So now you are a vegetarian, and you have greatly reduced your karma. But still the vegetarian food is filled with karmic reaction also because killing is still involved. And most people would just come to a dead end, “Oh, what do I do now? I have to eat. I eat, I create karma, and this karma keeps me on the wheel of birth and death. And I still have to eat. So what is the solution here?” It seems like сatch-22, they call it, an inevitable problem.
But, of course, remember there is a Supreme designer. God designed the whole system. And certainly He designed a solution. All we have to do is know that solution and follow it. So in the great Vedic scripture Bhagavad-gita this problem is stated and the solution is given. And again, I mentioned this the other night, the solution is: you offer the food to God before you eat it.
Now, I think I also mentioned, there are three consciousness’s in regards to this idea. One is, there is no consciousness about this at all, which includes almost all people. We do not even think about it. Here is food, I am hungry, I eat, and that is all; does not matter what I eat or whatever, it is just I eat. Certainly, that is the lowest level.
Then there are people who are a little bit more aware of the spiritual connection. So before they eat, they pray. They thank God for the food. They realize: God supplied the food, and I thank Him for this. This is good, this is the next level.
And then there is the highest level. You offer the food to God.
Now, let’s compare giving thanks to offering. You see, these two activities reflect a different relationship with God. Here is an example. There is a father, man, he works all week very hard. He is working for his family, he has his responsibilities. So at the end of the week, he gets his paycheck. And on the way home he stops at the store to buy some food, some groceries. And as he is going around shopping, he passes the section where the cookies are, and immediately thinks of his son who he loves very much, “Oh, my son really likes chocolate cookies”. So he buys some of these cookies. And while he is there, he says, “Oh, I like vanilla. I think I will have some of these vanilla cookies”. And then he continues to shop. And he comes by the ice-cream and he thinks, “Oh, my son really likes chocolate ice-cream”, so he gets some chocolate ice-cream. And then again, “Ok, I like vanilla”, so he gets some vanilla as well.
And then he finishes his shopping, takes his groceries and goes home. He walks in the house, sets the groceries down in the kitchen. He is very tired from working all week, so he goes to the front room, sits down in the big chair and relaxes. And the son comes home, walks into the kitchen, sees the bags of groceries and immediately looks inside. And he sees chocolate chip cookies, and he sees chocolate ice-cream, he sees vanilla cookies and vanilla ice-cream.
So here are two situations. First. Immediately he takes the cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and the chocolate ice-cream, makes himself a big bowl of chocolate ice-cream with cookies, goes into the living room, sits down, says to his dad, “Oh, dad, thank you very much. I love chocolate ice-cream and cookies, and I am so hungry, thank you”. And he begins to eat.
Second scenario. He does the same. He looks, he sees the two kinds of ice-cream, the two kinds of cookies. But now, “Oh, dad, he has worked so hard all week, he took some of his hard earned money, he bought all of these. I want to do something for him. He really likes vanilla ice-cream and vanilla cookies”. So he makes a nice bowl of vanilla ice-cream and vanilla cookies, and goes in, and says, “Dad, please, accept this, I know you like this. So I hope you enjoy it”.
See, two different consciousness’s. One is self-serving, “Oh, dad, thank you for my pleasure”. The other is the opposite. He is serving the dad’s pleasure, “Dad, here, please, enjoy this”. And, of course, you know the dad’s reaction is also going to be quite different.