Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Mera Bharat Mahan 4: Balanced food in moderation

The current modern medicine teaching is to eat in moderation and eat a variety of foods. This has also been the teaching of the Vedic era.

There is a famous couplet (doha) from Kabir, which says: “Jaisa Bhojan Kijiye, Vaisa Hi Mana Hoye, Jaisa Paani Pijiye, Taisi Vani Hoye”. This can be summarized as “You are what your food is”.

Even Chanakya in Chanakya Niti wrote “Deepo Bhakshyta dhavantam kajjalam Cha Prasuata; Yadanam Bhakshyata Nityam Jayata Ta Drishi Praja”, which means that the deepak or the lamp eats away (removes) the darkness and produces kajal; likewise, whatever we eat forms the very essence of our being.

The benefits of a balanced diet have also been mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita.

In Shloka 6.17, Krishna says to Arjuna:

युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु।
युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दुःखहा।।

“Yukaharaviharasya Yuktachestasya Karmasu; Yuktasvapnavabodhasya Yoga Bhavati Duhkhaha”

“For the one, whose diet and movements are balanced, who does his actions in a proper manner, whose hour of sleeping and waking up are regular, and who follows the path of meditation is the destroyer of pain or unhappiness.”

In Shloka 6.16, Krishna speaks on the principle of moderation in diet, thought and actions. He says,

नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति  चैकान्तमनश्नतः।
 चातिस्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन।।6.16।।

“nāty-aśnatas tu yogo ’sti
na caikāntam anaśnataḥ
na cāti-svapna-śīlasya
jāgrato naiva cārjuna”

“That eating too much food or starving, and sleeping too much or remaining awake all the time is not health friendly. Such people cannot concentrate or do Sadhana.”

These messages from our ancient texts have been validated by modern scientific research and hold relevance even today.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA

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