Sanatana Dharma, also known as Hinduism, is one of the oldest religious traditions in the world and is considered to be the oldest religion in India. The term “Sanatana” literally means “eternal” whereas dharma does not have a direct translation in English but loosely can be mentioned as duty.
While Sanatana Dharma is often referred to as a religion, it is important to understand that Sanatana Dharma is much more than just a set of beliefs and practices. It is a way of life that encompasses all aspects of an individual’s existence and seeks to promote balance, harmony, and ultimate self-realization. In today’s world majority of people rarely look at the holistic knowledge and practical tips that the texts of Sanatana Dharma have to offer. Whatever knowledge is shared, is in bits and pieces or siloed to a particular area of life.
Since eons many Rishi’s and Guru’s have documented their practical experiences of life and shared via written texts or via discourses. The common thing is that most of the knowledge shared bring into picture the influence of microcosm and macrocosm.
One of the key features of Sanatana Dharma is the emphasis on holistic development of an individual i.e. Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual.
Let me elaborate on one of the key aspects in today’s post.
Sanatana Dharma, has a rich tradition of knowledge about health and wellness, and there are several practical tips that are mentioned in this tradition regarding healthy eating habits. In fact an entire Vedanga (One limb of Vedas) is dedicated towards health and wellness which is known as Ayurveda. I have elaborated below a concise message from most of the relevant texts of Sanatana Dharma
- Importance of Moderation: Sanatana Dharma emphasizes the importance of moderation in all things, including food. Eating in moderation is believed to promote physical health, mental clarity, and spiritual well-being.
- Emphasis on Whole Foods: Sanatana Dharma promotes the consumption of whole, natural foods that are minimally processed and free from additives and preservatives. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and dairy products.
- Avoidance of Toxins: Sanatana Dharma promotes the avoidance of foods that are toxic or harmful to the body, such as alcohol, drugs, and processed foods.
- Importance of Sattvic Foods: Sattvic foods are considered to be pure and nourishing, and they are believed to promote physical and mental health, as well as spiritual well-being. Sattvic foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, nuts, and whole grains.
- Eating with Gratitude: Sanatana Dharma also emphasizes the importance of eating with gratitude and respect for the food and its source. This is believed to promote a positive state of mind and help individuals to connect with the divine.
- Importance of Mealtime: As per the texts of Sanatana Dharma, mealtime is seen as an opportunity to come together with loved ones, share food, and connect with one another. Mealtimes are considered to be sacred, and they are often accompanied by prayers and blessings.
While the mentioned tips are to be followed on daily basis, the texts also emphasize the importance to be agile based on seasonal changes.
Here are some practical tips that are mentioned in the texts to accommodate seasonal changes:
- Seasonal Eating: Sanatana Dharma recognizes the importance of eating seasonally, as a way to maintain good health and to promote balance in the body. It is recommended to eat foods that are in season, as they are typically fresher and more nutritionally dense.
- Seasonal Activities: Sanatana Dharma encourages seasonal activities, such as outdoor exercise and recreation during the warmer months and indoor pursuits during the colder months. This helps to promote balance and well-being, and to adjust to the changing seasons.
- Seasonal Routine: Sanatana Dharma recognizes the importance of adjusting one’s routine to the changing seasons. For example, during the summer months, it is recommended to get up early and go to bed early, while during the winter months, it is recommended to rise later and go to bed earlier.
- Seasonal Cleansing: Sanatana Dharma emphasizes the importance of seasonal cleansing, such as fasting, detoxifying, and purifying practices, as a way to maintain good health and balance in the body.
- Seasonal Prayers and Meditations: Sanatana Dharma recognizes the importance of seasonal prayers and meditations, as a way to connect with the divine and to promote spiritual growth and well-being.
- Seasonal Festivals: Sanatana Dharma has a rich tradition of seasonal festivals that are celebrated to mark the changing seasons. These festivals are a way to connect with the divine, to celebrate the beauty and abundance of nature, and to bring joy and happiness to the community.
By following these principles, individuals can cultivate a balanced and nourishing diet that promotes physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. the key point to note is all the guidelines are set to enable one to be in best possible shape to walk on the path of spiritual evolution.
Even if one’s goal is not about walking “The Path” there is no harm in following the above tips. One will only end up living a healthy and fulfilling life.
Jai Shri Hari
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