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Control of Mind- Role of Dietary Regimen- Part 1
Date: Wed Oct 14 1998 - 20:03:08 PDT

Dear Bhagavatas:
In our earlier postings on Control of mind, we dealt with disciplining the
body through Yoga of the right kind which included Praanaayaama (breath
control). We will now consider how dietary regimen plays an important role in
controlling the mind.
Anbil Ramaswamy
Like a doctor who studies the symptoms of a patient to diagnose the nature of
the disease and then proceeds to prescribe appropriate medicines to cure the
causes of the ailment, Lord Krishna has indicated the symptomatic behavior of
persons influenced by the various Gunas. He then proceeds to prescribe
correctives to improve the health of the soul afflicted by the undesirable

These correctives are not from any external sources like drugs, pills,
caplets, injections, etc., but by a simple process of regulating our dietary
habits. He catalogues what can be consumed and what should be avoided to
augment Satva guna, and what would trigger Rajo guna and what would steep one
in Tamo guna.

When you are ill, you take medicines. We also see it marked on the bottles or
packages of food items / medicines the contents (e.g.), protein, vitamins,
thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, iron, folic acid, etc., with indication
of calories, carbohydrates, fat, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, etc., of
these items. The chemical compound that constitute the ingredients, break into
enzymes, etc., strengthen the natural elements in the body to fight against
the killer germs that cause disease.

This is true not only of physical infirmities but also of mental and
psychological afflictions. Numerous psychiatric medicines are administered to
mental patients to bring them on the road to recovery. Thus, it is clear that
even in modern medicine, what is ingested has mind-altering effects of the
happy kind, while drug, dope , etc., have also mind altering effects of the
unpleasant kind.

`Ayurveda' even goes to the extent of asserting that certain types of foods
actually tend to prolong life. While no food can extend life beyond what one
is destined, it only means that a dietary regimen can save one from `Near-
death-experiences' known as `Ghandams' - acting as antidotes to the toxic
substances that have the potency to cut short life.
(To Continue)