Daily regime – Dinacharya

This is an important component of the health care measures. In modern time man has utilized his whole intellectual capacity to find out every possible measure for his comfort. He found out the means to save the time that he is able to complete a year’s work in hours or even minutes. But unfortunately with all these time saver means he is not able to spare some time for his health care. Principles of Ayurvedic Dinacharya are based on certain comprehensible logics. Like other living beings man is also part of this cosmos. All the activities of the universe run according to certain preset programs. We hardly can find a lapse in these programs and the coordinated activities .Every being has to act as a part of this whole machinery. Usually all the living beings follow the natural laws. Only man does not obey them. If some part of a machine fails in working in coordination with other parts, it causes severe damage to the machine together with that part. Ayurvedic Dinacharya is meant to act according to cosmic rhythm and in coordination with other beings. Sometimes there are some arguments against Dinacharya that this is difficult to adopt routines of some very different culture. Here we have to realize facts about concept of culture. Culture is result of collective behavior of certain society and is never fixed for all the time. This is always in the process of reforming. Man continuously makes changes in any cultural setup according to his interests, needs, beliefs and circumstances. Therefore we can see fast integration of different cultures throughout the world. Unfortunately concept of holistic health has very least place in these cultural integrations. If one is determined to adopt healthy daily routines, there cannot be any hurdle in that. Dinacharya means to live in a regular and natural rhythm of life and includes timely rest, timely and within the capacity work, timely sleep, timely waking, timely and right food, non-suppression of natural urges and well balanced emotional behavior. To act against these rules is cause of diseases. Diet is very important aspect of Dinacharya and is a special concept of Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, wholesome or a good food is only factor to cause normal development in body. Human body is produced of food and also gets its growth and maintenance through food. Wholesome food is cause of an excellence in health. Contrary to this unwholesome is responsible for origin of disease. When Ayurveda talks about wholesome, its criteria for wholesome are not based on the principles of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Ayurvedic criteria are based on our own natural perceptions. How do animals decide their food? They do not have any laboratory to test chemical composition and toxicity of grass, leaves, fruits, or the different fleshes. They judge the food with the help of their own perceptions. They still possess this strong perceptive faculty in themselves while we are gradually losing it because of our growing dependence on laboratories. Ayurveda has developed the wisdom of dietetics on the basis of these natural perceptions at different levels of our sensorium. When we put a piece of some food article it gives some feelings in the mouth, on the tongue together with some feeling at mental levels. This is the first perceptive level giving us several information about food and is very important level. This perception is known as ‘Rasa’ or the taste. As far food is concerned Ayurveda has emphasized much on Rasa (the taste), being very simple perception but able to provide very important clues about contents and quality of food. Not only this is important that what do we eat but this is similarly important that when and how we eat. Body has its biological clock. Body is not ready to perform any activity at any time. Ayurveda has categorized the function and classified them according to biological clock. For example morning time is period of Kapha, if we eat heavy food in breakfast, our stomach is not prepared to digest it properly and there are possibilities of production of some harmful products. Midday is period of Pitta, and body is prepared to digest any kind of food properly. In the evening again there is period of Kapha and Srotas act sluggishly in the night, our supper should be light. There is a popular saying in Europe that “Eat like a king in a breakfast, like a farmer in the lunch and like a beggar in the supper.” Unfortunately this saying is highly misinterpreted. I interpret that kings do not eat much, so we have to consider the amount of food in the breakfast with that. Farmers are hard workers, they need a good amount of food and that kind of amount is good for lunch. This is not possible to explain all the rules pertaining to dietetics; few most essential useful aspects are highlighted here. Ayurveda emphasizes on selection of food according to Prakriti (innate predominance of Doshas in individual’s constitution). Usually people ignore this knowingly and unknowingly. If a person with Vata- Kapha dominance consumes food with Vata – Kapha properties, he will be prone to have diseases of Vata Kapha origin, for example, Asthma. If he avoids this type of food, he may protect himself from Asthma. A person with Kapha dominance, if consumes Kapha food, he may suffer with Kapha type diseases as Diabetes mellitus or Atherosclerosis. Ayurveda recommends avoiding certain unwholesome combinations of food articles. Combining milk with sour and salty thing; with onion, garlic, fish, radish and bananas are few examples. These cause vitiation in Rakta Dhatu and may produce skin diseases. In modern time when lots of discussions are there about skin allergies, one shall try to avoid this type of combinations in food. Together with activities and food, Achara (moral codes of conduct) are also important part of Dinacharya. These are based on principles of equality of all creatures and include restraining ourselves from the actions which we do not like for ourselves from others.

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