hymns in praise of the eater, the eaten, and the cosmos of food
1. People say: 'Uktha, uktha,' hymns, hymns! (without knowing what uktha, hymn, means.) The hymn is truly (to be considered as) he earth, for from it all whatsoever exists arises,
2. The object of its praise is Agni (fire), and the eighty verses (of the hymn) are food, for by means of food one obtains everything.
3. The hymn is truly the sky, for the birds fly along the sky, and men drive following the sky. The object of its praise is Vayu (air), and the eighty verses (of the hymn) are food, for by means of food one obtains everything.
4. The hymn is truly the heaven, for from its gift (rain) all whatsoever exists arises. The object of its praise is Aditya (the sun), and the eighty verses are food, for by means of food one obtains everything.
5. So much with reference to the gods (mythological); now with reference to man (physiological).
6. The hymn is truly man. He is great, he is Pragapati. Let him think, I am the hymn.
7. The hymn is his mouth, as before in the case of the earth.
8. The object of its praise is speech, and the eighty verses (of the hymn) are food, for by means of food he obtains everything.
9. The hymn is the nostrils, as before in the case of the sky.
10. The object of its praise is breath, and the eighty verses (of the hymn) are food, for by means of food he obtains everything.
11. The slight bent (at the root) of the nose is, as it were, the place of the brilliant (Aditya, the sun).
12. The Hymn is the forehead, as before in the case of heaven. The object of its praise is the eye, and the eighty verses (of the hymn) are food, for by means of food he obtains everything.
13. The eighty verses (of the hymn) are alike food with reference to the gods as well as with reference to man. For all these beings breathe and live by means of food indeed. By food (given in alms, &c.) he conquers this world, by food (given in sacrifice) he conquers the other. Therefore the eighty verses (of the hymn) are alike food, with reference to the gods as well as with reference to man.
14. All this that is food, and all this that consumes food, is only the earth, for from the earth arises all whatever there is.
15. And all that goes hence (dies on earth), heaven consumes it all; and all that goes thence (returns from heaven to a new life) the earth consumes it all.
16. That earth is thus both food and consumer.
He also (the true worshipper who meditates on himself as being the uktha) is both consumer and consumed (subject and object'). No one possesses that which he does not eat, or the things which do not eat him.
Aitareya-Aranyaka II, 1st Adhyaya, 2st Khanda, v. 1-16 http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/upan/up03b.ht
11. This is the highest form of Self, viz. food, for this Prana (this body) subsists on food. If it eats not, it cannot perceive, hear, touch, see, smell, taste, and it loses the vital airs. For thus it is said:
'If it eats, then in full possession of the vital airs, it can perceive, hear, touch, speak, taste, smell, see.' And thus it is said:
'From food are born all creatures that live on earth; afterwards they live on food, and in the end (when they die) they return to it.'
12. And thus it is said elsewhere: Surely all these creatures run about day and night, wishing to catch food. The sun takes food with his rays, and by it he shines. These vital airs digest, when sprinkled with food. Fire flares up by food, and by Brahma (Pragapati), desirous of food, has all this been made. Therefore let a man worship food as his Self. For thus it is said:
'From food creatures are born, by food they grow when born; because it is eaten and because it eats creatures, therefore it is called food (annam).'
13. And thus it is said elsewhere: This food is the body of the blessed Vishnu, called Visvabhrit (all-sustaining). Breath is the essence of food, mind of breath, knowledge of mind, joy of knowledge. He who knows this is possessed of food, breath, mind, knowledge, and joy. Whatever creatures here on earth eat food, abiding in them he, who knows this, eats food. Food has been called undecaying, food has been called worshipful; food is the breath of animals, food is the oldest, food has been called the physician.
14. And thus it has been said elsewhere: Food is the cause of all this, time of food, and the sun is the cause of time. The (visible) form of time is the year, consisting of twelve months, made up of Nimeshas (twinklings) and other measures. Of the year one half (when the sun moves northward) belongs to Agni, the other to Varuna (when the sun moves southward). That which belongs to Agni begins with the asterism of Magha and ends with half of the asterism of Sravishtha, the sun stepping down northward. That which belongs to Soma (instead of Varuna) begins with the asterism (of Aslesha), sacred to the Serpents, and ends with half of the asterism of Sravishtha, the sun stepping up southward. And then there (are the months) one by one, belonging to the year, each consisting of nine-fourths of asterisms (two asterisms and a quarter being the twelfth part of the passage of the sun through the twenty-seven Nakshatras), each deter mined by the sun moving together with the asterisms. Because time is imperceptible by sense, therefore this (the progress of the stin, &c.) is its evidence, and by it alone is time proved to exist. Without proof there is no apprehension of what is to be proved; but even what is to be proved can become proof, for the sake of making itself known, if the parts (the twinklings, &c.) can be distinguished from the whole (time). For thus it is said:
'As many portions of time as there are, through them the sun proceeds: he who worships time as Brahman, from him time moves away very far.' And thus it is said:
'From time all beings flow, from time they grow; in time they obtain rest; time is visible (sun) and invisible (moments).'
Maitrayana-Brahmaya-Upanishad, 6th Prapatraka, v. 10-14 http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/upan/up12.htm
– AlkanChipperfield - 06 Jun 2003