This part is written by K.R.K.Murthy
Our Bhagavan was an adept in the art of cooking. He used to cut vegetables, grind pulses and freely take part in various kinds of preparations. In the utilisation of different parts of a vegetable or fruit, his suggestions were very valuable and worth noting. He was very economical and knew how to put to use anything that came his way.
Once when there was a discussion about the foodstuffs such as onions, drumsticks, carrots, etc., which the orthodox people avoid, Sri Bhagavan remarked that they may do good to the body, but not to the mind. They may purify the blood and benefit the body, but they rouse passions and are not helpful for the purification of the mind (manassudhi).
Giving up for life certain fruits, nuts or other foodstuffs dear to one, during the pilgrimages to holy places, is one of the practices prevalent among the religious people. One day Sri Bhagavan noticed a devotee avoiding a mango on this ground and commented that a better form of tyaga (renunciation) would be to accept whatever one happens to get and not to crave for that which is not available.
Once Sri Bhagavan expressed that one may avoid things which do not agree with one’s constitution and take necessary quantities of suitable ones that do him good. But maintenance of body and health should not occupy much attention as it is not our chief pursuit.
Sri Bhagavan never used to compromise with equality in serving meals. He never agreed to accept anything which is not equally shared by his fellow diners. He was satisfied only when he was served in the end after everyone was served. He liked that he should be given only smaller quantities of even the most delicious or costly dishes than others. Even under exceptional circumstances he was not willing to take the food of superior quality unless it was distributed to all. This was one of the principles he observed very rigorously.
Sri Bhagavan made people of different tongues in South India quite at home by speaking or writing in their respective languages. It requires a great effort to cross the narrow linguistic barriers and shed the unjustifiable prejudices against sister languages and appreciate good works in them. Only one who studies one or two languages in addition to his mother tongue and moves and lives with others has ample opportunities of broadening his outlook and also of reaching others’ hearts. The initial linguistic affinities do not last long and after all, people of the same mentality flock together, whatever their mother tongue is. Sri Bhagavan is particularly adored as he had taken a lot of pains to master several languages and write his works in the same for the benefit of devotees from various parts. His glorious example will continue to influence generations of devotees to put forth their best efforts in this direction and to come closer by understanding one another better.