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YOUR FOOD HABITS The Veda says that you should not take food more than twice in 24 hours. If you take food more than twice, you should work like the animal ( dvirahnaah manushyaah trirahnaah pashavah… Veda). But, you are taking the food three times and not working like the bull in agriculture. Due to this, the sugar levels rise in the blood leading to several calamities of the health. When you become rich, you like to eat oily foods and sweets, which are fast vehicles to death. Poverty controls all the desires and gives best health and best happiness in the life. Hence, Shankara told that the poor man is the most fortunate fellow ( Kaupeenavantah khalu bhagyavantah ). If you realize this wonderful truth, your ambition to become more and more rich even through corruption and crime disappears. Such realization comes only through spiritual knowledge and not through the study of science and management of business administration. Hence, the education system must be thoroughly rejuvenated to fill more with spiritual knowledge and less with materialistic line of learning . If this is done by the Government, there need not be any effort to bring balance in the society with peace and happiness in the humanity. You must eat to live and not live to eat! The food must be in limited quantity. If the food is eaten in limited quantity, it is eaten by you (adyate) and if it is eaten more, you will be eaten by it (atti) since it (unlimited food) brings illness to kill you! This is said by the Veda ( adyate atticha bhutaani tasmaat annam ). Only little food is converted into energy. All the rest remaining food brings disease only. More food is eaten due to ambition for self only. Limited food is converted into limited energy. Since the energy is limited, you should not waste your energy in luxuries and in killing the time by useless entertainments. The digestive system is not a machine generating endless energy since the system has limits of work and efficiency. You may be very rich to procure unlimited quantity of food, but, your digestive system has limit in its work-efficiency. Hence, whether you are rich or poor, you have to take care about eating limited food and preserving the limited energy generated. This limited energy should be carefully and precisely used in worldly activities so that as far as possible more and more energy can be available for divine service. Full meal gives sleep. It means that sleep is indicating the full meal. Exactly half of this full meal should be taken so that half vacant stomach is partly filled with water and partly filled with moving gas. The food must be suitable to your body ( hitam ), limited ( mitam ) and just cooked ( hutam ), which alone gives perfect health ( hitabhuk mitabhuk hutabhuk ). You must rest a little after lunch and walk a little after dinner in the night ( katipaya padachamkramanah ). You must never resist urine and motion for a long time ( anibaddha mutra pureeshah ). You must have little frequency of sex as far as possible ( streeshu yo jaagarti ). All these are tips of health science given by yoga scripture. Health is the real wealth not only in Pravrutti (social justice) but also in Nivrutti (serving God). Extreme steps must be avoided as per authority also. [Both extreme steps of fasting and overeating to pain the soul shall be avoided as said in the Gita ( naatyashnatastu… , karshayantah… ). Fasting gives weakness in doing ritual and overeating brings drowsiness. Even the Veda recommends light food in rituals ( payo braahmanasya... ).] The food must be in three ways, devoid of three defects and first of three qualities. [Precautions must be taken in taking food: 1) It must be limited in quantity, but, high in quality. 2) It must be well cooked to eliminate bacteria and 3) It must be non-allergic to be known by test of a specific human being ( mitam hutam hitam ). The food must avoid three defects also: 1) Gas (vaata), 2) Damage of liver (pitta) and 3) effect of cold (sleshma). The food must be selected for the first quality and the other two qualities must be limited: 1) Sattvam with neutral taste, 2) Rajas with salty, chilly and sour tastes and 3) Tamas with killed taste due to long delay after cooking.] Deep sleep must be 1/3 or 1/4 of the day without the three types of dreams. [Sleep must not be lesser then 1/4 and must not be more then 1/3 of the duration of a day (24 hours). This sleep must be deep devoid of any dream. Dream comes for three reasons: 1) God may use it for communication with the soul. 2) The strong feelings of subconscious state of previous births may appear and 3) Some strong feelings from general conscious state of awakening of present birth may appear.] Gas generated from potato etc., cold generated from sweet and cool foods, indigestion coming from oil etc., spoil the health. You must stop the journey in rainy season since you will be attacked by illness. The secret of Chaaturmaasya (staying in one place during rainy season) is only this. You must have proper quantum of sleep to keep mind fresh and body also healthy. You must adapt yourself carefully according to changing seasons. Association with worldly people is not holy. Association with spiritual people makes you holy. Don’t aspire to become popular in this society of worldly people. This is the reason for the sages to go to forests to live in association with birds and animals, who do effort for the meals of that day only. The worldly people in cities and villages always put efforts even if they have earned wealth sufficient for 10 future generations! Take even simple food offered by spiritual people and don’t take even a feast offered by worldly people. You have to spend 1/3rd time of day (24 hrs) for sleep. Sleep is very essential for the brain and body. In the rest 2/3rd time (16 hrs), spend as much as possible for the sake of God after finishing your duties for earning and other responsibilities of your family. Rest a while after lunch and walk a while after dinner. The food taken should be 1/4th of your stomach. Water should be in another 1/4th part. Another 1/4th part should be for the movement of gas. The last 1/4th part should be free space. The scripture of Yoga prescribes this. Control of external and internal senses is the very foundation of Yoga. Doing regular exercises and avoiding polluted air by exposing to fresh and pure air are the associated steps for good health. You must take lot of care about your health, which is very much essential for the spiritual journey. You must always analyse food you take regarding its effects on your body. The food also affects your mind and intelligence. Food is the source of good health as well as disease. The qualities of food and its quantity should be always analysed. You take food through your mouth and similarly you hear the sentences through your ears. You must analyse the quality and quantity of speech grasped by your years. Both these decide your spiritual future. You must not kill any living being for the sake of your food. The killing is the greatest sin You must not kill any living being for the sake of your food. God has given enough vegetable food that contains all the ingredients present in the non-vegetarian food. After all, the source of ingredients of any flesh is only vegetable kingdom only. Eating the non-vegetarian food is not a sin because same ingredients exist in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. But, you have to kill a living being for the sake of non-vegetarian food. The killing is the greatest sin. You may argue that you have not killed the living being directly. Such argument cannot stand. Since you are eating the non-vegetarian food, the living being is killed. You are responsible for its killing. Therefore, you are the principle shareholder of the sin. There is nothing wrong if you eat a living being after its natural death. In Hinduism, there is a sect of people called ‘Kapalikas’, who eat the dead living beings. Therefore, they do not acquire sin. The tsunami is always due to anger of God since you are killing the living beings present in water for food. The earthquakes are due to killing of living beings that exist on the earth. God in the form of Buddha and Mahavir preached the non-violence and severely opposed the killing of living beings. God in some other human forms might have followed the practice of non-vegetarian food in order to join with non-vegetarian people so that, certain other higher aspects to be preached might have been taken into consideration. That does not mean that God has encouraged the killing of living beings through non-vegetarian food. He might have kept silent on this issue in order to give importance to other serious issues. God follows the ignorance of the students in order to become friendly with them. To control a running bull, you have to run along with it for some distance before controlling it. All these are the basic concepts of nivrutti, which are the core of pravrutti. By following the ethics of pravrutti, you will avoid God becoming furious with you. Then, through nivrutti, you can please God. On one hand, you are making God furious by not following the ethics of pravrutti and how can you please God through nivrutti simultaneously? NEVER KILL ANIMALS! IT IS A GRAVE SIN My dear disciple! Listen Me. Non-violence is the roof of the justice. The animal nature shall be killed and not the animal! If you succeed in pravrutti, God will drag you in Nivrutti also. [The greatest sin is violence (ahimsaaparamodharmah), which means hurting or killing any good living being. People have misunderstood that animals are to be killed in sacrifice done for God. The Veda says that the animal to be killed is the rigid ignorance and stupidity of the animal-nature and not the actual animal itself (manyuhpashuh - Veda)! The word ‘ajaa’ means goat as well as food grains stored for three years (so that they are not useful for germination) from which the flour is prepared and a paste of it is used to prepare the statue of the animal. Such statue of animal is to be cut as a symbolic act. Without understanding the latter intended sense, people have started killing the goats in sacrifice! Any animal including cow or bird of soft nature should not be killed for the sake of food. Scripture says that a Brahmin should not be killed, but, Ravana (Brahmin) was killed by God. Brahmin means any living being (including human being) that does not harm you even if you harm it (ghaatamnaghaatayetviprah). The deity of justice surrendered to God Datta in the form of a cow. Cow slaughter means slaughter of justice. If justice is slaughtered, the cow is slaughtered and not reverse. Any soft-natured animal including cow or bird or human being should not be slaughtered. Slaughter of justice is the whole and slaughter of Cow is a part of it. This is the essence of the climax of justice. If you are not doing the three sins mentioned in the Gita, God will be very much pleased with you and pushes you in the path of Nivrutti also to make you His nearest and dearest!] Avoid unnecessary expenditure of money and energy also We should use electricity with utmost care only whenever we have a real necessity. People leave the lights and fans ON even after they leave the rooms. They try to show off their false generosity and richness; that they can pay the electricity charges even for the electricity that they do not need. Yes, I agree that you are very rich and have the capacity to pay the electricity bill even though it was spent unnecessarily. It is not the question of your capacity to pay the extra electricity charges. Electrical energy is generated only in a limited quantity; not in an unlimited quantity. If it were generated in an unlimited quantity, your wastage of electricity need not be criticized. Everybody is wasting some amount of electricity. If all these small quantities of electricity are conserved and the wastage is reduced to zero, a lot of electricity will be saved. This large amount of electricity saved would be useful for poor farmers who need electricity for pumping water from their borewells and irrigating their fields. This will allow plenty of food to be produced, which in turn would prevent the hunger deaths taking place on the streets. The saved energy could also be used for other real necessities like industries, which give employment to the poor. Unless we are concerned about the wastage of energy which is generated in limited quantities, we are not helping this world function peacefully. The peaceful functioning of the world is the main aim of God. Similarly, human energy is also very much limited. You may have a lot of food in your home since you are very rich. But can you continuously eat food and continuously generate human energy? Are you like an engine, which can continuously generate energy by continuously consuming fuel? Actually, even an engine, if operated continuously, will lose its efficiency and get spoiled in a very short time. Our digestive system is even more delicate. It does not even allow food to be eaten continuously, not to mention producing human energy continuously. It can only take in a little quantity of food twice or thrice in a day and it can generate a very limited amount of human energy. If we waste our human energy in unnecessary worldly issues, no energy is left for our spiritual efforts. We must control the wastage of human energy in unnecessary worldly vices. A small part of the little amount of available human energy should be used for fulfilling the bare worldly necessities. The rest of the available human energy should be used for our spiritual efforts. Unless we develop the habit of controlling the wastage of external energy, how can we save our external physical energy and use it for useful worldly tasks? Unless we develop the habit of controlling the wastage of our internal human energy, how can we save the internal human energy and use it for the spiritual effort? Conservation of energy, time and money, without wasting them on unnecessary expenditure is not miserliness. It is real wisdom to conserve them so that they may be used for the right purposes. If one conserves these three and does not use them even for the right purposes, such a person is a real miser. Controlling the unnecessary expenditure of these three is not miserliness at all. You are conserving them by resisting their wastage so that they can be spent in full quantity for the right purpose and that the need is perfectly and effectively met. Generally, we waste energy, time and money thinking that we are spending them in very very small quantities. But thinking like this we waste them in small quantities many many times. If only we could put all these small wasted amounts together and see the full extent of the wastage! We should withdraw our senses from these worldly vices to save our energy, time and money, remembering that drops of water put together formed the mighty ocean. Such withdrawal of senses from the unnecessary wastage of these three is called as pratyāhāra, which is the fifth step of yoga. This step is the main gate of the real spiritual effort, which is represented by the next three steps called as dhāraṇā, dhyāna and sāmādhi. Unless the leakages in the water-tank are arrested, the pipelines running from the water-tank cannot yield water at a sufficient pressure to fulfill your needs. The first four steps of yoga are: yama, niyama, āsana and prāṇāyāma. They are related to conserving one’s physical health. Physical health is also the basis of mental health. So, these four steps ensure that you attain a sound mind in a sound body. Only after attaining this preliminary requirement, does the actual path of yoga start with the fifth step called as pratyāhāra. In this fifth step, you have to withdraw the senses from the false attractions of the world so that you can put in the initial effort with force and enter into the subject of God (spiritual knowledge). After digesting the subject of God, there is no necessity of any effort for the detachment from the unnecessary worldly issues. The attachment to God naturally brings detachment from the world. But before attaining that attachment to God, you have to put in special effort for worldly detachment. This is just an initial starting trouble. For this initial effort, we need the help of this fifth step of yoga. Unless you have a sound body with a sound mind along with the achieved interest in God, you cannot serve God effectively like Hanumān, who has a strong body and a strong mind with a strong attachment to God. By Shri Datta Swami www.universal-spirituality.org Universal Spirituality for World Peace