Don’t Eat Too Much or Too Little (Post No.11,622)


Post No. 11,622

Date uploaded in London – –  3 JANUARY 2023                  

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Bhagavad Gita, Tamil Veda Tirukkural, Saint Tirumular’s Tirumanthiram and Adi Shankaras Bhagavad Gita Bhashyam (Commentary) – all advise us to avoid the extremes in Food consumption. It is not only to keep your body healthy but also to keep your mind pure. If anyone wants to succeed in spiritual matters whether it is Yoga or Dhyana/meditation t is essential that they avoid the excesses.

Here is the Bhagavad-Gita Sloka 6-16

नात्यश्नतस्तु योगोऽस्ति न चैकान्तमनश्नत: |

न चाति स्वप्नशीलस्य जाग्रतो नैव चार्जुन || 6-16||

nātyaśhnatastu yogo ’sti na chaikāntam anaśhnataḥ

na chāti-svapna-śhīlasya jāgrato naiva chārjuna

BG 6.16: O Arjun, those who eat too much or too little, sleep too much or too little, cannot attain success in Yoga .

Commenting  on it,  Dr Radhakrishnan (previously President of India and world renowned Philosopher) says,

“We must be free from animal cravings. We must avoid excess in all things. Compare with this the middle path of the Buddhists and the golden mean of Aristotle “.


 The Middle Way as well as “teaching the Dharma by the middle” are common Buddhist terms used to refer to two major aspects of the Dharma, that is, the teaching of the Buddha. The first phrasing, refers to a spiritual practice that steers clear of both extreme asceticism and sensual indulgence



Moral behaviour is the mean between two extremes – at one end is excess, at the other deficiency. Find a moderate position between those two extremes, and you will be acting morally.


Adi Shankara quotes a similar saying from the Satapata Brahmana and adds one more Subhasita from the Yoga Shastra, “ one must eat to fill in half of one’s stomach and drink water to fill in quarter and leave the rest of space for air.”


Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says

That food alone should be taken by the devotee which does not heat the system or unsettle the mind.

Swami Chidbhavananda adds,

The body is like Venna. If you tighten the strings too much while tuning it, it would not give good Svara. If you let them very loose, music would not come. It is similar to taking too much or too little food.


Tiru manthiram also repeated what is said in Bhagavad Gita. Tiru valluvar who wrote Tamil Veda known as Tirukkural says,

If one’s food and work are excessive or deficient, the three things enumerated by those learned in medical science, flatulence, biliousness and phlegm will cause one disease–Kural couplet 941

Another translation of the above couplet  is as follows,

Authorities on medicine hold that undue strain, and food , excessive or deficient , upset the three humours – flatulence, bile and phlegm of the body and bring about disease.


Tags – too much, too little, food, Bhagavad Gita, Tirukkural, Tirumanthiram,

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