On attitude towards food
पूजयेदशनं नित्यं अद्याच्चैनमकुत्सयन् ।
दृष्ट्वा हृष्येत् प्रसीदेच्च प्रतिनन्देच्च सर्वश: ॥
पूजितं ह्यशनं नियं बलमूर्जं च यच्छति ।
अपूजितं तु तद्भुक्तं उभयं नाशयेदिदं ॥
अनारोग्यमनायुष्यं अस्वर्ग्यं चातिभोजनं ।
अपुण्यं लोकविद्विष्टं तस्मात् तत्परिवर्जयेत् ॥
drushtwaa hrushyet praseedechcha
Poojitam hyashanam nityam
balamoorjam cha yachchati
Apoojitam tu tadbhuktam
ubhayam naashayed idam
aswargyam cha atibhojanam
tasmaat tat parivarjayet
Food should always be worshipped and taken with the utmost reverence. The sight of food should delight one’s heart and fill it with joy. It should always be cherished whatever the situation. Food thus honoured gives one strength and energy. Food taken irreverently destroys both strength and energy.
Over-eating is unhealthy, shortens one’s life and is an impediment to swarga meaning it prevents you from ahieving higher levels of happiness and joy. It is a sin and looked down upon by people. It is therefore good to abstain from over-eating.
[Note: It is scientifically accepted that a conducive frame of mind is essential for the proper digestion and assimilation of food. The state of mind certainly influences hormonal secretions and the metabolism. There is also the vedic injunction ‘annam na nindyaat’ meaning food is not be despised]
On control of the senses
इन्द्रियाणां विचरतां विषयेष्वपहारिषु ।
संयमे यत्नमातिष्ठेत् विद्वान् यन्तेव वाजिनां॥
इन्द्रियाणां प्रसंगेन दोषमृच्छत्यसंशयं।
संनियम्य तु तानेव ततः सिद्धिं नियच्छति ॥
न जातु कामाः कामानामुपभोगेन शाम्यति ।
हविषा कृष्णवर्त्मेव भूय एवाभिवर्धते ॥
वेदास्त्यागश्च यज्ञाश्च नियमाश्च तपांसि च ।
न विप्रदुष्टभावस्य सिद्धिं यच्छन्ति कर्हिचित् ॥
Indriyaanaam vicharataam vishayeshwapahaarishu
samyame yatnamaatishthet vidwaan yanteva vaajinaam
Indriyaanaam prasamgena dosha-mruchchaty-asamshayam
Samniyamya tu taaneva tatah siddhim niyachchati
Na jaatu kaamah kaamaanaam-upabhogena shaamyati
Havishaa krishnavartmeva bhooya eva abhivardhate
Vedaastyaagashcha yagnaashcha niyamaamshcha tapaamsi cha
Na vipradushta bhaavasya siddhim yachchanti karhichit
The five senses chase the objects of their desire which powerfully attract them. Wise men should endeavour to keep them under control like a horseman controls his horses.
There is no doubt that, ultimately, only something bad comes out of the attachment of the senses to their objects. By controlling the very same senses one is able to achieve the ultimate goal of one’s life.
Desire itself never subsides by enjoyment of the objects of desire. It only flares up again like a fire into which ghee is poured while performing havan.
Study of vedas, sacrifices, performance of yagnas, niyamas (ahimsa, truth in thought word and deed, non-stealing, non-acceptance of gifts etc) and penances cannot lead one to the ultimate goal of one’s life if the mind is polluted by uncontrolled desires.
On Vidya (learning, more specifically vedic or sacred knowledge)
विद्या ब्रह्मणमेत्याह शेवधिस्तेऽस्मि रक्ष मां ।
असूयकाय मां मा दास्तथा स्यां वीर्यवत्तमा॥
यमेव तु शुचिं विद्या नियतब्रह्मचारिणं
तस्मै मां ब्रूहि विप्राय निधिपाय अप्रमादिने ॥
Vidyaa brahmanametyaaha shevadhistesmi raksha maa
Asooyakaaya maam maa daastathaa syaam veeryavattamaa
Yameva tu shuchim vidyaa niyata brahmachaarinam
Tasmai maam broohi vipraaya nidhipaaya apramaadine
Vidya (Learning personified) came to the Brahamana (Teacher) and said, “I am your treasure. Protect me. Do not give me to some one whose tendency is to find fault even in good things. (asooyaa = doshaaropo guneshwapi – Amarakosam) . This way I will become more potent.
Give me to one who, you know, is pure in body and mind, has control over his senses, is of a sattwic temperament, who will guard me as a treasure and who is always alert and careful
अभिवादनशीलस्य नित्यं वृद्धोपसेविनः ।
चत्वारि तस्य वर्द्धन्ते आयुर्विद्यायशोबलम् ॥
न हायनैर्न पलितैर्न वित्तेन न बन्धुभिः।
ऋषयश्चक्रिरे धर्मं योऽनूचानः स नो महान्॥
न तेन वृद्धो भवति येनास्य पलितं शिरः
यो वै युवाऽप्यधीयानः तं देवास्थविरं विदुः
Abhivaadanasheelasya nityam vruddhopasevinah
Chatwaari tasya vardhante ayurvidyaa yashobalam
Na haayanair na palitair na vittena na bandhubhih
Rushayah chakrire dharmam yo anoochanah sa no mahaan
Na tena vruddho bhavati yenaasya palitam shirah
Yo vai yuvaapyadheeyanah tam devaah sthaviram viduH
One who is respectful towards elders and wise men and who always serves the old will have longer life and increase in learning, fame and physical and mental strength.
It is not the number of years or the number of grey hairs on one’s head or one’s wealth and relations that make one great.
The rishis have laid down the dictum that only that one is great who is well-read and learned in the sacred texts.
One does not become a venerable vruddha simply because his hairs have turned white. But one who is young and is well-read and still learning is really a sthavira meaning a venerable person not by his age but by his knowledge.
श्रद्दधान: शुभां विद्यां आददीताऽवरादपि ।
अन्त्यजादपि परं धर्मं स्त्रीरत्नं दुष्कुलादपि॥
स्त्रियो रत्नान्यथोविद्या धर्मः शौचं सुभाषितं।
विविधानि च शिल्पानि समादेयानि सर्वतः॥
Shraddadhaanah shubhaam vidyaam aadadeeta avaraadapi
Antyajaadapi param dharmam stree ratnam dushkulaadapi
Striyo ratnaanyatho vidyaa dharmah shaucham subhaashitam
Vividhaani cha shilpaani samaadeyaani sarvatah
Auspicious knowledge shall be received with humble respect even from one who is inferior in age or status. Virtues shall be imbibed even from one who is of an inferior social status. A gem of a woman who is virtuous shall be accepted even if she comes from an infamous clan.
Women, diamonds, knowledge, virtue, physical and mental purity, wise sayings and different arts and skills shall be gathered and accepted whatever their source.
On treatment of women
यत्र नार्यस्तु पूज्यन्ते रमन्ते तत्र देवताः ।
यत्रैतास्तु न पूज्यन्ते सर्वास्तत्राफला क्रियाः ॥
शोचन्ति जामयो यत्र विनश्यत्याशु तत्कुलं ।
न शोचन्ति तु यत्रैता वर्धते तद्धि सर्वदा॥
तस्मादेताः सदा पूज्या भूषणाच्छादनाशनैः ।
भूतिकामैर्नरैर्नित्यं सत्कार्येषूत्सवेषु च ॥
संतुष्टो भार्यया भर्ता भार्या भर्त्रा तथैव च ।
यस्मिन्नेव कुले नित्यं कल्याणं तत्र वै ध्रुवं ॥
Yatra naaryastu poojyante ramante tatra devataah
Yatraitaastu na poojyante sarvaastatraaphalaa kriyaah
Shochanti jaamayo yatra vinashyatyaashu tatkulam
Na shochanti tu yatraitaa vardhate taddhi sarvadaa
Tasmaadetaah sadaa poojyaah bhooshana achchaadana ashanaih
Bhootikaamair narair nityam satkaaryeshu utsaveshu cha
Santushto bhaaryayaa bhartaa bhaaryaa bhartraa tathaiva cha
Yasminneva kule nityam kalyaanam tatra vai dhruvam
Where women are propitiated and respected there the devatas (celestials) abide happily. Where they are not honoured no sacrifices or rituals (kiriyaah) will bear fruit.
Those clans will perish whose women grieve and where they do not grieve such clans will prosper always.
Therefore one who wishes to prosper and accumulate wealth should please women of the household by means of ornaments, fine clothes and good food on auspicious occasions and during festivals.
Those clans will definitely prosper and be full of joy where the husbands are content with their wives and the wives are content with their husbands.