Saturday, February 16, 2008
Understanding Nature Cure
Understanding Nature Cure
Talk given by Shri S Swaminathan
Joint Director, Indian Institute of Natural Therapeutics, New Delhi
To live in health, many people take to medicines. Nature cure tells us that no medicines are actually necessary to live in health as Nature itself provides us with so many medicines. What are they?
They are the Pancha Tatvas, namely
4. Air, and
For you to live in good health, all that you need to do is you must supply all these basic needs correctly. We shall see the above one by one below.
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 12:29 AM 0 comments
Chapter 1 – Food
While food is the most fundamental to living, right food is most fundamental to living in good health. To have the right food, you need to know
When to eat and when not to eat
What to eat and what not to eat
How to eat
How much to eat and How many times to eat,
If you know the answers to these five questions, you would live in good health. Now let us discuss these.
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 12:27 AM 0 comments
1-A Food – When to eat and when not to eat
When to eat and when not to eat
Generally the stomach takes four to five hours to digest any food and get empty for the next input. So let us take care. Let the stomach rest completely before we give the next food. Let us not eat in such a manner that the stomach cannot become empty. Look at the animals. No animal will work on a loaded stomach. When we feed an animal fully, the animal will lie down and will refuse to get up.
Allow the stomach to rest in your own interest. Be kind to your own stomach. Many people do not experience the hunger at all. Why? Because they do not allow the stomach to become empty, as they keep it full all the time. Early morning they start with bed tea, even before washing the teeth. Then they take breakfast as if they had fasted. Then they follow it with a mid-day snack, called a coffee break or tea break. Then they have the lunch. Then comes the afternoon snack and then the dinner, and lastly, a cup of milk at bed time.
Thus, continuously they go on eating, lunching and munching all the time. ‘They never allow the stomach to become empty at any time during the 24 hours of the day and this happens daily on all the 365 days of the year, year after year. If any part of the organism is not given rest, but forced to work all the 24 hours, its tone will be lost.
You will not need even a little drop of medicine throughout your life, provided you follow one principle. Not to eat till the stomach has become empty’. If this is followed, one will not fall ill throughout one’s life. You will not need a drop of medicine.
Eat when you are hungry. Never eat as per watch. Hunger should alone make you eat. Do not say, ‘It is lunch time’ or, ‘It is dinner time’. Know that hunger is an indication of health. If you have got good hunger, you are healthy. If you have lost your hunger, you are unhealthy. Hunger indicates, or should indicate, that your stomach is empty. If the stomach is not empty, you cannot have hunger. When the stomach is empty, you will have lightness in you. Hunger is a physiological need for food. The body needs food and it indicates to you through the sensation of hunger that you should take food.
You can eat, provided four conditions are met.
1. The first, the stomach should have become empty
2. Man is not a body alone. Man is a triple unit of body, mind and spirit. Hence at the time of eating, you must be emotionally calm. You must not be upset emotionally.
Be careful about your mental state at the time of eating. Our mind should be full of cheer and joy. It is very important. In the good old days, before eating the meal, people used to wash their hands and feet and sit for a prayer, calm themselves down and always sit along with their relatives, with children and others, so that there would be a happy atmosphere. Now children have to go to school at 10 am. The elders have to go at 7 am. Well the time is so dislocated that each one sit for meals separately and when you sit for the meals separately our own worries will come and bother us. And if you are bothered, if you are worried, if your mind is upset, your digestion will be nil. That is why in Sanskrit in the vedic scriptures there is a manthra. Kevaladho Bhavathi Kevalashi. Adha means sin. Kevala means along. The person who sits alone and eats alone eats sin. Sit with your family, sit with your children and enjoy with company, sit in cheer sit and eat joyfully. Joy and cheer are to mind what sunshine and dew are to grass and flowers. Please remember it. Many people sit alone worried, worried over something. Still their worries are not removed. But their digestion becomes worse and worse. Eat happily. Say a little prayer. There is nothing in the world which is more soothing to the body than prayer. Prayer is the food for the mind. Prayer is something which is very very essential. Prayer must be done not once a day but every time before the meal. Prayer must be said, prayer is very important. But not a mechanical prayer. It should not be just like the sound coming from the tape recorder. It should be from the soul. It was Gandhiji who said ‘a prayer without words is what is needed, not words without prayer’. So many people have memorized something and while waling they go on repeating mechanically. Their mind is somewhere else. Mechanical prayer is not prayer at all. Some people might be asking, what has prayer to do in a nature cure lecture? Everything that has got a health value, has got some relationship to nature cure. You cannot be healthy unless you have got a calm mind. And it is not possible to have a calm mind, without the right kind of prayer. But prayer, should be really prayer. Prayer from the soul and not pretence. Most of us do prayer only mechanically. We have memorized something and it comes out. And in between if some word is omitted, we become just like the school students suffering. That is not prayer. A memorized prayer is not a prayer is not a prayer at all. Prayer is communion. Words are not needed. So do a little prayer. Calm yourself down. Be cheerful, be joyful and then eat. Simply by being worried you do not remove worry. Everyone has got worries. Who is there in the world who has got no worries? Simply by getting worried are you going to remove the worry? There are ever so many worries, official worries, domestic worries, social worries so many, not one. And by being constantly worried you are only disturbing your sleep, disturbing your digestion and you are worsening yourself. And when you get worsened, your worries get more. Face the problem. After all there is something causing the worry. Face it boldly, understand, study the problem in depth. The solution of a problem lies within the problem, not outside. Study it deeply. So, to those who have got worries [and today I believe almost everybody is worried some more, some less]. I give them a practical suggestion. And I put it before you for your consideration. If you act upon it, your worry will be over in no time. So long as you are worried, even if you take raw vegetables, even if you take fruits, nothing can be digested.
If you are mentally agitated, if you are excited, even though your stomach is empty, you will not be able to digest the food. For, the digestive secretion depends upon the brain condition. If the brain is excited, if there is tension, there would be no digestive secretion. So, please ensure that the stomach has become empty and also, at the same time, you are mentally calm. If you are very much agitated, just calm down and then eat. Do not eat when you are agitated.
Now the stomach is empty and the mind is calm. Can we eat? No. Even if the mind is calm, the body must be free from fatigue. If the body is fatigued, if you are too tired or exhausted, even though the stomach is empty, you should not eat. The reason is, when we get exhausted physically, we need to go to bed and not to the dining table. What we need is rest, and not food, because, at that time your digestive glands would not work. So, do not eat when you are tired and fatigued.
We should not feel any pain or any other discomfort anywhere in the body. In other words, any severe discomfort – may be a headache, may be pain due to an injury – do not eat at that time.
Now suppose there is no pain, or discomfort in the body, the stomach is empty, the mind is calm, the body is not tired, still we should fulfill one more condition. And that is : you must be prepared to take rest after taking food. If we have no time to take rest after a meal, if we have to rush to the station or the office for work, we must not eat. Many people eat and rush to the bus stand, go to do physical and mental work. If we start doing mental or physical work of strenuous type immediately after meal, energy is needed to do the external work. Work and digestion cannot go together. In the good old days, people used to start their activity at 0400 or 0500 hrs [04.00 am or 05.00 am] and by 1000 hrs [10.00 am] or 1100 hrs [11.00 am] they used to compete all their work and then have their meal and rest thereafter and do little work in the evening. But, these days, we have the Indian type of eating for the western mode of working. We start our day somewhere at 0800 or 0900 hrs [08.00 am or 09.00 am] and go right upto 1700 hrs or 2000 hrs [07.00 pm or 08.00 pm]. We have no rest at all. Our place of work is far away from our residence. We have no rest, physical or mental. If we fill our stomach and do outside work, we become inefficient in the outside work and also the inside work.
Now when the stomach is empty, and the mind emotionally calm, with no discomfort in the body, and if we are prepared to take rest after the meal, then only we should eat. Otherwise, do not eat. Most of us have to do work during day time. So take a very light meal. Do not take the conventional meal. Many people say, ‘I have plenty of work to do, so unless I eat, how will I get energy for the work?’ Suppose we start our work at 1000 hrs [10.00 am] and we sit down at home for the morning meal at 0900 hrs [09.00 am] thinking that this is going to give energy for the work to be done at 1000 hrs. Now, the food that has gone into the stomach will not be digested in one hour, and so, is not going to release energy in one hour. It takes at least 5 to 6 hours to get digested. The digested part of the food first goes into the small intestine and assimilation has to take place before giving energy to your system. It takes at least 12 hours, if you are healthy, before energy could be released from it. So, from the food that you take in the morning at 0900 hrs, its value will be made available to you at 2100 hrs and you cannot have it by 1000 hrs. It is a little childish to think that the food taken just now is going to give you energy just now. It is a little time consuming affair, so never eat if you have got work ahead i.e. if you have plenty of work to do. Take a little fruit or little fruit juice or something very light.
We are all eating wrongly at wrong times and so we are not able to digest. Even if you put a first class food, a really good food, in the stomach at the wrong time, it is dirt and nothing more. So do not eat wrongly. If you know this, when and when not to eat, problem is solved.
Posted by R. Raghunathan at 12:26 AM 0 comments
1-B Food – What to eat and what not to eat
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