Why are there rules that mention that a devotee should not eat food cooked by a non-devotee. What if a non-devotee offers a devotee food out of love? Is the devotee supposed to say no? A true devotee sees God in everyone then how can this be true?
Ungrateful – A great fool A non-devotee is a person who does not believe in the Supreme Lord. He is someone who has not yet developed a vision of gratitude for everything that is received from the Supreme Lord – from the basic necessities of life to our livelihood to the world that we live in – practically everything.
A true believer is always a teacher If such an ignorant person who wishes to perpetuate his blindness circumstantially or willfully by refusing to see the hand of God is allowed to continue his ignorance by the devotees he does not stand a chance to rise in his consciousness. A true devotee of the Supreme Lord not only sees the Supreme Lord everywhere but also sees how living entities are suffering in ignorance of this awareness of the Supreme Lord. Such a genuine devotee – very expertly – may not just focus on acceptance/ non-acceptance of food but will keenly focus on sharing his own knowledge of the presence of the Supreme Lord everywhere with the non believer. Included in this knowledge is the art of offering food to the Supreme Lord in gratitude.
In giving we receive Thus genuine devotees are not just characterized by their ability to see God everywhere but also by their ability to enable others to begin the process of seeing God around them. For a devotee, acceptance of food is not the highlight of his dealings with a non-devotee; a much stronger highlight is inducing the non-devotee to accept the essential gift of the devotee – his training to help the non-devotee slowly emulate the devotee and develop the vision of seeing God everywhere.
Separating the essential from the non essential To facilitate the smooth transfer of this essential gift, a devotee might accept or not accept food from a non devotee depending on the particular circumstance. What is important for a devotee is not the food that is being offered. What is critical for him is whether he is able to uplift the particular person who is offering him food closer to the Supreme Lord.