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Why You Overeat

Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 18:43:52 From: Surya Morales Subject: Why You Overeat To: Baba "Ta'masii nishir avasa'ne arun' prabha't elo..." (PS 3731) Purport: Baba, You are the Personification of divine effulgence. By Your causeless grace at the end of the dark night the brilliant crimson dawn has come. Your blissful presence is flooding my life with joy and optimism. Baba, because of You each and every tune of the river of my heart has gotten dyed in Your divine colour. O' Baba, O' Tamasu'dan, O' Dispeller of Darkness, by Your grace You have removed all the defects and problems from my life and filled me with the charm of Your dazzling colour. Baba, by Your grace the sun has come in the eastern horizon bringing forth the basket of all my hopes & aspirations. Baba, You are so gracious. Baba, with the flow and beauty of those colours and with the panoramic circle of grandeur, my heart is joyously swaying in the countless magnificent expressions of Your divinity. With Your grand arrival everything has become sweet and blissful. Baba, by Your grace, in Your divine liila my heart has become alive and full of Your sweetness; in this magical way my divine journey has started. Baba, You are my polestar. Please keep my under Your shelter...
Namaskar, Overeating is a common phenomenon around the globe. People even consciously say to themselves, "Today I am not going to overeat", but still they do it. Many of us do it. It is not an easy habit to overcome. The problem is pervasive. As we know modern medical science and our AM philosophy both state that overeating invites various diseases and decreases the lifespan. That is why in family life and the general society, people try to control their eating. Even then overeating was a problem in the past, is a problem at present and most likely will be a problem in the future also. Let us see why.
Those primitive humans had little security in life. They lived moment to moment - captive to the weather and harsh ways of nature - never knowing when they would be able to find food again. Life was unsettled. So when the opportunity came to eat, they would purposely eat extra food and store excess food in the appendix and then regurgitate that food later when they would feel hungry. Indeed nature supplied them with "a second stomach" and with their mental force they could regurgitate that food. Baba says, "Human beings used to have an appendix to their intestines for accumulated or excess food. As it was needed this food would stimulate salivation in the mouth and be fully eaten and digested. The proper eating and digesting of the surplus food in the appendix is called romanthana in Sanskrit and ja'bar ka't'a' in Bengali. In good English we call it "rumination" and in spoken English "chewing the cud"...As the certainty of food supplies gradually increased, the need for a corporal appendix to the intestines lessened. Eventually there was even not the slightest need for it. Today a small vestige of it remains in the human body although it is no longer used in times of distress. Human beings have lost the capacity to ruminate." (Varn'a Vijia'na, p.285) For thousands of years then those primitive humans followed this path: Eat extra (more than what can fit in the stomach) -> store excess food in the appendix -> search for food -> encounter food scarcity -> use mental force -> ultimately regurgitate food in the appendix -> chew and swallow -> fully digest that food in the stomach. That was a central pattern of life. It was how those early human beings survived. Most herbivore animals still do this type of thing. So this manner of overeating is an old human trait. Actually in the days of old, it was out of necessity and the excess food was stored. It was not over-eating per se; it did not all go into the stomach. Today however, all the food we eat does go into the stomach. In that case it most definitely is overeating.
Nowadays, in many lands, people's lives are more settled. This applies to food as well. People have kitchens, a stock of food, and cooking facilities etc. In brief, we are able to plan our meals - we usually know exactly when we are doing to eat next. Because of all these modern developments, we have lost the power of regurgitation. Our bodies can no longer do that. That is what Baba has explained. Baba says, "As the certainty of food supplies gradually increased, the need for a corporal appendix to the intestines lessened. Eventually there was even not the slightest need for it. Today a small vestige of it remains in the human body although it is no longer used in times of distress. Human beings have lost the capacity to ruminate." (VV) Due to a distinct lack of use, slowly over time, the appendix has become very small. And now if food gets in the appendix, it is serious problem. One will be rushed to the hospital for an operation to have it removed. Thus even though our bodies have changed a lot, still there is a prevalent desire to eat to excess; it is common. So we should pay heed to Baba's below mandates.
As we all know, in His Yogic Treatments book, so many disease, sicknesses and ailments are due to overeating. Here is Baba's recipe for healthy eating habits. Baba says, "For proper digestion, fill the stomach halfway with food, one quarter with water, and leave one quarter full of air." (CC-3) To do this, one must stop eating when one still feels a little hungry, in the next few minutes a natural feeling of satiation will come. If however, one eats till they are full, then that constitutes overeating and within a short time after completing their meal they will feel bloated, heavy, lethargic, and uncomfortable. It is a very fine line between proper eating and overeating. The best way to get success is to eat slowly, take limited portions, and be mindful to stop eating when one is still a little hungry. If done regularly, this will become your habit. If one is not taking 1/2 belly, then that is overeating. And if one is strict and eats only half-full, then that is proper. They will have overcome the the primitive ways of old - i.e. eating excessively. Even though we have lost the physical ability to ruminate, the psychic tendency is present in the mind to eat more, even when we have had enough. Still humans suffer from this weakness of mind. Not all, of course, but many or most suffer in this way. Overcoming this tendency of mind to eat more and more is not at all easy, that is why many people regularly overeat. It is an age-old human pattern. It particularly haunts those people who are weak-minded or less developed human beings. Another thing to keep in mind is that when eating roti or other dry foods (chips, roasted grains and potatoes) and breads, then it is imperative to drink lots of water in regulated quantities 1/2 hr after eating. Because the body will need a lot of water to digest dry foods. Whereas a soupy meal is comparatively easy to digest. Also be be aware that for good digestion, the right nostril should be dominant. Just before taking food, while eating, and up to an hour after food. This alone will help eliminate so many stomach diseases. If anyone does not know how to change he nostrils then write me back.
In His discourses on the Seven Secrets of Success, Baba discusses point #6, known has pramita'ha'ra. This is an essential aspect of human health and is directly related with our food intake. Baba says, "Pramita'ha'ra, that is, balanced diet, balanced food. You must not take this much [stretches arms far apart], you should take this much [holds hands closer together]." (AV-12) Baba says, "The sixth factor is pramita'ha'rah. The sixth requisite factor is balanced and substantial, sentient food. A voracious man can’t attain success. A voracious man always suffers from so many stomach diseases. So, you should [never] encourage voracity." (AV-14) As sadhakas, we are to take Baba's teaching to heart. Even though we may have strong psychic inclinations to eat more food than our body can handle - due to our attachment to our primitive manners - we should take proper effort to ensure that we do not fall prey to overeating.
By Baba's grace He has blessed us with the ability to overcome all kinds of complexes and bad habits. That is the life of a sadhaka - to struggle and surge ahead. We should make the body and mind sound by proper life habits and not fall prey to materials indulgences and excesses. The latter happens primarily when the mind is weak and engrossed in worldly desires. By following the ways of pramita'ha'ra, then we will have succeeded in overcoming one of the most common weaknesses in human life - i.e. overeating. Baba says, "Food should be substantial, though moderate in quantity. This is pramita'ha'ra." (AV-23) Namaskar, Surya
The following are Baba's guidelines from Carycarya: Baba says, "Before eating do vya'paka shaoca properly with cold water. In an extremely cold climate use lukewarm water. The system is: Wash the arms, the face, the legs, the neck and the genital organs. Then, keeping the eyes wide open, hold a mouthful of water and gently splash the eyes a minimum of twelve times." "Before sitting down for a meal, invite whatever persons are present around you and share your food with them. If they do not want to share, enquire whether they have enough food with them or not." "At the time of eating find a comfortable sitting position. It is better to eat in company than to eat alone. Do not sit down to eat if you are in an angry mood or in a debased frame of mind." "If several people are eating together from the same plate, make sure that sick persons do not take part. Otherwise healthy persons may become infected. There is no harm, however, in eating together from the same plate if there is no contagious disease among the participants. Rather, this is a nice thing to see." "It is good to take food when the main flow of breath is through the right nostril. Even after meal, it is good if the flow of breath is mainly through the right nostril and continues for some time, because that is the time when the digestive glands start secreting a sufficient quantity of fluids to help digestion." "Eating when one is not hungry or only half-hungry is very harmful to the health. So is eating rich food for days together or over-eating tasty and sumptuous food out of greed, or not taking rest after the meal before running off to the office, or filling the stomach with food. All these habits are harmful to the health." "(For proper digestion, fill the stomach halfway with food, one quarter with water, and leave one quarter full of air.)" "After finishing the evening meal take a short walk. This is very beneficial to health." (CC-3)
Overeating is not the only habit we carry over from earlier times. Here are habits that stem from when we were monkeys. Baba says, "Some of the old habits still continue. Humans today fight among themselves in the same manner as monkeys do. While fighting a person cries, “Um, um” – this is a monkeys’ habit. Sometimes people not only cry like this but bite with their teeth. This is also an old habit of monkeys. Monkeys live in trees...while fighting on the branch of a tree monkeys have to catch hold of the branch strongly with their hands, so that they do not fall down and die. Human beings fight in a similar manner. They also grin and grimace. This is an old habit of monkeys." (AV-5)
********************************************* Six Tastes of the Tongue
Baba says, "The six tastes are: tikta – neem (bitter); katu – chilli (hot and spicy); kas'ava – plantain (alkaline); lavan'a (salty); amala (acidic); and madhu (sweet)." (IF) Note: Not only are there six tastes in the human pallet but they should be taken in a distinct order. Bitter taken in the beginning and sweet taken in the end.

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