Guruji on Health and its Importance
Health is one of the greatest wealth
Healthy eating is neither about strict nutrition philosophies nor about depriving yourself of the foods that you love. Rather, it is about feeling wonderful, having more energy and keeping yourself healthy and fit. In order to achieve this, you must have adequate knowledge about – when to eat, what to eat, how to eat, where to eat and why to eat.
Eat only when you are hungry. Generally, eating within two hours of waking up in the morning keeps you fit. Make it a habit of drinking nature’s pure water, about a litre, as soon as you wake up. It helps in cleaning your bowel, quickens expelling of stale food from the elementary canal, flushes clean the urinary system and aids in keeping your entire system healthy. The water you drink is absorbed in about 30 minutes and by then you may engage yourself in yogasana, walking or some other physical exercise. Exercising in the morning is an elixir for both, body and mind. Yoga enhances the mental power, tolerance level and promotes peace and harmony. Ensure never to miss your morning yoga routine. Yoga includes asanas, pranayama and meditation. These can be completed within 100 minutes. These 100 minutes of yoga every morning will help in keeping you hale and hearty for the next 100 years or for the rest of your life.
Eat smart. It is not just about what you eat but also about how you eat. Your food choices can reduce your risk of illnesses such as heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, nervous debility and other psychological problems. Healthy eating can boost your energy level, sharpen your memory and stabilize your mood.
In most of the so-called civilized countries, people avoid using their fingers for eating and instead use forks and spoons. Our sages and ancestors used their bare hands and fingers for eating. This is the healthiest way to eat, for when we eat in this manner, the bio electrical energy from our fingers get transmitted to our system. On the other hand, when fork and spoon are used for eating food, the bio electrical energy is wasted as it gets transmitted to these objects. Further, the bio electrical energy from our tongue and lips is also lost when fork and spoon are used for eating.
Also consider our psychic energy – Kundalini shakti– which passes through the Sushumna Nadi (main energy channel) in a single flow, crossing all chakras until it reaches the Vishuddhi chakra i.e, the point above the throat region. After this point, the Sushumna Nadi branches itself into two parts with the psychic energy passing through both these branches. One branch runs behind the head through the spinal cord and joins the center of the head while the other branch runs towards the chin, enters the middle of the lower lip, joins the upper lip, passes through the center of the nose, forehead and finally joins the center of the head. Eating with fork and spoon would necessarily disturb the energy flow from the lips and tongue. This would in turn reduce the saliva oozing into the mouth and thereby hamper the first stage of digestion of food in the mouth.
Further, our fingertips also transmit the vibrations emanating from the neurons in the brain and pass it on to the food that we eat. When this food touches our tongue and lips, the psychic energy flow through the Sushumna Nadi is encouraged. This further promotes oozing of saliva from the glands into the mouth. Now, think for a while, how precious and energizing is this practice of eating with our bare hands and fingers, a practice followed by our rishis and ancestors!
Another ancient practice of taking our meals, seated on the floor on a wooden plank or mat, is far healthier than using a dining table to eat our food. Sitting on the floor with our thighs spread and our abdomen relaxed, promotes oozing of the digestive juices into the elementary canal for easy digestion of the food ingested. Eating while sitting on a chair or while standing hampers adequate secretion of the digestive juices. The science behind this is – our body takes on the shape of a pyramid when we sit on the floor. Our bottom – the base of the pyramid touches the seat on which we sit. The King’s chamber of the pyramid is between our stomach and throat, where the primary and most important part of digestion takes place. Generally, a person sitting on the floor to eat his food has more of memory power, will power and is relatively healthier. He also eats lesser than the person who eats while sitting on a chair, thus preventing obesity.
The eating atmosphere should be clean and neat and the food should be consumed only when hungry. Light music in the dining hall encourages ‘satvik’ digestion. Only a hungry man can eat well and enjoy the food eaten. Hunger is a mechanism that activates the digestive system and glands. Drinking water in gulps between meals reduces the digestive capacity. However, a sip or two of water, to wet the dry throat, is permissible.
Natural food is the best food for human consumption. Nature produces flowers, fruits and seeds. These are considered to be the best food. Fruits are seasonal, they rank first in maintaining health and longevity. Next come the vegetables. Home-grown vegetables can be cleaned and eaten raw. For young and healthy men, consumption of roots are equally good. After middle age, one should eat boiled or baked food. Avoid fried food. Consume cereals, raw nuts and milk during old age. These are considered as ‘satvik’ food. Non vegetarian food is considered as ‘tamasik’ food. Ingesting non-vegetarian food may give rise to ‘tamasik’ thoughts and actions. Hence non-vegetarian foods are avoided by the yogis. Mixture of ‘satvik’ and ‘tamasik’ is ‘rajasik’ food. This is generally consumed by soldiers and ones engaged in physical labour.
“You are what you eat” is an apt saying. For better meditation try to maintain a ‘satvik’ diet. Remember we are visitors on this planet. We do not live to eat. We eat so that we may live and love. We are here only to love the Creator and His Creations.