This chapter is the English translation of Gujarati Book
               Title   -  Sadhak and Sathi
               Author  -  Shri Atmanandji (Dr. Soneji)

      CHAPTER - 8


      Out of our five sense organs, only the tongue is entrusted with
      two functions:  speech and tasting of different flavors (Rasas).
      Just as there is a peculiarity of the dual sphere of potentially
      dangerous activities of this organ of sense, so also is there a
      unique peculiarity in achieving control over it.  It is said that
      if only the tongue is brought under control, then the control
      over all other sense organs becomes easy.

      The voluptuousness of the worldly person with regard to this
      organ of taste appears to be almost universal.  This organ, only
      three inches in length, has brought the majority of the living
      beings in the worlds under its rule.  Human beings, animals,
      even insects, are all under its spell.

      In modern times the voluptuousness of this organ of taste has
      crossed all limits.  Numerous and varied items are served in the
      dishes in the non-vegetarian meals which are prepared from
      fishes, frogs, rats, cockroaches and countless carnivorous
      animals and insects.  No big animal has been spared.  Innocent
      animals, such as sheep, goats, ducks, hens, hares, pigs, deer,
      cows and bulls, buffaloes and horses, are slaughtered by the
      thousands.  The root cause of all this cruel killing is only to
      cherish man's voluptuousness regarding the taste of his tongue.

      Vegetarians also do not lag behind in the voluptuousness of the
      tongue.  Thousands of new items are being processed and
      invented.  These are such as those with pepper and spices,
      varied fried items, pickles, sauces, and sweets.

      For an aspirant simple and health-nourishing food serves the
      purpose.  In its preparation, no long time is required and there
      is no elaborate processing.  It is possible to observe the vow
      of limited eating (Unodari) and such a diet is conducive to
      peace of mind.  An aspirant will not be tempted to eat like a
      pig, and it will be possible for him to resort to various
      spiritual practices with ease and peace.


      In the initial stages, an aspirant (Sadhak) should restrict the
      number of items of food.  This will save him from the hankering
      love of unnecessary items like sauces, papad, pickles, fried
      grams and so on.  In the next stage, let him resolve to give up
      for six or twelve months or some other time-limit, salty, sour
      or sweet items.  This will slowly lead to the success of penance
      (Tapa) named abandonment of taste (Rasaparityaga).  The tongue
      should not become licentious and physical health should not get
      spoiled for these purposes, discriminative abandonment of tastes
      becomes very useful to the aspirant.

      Very tasty and spicy foods are usually consumed excessively.
      This will often produce several diseases of the stomach,
      intestines; liver and the tongue.  In addition, sleep and
      laziness get enhanced, wrathful activities increase and the
      means of God-realization like self-study, chanting prayers,
      meditation, devotional singing and the like, cannot be practiced
      with due earnestness or concentration.  Even the practice of
      non-violence and celibacy face several difficulties.  The mind
      remains predominantly occupied with the ideas and analysis of
      what is to be prepared, how, where, at what time and under what
      circumstances the food will be consumed and so on.  Under these
      conditions, how will the mind remain applied or get fixed in
      remembrance and devotion to God and self-study?

      It is obvious therefore, that persons endowed with
      discrimination can have no voluptuousness of food.  We waste a
      lot of time, huge energy and incur great expense in the
      preparation of certain tasty dishes and the taste lasts only
      while the item is in the mouth.  Once the item goes beyond the
      palate, it has only one final shape - it turns to stool or other
      waste of the body.

      Discriminating persons should therefore be cautious about all
      matters regarding preparation and consumption of food and must
      apply a sense of propriety and due discrimination in the

      Elephants, fish, bees, butterflies, and deer lose their lives by
      submitting to one of their senses.  If an intelligent human
      being also behaves this way then what is so uniquely superior
      about him?  Would that person not be enduring results of the
      voluptuousness?  Considering this again and again, Sadhaka
      accepts balanced amount of simple and nutritious meal on a
      regular basis.


      1. When a person with proper food-habits resorts to spiritual
         activity (Yoga-Sadhana), all his sufferings end.

      2. Food is for life and not life for food.

      3. Well planned and regular food habits are conducive to rapid
         spiritual development.

      4. The purpose of human life is neither to inflate one's
         possessions nor to fulfil sensual pleasures, but to achieve
         higher values in life.



      Two persons named Tribhovanbhai and Maneklalbhai were close and
      devoted disciples of Shrimad Rajchandra, a great spiritual prophet.

      One day Tribhuvanbhai, Maneklalbhai and other aspirants were having
      dinner with Shrimad Rajchandraji.  When different vegetables were
      being served, Maneklalhbai refused because he had his vow (Vrata).
      Then sauce followed and he rejected that also.  Then several other
      items were being served but he accepted some and rejected others.  At
      last came rice-milk (Dudhapaka).  As it was about to be served to
      Maneklalbhai, Shrimad Rajchandraji interrupted and said, "Do not
      serve rice-milk to him.  He wants to inflate his self-esteem by
      abandoning small items.  Actually, he does not want to discard items
      that nourish the taste."

      Real abandonment of tastes of the tongue is to discard permanently
      and fully the item that is very much to one's liking.  Only such
      persons are heroes (Tyagavira).


      A Jain monk Acharya Shantisagarji was the pioneer of the ascetic
      order among Digamber Jains.  He did great penance and had thousands
      of disciples among Digamber Jains in India.  He ended his life by
      voluntary renunciation of food in 1955.  This procedure is known as

      In 1930, he stayed four months during rainy season at Lalitpur
      village in Madhya Pradesh, India.  There were also some ten
      or twelve other Jain monks stayed at the village.  Several
      householders were preparing food for them.

      In Lalitpur, fruits like oranges and grapes were costly
      because these were imported from Delhi.  When Acharya learnt of
      this, he put this idea very humbly before the other monks;

      "I will not beg for or eat from today to the end of the four
      months of the rainy season, all fruits, green vegetables and all
      tasty food.  Also it is proper to discard fruits and green
      vegetables during the rainy season."

      All other monks took the same vow to abandon fruits and green
      vegetables following him.

      Thus two things were accomplished together by Acharya-shree.
      The spirit of abandonment (Tyaga) on the part of monks went up,
      and ordinary householders also could supply the food to monks
      because there was no need now of bringing costly fruits.  An
      atmosphere of the proper spirit of religion and peace spread on
      all sides by this abandonment of taste of the tongue and
      discrimination in food.


      Maharaj Nrusinhdas was a great austere saint of the state of
      Gujurat, India.  He lived in the early part of the present
      century in the city Ahmedabad.  He ate only bread and
      vegetables and did not use anything else in his food.

      There is a temple dedicated to a God named Shri Jagannathji in
      Ahmedabad.  Traditionally many Tyagi Sadhus (monks) lived at the
      temple.  Shri Nrusinhadasaji, the predecessor of the present
      Shri Ramaharshadasaji, spread the fame of the temple for more
      than thirty years by unity, peace and service to others.  Many
      cows are looked after in the temple, and guests are regularly
      served milk-rice and other sweet items.

      Shri Nrusinhadasaji Maharaj, by his vow, ate only after guests
      and residents of the temple were fed.  He daily and regularly
      took only millet-cake and vegetable Bhaji.  In spite of all
      requests of the worshipers inconveniences due to old age, he
      took this simple, tasteless, uniform food until he died.  This
      gives to us much food for thought with regard to the abandonment
      of taste of the tongue for the whole life by great souls.

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