food is essential for your survival. you have to eat healthy and nutritious meal for a healthy body and mind. you cannot avoid eating food but you can always make sure that while eating food, you don’t harm anybody including the nature and the environment.
in east, most people believe in law of karma. they try their best not to generate negative karma because every one has to face their karmas one day. the whole psychology of east was to get out of this cycle of life and death by doing good karmas. lets learn few ways how to avoid creating new karma while eating food.
how to eat food without creating karma:
1. don’t identify with your actions:
whatever you do, if you identify with your actions then you are creating karma. it could be good karma or bad karma but you are creating karma. identification or ego or ‘I’ factor during any action creates karma. it needs lot of spiritual practice to get out of the trap of ego. so try not to identify with your body while eating. don’t desire for food. be happy with whatever food you get. don’t insult the food that it is not tasty or badly prepared. eat food with reverence and with a equanimous state of mind. many saints used to eat food just to feed the body and were not interested in the taste of food. they used to accept happily whatever food was offered to them and used to thank god for giving their meal.
2. eat vegetarian food
vegetarian food is less violent than eating non-vegetarian food. never kill anyone for your food. meat eating contributes around 16% of global warming. if your pocket can afford it, then choose to eat organic food. organic food is not only healthy but it also doesn’t poison the mother earth.
the world needs more love, laughter and peace in the world. prepare food in a loving state. you can also offer the food first to god and then eat food as a prasad. doing this totally changes the quality of the food. eating such food (prasad) makes you more loving and peaceful. if you plan to offer food to god first then try to prepare food in a religious and loving state of mind.
3. don’t waste the food
food is precious, specially during the present time when world population is more than 6 billion. not everyone is fortunate to go to sleep with full stomach. many people suffer from hunger. so never waste food. cook only that much food which is enough to satisfy your hunger. be grateful to god that you are getting food to eat. its a good practice to thank god before starting the meal because you will be respectful to the food.
remember, although you pay for your food but in the background lot of carbon foot prints and pollution happen so as to make sure that food reaches to your table.
4. don’t over eat
overeating is common specially in western counties. one of the best way to reduce overeating is to eat mindfully. always listen to your body signals and respect them. stop eating when your hunger is over. practice mindfulness while eating. remember, you have extra food and there is someone who does not have food to eat. instead of over stuffing yourself, consider to donate the extra food.
5. don’t give importance to palate
when you eat for taste then you give more importance to the palate than to your body needs. eat food which is healthy and is needed by your body. body is ancient and it has wisdom of thousand of generations. it will guide you to the type of food you need to eat and is needed by the body. don’t ignore the body signals. when you don’t pay attention to the palate and listen to the body then there are less chances that you will over eat.
any desire creates bondage and ultimately leads to misery. this could be desire for fame, money, home or even for tasty food. don’t be a slave to your desires. have mastery over your body and mind. meditation is one of the way to witness your thoughts and desires.
6. share food
in many hindu families, it is common to first keep one part of food separately for birds and animals and then the food is eaten. normally one chapati/roti or one ball of rice is offered to birds. animals specially cow and street dogs are also offered food by many families. be kind and compassionate to birds and animals. its a good practice to keep a bowl full of water for birds during summers. when you throw food in dustbin then avoid putting them in polythene bags. as cows often eat the food with the polythene and slowly over a period of time they die because their whole stomach gets filled with polythene bags and there is no space left for food.
7. donate for the cause of removing hunger
in hinduism, there is a saying “aan daan is mahadan” which means that the greatest charity is to remove hunger of someone. so if you have excess money or food, then donate to feed the hungry people. also remember that real charity is selfless. so don’t take pride in your donation. because if you start taking pride in your charity then again you are identifying with your actions. the best book to understand selfless action is bhagavad gita by lord krishna.
8. don’t make people hungry by your actions
its best to eat in privacy because when you eat in public then you might create hunger pangs in others. never talk about good food in front of someone who cannot have it. be considerate and sensitive to others.
lastly, eating satvic diet is best. because it does not lead to lethargy, anger or cravings. it makes your mind sharp and more balanced. thus it helps you to make wise decisions.
p.s. be careful about your food preferences and also about who is cooking food for you. its best to prepare food at home. because you are, what you eat. you not only eat the food but also the emotions associated with the food.