Food and Breath – 1

Why can we live without food for few weeks but we cannot manage without water more than few days?

We might have observed the types of food, taste and its impact on us as an individual and the society. As per ancient saying our mind gets 2 predominant inputs which keep us our mind alive. The 2 inputs for our mind are Food and Breath. In this article we would not focus on the impact on our mind based on the quality of food but we would focus on the interconnection between Food and Breath.

The following is an excerpt from Chandogya Upanishad, a discussion between Svetaketu Aruneya (the grandson of Aruna) and his father (Uddilaka, the son of Aruna). When Svetaketu returned to his father, at the age of twenty-four, having then studied all the Vedas, conceited himself to be well-read and stern. His father being a very wise man wanted to teach his son a lesson in humility and wanted to highlight that his self-conceit does not befit him.

So he starts by asking him, “Have you ever asked for that instruction by which we hear what cannot be heard, by which we perceive what cannot be perceived, by which we know what cannot be known?” When his son acknowledges his ignorance on this he starts explaining things from evolution.

He says that water is produced from fire and explains whenever anybody anywhere is hot and perspires, water is produced on him from fire alone. Water he says produces food (earth). Furthermore he says that Fire, Water and Earth are the basic elements which manifest themselves in all the loving beings.

The red colour of burning fire (Agni) is the colour of fire, the white colour of fire is the colour of water, the black colour of fire the colour of earth. Learned men knew that, Whatever they thought looked red, they knew was the colour of fire. Whatever they thought looked white, they knew was the colour of water. Whatever they thought looked black, they knew was the colour of earth. Whatever they thought was altogether unknown, they knew was some combination of those three beings.

We are not going see the entire conversation which is very interesting and can be read more from Internet or books. Tomorrow we will see the most interesting aspect of food and its manifestation.


Know thy Nature by Raguram Gopalan,

Author: Ganesh

A soul in the search of eternal peace... "Be True, Love All, Help Others Selflessly, Live in Harmony and Rest in Peace"

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