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Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji

Why Do We Perform Milk Abhishek?
Our Mind is an absolutely clean (or sacredly clean or unpolluted) thing like the milk. Carrying Milk pot and offering to Lord symbolizes that we make sure that our mind is not diverted or distracted and we take it intact to the Lord and offer to Him. (So it is our mind that we offer to Him symbolized by the milk).

To the Pure milk of Mind, is added the Upadesh Mantra (taught by Guru) of butter milk - similar to the Guru Upadesh), so the Pure Milk of Mind is precipitated to the status of meditation with the addition of Guru's Upadesh Mantra. To this we add the water known as Satsang (fellowship in Devotion) and churn with the churning-staff of Bhakti (Devotion). The result is butter which is nothing but the mind without attachments. Just like how butter doesn't mix with water, we remain in the material world without desires/attachments. With the help of the fire of knowledge, we melt the butter and convert it to Pure Ghee of Mukti (liberation) which doesn't get spoiled.

Why can't we say that Vedas were authored by people? (Contrary to the fact that they originated from God)
If we say that Vedas were written by man, it would amount to confining to the limit of the human intellect. But the content of the Vedas are way beyond the realm of human Intellect. Therefore it would not be correct to say that they were authored by Man.

What foods we should take and some clarifications
We know that the quality of food that we partake affects the mind. This was known to our ancestors long back. [see Chhaandogya Upanishad (7.26.2) wherein it is said that the purity of food affects the quality of mind] We also know that there is a close relationship between body and mind. It is the mind which creates the future body as it is the repository of Karm till one attains Moksh. Food is classified into three groups - Saatwik, Raajasik and Taamasik. (Vide 17th chapter of Geetaa). There are references in scriptural works on the list of foods coming under the three categories. There are three types of Dosh affecting the foods -(1) Jaati Dosh (2) Nimmitta Dosh and (3) Aashraya Dosh. Garlic etc, come under Jaati Dosh (species), Nimitta Dosh is from external impurities like dust, hairs or insanitory handling. Aashraya Dosh is when food is cooked or handled by persons of bad character, it gets affected because of evil psychic vibrations. The solution is to offer the food first to God before taking it ourselves.

(1) Krishn prohibits eating food which is "Yaat Yaamam", which is "left over". With the advent of refrigerators and freezers food is made once and stored in a freezer and eaten for a week by heating in a microwave. With this kind of living we shall continue to be Taamasik having eaten food which is Yaat Yaamam Gat Rasam, Uchchhist etc. On the contrary, Anna is not specifically defined even though several grains are defined in Chamakam which is preceded by Rudram. And then we say "Anna na nindyaat". How can we expect an Eskimo to eat anything other than whale meat and blubber? Probably Anna was left undefined for future clarification as in the Bhagvat Gieetaa. Kindly enlighten further.
--The word Anna has been used in the Upanishad not only to indicate physical food but also to signify any thing that is consumed - it stands for matter in general. It is the lowest manifestation of Aatmaa (in the process of creation). Since it nourishes both body and mind, purity is essential. Since our tradition considers the eating as a religious act, several rules are given. For example, one should not take food before prayers; one should not eat during eclipses; no eating is permitted in temples, public places and moving vehicles. there should be moderation in eating - half the stomach with food, quarter with water only; How far these rules can be followed today - only an individual can decide. There are several such rules which cannot be followed now a days. No point in lamenting!!

(2) Can you clarify on Nimitta Dosh food items, like what kind of vegetables would come into that category? Would vegetables grown under the soil come under this category?
--As already explained, Nimitta Dosh is because of external impurities including unsanitary handling. Cleanliness removes this. What you are referring to perhaps pertains to Jaati Dosh. But I cannot agree that anything growing under the soil becomes contaminated (Dooshit). We know that our Rishi would eat only Kand- Mool - Phal. Some people - especially the Jains do consider that vegetables which have reddish color like tomato, beetroot, carrot and onion and garlic are not Saatwik. All these have their own merits also. Nimitta Dosh can be avoided; Aashraya Dosh can be obviated by offering the food first to God and then taking it as Prasaad (if it becomes unavoidable to take such food!!)



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 8/9/09
Updated on 04/12/12