CONTROL OF THE SENSES : TASTE | MK GANDHI
PATHWAY TO GOD | PART II | CHAPTER 06 | MK GANDHI
|| CONTROL OF THE PALATE ||
All the other senses will automatically come under our control when the palate has been brought under control .
YERAVDA MANDIR | CHAPTER IV | MK GANDHI
|| CONTROL OF THE PALATE ||
Control of the palate is very closely connected with the observance of brahmacharya .
I have found from experience that the observance of celibacy becomes comparatively easy , if one acquires mastery over the palate .
This does not figure among the observances of time-honoured recognition .
Could it be because even great sages found it difficult to achieve ?
In the Satyagraha Ashram we have elevated it to the rank of an independent observance , and must therefore consider it by itself .
Food has to be taken as we take medicine , that is , without thinking whether it is palatable or otherwise , and only in quantities limited to the needs of the body .
Just as medicine taken in too small a dose does not take effect or the full effect , and as too large a dose injures the system , so it is with food .
It is therefore a breach of this observance to take anything just for its pleasant taste .
It is equally a breach to take too much of what one finds to one's taste .
From this it follows , that to put salt in one's food , in order to increase or modify its flavour or in order to cure its insipidity , is a breach of the observance .
But the addition is not a breach , if it is considered necessary for health to have a certain proportion of salt with food .
Of course it would be sheer hypocrisy to add salt or any other thing to our food , deluding ourselves that it is necessary for the system if as a matter of fact it is not .
Developing along these lines we find we have to give up many things that we have been enjoying , as they are not needed for nutrition .
And one who thus gives up a multitude of eatables will acquire self-control in the natural course of things .
This subject has received such scant attention , that choice of food with this observance in view is a very difficult matter .
Parents , out of false affection , give their children a variety of foods , ruin their constitution , and create in them artificial tastes .
When they grow up , they have diseased bodies and perverted tastes .
The evil consequences of this early indulgence dog us at every step ; we waste much money and fall an easy prey to the physician .
Most of us , instead of keeping the organs of sense under control , become their slaves .
An experienced physician once observed that one had never seen a healthy person .
The body is injured every time that one overeats , and the injury can be partially repaired only by fasting .
No one need take fright at my observations , or give up the effort in despair .
The taking of a vow does not mean , that we are able to observe it completely from the very beginning ; it does mean constant and honest effort in thought , word and deed with a view to its fulfillment .
We must not practise self-deception by resorting to some make-believe .
To degrade or cheapen an ideal for our convenience is to practise untruth and to lower ourselves .
To understand an ideal and then to make a herculean effort to reach it , no matter how difficult it is — this is purushartha , strong endeavour . . .
We must not be thinking of food all the twenty-four hours of the day .
The only thing needful is perpetual vigilance , which will help us to find out very soon when we eat for self-indulgence , and when in order only to sustain the body .
This being discovered , we must resolutely set our faces against mere indulgence .
SELF-RESTRAINT VS SELF-INDULGENCE | PART I | MK GANDHI
|| CHAPTER 06 | BRAHMACHARYA ||
Control should be acquired over the organ of taste .
My experience is that one who has not mastered taste cannot control animal passion either .
It is no easy task to conquer the palate .
But conquest of passion is bound up with the conquest of the palate .
One of the means of controlling taste is to give up spices and condiments altogether or as far as possible .
Another and a more effective means is always to cultivate a feeling that we eat just in order to sustain the body and never for taste .
We take in air not for taste , but for life .
Just as we take water to quench our thirst , in the same way we should take food only to satisfy hunger .
Unfortunately , parents make us contract a contrary habit from very childhood .
They corrupt us by giving us all manner of delicacies not for our sustenance , but out of mistaken affection .
We have got to fight against this unfavourable home atmosphere .
SOURCE | SATYAVEDISM.ORG