Volume 12 - Issue 08
August 2014
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DIVINE DISCOURSE QUIZ ON HEALTH

Right answer on your 1st attempt
3 Points
Right answer on your 2nd attempt
2 Points
Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point

 

Bhagawan has often emphasised in His messages 'Do not follow the body, do not follow the mind, follow the conscience.' However Swami did not say 'Do not take care of the body or do not respect the body; it is insignificant' or anything of that nature. Infact He always asserted that 'Body is the Temple of God' and that one should attend to it and maintain it the way one would preserve the purity of a temple. And this is most significant because it is only through the body that one can follow the conscience and finally attain the Cosmic Union. Even if we are not concerned about the ultimate Cosmic Union, just to achieve our simple and mundane everyday goals and be reasonably happy in life we need the body – a body that is fit, agile, strong and resilient. And who better to guide us on this than the Creator of this Marvellous Divine Machine?

Thus, again through the medium of an interactive quiz, we offer this collection of precious Divine wisdom on how to make best use of this most important wealth bestowed free on every man.

01. In a Divine Discourse given during the 2002 Summer Showers, Swami imparts a lot of wisdom on how to raise healthy children responsibly:

“From time immemorial, many countries have been delving into the ways to preserve good health and disseminating the knowledge among all. In the absence of sound health, human aspirations become futile. Unable to realize this truth, man is losing his wealth by wrong habits. Right from ancient times, Indians and Romans have been espousing the cause of good health and endeavouring to achieve it. Of course, several other nations have also been conscious of the importance of health. Realizing that health was indeed the greatest wealth, they went on to treat each limb of the body like the head, the mouth, the nose, the eyes, etc., as a separate unit in itself. Thus, focusing on each part, they adopted specific modes of nurture for each.

“In France, for one, discipline in respect of food was practiced meticulously. Not because they thought that body was all-important to man, but because they had visualized that soul resided within the body. And when the house is safe, the resident will be peaceful and comfortable.”

(Swami then sang a Telugu rhyme on good habits for students)

As the cock crows, get out of bed;
Brush your teeth and relieve yourself,
Bathe, dress up and breakfast.
It’s good to eat light and chew well
As you relish your favourite dish.
Off to school for serious studies;
And the good remarks of being a humble child.
Don’t get wet and don’t play in dirty puddles.
When it’s play time sprint, jump or dribble the ball.
If you follow the above directions you will enjoy the wealth of health.

According to Swami, the medium of Radio and Television has polluted the minds of the youth. “No one protests against this evil, neither parents inside house, nor the teachers, the educated persons and the elders in the society. The reason simply is: ..............................”

  B. They too have succumbed to the addiction


02. In a Divine Discourse given in 1969, Swami explains in detail the ramifications on health by leading an imbalanced lifestyle:

“For attaining the Four Aims of Human Life, Dharma (Righteousness), Artha (Prosperity), Kaama (Fulfilment of desires) and Moksha (Liberation from bondage), the basic requirement is health of body and mind. Disease means feeling uneasy and disturbed, on account of the upsetting of one's temper or balance or equilibrium, which affects the physical as well as mental condition. This happens for two reasons: faulty Aahaara (food) and faulty Vihaara (activities).

“It is wise to prevent disease than run after remedies after it has happened or grown beyond control. Man does not attend to precautionary measures; he allows things to worsen and then the disease is aggravated by fear, uncertainty and anxiety. There is an axiom believed in by men of old, which says: 'One meal a day makes a Yogi, two meals a day make a Bhogi and three meals a day makes a Rogi. Yogi is the contented God-centred man. Bhogi is the man revelling in sensual pleasure. Rogi is the man ridden by illness. Yes, the quantity of food intake by the well-to-do is now much beyond essential requirements. Over-eating has become a fashion.

“The breakfast does not serve to break any fast, for there has been no fasting at all! It is as good as a full meal. Lunch is pressed in and consists of many dishes, chosen for the palate rather than to assuage hunger. Tea is tea only in name; it includes rather heavy fare, out of all proportion to the needs of the body. Dinner at night is the heaviest meal and includes the largest variety and so one goes to bed, weighted with unwanted stuff, to roll from side to side, in a vain effort to get a few minutes of sleep. The shortage of food grains is mainly due to bad and wasteful eating habits; it can be set right, and people can live longer and more healthily, if only they eat the minimum, rather than fill themselves with maximum.

“....The body is a chariot, wherein God is installed, being taken along in procession. Let us consider some points on which we have to be vigilant, in order to avoid breakdowns on the road: Fast one day in the week. This is good for the body as well as for the country. Do not eat a dozen plantains, half a dozen puris and drink a quart of milk and call it a fast! Take only water, so that all the dirt is washed away. Do not crave for fruit juice or other liquids.”

Swami adds: “Move about and fill the day with activity, so that food is well digested. …............................. before sitting down for a meal.”

 

03. In a Divine Discourse given in 1979, Swami stresses on the importance of intake of natural food: “Man is the only living being which dislikes raw food found in the natural state. All other animals eat things as they are - grain, grass, leaves, shoots, fruits, etc. Man boils, fries, melts, mixes and adopts various methods of cooking in order to satisfy the cravings of the tongue, the eye and the nose. As a consequence, the food value of these articles are either reduced or destroyed.

“When the seeds are fried, they do not sprout; that is clear proof that the 'life-force' is eliminated. Therefore, uncooked raw pulses that are just sprouting are to be preferred. Also nuts and fruits. The coconut, offered to the Gods, is a good Saathwik (pure) food, having good percentage of protein besides fat, starch and minerals. Food having too much salt or pepper is Raajasik (passion-arousing) and should be avoided; so also too much fat and starch, which are Thaamasik (disposed to inactivity) in their effects on the body, should be avoided.

“An intake of too much food is also harmful. Simply because tasty food is available and is being offered, one is tempted to overeat. We have air all around us but we do not breathe in more than we need. The lake is full but we drink only as much as the thirst craves for. But overeating has become a social evil, a fashionable habit. The stomach cries out, 'Enough' but the tongue insists on more, and man becomes the helpless target of disease. He suffers from corpulence, high blood pressure and diabetes. Moderate food is the best medicine to avoid bodily life. Do not rush to the hospital for every little upset. Too much drugging is also bad. Allow Nature full scope to fight the disease and set you right. Adopt more and more the principles of naturopathy, and give up running around for doctors.”

According to Swami, “When we say that we should accept only Saathwik food, it refers to food that we accept .......................”

 

04. In a Divine Discourse given in 1990, Swami shared an easy prayer to get rid of any contaminants in food:

“Realizing that man's attraction for sensual pleasures is due to the kind of food that he takes, the ancients devised an easy and sacred method for purifying the food before eating. They used to sprinkle some water on the food and utter the mantra: "Annam Brahma! Raso Vishnuh! Bhoktaa Devo Maheswarah! (The solid food is Brahma, the liquids are Vishnu and the enjoyer of the meal is Maheswara).” The sprinkling is done with Sathya and Rita (Truth and the Cosmic Order which together sustain the universe). In performing this rite, the partaker of food is praying to the trinity to protect him with "Sathya and Rita." The prayer to the deities is to endow him with Trikarana Shuddhi - the triple purity of thought, word and deed. By this rite, the food was being sanctified.”

During the Divine Discourses given during the 1993 Summer Showers, Swami shared yet another holy prayer “Brahmarpanam” which sanctifies food and promotes sound health:

“Our ancestors recommended the offering of food to God before partaking. Food so partaken becomes Prasad (consecrated offering). Prayer cleanses the food of the three impurities caused by the absence of Patra Shuddhi (cleanliness of the vessel), Padartha Shuddhi (cleanliness) of the food stuff and Paka Shuddhi (cleanliness in the process of cooking). It is necessary to get rid of these three impurities to purify the food; for, pure food goes into the making of a pure mind. It is not possible to ensure the purity of the cooking process, since we do not know what thoughts rage in the mind of the man who prepares the food. Similarly, we cannot ensure Padartha Shuddhi (cleanliness of the food ingredients) as we do not know whether this food grains were acquired in a righteous way by the seller who had sold it to us. Hence, it is essential on our part to offer food to God in the form of prayer, so that these three impurities do not afflict our mind:

Brahmarpanam Brahmahavir Brahmagnou Brahmanahutam
Brahmaivatena Gantavyam Brahmakarma Samadhina
Aham Vaishvanaro Bhutva Praninam Dehamashritaha
Pranapana Samayuktaha Pachamyannam Chaturvidham


The food thus offered to God is digested by ‘Vaishvanara’ in the digestive system. Since God exists in the form of fire as Vaishvanara, He digests the food along with impurities. So, man will not be affected even if the impurities enter the food. That is why it is a practice in Sathya Sai Hostels to chant “Brahmarpanam” before it is partaken.”

According to Swami after chanting this food prayer, “If we eat Saathwik food, sitting in a clean place, we will have clean ideas by eating that food. There will thus be a good possibility of our getting .......................”


 

05. In a Divine Discourse given in 1980, Swami imparts great knowledge on how to avoid physical and mental illnesses, caused due to unavoidable sorrows:

“Man has to encounter sorrow from three sources while here on earth. The scriptures mention these and warn men against them. They refer to them as Aadhyaathmic (individual personal), Aadhibhowthic (external elements) and Aadhidhaivic (super natural). Here Aathma means the corporeal self and so, the first group of sorrows afflicts man through physical and mental illnesses. The second is derived from bhuutha, which means 'that which is created' and that group of sorrows is derived from living beings like snakes, wild animals, worms, insects, etc. The third word is Aadhidhaivic, where dhaiva means a deity presiding over a force or phenomenon in Nature. So the third group of sorrows trouble man through calamities like floods, drought and storm.

Aadhyaathmic sorrow is caused by the human body, the home of countless microbes, and other parasitic beings. No one can be free from these disease-inducing causes. But, one can easily overcome this sorrow by developing feelings of compassion towards all beings and thoughts which thrive on Love and spread love. Illness, both physical and mental, is a reaction on the body caused by poisons in the mind. An uncontaminated mind alone can ensure continuous health. Vice breeds disease. Bad thoughts and habits, bad company and bad food are fertile grounds where disease thrives. Aarogya (good health) and Aanandha (bliss) go hand in hand.

To avoid such sorrow, Swami then alerts us: “Evil habits in which men indulge are the chief cause of disease, physical as well as mental...That is the reason why I am emphasizing before you the relationship between ................., health and happiness.”


06. In a Divine Discourses given during the Summer Course in 1993, Swami elucidated on the importance of practicing Yoga for good health:

“The seers of ancient India professed and practiced Yoga with its eight components of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Indians have neglected Yoga, nourishing the mistaken notion that Yoga is meant for the ochre-robed forest-dwellers who feed on tubers. They think that only recluses and renunciates are worthy enough to practice Yoga. They deluded themselves, entertaining the wrong idea that an ordinary man has nothing to do with Yoga.

“Man in his frantic scramble for amassing wealth has lost proper sleeping habits. Man forces himself to take sleeping pills and intoxicants to induce sleep, into his worried mind. Pills and drugs take a heavy toll of his health and make him a target for blood pressure and heart ailments. The hurry and insatiable greed of man have brought in their wake a host of mental maladies. The stress and strain, the worry and the tension of modern life and the lack of proper environment, damage the health of the modern man. There is an increase in the number of people suffering from physical ailments and mental maladies all over the world....Sage Patanjali devoted his entire life to the study of Yoga and declared that health is most essential for life. He stated that the well-being of the body depends on discipline. He defined Yoga as, “the observance of discipline for the physical, mental and spiritual well-being.”

Na Shreyo Niyamam Vina (No well-being is obtained without discipline). Yoga lays down certain disciplines (Niyama) like partaking of moderate, balanced and pure food. But modern man flouts the yogic discipline by helping himself with spicy and sumptuous food to cater to his greedy tongue. He ignores the ancient doctrine that food should be taken like medicine for the disease of hunger. We should take the medicine, whether it is tasty or not, to cure our illness. But the modern man flouts this discipline and feeds voraciously on spiced food.

According to Swami, “Yoga is not mere physical exercise. It involves exercise of breath as well. Yoga gives utmost importance to the ........................”


07. In a Divine Discourse given in 1980, Swami clearly explains the origin and purpose of the Eastern science of medicine called Ayurveda:

“Note that the science of medicine, practiced by doctors in India is known by the sacred name of Ayurveda - the science of healthy longevity. Its source too is as divine as the source of the Vedas! It has to be studied with as much awe and veneration as the Vedas are learnt, at the feet of the Guru. It has to be practiced with as much devotion and dedication as Vedic ceremonies and recitations are fulfilled. The Veda or knowledge that confers Aayu (longevity) is Aayur-Veda. It can prolong life, preserve and protect life from hazards.”

During a Divine Discourse given in 1993, Swami elaborated more on this unique science of medicine: “Among the four Vedas, the Atharvana Veda is the one that has given the science relating to longevity, known as Ayurveda. Ayurveda transcends time and space and is valid for all places, at all times. It relates to the spirit, mind and the body and has an integrated approach. The Allopathic system came much later. It is based on an objective, external approach while Ayurveda is subjective. Both have to be coordinated for better results. Since Ayurveda is subjective, it is more efficacious than the Allopathic system. There is a superior artistic sense in Ayurveda.

“Doctors have to realize the distinction between subjective and objective approaches. The latter has an external outlook while the former has an inner view. The object is a reflection of the subject. Without realizing this relationship between Ayurveda and Allopathy, doctors are wasting their time in arguments.

According to Swami: “Allopathy is based on external knowledge and experimentation, while Ayurveda is based on inner knowledge and ........................”



08. In a Divine Discourse given in 2005, Swami stressed a lot on the benefits of being on a vegetarian diet:

“Once someone asked our students what type of food they like to take, vegetarian or non-vegetarian. They replied in one voice, ‘Non-vegetarian food gives rise to evil thoughts and feelings; hence we would never touch non-vegetarian food.’ They are 100% vegetarians. Even the students who used to eat non-vegetarian food earlier became vegetarians once they joined our Institute. Once someone tried to persuade one of our students to take non-vegetarian food, saying it contained a lot of good nutrients. But, he did not budge from his stand. He said, “I don’t want such vitamins and proteins. Even vegetarian food has all the vitamins and proteins that I need. I want to tread the path of truth and non-vegetarian food is not at all conducive for spiritual progress. Along with secular education, I want to acquire spiritual education and propagate it to the world.” There are many such students who are firm in their resolve to spread the Sai ideals. It is because of such noble students that our institution has attained worldwide fame.

“Non-vegetarian food causes several diseases, like cancer. You might have read in journals and newspapers that most of the people in Singapore eat fish. Consequently, they are infected by several harmful micro-organisms. Similar instances were reported from various parts of India. It is because of unhealthy food that people suffer from diseases. Many are under the mistaken notion that non-vegetarian food gives them strength, but in reality it makes them weak. Once you spoil your health by partaking of non-vegetarian food, you will never be able to regain your health even if you spend the rest of your life in forests eating fruits and tubers.

“Our body is made up of flesh. Why should you feed it again with flesh? Such unsacred food gives rise to unsacred thoughts. It is not enough if you observe regulations with regard to food alone; you should cultivate good habits also. You should participate in sports and games regularly. Take part in such games which will help in the blossoming of your physical and mental faculties. Healthy food and good habits will take you to exalted position in life.”

According to Swami: “Some kind of cleaning powder is used for cleaning vessels. Similarly _________ is the means of cleansing the heart. Through a pure heart one achieves spiritual insight. Impure minds are the cause of many heart troubles.”


09. In a Divine Discourse given in 1994, Swami reiterated the need for how to observe good cardiac health:

“The heart is a special organ in the human system. It is pulsating ceaselessly unlike the other organs. Heart surgery is a highly complex operation, as the surgery has to be performed without arresting the heartbeat. At the same time the functioning of the lungs has also to be kept up. Medical men of genius invented the heart-lung machine in 1956 to carry on the activities of the heart as well as the lung during cardiac operations. The machine takes upon itself the function of the heart and the lung ensuring purification of the blood and keeping up circulation of the blood. The details of the functioning of this heart-lung machine are well known to the doctors.

“In my opinion, it is the primary responsibility of every individual to prevent becoming a victim of heart disease by regulating his food and other habits. Prevention is better than cure. There will be little room for cardiac ailments if one's food habits are properly controlled and regulated. The consumption of large quantities of fat is the cause of cardiovascular diseases. Doctors advise against the consumption of fatty food stuffs which cause increase in weight resulting in susceptibility to cardiac diseases. The presence of toxins also inflicts equal damage. So one should eat in moderate quantity the right type of food and avoid intoxicating drinks to safeguard his health. The intake of food should be gradually reduced after crossing 50 years.

“Some people consume food indiscriminately unmindful of the caloric content of the food taken. For example, people eat pappads (thin circular flour preparations) fried in oil which have high calorie content. People also consume ghee which is also a high calorie food. A single pappad has 100-150 calories of energy. A single spoon of ghee has 100 calories of energy. Even when the quantity of food intake is reduced, reduction in the calorie content is not ensured. There are some doctors who advise their patients against smoking and addiction to alcohol, but they themselves smoke and drink!

Gifting us with a solution to sound health, Swami shared: “Of the 24 hours of the day, have 6 hours for your individual needs, 6 hours for ....................................., 6 hours for sleep and 6 for dwelling in the Presence of the Lord.”


10. In a Divine Discourse given in 1994, Swami shares with us the secret behind His good health: “Students here expressed their wonder as to how Swami looks young and is energetic. Really the reason for this is the imbibing of the three P's by Me, namely, Purity, Patience, and Perseverance. If you follow these 3 tenets you will not be afflicted by any disease.

“I am keeping Myself active day in and day out for the sake of the welfare of the world and no disease has affected this body at any time during the past 68 years. My teeth are quite healthy and strong even at this age. I can masticate anything. My eye sight is very sharp. People get short sight or long sight even at the age of forty and wear glasses. I take no medicine as no disease affects Me. Even while I take on the diseases of others, I pretend as though I take the pill offered by doctors to satisfy them. But actually I throw it away and sip only water. I eat the barest minimum to sustain the body. I take just one small oil-free dry chapaathi. I have never taken sweets even from My childhood. Doctors say you need vitamins and proteins for maintaining bodily health. I am always in Aanandha (bliss) and that is the vitamin and protein for Me. Happiness lies in union with God. When you think of God you are bound to be happy.”

In a Divine Discourse given in 1995, Swami reiterates: “I am 70 years now. I can see even an ant that is far away. It is not due to divine power. It is physical power. What is the reason? Diet control. My weight has remained the same for over sixty years - 108 lbs only. Proper balance must be maintained throughout life. There must be balance in respect of knowledge and several other things. Students pollute their knowledge by seeing bad things, listening to bad things and by bad thoughts. Their minds are perverted by addiction to films. They should learn to lead pure lives. Only then will they experience bliss and health. Realize the value of health. Self-restraint is essential to maintain health. Regulate your habits and develop good manners, which are the mark of a true man.

“For every man two things are essential: Arogya (good health) and Aananda (happiness). Health for the body and bliss for the spirit. With these two wings you can soar to any height. You need both the things, for which you must secure God's Grace. To get God's Grace, you have to engage yourself in sacred action. Bear in mind the three P's - Purity, Patience and Perseverance. With these three you are bound to acquire good health and bliss. You may believe it or not. But the truth is that these three are responsible for my Aarogya (health) and Aananda (bliss). I am always happy. I can lift anybody at this age. This strength is present potentially in everyone. But it is being wasted. If the energy in everyone is properly conserved he can do anything.”

According to Swami, “The best preventive of ill-health is the __________ that comes of unconcern.”



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- Heart2Heart Team

 

 

 
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