Preventive Ayurveda Series Dinacharya – Live Ayurveda daily: Part 1
A replica of Shri Madan Mohan Temple has been created at Govardhan Ecovillage and was inaugurated on
January 25, 2019 in the graceful presence of H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj and other dignitaries.
revention of disease is one of the primary aims of Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda
Swasthasya swasthya rakshanam |
Aturasya vikara prashamana cha ||
Preserve the health of the healthy
And cure the disorders of the agitated
The sequence of description is very important in ancient shlokas. The earlier stated fact is more important and is the foundation for the latter. In the above shloka, the preservation of the health is said to be the priority. If preservation of health is done effectively, then there will hardly be any need for treatment of any disorders.
There are many layers of prevention in Ayurveda. They do not pertain to any specific disease or disorder. Such an approach will be incomplete and underdeveloped. Ayurveda focuses not only on the prevention of diseases but on making the body healthy and immune to the attack of the pathogenic factors in the environment.
According to Ayurveda, prevention is not a one-time affair. Prevention is a regular system which has to be practiced in order to stay healthy and have a long life. It is just like washing hands before having a meal every time. You cannot wash hands annually once and keep eating with them for the rest of the year. Similarly, there are some essential practices that one should follow on a daily basis in order to stay healthy. The daily regimen for a perfect health is called “dinacharya”. The word “dinacharya” is formed from two Sanskrit words “din” meaning the day and “charya” meaning the conduct. Therefore “dinacharya” refers to ideal daily conduct for great health. Dinacharya The Right Amount!
The first sloka mentioned in “dinacharya” talks about the right amount of food. Proper intake of food is the pivotal factor that governs all other factors affecting our health. Digestion or the “Agni” is the doorway into the body. Once the digestion is imbalanced, the doorway is closed and the body cannot receive proper nutrition. Therefore it is imperative to have a proper amount of food daily. The word “mantra” (meaning amount) is used to refer that the amount of food is more important even than the quality of nutrition that the food offers. For example, if you have almonds that are jam-packed with the highest quality nutrients, but if you eat them by kilos in one go then may god help you! Therefore, it is extremely important that the food should be consumed in a proper amount.
Charak also states that low amount of food than required is always better as compared to a higher amount of food that the normal.
Now there is no set amount of the proper amount of food. It keeps on changing according to various factors like the time of the day, season, the status of the digestive system, digestion of the previous meal, presence/absence of hunger etc. however, there is a thumb rule that must be followed – you must never eat unless the previous meal is properly digested. This simple rule can keep you away from almost all the digestive disorders.
Another important factor is body consciousness that can help you keep a track of the amount of food that you need. Most of us face psychological hunger that springs from depression, anxiety or anger. And thus we eat to keep our mind busy instead of eating to get nutrition for the body. Eating has lately become a kind of entertainment, which is a fairly unhealthy culture. You must always avoid eating except when truly hungry. Otherwise, it is not wise to keep dumping the food inside your stomach and taxing the entire digestive system.
It is said that the food consumed in proper amount gets digested easily and without producing unnecessary toxins in the body. Only such food increases the stamina, enhance the skin tone, provide pleasure and long healthy life to the body. It is imperative to have the right amount of food EVERYDAY!
The Right Food
Charak Samhita also describes the qualities of the food. This information can help us to decide what kind of food we should consume according to our everyday changing bodily requirements.
Light and Heavy
Rice and moong dal (green gram) are two food items that are very easy to digest and cause minimum toxins even when under-digested. Apart from this, they are the safest grains to consume. This is the reason why khichadi (made from rice and moong dal) is the ideal food for the sick and the recuperating because it creates no load on the digestive system. You must have rice and moong dal every day (except when fasting) to maintain proper health.
Some preparations of the food are naturally heavy. Food items made out of any kind of flour like in like roti, puri, halwa; food made by using sugar/ jaggery or food made from milk or any milk product like kheer, cheese, butter etc. are heavy to digest. (milk in itself is a very light food). Apart from above-mentioned foods, urad dal(black gram), sea or freshwater fish and red meat is naturally heavy in nature. It is important to eat the heavy food in very limited quantity.
Some food items should never be consumed unless you are absolutely dying of hunger and there is no other option! Dried meat and dried vegetables, lotus roots (in the form of curry/salad etc.) are extremely heavy in nature. They produce abnormal end-results after digestion that creates “ama” or undigested toxins in the body. It is said in Charak Samhita that you should not have a practice of eating the above-mentioned food items. In fact, they should be consumed very very rarely. Also, a person with weak digestion should refrain from consuming the meat of any kind. Any meat is heavier as compared to the plain vegetarian diet. Such a diet can severely distort the digestive capacity of the weak person and make him even weaker.
Food for rare consumption
Here are some of the food items that should be consumed rarely, like once in a week or once in a month for the person with a weak digestion. These food items are very heavy to digest and they can derange the normal digestive power of the individual.
- A mixture of curd and milk
- Chenna (made from adding acidic products to milk)
- Buffalo Flesh
- Urad dal (Black gram)
- Jai/Jau (Barley)
Food for daily use
Here are some of the food items that should be consumed every day. These foods are very light to digest. They give more to the body than they take away. It means that these food items require less effort in digestion, produce minimal or zero toxins and yet, they provide maximum nutrition to the body with minimum exertion.
- Moong dal (Green gram)
- Saidhav salt (Himalayan pink salt)
- Awla (Indian Gooseberry)
- Jowar (Sorghum)
- Distilled/purified water
- The meat of birds/active animals like deer, rabbit etc. (for non-vegetarians)
- Raw Honey
The key to a great health is excellent digestion. And the key to an excellent digestion is good food and the proper eating habits. Therefore, it is wise to follow the above guidelines and have a flawless health and happy life.