother, for example, possibly like yours too, simply says, "sat nAm". Others say "om tat sat", "Let us pray. Bless us, O Lord, and these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen." etc. The mantras that I recite at meal-times are from the bhagavad gItA:

brahmArpaNaM brahma havir brahmAgnau brahmaNAhutam brahmaiva tena gantavyaM brahmakarma samAdhinA Eternal Being (Brahma) is the oblation. Brahma is the clarified butter. The oblation is poured by Brahma into the fire of Brahma. Brahma shall be realized by one who considers everything as (a manifestation or) an act of Brahma. BG 4.24

ahaM vaishvAnaro bhUtvA prANinAM deham AshritaH prANApAnasamAyuktaH pacAmy annaM caturvidham Becoming the digestive fire, I remain in the body of all living beings. Uniting with vital breaths (Pr|[a and Ap|na), I digest all types of food.

From completeness.BG 15. Having taken completeness of completeness. And another nice one: oM annapUrNe sadA pUrNe shankara prANa vallabhe jnana vairAgya siddhyartham bikshAm dehi cha pArvati Translation: O Parvati! Thou beloved of Shiva! Thou art the ever full. . shAntih This is complete and that is complete. giver of food. only completeness remains.14 An alternate food mantra set is one that invokes the five types of prANa or vital breaths/airs as follows: oM prANanyaya swAhA ApAnaya swAhA samAnaya swAhA udAnaya swAhA vyAnaya swAhA oM Another one commonly heard is the shAnti mantram of the IshA vAsyOpanishat. This is a part pf the vAjasanEya samhita of the shukla yajurvEda: oM pUrNamadah pUrNamidam pUrNat pUrNamudacyatE pUrNasya pUrNamAdAya pUrNamEvAvashiSyatE. shAntih. completeness arises. oM shAntih.

.Give me the food of knowledge and dispassion.

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