Lessons from the Twenty-four Gurus - Part 29

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
This is in continuation of the offering, "Lessons from the Twenty-Four Gurus", where in we were discussing on the wonderful lessons learnt by the avadhuta brahmana from the various people whom he met in his life. In this offering, let us continue to learn from the  spiritual master - fish.  In Srimad Bhagavatam 11.8.19 the avadhuta brahmana says

jihvayaati-pramaathinyaa / jano rasa-vimohitah
mrtyum rcchaty asad-buddhir / meenas tu badishair yathaa

"Just as a fish, incited by the desire to enjoy his tongue, is fatally trapped on the fisherman's hook, similarly, a foolish person is bewildered by the extremely disturbing urges of the tongue and thus is ruined."

Human birth is very rare gift for us and we have got this. We never know when the next chance would be. There are 8 million 400 thousand varieties of species. Except in this species of life, in all other species, we will not have this ability to inquire about God and to distinguish what is good or bad for us. So how much important it is to make the best use of this life ? And when can we  make the best use ? Only as long as our body co-operates. Of course there are paramahamsas who are completely absorbed in thoughts of Krishna irrespective of their bodily situations. But for ordinary souls like us, good health is indeed the greatest wealth. Our body is temple of Supreme Lord and so it is important to take a care of our health in a proper manner. Then only we can engage the same in service of the Lord. Our duty therefore is to nourish it with Krishna prasadam. But instead if we are carried away by the urges of our tongue and over-eat, then we would have to face the music accordingly.

If we eat more sweets then we will suffer from diabetes, dental problems etc. Similarly if we don't control our tongues and eat lot of spicy food we will suffer from abdominal diseases. Srila Prabhupada makes a punching statement in SB 1.1.10 purport - "In Kali-yuga, the duration of life is shortened not so much because of insufficient food but because of irregular habits. By keeping regular habits and eating simple food, any man can maintain his health. Overeating, over-sense gratification, overdependence on another's mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy."

So even if someone comes and gives us a plate full of rasgullas, we should have the common sense to remember the limitations of our body and take just one and distribute the rest to other living entities. By doing so we can share the mercy of Lord with others and save ourselves from becoming selfish and greedy and also from ill-health. In Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 verse 16, Lord Krishna says

naaty-ashnatas 'tu yogo 'sti / na caikaantam anashnatah
na caati-svapna-sheelasya  / jaagrato naiva caarjuna

"There is no possibility of one's becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough."

In purport to above verse Srila Prabhupada  very nicely explains about the evil effects of over-eating and the importance of regulated eating. - "Too much eating means eating more than is required to keep the body and soul together. There is no need for men to eat animals, because there is an ample supply of grains, vegetables, fruits and milk. Such simple foodstuff is considered to be in the mode of goodness according to the Bhagavad-Gita. Animal food is for those in the mode of ignorance. Therefore, those who indulge in animal food, drinking, smoking and eating food which is not first offered to Krishna will suffer sinful reactions because of eating only polluted things. bhunjate te tv agham paapaa ye pacanty aatma-kaaranaat. Anyone who eats for sense pleasure, or cooks for himself, not offering his food to Krishna, eats only sin. One who eats sin and eats more than is allotted to him cannot execute perfect yoga. It is best that one eat only the remnants of foodstuff offered to Krishna. A person in Krishna consciousness does not eat anything which is not first offered to Krishna. Therefore, only the Krishna conscious person can attain perfection in yoga practice."

According to Ayurveda, the proper balance in the stomach is one-half food, one- quarter water and one-quarter air. If we don't follow this balance then we would suffer due to various diseases and obesity etc and spend our valuable time, energy and wealth in fixing these problems, instead of utilising them for serving the Lord.

Krishna willing we will continue with the lessons learnt  by the avadhuta brahamana from fish in the subsequent mails.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krishna das and Sudarshana devi dasi.