In order for a person to do their work in this world you have to eat, otherwise you will be weak and not be able to do anything. Food is nourishment for this physical body. Emotionally, for people to be strong, they need to feel appreciated and encouraged – it gives us emotional strength to carry on. Spiritually, we also have to be strong. The food grains that give strength spiritually to maintain that sincere and devoted disposition while we are trying to do the needful in this world is our sadhana (spiritual practice).
Hearing the discourses, reading from spiritual books, chanting God’s names, performing puja, these are spiritual activities and if they are done with right intent they will give us a spiritual strength that is beyond our own. Our sadhana is to access a grace, mercy beyond ourselves to empower us.
Just as if we don’t eat one day and then come to eat one month later we will not last. If you want to do your work you have to eat everyday. So our spiritual nourishment is not that I will eat just once a week on Sunday, you are not going to be spiritual strong that way. Everyday, a certain time of day should be set aside to focus on our spiritual needs and that will keep our sincerity and purpose very centered. Then, even if the mind or the environment may distract us from time to time, we will have the strength to bring it back. When lust, envy, anger, pride, illusion or greed attack, if we are spiritually strong we will be able to deal with it, by taking shelter of something higher.
When you are hungry for something you can digest it. If you have just eaten a nutritious meal and someone offers you a sweet, you can’t eat it as you are full, and even if you did eat it you can’t digest it properly. Hunger is required for good digestion. Similarly, in order to digest the grace of God, you have to be hungry for it. I want that sincerity in this ever changing world and mind. Because you want and need it, you can pursue it, and when you pursue it you can digest it and be nourished by it and become empowered by it. – Radhanath Swami