Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..


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Fuelling the Fire

Hari OM

'Text-days' are for delving into the words and theory of Advaita Vedanta

Last week the chat for the food prayer was given. Now follows the meaning.

ब्रह्मार्पणं ब्रह्म हविर्ब्रह्माग्नौ ब्रह्मणा हुतम्।
ब्रह्मैव तेन गन्तव्यं ब्रह्मकर्मसमाधिना॥
हरि ओम् श्रि गुरुभ्यो नमः हरि ओम्॥

brahmaarpaNaM brahma havirbrahmaagnau brahmaNaa hutam.
brahmaiva tena gantavyaM brahmakarmasamaadhinaa..
hari om shri gurubhyo namaH hari om..

"(The whole creation being a gross projection of Brahman, the Cosmic Consciousness itself) so the food too is Brahman, the process of offering it is Brahman, it is being offered to the fire of Brahman. He who thus sees Brahman in action, alone reaches Brahman. (The Lord is all, Honour to the Teacher, Lord is all)"

This prayer is from Chapter 4, verse 24, of Bhagavad Gita.  It tells something by way of describing Vedic sacrifice in which there would be a priest, a fire alter (havan), the fire itself, the tools to offer items of 'sacrifice' into the flames. When used as a prayer before meals, the Vedic ritual is honoured by the comparison to eating, where there is someone eating (priest), a meal (fuel sacrifice), a digestive system (havan) and the chemical process of digestion (flames) with implements to deliver the meal/sacrifice... hands or utensils.

Some people also add the Gita chapter 15, verse 14, and chant using the same छन्दः/chandas (tune or meter).

अहं वैश्वानरो भूत्वा 
प्राणिनां देहं आश्रितः 
प्राणापान समायुक्तः 
पचाम्यन्नं चतुर्विधम् 

Aham vaishvaanaro bhuutvaa
praaninaam deham aashritaH
praanaapaana samaayuktah
pachaamyannam chaturvidham

"I am the fire of digestion in the stomach of all living entities, and I join with the air of life, incoming and outgoing, to digest the four types of food (solid, liquid, semifluid and fluid) which they eat."

You will note that there is a practicality to these 'graces', a recognition of the dynamic function of digestion and the need for fuel.  A little more on the context tomorrow.


  1. Wow Yamini! There's so much more to this than I wrote. Will have to expand later on the important verses. Thanks!

  2. Hari OM
    Dear Nupur,
    There is a difference, of course, between this and the intention of your own presentations; this is a teaching blog with specific purpose, whereas I understand your offerings to be an assessment for the essence of each chapter providing basis for personal poetic insight - the more you allow that to happen, the stronger those verses will become for you - it is already happening! Yxx


Hari OM
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