Category

HEALTH AND HYGIENE

Everyone knows that “health is wealth”. What is health? One should be healthy in mind, body and soul. If the body has to be healthy, one should not get any disease; if the mind has to be healthy, one should not have any kind of ill-feelings. We must be free of all bad thoughts if we have to keep our mind healthy. But for spiritual pursuits, good health is a must. Without good health, we cannot penetrate into hidden depths of the vast ocean of life within and attain the final goal. Without good health we cannot wage war with the turbulent senses and the boisterous mind. Without good health we cannot do Asanas or Pranayama. Without good health we cannot carry any of our duties. The scripts declare that ‘Deho Devalayo Prokto’ i.e. ‘The body is the temple of God’.

Due to these reasons, it is mentioned in the scriptures that this body is a boat to cross the ocean of the Samsara, an instrument for various deeds and attaining Moksha. Also ‘Paropakarartham Idam Shareeram’ i.e. ‘The body is a wonderful gift given by God to render service to mankind’. Good health is beneficial not only for the individual but it is also effective for the family and the community. Health is a function comprising not only Medical care, but also of the overall integrated development of society in its spiritual, cultural, social, educational, psychological aspects and its supported by diet, environment and health education. Gurus must teach the children to keep themselves healthy 1. Teeth, Mouth and Body should be clean. 2. One should have nutritious food 3. Fresh air and exercise is a must 4. One should have good rest These four habits should be taught to children to keep themselves healthy. Dust and sweat would have closed the pores of the skin so the children should be taught to keep their body clean by having bath daily; otherwise they may end up having some skin disease. One should use soap and water to have bath. With this their body and mind will be clean. Healthy teeth and gums chew food better and make digestion easier, so the children should brush their teeth first thing in the morning and if possible last thing at night. Additional brushing may be necessary during the day if disease is present. Over brushing removes the enamel layer of the teeth and sets in a process of attrition. So careless excessive brushing is to be avoided. The children should be encouraged to talk about their eating habits. We can help them and guide them if we find they are not eating the right food. Man is made of 5 sheaths. The outer most one is the “ANNAMAYA KOSHA”-the food sheath. Thus the importance of having the correct quality and quantity of food can’t be over-stated. “Namasmarana” or prayer cleanses our ‘Mind’ just as we soap and water to make our body and clothes clean. We have to thank God for everything-even for a small chocolate that we get We must tell the children that the idle food program calls for 1. Three meals a day with no snacks in between 2. While eating the children should chew the food well 3. Be silent while eating 4. Offer prayers and be grateful to the Lord for the food and to respect the food as ‘Prasad’. One of the most important things is that the children should get balanced diet which includes fruits and milk.

The child should become aware of the importance of the ‘right food’ and not only ‘tasty food’. All junk foods have ZERO Nutrition value.

 

Foods to be Avoided by Children:

  • Roadside food
  • Junk food
  • Drinking impure water
  • Eating without washing hands
  • Eating Rajasic and Tamasic food

Fresh air and physical exercise also contribute to and are very much necessary for good health. Open air exercises in the mornings and evenings tone up the physical digestion, promote appetite and regulate bowel habits, prevent constipation, and also help to build a strong physique.

Rest does not mean abstention from work or one’s occupation; only a little change from what one is doing (that is from routine work) is set to be rest. Rest is necessary to allow the muscle to recover from the fatigue of work and is also necessary for the brain, digestive organs and other parts of the body. Ceasing work and a change of occupation will give a certain amount of rest. But sleep is necessary for complete relaxation of body and mind. Sound sleep revives the nerves. The amount of sleep necessary for the normal persons varies with the age, occupation and habits. For infants, 18 to 20 hours of sleep is necessary, and for one-year old children 14 to 16 hours of sleep. Adolescents require about 12 hours of sleep. Adults require 6 to 7 hours of sleep and aged people need about 8 hours of sleep. One should not go to bed immediately after meals. The sleeping hours should be regular for good health. Covering of head and face should be avoided during sleep. Before retiring to bed offering prayers and chanting god’s name promote sound sleep, free from bad dreams. Likewise, remembrance of god and offering prayers immediately on getting up from sleep in the morning will refresh both mind and body. It makes a most auspicious beginning of the day for him. Smoking habits, drinking of alcohol, etc, slowly poison the body, damage the lungs and liver and ruin the health and drive one faster to death. Fear is the biggest cause of illness. Faith in god and devotional practices uproot all fear from one’s mind. Like fear, so also anger, hatred, jealousy, etc. they all undermine health designs depriving one of peace and joy. Anger is the major cause of ill health besides being dangerous in so many other ways. An atmosphere of peace and joy should reign in the home. If the house is filled with the clean fragrance of cordiality, contentment, peace and holiness, all its occupants will be healthy and happy. Healthy body -> Good work Healthy mind -> Good thoughts Healthy inner-self -> Promotes sacred ideas [Source: Balavikas (Group-2), Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Society, Bangalore]
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