Darshan: Lines from Arti
July 05, 1977 am
[Bapuji chants the four lines from arti beginning with “Karpura Gauram”.]
BAPUJI [Translated by Gurudev]: There are many supports for spiritual progress.
Among them, one of the very important ones is moderation in diet.
The word “mitahar” is made up of two separate words.
One meaning of “mit” means moderate.
Not too much.
Not too little.
To eat just what is necessary for the body is mitahar.
Some people think that whatever portion of food they have fixed to eat everyday, that is called mitahar.
But that is not the proper meaning of it.
The day when you do not have any physical exertion and you are not very hungry, that day you must eat less than usual.
Sometimes when you have more physical exertion and you have more hunger, at that time if you take that fixed portion, then it will be less than what you need.
The children are growing physically and mentally, so the children eat little bit and more often.
The young person needs more food.
An old man, because his digestive power is less and he is weak, and his exercises are less, so he eats less.
When an elephant decides moderation in diet, and when an ant decides moderation in diet, definitely the proportions will be different.
One person’s moderation in diet cannot be the same portion for the other, if he is following moderation.
Chitta bhruti narod, means stopping the modifications of the mind, you can miss out that entire process if you are not careful about diet.
We can almost say that when we are sitting at the dinner table, we just surrender ourselves to the food, and to the tongue.
The wisest people become fools there.
Big yogis, also, lose their yogi hood.
This is a slippery spot.
It is very easy to say, than done.
Until the baby is born, the pregnant mother has to eat carefully.
And even after the baby is born, she is careful about diet.
Looking to this, we can say that such a mother has to control her food for about two years or so.
The Yoga can be obtained after many incarnations.
In order to be born in that, you have to really practice that for a long, long time.
When you see some very tasty food in front of you, you feel like you don’t want to give lecture yet.
“Let’s finish this and then give lecture.”
Can you show such foolishness in front of people, in front of society?
These things are to be kept covered.
One who has learned the proper discrimination and moderation of diet, he would very quickly progress on this path.
Lord Krishna, in Gita, says that the one who will practice the moderation in diet will win.
A lot has been thought, in India, over the diet.
If you collect all that literature, probably this room would be too small to accommodate.
All that has been written on diet, and you can imagine how important that subject could be.
Fasting has been the part of the practice in every religion and path.
If we do not follow these fast days, we are inviting death to come very soon.
The great masters, the spiritual leaders, are good psychologists because they themselves have passed through those stages.
This is why they have introduced the diet control, in one form or the other, in their teachings.
The religion I say that the religion that has not given any thought to diet, that religion cannot survive.
It will die, because this is supreme truth.
Very important aspect.
In India, there are many religions, but major are three.
Sanatana Dharma, Jain Dharma, and Bowd Dharma.
They are brother religions.
Means, related to each other closely.
They have born together, and they have been raised together.
In every one of them, the experiments in diet have been equally done, in every one of them.
Sanatana Dharma has great faith in moderation in diet.
Jain Dharma lays more stress on fasting.
Among Jains, it is customary to do twenty, thirty, forty days fasting, and even longer.
In some parts of it, they don’t even take water for those days.
That creates physical purification very quickly, but don’t do it right away.
All the senses become dull.
All the senses become weak.
You might be surprised that when my Gurudev gave me the initiation, he made me fast for forty days.
I was nineteen years old, and I used to eat four or five times a day.
Under that circumstance, can you imagine how would I have finished a forty days fast?
Gurudev first asked me to eat only two meals a day, at the first stage.
I requested him as to “How am I going to manage that, two meals a day?”
But since it was Guru’s request, I started two meals a day.
I was fortunate enough to have meals right by the side of Gurudev, with him.
He used to take only one meal, so when we sat, we sat together for one meal.
And he knew what was my moderation of diet.
And whoever was serving, he would tell to him, “That’s enough.
Don’t give him anymore.”
By seeing my condition, the serving lady just used to look at Dadaji and cry.
“Let me give him more.”
Guruji would just simply say to her, “Go.”
Then I had to simply wash my hands, and she had to wipe her tears out, and go.
I always felt my tummy to be empty.
In the evening, Gurudev did not take meals.
What a great master, and how much love he had for me.
He had said to the servers that “When you serve him, I’ll be there.”
Believe me, when I sat for a dinner, he would sit in front of me.
Then it wasn’t my decision how much I was going to eat.
As soon as there will be a signal from Dadaji that “Stop”, then I had to wash my hands.
How much care.
When I think about that love, I am in awe.
I almost lose consciousness.
After that, he took me to one meal a day.
Then, by his grace, I could easily adapt myself to one meal a day.
After that, he said, “For three months you will be on milk, only.”
Then I said, “That will happen by your grace alone.”
It is true that the little baby does not need much, but a nineteen year old, how can he be on milk alone?
But by the grace of Gurudev, I could finish that also.
What is that grace, is worth understanding.
If the train compartment says that, “I am not running myself.
The engine drives me,” is that wrong?
The engine is the grace for the compartment.
That is, guru is engine.
Dadaguru is the engine, and Bapuji says, “I am the bogie.”
[Gurudev comments:] Bapuji likes bogey better than compartment.
That’s even less than compartment.
Bapuji says, bogey is English word, and there is another word that is bogo, which is used for a man or a male.
He is one who is dumb.
And one who is dumb, he is also called duhbo, and duhbo means bogey, too.
My subject is literature, so I use those words in many different ways.
Then I finished that entire process of being three months on milk.
Then Dadaji said that, “Now you have to fast for forty days, and whenever you feel hungry, just have water.
I thought for the whole day, how would I survive for forty days?
You can venture for a day or two.
But Gurudev was a great master, and so I could easily depend on him.
Then Dadaji said, “This is the cabin for you, and there is a water pot there, and now I am locking the door myself.
When it is time for darshan…”
He used to come himself and open the key.
Then he will come and sit and give darshan to Bapuji, and then go and lock the door up again.
I know in order to give you true understanding of the individual who was fasting, I would have to lengthen this little bit, just to give you correct idea.
Just as all children do, in my childhood I used to eat as much as I got.
But there should be someone to provide it.
This was like a flour mill.
It was always going on.
My mother did not like that.
“All day eating?”
I said, “I am always hungry.”
Mother in India, they use a wooden stick, specially made, to roll the bread, okay?
When I was eating, she would keep that in her hand, and when I was eating any more, she would just raise up the stick a little bit.
That was the signal.
“How much are you eating?
Get up now.”
“Just one or two bread more.”
If it was right, she would give one or two extra.
Otherwise, she will give one hit.
I had to get up.
In India, even small children are asked to fast.
Only this great yogi was excluded from it.
In the family, my mother, and sisters, they all sat together, and they said, “This one, is not fasting.”
In all the fast days, there is one fast day called “Bheem Akatashe.”
Means that is in honor of one of the Pandavas, Bheem.
That Bheem was very big, and he used to eat a lot, of which you can’t even imagine.
It is beyond your imagination, how much he used to eat.
Your intellect can’t penetrate that.
That was the Ekatashe in honor of such a bheem, was observed by this bheem.
Truly, I had one sister two years older than me.
She always used to call me “Bheem.”
When mother requested, announced that, “He should also fast,” then my older sister felt very good.
“He must fast,” she said.
“This Bheem must fast.”
The sister was very smart.
“He won’t go do fast that way.
He will have to be locked up into the room.
You will have to keep him hungry.
He won’t stay hungry.”
This was all planned secretly.
I didn’t know about it.
Otherwise, I would have turned over that entire plan.
Next day, I saw the sunrise of Bheem Ekatashe.
Mother saw me through the brush, and everything.
Then I finished my bathing.
And mother said, “Come on upstairs.”
“What do you want, so early in the morning?”
Then my study room was separate from other rooms.
Then she directed me in that room.
As soon as I went in, the doors were locked.
They put the locks out from outside.
From outside, mother’s voice came, “Today is Bheem Akatashe.
Today you are supposed to observe that fast.”
It was allowed to have some fruits on that fast day.
“When it will be time for fruits, I will come and give you some.”
Then I said from inside, “Then what is the need for fruits, either?
I will just fast on water only.”
Mother said, “That will be perfect.”
Mother came down.
Hunger started from that time on.
I started planning how to get out of here, and what should be done next.
Today, I have very scientific mind, but there should be some seeds in my childhood too.
Then I thought, “I haven’t lost anything, yet.
I am going to be the winner in this.
I am going to take the milk.
I’m not going to fast.”
The entire family, the whole army said, had decided that, “You are going to fast.”
The room in which I was locked up, there was a veranda, open veranda.
From there you can get off in to the first floor, in an open chalk.
Means there is an open area.
There was kitchen right there.
I used to know as to who would be where, at what time of the day.
All young sisters, they had gone to their friend’s home.
And mother had left home for some work at a given time.
There was nobody downstairs.
I came into the veranda.
It was about twelve o’clock.
It was noon time.
Everybody used to take meals around 12:30 or 1.
When I came in the veranda, I saw that one dhoti was drying.
I made of rope out of it.
I could very easily come down by holding the dhoti.
I looked around.
There was nobody, started opening different containers, if there was any food anywhere.
Mother had left the readymade prepared food, so that the cat doesn’t open and eat it.
There were two cats in the house.
The sister was very smart, and she had kept everything in such a way that I don’t find anything.
I couldn’t get anything else, but I finally found two pounds of pressed rice, which is like a flake, rice flakes kind of thing.
Then I thought, “How can I eat this rice flakes by itself?
If there is some sugar with it, it would taste better.”
The children all love the rice flakes.
I took the bundle of rice flakes, I hold the rice flake bundle in my mouth and climbed up.
Then I told Bheem Akatashe that, “You just keep circling around my room.
They are very hard, and if you chew them, you just get tired in your gums.
But I had told that little bundle that, “By this evening, you won’t be existing.”
I continuously ate.
So when it was time to eat the fruits, mother really felt that, “This is a little child, and I should give him, even when he said, “No.”
Then she came with fruits, and knocked at the door, and said, “Come on, open the door.
Take these fruits.”
After chewing the morsel that I had in my mouth, I completely finished that, and said, “That’s all right.
I’m not hungry.”
Then mother said, “That’s okay, then.”
There was younger sister.
She loved me very much.
She said that, “If brother doesn’t take any food, I won’t eat, either.”
She came upstairs.
“Brother, come on down.
Mother will give us some food.”
I said, “No, no, I don’t want to eat.”
Normally, I would just do what she would ask, as soon as she would request.
Then I told her lovingly that, “You go ahead.
When I’m hungry, I’ll come.
Shouldn’t I fast even one day?
The other little children even fast.
And you are also fasting.
Then don’t you think I should observe a fast, too?”
She accepted that and left.
Then I started eating again.
There was aunty, means father’s sister, in our home, and she was very old.
She loved us children very much.
She also didn’t eat.
Then started blaming my mother, saying, “You haven’t given children food properly, so this fasting is a failure.”
Because she loved children so much.
“You are giving such pain to children.
How can you fast?”
Then the old lady came upstairs.
And then she said, “My son, come on, let’s go.
I have some fruits for you.”
I said, “I’m not hungry today at all.”
What a cunning man this must be.
And now he’s sitting right in front of you.
And I took care of her also.
My older sister was really thinking.
She knew that I could never remain hungry.
Whole day passed, and it was next day morning.
This aunty ordered mother, and said, “You must cook early, because this child is hungry from yesterday.”
Mother was really pleased that, “Finally, he at least fasted one day.”
When I got up, she really loved me a lot.
“Now you are a good boy. Cause yesterday you fasted. That’s good.”
At a right time I ate, and fast that day, also.
One day my older brother came and he said, “Mother, I’m hungry.”
(See, the rice crispies, they are the snack, so you don’t look at it all the time. So after fifteen days…)
“There is not much of a refreshment, but there is rice crispies, and I will make chewarda [sp] out of it.”
Mother was in search of those rice crispies.
She looked in two or three places, and she couldn’t find them.
She was really puzzled, “Where had I misplaced these?”
It was two pounds, by the way.
She asked this little sister to check and see if she could find these.
At that time, the older sister was out.
And the older sister came home.
And she said, Mother said to her that, “I have misplaced these somewhere, and I can’t find it.
Could you help me?”
Oldest sister looked for it for a while.
She couldn’t find it.
Then she came straight up to me.
She holds my ear.
“Where is this bundle of rice crispies?”
It was my meal on Bheem Akatashe.
She gave me a slap.
So it was noisy, so everybody in the family was alarmed.
They said, “What happened?”
So they all came running.
Then everybody found out that he had finished them all on the fasting day.
Now you imagine such a man.
How can he fast for forty days?
But in the family, there was mother, there was sister, there was aunty, there was brother, but there wasn’t a guru in the family.
And this guru really knew me.
Another thing, I had tremendous faith and trust in him.
I was almost sure that I would be able to fast for a day or two, but forty days I couldn’t get into my head.
Then I approached to Gurudev, and I bowed down at his feet.
I said, “This doesn’t look possible, but with your grace, it is possible.
So I am going, bowing down, taking your blessings.”
When it was the fortieth day, I was still walking around, though I didn’t have much strength.
Then it is not necessary to go on such a long fast either.
I asked Bapuji, “What was your mental condition during these days?”
And Bapuji said, “My mental condition, Gurudev had given me to do japa during this fasting time, so I had lots of love for doing japa, and so I was very much engrossed in it.”
I feel that this is, because I loved my Gurudev very much.
I loved him very much.
Even today, when I think of my guru’s love, that he gave me for love than anyone else in this world that I know, and even when I think of that, even today, I almost faint.
So by his grace, all this must have become easy.
But those who go on long fasting, like Jains, that long fasting does purify the body, but that does not necessarily give moksha, means liberation.
Then when you start eating again, you become crazy again.
Then you take care of all those fasts, eat all different kinds of junk and then all of a sudden, they go crazy about food.
Just like the spring that has been stretched, all of a sudden, they released the same ways, the reaction is adverse at times.
Then there is no self-control, and again the body becomes impure.
That liberation, that freedom might be just walking towards you, but at the end of forty days, when you go crazy over food again, she turns around and goes back again.
Because one has to follow the moderation of diet, until one attains to the complete liberation.
It is very difficult to fast for a person who is on the stage of sadhana where I am.
It is very difficult to even do moderation in diet.
Because many different disciples, they bring variety of food, and variety of fruits and foods.
And I eat little bit of everything, and still it gets too much.
Such control can last maybe day or two.
Not too long.
When I came here, Urmila had already placed different bottles of almonds, and cashews and figs and so on, and said, “In the evening, you can take little bit,” because Bapuji takes only one meal.
Bapuji said, “Take that all out.”
The wisdom stays alive only when those things are not present.
So I have to stay with that kind of security.
I take only one meal a day.
And I have made arrangements that no food is kept in my rooms.
Now I am old.
Now God has given me some wisdom.
But now the mind is not as mischievous.
And if it becomes mischievous, the things that it likes most, I will avoid.
I’m not going to eat that one that I like most.
If we do not have such wisdom, how can we grow?
I have given you all this description, that in order for you to understand that from what condition, I have come to this stage, so that I gave you little description to clarify the subject further.
If you really want to keep your health good, at least one day in the week you must stay just on water and nothing else.
If you can’t do that, then you can take juice.
If that is not possible, then stay one day on milk.
And if that is difficult, take one fruit with milk.
And if you can’t do that, just eat one meal a day moderate meal.
And if you can’t do that, and can’t control at all, then just stay in the kitchen all the time and eat whatever you want.
The food, the diet, plays very important part in our interaction with other individuals.
(Very important sentence.) Many people who are the public speakers, the lawyers, the judges, people of such nature come to me.
Many of them have told me this experience, like the judges and the lawyers.
So sitting on this judge’s seat, if I have eaten a lot, I keep on yawning and I can’t even understand what the lawyer and the defendant are speaking and saying.
Then I have to eat moderately when I go for that duty.
If you go for interview or a test, you just go with a full belly, and you will definitely come back failure.
Cause at that time, your intellect will not be your friend.
So even the lawyers have told me that, “When we eat too much and go in the court, our presentation is really very poor.”
I was very famous long ago I was very famous or popular as a lecturer.
When I went into a new town, where I was going there for the first time, I used to use one technique.
I used to be on milk for one month.
Then I used to sit on my seat of Vyaspit [sp].
This is Vyaspit.
On the lecturer’s seat.
And at that time, I could express myself fully, as I wanted to.
The body used to be very alert, and mind used to be very pointed.
Within one month, the entire town would be under the awe.
They used to give me so much love that I used to forget those fasts, for a month, on milk.
So I have experience this myself.
Other than that, I have done many experiments on diet myself.
I have passed many days on soup, a small bowlful of soup.
For many days, I have lived on that.
I have lived on popcorn for six months.
Just little bit.
Just for support.
Bapuji says, “Let them have an opportunity to test.”
I like that popcorn, spiced.
I love that very much.
I can live on it for many years.
I always come out of my meditation at ten o’clock.
Then I will eat as much as I can eat, by chewing thoroughly, till 10:30.
Then I will wash my hands.
That way I have lived on popcorn for a long time, and this way, I have conducted many experiments on diet.
Then finally, I have come to the decision that one should have only one meal a day.
Now in the end, I will tell you one small story about Bhagwan Buddha, and then I will finish.
These are the experiments that have been conducted among Buddhists.
And in one of the experiments, you take about a quarter pound of rice, and then you count the grains.
Now daily you reduce one grain out of that.
Then from quarter pound, he reduced one grain each day, and then finally he came to one grain.
Bhagwan Buddha himself.
When he was on the last day, as he was standing up, he fell down.
After that, he said, “One should follow the path of moderation, not go this far.
Just as, in the stringed instrument, if you tighten it too much, it will break.
If you keep them too loose, you can’t make any music out of it.
So only when they are moderately stretched, middle path, then they will give out a beautiful music.
So also, if you want to bring the music out of your own body, you will have to take the path of moderation.
This much lesson is enough for you.
The train went on the wrong station.
Now it has broken after seventeen years.
Never spoke in between.
The matter of fact is that this is all expansion.
The shortest way is to bring you, each one of you here, and put the loving hand on your head and say, “My son, eat less.”
Love is the answer.
That’s what Bapuji is saying.