By Gurudevi Nirmalananda
When I became a swami, I was surprised to feel a startlingly powerful impulse arising within — I wanted to feed people. Having been kitchen-averse for decades, it was a shock to me that I actually enjoyed cooking for others. I soon realized it’s because of the sutra:
J~naanam annam — Shiva Sutras 2.9 / True knowledge is food.
It means that a seeker hungers to know the Truth of their own Beingness. One who knows and shares that knowing is truly feeding you. Pure knowledge is the only real nourishment, that which gives satisfaction.
I remember giving a discourse on sutras where one yogini cried all the way through. She never sobbed, but tears ran down her face the whole time, more than an hour. I paused a couple of times to check in with her, but she waved me off. When finished, I asked her, “What are the tears?” She answered, “I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to hear these words. I feel fed for the first time in my life.”
This is truly what I want to give, that which nourishes you at a level that mere foodstuffs cannot reach. But when you allow me to give you a meal or snack, I pump it full of Divine energy so it feeds you on both the physical and subtle levels.
I live a dedicated life. A consecrated life. This is a sacred way of living, where every breath is holy. Every thought comes from God and is put into words or actions that serve God. That’s what a swami strives for, to be a light unto the world. That’s what everyone wants, even if they don’t yet admit it to themselves. That’s why we love the children’s song, “This Little Light of Mine.”
The first step is to find your own light. Then you can shine into the world. Ah, but there’s a catch here…