In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important message from Vidura wherein he says that as a king or a leader, he/she is bound under certain basic behavior and mannerisms that would earn him/her respect amongst the subjects. If the king tries to deviate from these mannerisms, the subjects would brand the king as a person with a “cheap mentality”. This advice not only applies to King Dhirdiraashtra but also to each and every one of us.
Now moving on further, Vidura backs this important point through the next sloka thus:
“Aadyaanaam maamsa paramam madhyaanaam ghora sottharam!
Thilotharam daridhraanaam bhojanam bharata rishabha!!”
Now Vidura talks about different types of people and how do these different types of people differ in terms of their food habits. Here he talks about three categories of people – Rich, medium and the poor. Of course in those days, rich people would inadvertently be Kshatriyas because they would constitute the royal family of the kingdom. The other people would fall into the remaining two categories depending upon their amount of wealth they possess. Thus Vidura explains here that rich people’s food would always be containing flesh and non-vegetarian items (“Aadyaanaam maamsa paramam”). People who form the middle category would always have food that is rich in milk and ghee (“madhyaanaam ghora sottharam”) whereas the people who constitute the poor category, would have food stuff that would contain more of oil (“Thilotharam daridhraanaam”).
If we’ve to explore this sloka deeper we can infer three important points clearly – Firstly, rich people always have some kind of non-vegetarian items in their food. Even today if we see the food habits of filthy rich people, we would find them eating whatever they like and however they wish to! I’m not blaming anyone in particular here, but this is the norm of the world! Many people around the world, who are filthy rich, would mostly not have any control over their food and eating habits, barring very few people. Whereas if we see those people who constitute the middle class, their food items would be rich in milk, ghee and other milk products. This is a much better food habit to be having rather than eating non-vegetarian food. I’ve already explained about the alarming bad side effects that we would be inviting if we’re consuming non-vegetarian food in countries like India wherein the climatic conditions are mostly hot and humid.
However there might be a question here that if this is the case, why do Kshathriyas eat non-vegetarian food. Even if we closely look into the Valmiki Ramayana text, Valmiki Maharishi himself has said at quite a few places that Lord Rama has had the practice of consuming food that contained meat. Why is this so? The simple reason being that Lord Rama was born as a Kshathrya prince and he was entitled to consume such food items. He has lived by the “Dharma” of a Kshathriya throughout his life. Moreover, why should only Kshathriya people consume non-vegetarian food? It is because their main job is to engage in warfare most of the time. It should be remembered here that the Kshathriyas’ main duty is to protect the kingdom and the people from the raging enemies. It is for this reason that they were consuming foodstuff that are non-vegetarian. Consuming non-vegetarian food items would generate loads of heat and energy from within the body and of course since the main purpose of Kshathriyas was to engage in fighting and lot of allied physical activities, they require enormous amounts of energy in their body and this amount of energy could be supplied to the body only by consuming non-vegetarian food.
But in today’s world, who goes to fight with whom? 🙂 We should give this a thought and alter our food habits accordingly. Thus the message from today’s episode is that, the food of filthy rich people (supposedly Kshathryas) contains non-vegetarian food items as their main course. Whereas if we consider the middle class people, our food would always be rich in milk and other milk products. However, the food of the poor people would have more of oil in it. Care should also be taken here that we should lessen the usage of oil while cooking food! We talk about many issues pertaining to oil in the food today – Cholestrol for instance! Thus Vidura explains through the above sloka as to how to be careful with our food habits.
In the next sloka Vidura is going to explain the difference in hunger between a rich and a poor person. Can there ever be such a difference in hunger between people? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂