According to AdiSankarar hunger is in the nature of a pain for which the medicine is food. Your connection with food should stop there and you should not become attached to comestibles. Headache is also a pain which comes in three months or so. To tackle it dont you take an analgesic tablet ? Hunger is no different except that it arises every three hours.


Other living beings such as birds and animals also have the problem of hunger. They go for and consume their meal in the raw without waiting for it to be processed. Humans, being endowed with the sixth sense cook their food, add flavours and tastes to it and dress it up before bringing the same to the dining table. Taste yields pleasure to the mind through the sense-organ tongue. Do you know that the portion of the tongue transmitting taste is only about one-and-a quarter inches of the organ which contains taste buds. Throat does not experience taste, nor the oesophagus, or the stomach or the intestines. And yet what importance we attach to taste ! A price however has to be paid for this pleasure-enjoyment. What is that price Sirs ? The price has to be paid in terms of the life-energy which is your sole-capital for transacting the business of living. Do you hear the soft and firm voice of J.Krishnamurti telling you : A life was given to you, the most precious thing possible. And what have you done with it ? You have divided it, you have distorted it. ?


The principle which governs our pleasure-enjoyment through the tongue applies four-square to the other four sense-organs too --- skin, ears, eyes and nose. Tiruvalluvar, one of the most eminent thinkers of all time has said as under in a couplet of his: Even if the diameter of the inlet is limited you have nothing to fear if the outlet is not broadened more.


A Tamil poem of Sage-poetess Avvaiyar was once quoted in the presence of Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi at the Tiruvannamalai Asramam. It reads :


O ye troublesome stomach !

you cannot be persuaded

to forgo food even for a day;

nor are you able to contain

food for two days together;

you do not seem to realise

the travails Im put to

through your recurring demands;

and I am led to conclude

that it is verily an ordeal

to co-exist with you !


On hearing the poem, Ramana Maharishi who was himself a competent poet laughed and commented that it should be the other way about. The stomach should groan and complain and not the person. He composed a counter-poem :


O ye troublesome Life !

you do not give any respite

to me your hapless stomach

even for a few moments;

and not a day passes

without your stuffing me;

you do not seem to realise

the travails I am put to

through your gluttonous habits

and it is I who should conclude

that to co-exist with you

is verily an ordeal !



(The poems originally in Tamil Venba meter rendered into English by Sage TGN)


- Excerpt from Sage TGNs Talk on Bhaja Govindham : Conquer the World

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