Moderation is the key

Krishna describes a yogi as one who concentrates his mind

on the Supreme Self, while remaining in solitude. He is

also self-controlled, free from desires and longing for

possessions. The technique of mental discipline on the

lines of Patanjali’s yoga sutra is suggested, pointed out Sri

R. Rajagopalan in a discourse. The purpose is to raise one’s

consciousness from the ordinary level to a higher state of

awareness of the Supreme. Yoga practice helps one to

integrate the levels of consciousness in an individual.

Basically an individual has to exercise control and

moderation on one’s physical and mental activities, for the

mind and body are always involved in action of some sort

or the other. For instance, one may sit still and refrain from

work, but still the act of breathing takes place within him.

Again, his mind is restless and shifts from thought waves of

a varied nature with unimaginable speed and in an

uncontrolled manner. Krishna’s first lesson is to make an

individual understand the hectic activity of one’s mind and

body that is constantly taking place within him and

observe these in a detached manner. As an exercise in self

discipline, this helps to recognise one’s shortcomings. One

learns to be moderate in his food intake and physical

activities and also tries to restrain his thought, word and

deed and regulate his sleep and waking.

“Yoga is not for him who eats too much or abstains too

much from eating. It is not for one who sleeps too much or

keeps awake too much.” Sastras state that the type of food

we eat influences our attitude and behaviour. Krishna

advises caution and vigil as various types of food can

trigger satva, rajas and tamas in people. The advice is to

strive for moderation and avoid extremes in one’s daily