19 October 1967
Natural diet consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and permitted dairy products. Animal foods such as meat, fish, fowl, eggs, or their by-products, and spices, and intoxicants, should be strictly avoided. A strict vegetarian diet is what is wanted. The stomach should also remain partly empty. Let half of the stomach be full with food, one fourth with water and let one fourth remain vacant, so that digestion will not be difficult. The more your stomach is clear, the more concentration you will have. If your stomach is upset, then naturally you cannot sit, you cannot concentrate. So to help you in your meditations, the stomach should be set. No overfeeding should be indulged in. Eat when you really feel hungry, not everytime putting in something. Two meals a day are enough, though you may have a little breakfast in the morning. Sometimes the Masters say that those who would like to progress more should have only one meal a day.
Let the stomach remain partly empty. If you put more food in it than can be digested, naturally the things which are not digested will create disease. Eat as much as you can digest. Give some rest to your poor stomach. It takes at least four to five hours to digest anything. If you eat too much too often, your stomach will revolt. Eat a simple vegetarian diet, and only as much as you really need. The servant who is engaged to work 24 hours will revolt. He must have some rest during the day and night. So the stomach should also have rest, and that will only commence four or five hours after you have taken your food. If you take food at 8 am, then 12 noon, then 4 pm, then 8 pm, your stomach will have no time to rest.
So simple diet, simple living, and high thinking, is what is required. The more you eat, the more you cannot digest, the more disease will affect you. So let your stomach have some rest. Men do not die only of hunger, but also from overfeeding. This creates diseases. So eat as much as you require when you are really hungry.
Don't for formality say,
Now we should have something to eat.
This is the usual course with most of us, children and adult.
The more we live a regulated life, the better our health will be. All phases of life are touched upon by the Master to help people. If you have a simple diet and eat only that much which can be digested, you will be healthy. If you eat more than can be digested the result is you cannot sit, you cannot think clearly, you cannot devote time, you feel lazy. So simple living, simple diet and high thinking, is what is wanted. You should eat only what is really a necessity. Do not overfeed. Overfeeding will make you lazy and slothful. You will always be procrastinating. You will say, 'No I will do it later, let me rest.' This is because the stomach is not well.
Once it so happened that Prophet Mohammed had forty followers. One doctor attached himself to them, so that if anyone fell sick, he would give him some medicine. For six months the doctor remained with them but nobody fell ill.
Then he came to the Prophet and said,
Well, nobody has fallen sick, so there is no use in my being here.
Prophet Mohammed told him,
Well look here, so long as they follow my behests, they will not be ill. I tell them to take one morsel of food less than they really feel like, not to have a full diet, to eat a little less, so that when they leave the table, they are still a little hungry. I tell them to eat twice a day and during the day they should work hard. They should also do their meditations. If they follow these behests, nobody will fall sick.
These are very small things but they have much effect. So a simple diet, a strict vegetarian diet with no spices, should be adhered to. Eat only as much as you need and leave the table still a little hungry. These are the things to be followed which will make you active in all your affairs, whether in meditation, physical work, or anything else.