As is Your Food So is Your Mind


A Basmati rice merchant made an illegal deal with a stationmaster. The merchant was thus able to get Basmati rice at half the market price. He thought of doing some charity work to balance the ill-effects of his unrighteous actions.

One day he prepared some Kheer from that Basmati rice and requested a Saint to bless him by taking food at his residence. The Saint ate the Kheer. As it was afternoon, the merchant suggested, “Your Holiness! Take some rest now, as the sun is too hot to go outside right now.”

The Saint accepted the proposal. The merchant had placed some ten lac rupees in hundred rupee note bundles under the cover of a cloth in the same room. As the Saint rested, the Kheer prepared from the stolen rice began to exercise its effect on his mind. The Saint thought, 'There are so many bundles of notes, no one would know if I take one or two out of them.' He sneaked one bundle into his bag. In the evening fell, the Saint duly blessed the merchant and went his way.

The next day when the merchant counted the bundles, he found one bundle (i.e. ten thousand rupees) missing. The merchant was positive that the Saint was a man of God and would not stoop to such acts. So the usual process of questioning and beating the servants began. This went on till afternoon.

In the meanwhile the Saint arrived. He took out the bundle from his bag and handing it over to the merchant said, “Do not beat the servants. It was I who had taken the bundle.”

The merchant protested, “O Holy One! Why would you take the bundle? When I started interrogating my servants, the scared culprit must have taken refuge under you. Being compassionate, as Saints by nature are, you have come to return the money and save the servant.”

The Saint replied, “This has nothing to do with my being compassionate. I really did steal the money from here. Please tell me the truth. Why did you prepare the Kheer yesterday and what was used in its preparation?”

The Merchant explained that he had been stealing rice with the help of the station master and had prepared the Kheer using that rice. The Saint then explained, “Since the Kheer had been prepared using stolen rice, it generated an urge to steal in my mind as well. When my stomach was cleared of your impure kheer early in the morning, my conscience was purified once again and I thought, ‘Oh Rama! What have I done? The poor servants must be suffering on account of my lapse.’ That is why I came to return your money.”

Therefore it is rightly said,

Jaisa khao anna vaisa hove man,

Jaisa pio pani vaisi hove vani.

‘The food you eat determines the disposition of your mind.

The water you drink decides the tone of your speech.’

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