Lord Krishn sings in Bhagavad Gita:
“I am the fire, possessed of pran and apan,
within the body of all living beings
that consumes the four kinds of food.”
In Chapter 4,Sri Krishn referred to various kinds of fire-of knowledge (verses 19 and 37), of God (verse 25), of restraint (verse 26), of the senses (verse 26), of yog (verse 27), and of pran-apan (verses 29-30); and the resultant from all of them was said to be knowledge.
Knowledge itself is fire.
Assuming the form of such fire, it is Sri Krishn who accepts and assimilates the food generated by the four modes of recitation, namely,
baikhari, madhyama, pashyanti, and para that are endowed with pran and apan
(it will be remembered that recitation is always by means
inhaled and exhaled breath).
According to Sri Krishn God is the only food-manna-with which the Soul is so placated that it never feels any hunger again.
We give the name of food to accepted nutrients of the body.
But God alone is the real food.
And this food is brought to ripeness only by going through the four steps
baikhari, madhyama, pashyanti, and para.
Some wise men have also called them
name (nam), form (rup), revelation (leela), and abode (dham).
At first the name is pronounced audibly.
Then, gradually, the form of the adored God begins to take shape within the heart.
Subsequently, the worshipper begins to view God’s dalliance in his breath-how he pervades every atom of the universe
and how he operates everywhere.
Perception of the works of God
within the sphere of the heart is leela.
Rather than enactment of folk plays based on the legends of Sri Ram and Sri Krishn,
it is perception of the operations of God within the realm of the heart that is the true leela.
And the supreme abode is reached
when the touch of God begins to be felt after the perception of his operations.
Knowing him thus,the worshipper comes to dwell within him. Dwelling in this abode and dwelling in the Supreme Spirit-after feeling his touch in the perfect state
transcendental recitation (paravani) are simultaneous events.
Thus, equipped with pran and apan, or shwas and prashwas,
and progressing gradually through baikhari and madhyama
to the culminating stage of para,the food that God is,is ready and available and also assimilated, and, of course,
by then the eater of the food is ready, too,
to partake of the sublime nourishment.