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Aitareya Upanishad – Story On Food

Aitareya Upanishad, 1.1.2–1.3.10 narrates and interesting story on food.

The Creator, after creating the worlds, created the protectors of the world — the gods — and subjected them to hunger and thirst. The gods said, ‘Provide an abode for us, where we can stay and eat food.’

The Creator then brought them a cow, which they rejected, then a horse, which was also rejected. The Creator then brought them a man. The gods were all praise for it. ‘Enter into your respective abodes,’ the Creator commanded them.

Agni (fire) entered speech, Aditya (the sun) entered the eyes, Vayu (air) entered the sense of smell, the god of directions, the ears. The other gods also entered into their respective functions of governing the body.

The gods of hunger and thirst were left out and asked the Creator to provide them also an abode.

These gods were commanded to enter the body. The Creator then deliberated, ‘Let me create food
for them all.’ From this deliberation evolved a form. This form was food. Food turned and attempted to run away. The Creator tried to take it up with the various organs — of speech, smell,
sight, hearing, touch, and mind — but failed each time. Otherwise, one would have been merely satisfied by talking of, smelling, seeing, touching, hearing, or thinking of food. The Creator then tried to take food up by apana and succeeded. This is the devourer of food. This is the vital energy.

Source – excerpts from article titled ‘Food for All’ published by Swami Satyamayananda in Prabuddha Bharata Magazine May 2008 Issue.