Man should understand two important things: the food he takes (Ahara) and the habits he has (Vihara). You should not take whatever you like whenever you are hungry. You should always take Satvic food. The type of smoke emanating from fire will depend on the type of fuel used, the clouds will depend on the type of smoke, the water depends upon the type of clouds, the rain depends upon the type of water, the crop depends on the type of rain, the food depends upon the type of crop, the thoughts in the head depend upon the food which you have eaten. All thoughts, whether good or bad, depend upon the food you take. Therefore, you must strictly adhere to the code related to food.
You can purify the body with water. In the same way you can purify the mind with truth. So when you partake food which is associated with truth, the thoughts too will be associated with truth. After knowing this body as the temple of God, you should not indulge in any kind of intoxicated food. You should not take food which is filthy.
How can we decide what is Satvic food and what is not? We hold on to a mistaken view that fruits and milk are Satvic foods, and that if we partake such food items we are on a Satvic diet. Fruits and milk are consumed by the body only through one sense organ, which is the mouth. But this physical body, which is the temple of God, has five doors – the five sense organs. A house, for instance, has several doors which are meant for our own use and for allowing into the house our own relatives. But if donkeys, pigs and other beasts were to enter through these doors, we would drive them out and close the door to protect ourselves. So too, we must allow only sacred thoughts and good actions to pass through the doors in our body, the five sense organs.
The skin is associated with touch, the nose is associated with smell, forms can be seen with eyes, sound can be heard by ears and the words flow from the mouth. The body has five sense organs and if you take Satvic food only for one of the organs, then it is of no use. You should take Satvic food from all the sense of organs, which means we must always speak Satya or truth, hear only what is good, feel good, see good and smell only what is good to smell.
You should see only that which is good and which leads to good thoughts. Sight, which is of a sacred nature, is the intake of Satvic food through the eyes. Hearing good things forms the intake of Satvic food through the ears. One should avoid going to places where there is bad odour, and try to inhale fresh air and breathe freely. Righteous deeds performed by the hand constitute the intake of Satvic food through the hands. The body is said to be the temple of God only when we intake Satvic food through all our sense organs.
We must also be careful about the places we visit and the company we keep. Your thoughts and actions will depend upon your company. That is why Swami says, “Tell me your company and I shall tell you what you are”. Hence, keep away from bad company. Today’s youth are easily falling into bad company. You should remember that this body is the temple of God, and conduct yourself appropriately. In the ancient days, the Rishis used to go to the forest for doing Tapas (penance), only to keep themselves away from bad company. In My view, however, even this is not correct. Suppose you want to control anger. You may enter the forest and control you anger there. But as soon as you enter the society, you yourself are conquered by the feeling of anger. If you want to conquer anger you should first find out the cause of the anger, and find out under what circumstances you get angry. You should mix with people with whom you get angry and then try to control your anger. Only then would you have truly conquered anger. If you want to conquer all the sense organs you will have to practice vigorously.
If you can understand the subtleties of this physical body, you can perform good actions. Without understanding the subtleties and the mysteries of this body you cannot make proper use of this body. You can make proper use of a new car only when you know where the brakes are, where the steering is and where you should pour the oil. If you use the steering in a wrong way, you will cause harm to others and yourself. In the same way, by not knowing how to use the body properly, man is becoming a victim of stress and anxiety.