Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 1 JANUARY 2018


Time uploaded in London- 16-09



Post No. 4573

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks


Chanakya did not write about cooking or the culinary customs of any culture. Nor did he write a book on health or medicines. But in his didactic work he makes passing remarks about the bad habits in eating. Let us look at some verses/slokas from his work Chanakyaniti.


You are what you eat


He says,

The conduct reveals the family;

the speech reveals one’s country;

the agitation the affection;

and the body reveals one’s food.

–chapter 3, sloka/verse 2

The sloka/verse in Sanskrit runs like this:


aachaarah ulamaakhyaati desamaakhyaati bhaashanam

sambramah snehamaakhyaati vapuraakhyaati bhojamam.

It is very true that the food shapes our body. In the olden days they used to say ‘you are what you eat’ and ‘Tell me the books you read, I will tell you what type of person you are’ and ‘tell me your friends, I will tell you who you are’; now we can tell anyone, ‘tell me your health problems, I will tell you what you eat and vice versa’.



Burning without Fire!

Living in a petty village,

service to a low born person,

bad food,

irascible wife,

foolish son, and a widowed daughter,

these six singe the body even when there is no fire.

Bad food is one of the things that upset us physically and mentally.

The sloka/verse is as follows

kukgraamavaasah kulahiinasevaa kubhojanam krodhamukhi cha bharyaa

putrascha muurkho vidhavaa cha kanyaa vinaagninaa shat pradahanti kaayam

–chapter 4, verse 8


Eating in indigestion is Poison

In another verse Chanakya says that eating in indigestion is poisonous. We live in an era where enormous food is forced on us in dinners and parties, where as there are millions of people born in poor families go without food.

Sastra without repeated study is poison

eating in indigestion is poison

an assembly for the poor is poison

a young woman for an old man is poison.

Here is the sloka/ verse giving the message,

anabyaasena visham saastram ajiirne bhoajanam visham

visham sabhaa daritrasya vrddasya tarunii visham

–chapter 4, verse 15



Be happy with what you have

Chanakya says, “one should be satisfied with one’s wife, meals and wealth. One should never be satisfied with study, austerities and charity.”

It is very important keep our tongue under control. The sloka/verse in Sanskrit runs like this:


santoshastrishu kartavyah svadaare bhojane dhane

trishu chaiva na kartavyo adhyayane tapadhaanayoh

–chapter 7, verse 5

Contentment in eating is very important. To get contentment in food, famous TV hypnotist Paul Mc Kenna says, “Never ever eat food while watching TV or reading books. Pay full attention to your eating and enjoy every bit you eat. Take little by little and enjoy it. By doing so you can avoid over eating and feel full in your stomach.

An easy advice anyone can follow without spending a penny.


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