1. Bathing Procedure and Pitr Yajiṋa

First pour water on the navel. Then wet the region below the navel by splashing water from the front. Then pour water from behind. Thereafter pour water on the crown of the head in such a way that it trickles down over the backbone. Then bathe all over.

If you want to take a dip bath, first pour water over the waist, on the navel region, and below, in the above-mentioned way, and then take the dip.

After finishing your bath, before drying your body, recite the following mantra while performing the prescribed mudrá and looking at any luminous object:

Pitr puruśebhyo namah rśi devebhyo namah.
Brahmárpanaḿ Brahmahavir Brahmágnao Brahmańáhutam.
Brahmaeva tena gantavyaḿ Brahmakarma samádhiná.

Repeat the mantra together with the mudrá three times.

Remembering the rśis and ancestors in this way is known as Pitr Yajiṋa. Pitr Yajiṋa should be performed as a daily duty even if one’s father is alive.

The mudrá should be performed according to the illustrations.

[illustrations not available in the Electronic Edition]

One must recite each portion of the mantra as shown by the illustrations. The arrows indicate the intended direction of movement of the hands to reach the next position. Remember that this is to be done at the end of the bath.

Sick persons who are sensitive to cold should take their bath in warm water and in an enclosed and covered place. Sun-warmed water is also good.(2) In extremely cold climatic conditions warm water should be used.(3) If you are not taking a dip bath you should bathe in a sitting position; it is desirable not to bathe standing.

Bathing at midnight is prohibited. One must not take a bath in the midnight sandhyá. Everyone must bathe in any one of the other three sandhyás. Taking into consideration one’s health and the climatic conditions, one may also bathe in one or both of the remaining two sandhyás.

The four sandhyás:

(1) The period from forty-five minutes before to forty-five minutes after sunrise is called “dawn”, and dawn is the first sandhyá.
(2) The period from 9 A.M. to 12 noon is called the noon sandhyá.
(3) The period from forty-five minutes before to forty-five minutes after sunset is called the evening sandhyá.
(4) The period from forty-five minutes before to forty-five minutes after 12 midnight is called the midnight sandhyá (11:15 P.M. to 12:45 A.M.).

Meaning of the mantra:

Salutations to the ancestors, salutations to the god-like rśis. (Those who, by inventing new things, have broadened the path of progress of human society, are known as rśis.)

The act of offering is Brahma; that which is offered is Brahma; the One to whom the offering is made is Brahma; and the person making the offering is Brahma.

One will merge in Brahma after completing the duty assigned to him/her by Brahma.

1956, Jamalpur

2. Procedure for Eating

Before eating do vyápaka shaoca properly with cold water. In an extremely cold climate use lukewarm water. The system is: Wash the arms, the face, the legs, the neck and the genital organs. Then, keeping the eyes wide open, hold a mouthful of water and gently splash the eyes a minimum of twelve times.

Before sitting down for a meal, invite whatever persons are present around you and share your food with them. If they do not want to share, enquire whether they have enough food with them or not.

At the time of eating find a comfortable sitting position. It is better to eat in company than to eat alone. Do not sit down to eat if you are in an angry mood or in a debased frame of mind.

If several people are eating together from the same plate, make sure that sick persons do not take part. Otherwise healthy persons may become infected. There is no harm, however, in eating together from the same plate if there is no contagious disease among the participants. Rather, this is a nice thing to see.

It is good to take food when the main flow of breath is through the right nostril. Even after meal, it is good if the flow of breath is mainly through the right nostril and continues for some time, because that is the time when the digestive glands start secreting a sufficient quantity of fluids to help digestion.

Eating when one is not hungry or only half-hungry is very harmful to the health. So is eating rich food for days together or over-eating tasty and sumptuous food out of greed, or not taking rest after the meal before running off to the office, or filling the stomach with food. All these habits are harmful to the health.

(For proper digestion, fill the stomach halfway with food, one quarter with water, and leave one quarter full of air.)

After finishing the evening meal take a short walk. This is very beneficial to health.

In every object of the universe, one of three attributes – sattva, rajah and tamah – will always be predominant. So food is also divided into three categories according to the dominancy of the attributes.

(1) Sáttvika Áhára: All the staple food-grains such as rice, wheat, barley, etc.; all the pulses except masúr [an orange-coloured lentil] and khesári; all fruits and roots; all kinds of vegetables except violet-coloured carrots, white brinjals [white eggplants], onions, garlic and mushrooms; milk and milk products; all green and leafy vegetables except red puni and mustard.

All varieties of spices except garam masalá(1) and all kinds of sweets, can be taken.

A sáttvika diet is required for those who practise ásanas. Those who find it difficult to give up the habit of rájasika food all of a sudden may eat a piece of haritakii [myrobalan] after the meal. Those who take sáttvika food should avoid taking a large quantity of mustard or mustard products. Rájasika food-eaters should gradually try to change over to sáttvika food and támasika food-eaters should try to give up such food as early as possible.

For the avadhútas and avadhútikás of Ananda Marga there is only one kind of food, sáttvika food.

All foods that are beneficial to both body and mind are considered sáttvika.

(2) Rájasika ahára: Any food that is beneficial to the body but is neutral to the mind, or vice versa, is called rájasika. Foods that do not fall into the sáttvika or támasika categories are of rájasika nature. In certain countries where there is a heavy snowfall, rájasika food can be treated as sáttvika and támasika food as rájasika.

(3) Támasika áhára: All kinds of foods which are harmful to either the body or mind and may or may not be harmful to the other are called támasika.

Stale and rotten food, the flesh of large animals such as cows and buffaloes, and all types of intoxicants, are categorized as támasika.

Small amounts of tea, cocoa and similar drinks which do not excite a person to the point of losing his/her senses are in the rájasika category. The milk of a newly-calved cow, white brinjals, khesárii dál, green vegetables of the type of red puni or mustard are támasika. Masúr dál cooked for one meal will become támasika by the next meal.

Persons who have a strong desire for eating meat and those who eat meat out of necessity shall eat only meat from a male or castrated animal. No one should knowingly eat the meat of a female animal. One should not eat even a domestic female fowl.

Do not kill a fish which is one-fourth or less of its normal adult size. Also, do not kill a fish if it is in its infancy or its pregnancy. For instance, at present the female hilsá fish of the Indian Ocean is normally pregnant or in its post-delivery state from Sháradotsava [mid-autumn] to the full moon of the Indian month of Phálguna.

1956, Jamalpur