Episode # 138 – “Rich people eat less & poor people eat more!” – Vidura’s thought-provoking explanation!!!


In the previous episode we had witnessed yet another important explanation of Vidura to King Dhirdiraashtra again in the context of food habits pertaining to different categories of people. He had explained that rich people’s food habits are mostly non-vegetarian in nature, that is, their food would definitely contain some amount of meat in it. He further went on to explain that people those who fall under the category of the middle-class would have food items that are rich in milk and allied milk products like curd, ghee, etc. Whereas those people who fall under the category of the poor and downtrodden would have food items that contain excessive oil in them.

In due course of this explanation we also witnessed an interesting reason why “Kshathryas” consume food that is non-vegetarian in nature – The main reason being that those people are the ones who are directly involved in warfare every time. It is only to possess that kind of extraordinary strength and energy, do Kshathryas eat meat. In fact even in the Valmiki Ramayana there is a reference wherein Lord Rama is said to have consumed meat and this is purely because Lord Rama was a Kshathrya prince and he had the bound duty to fight wars so as to protect his country. Eventually we would see that Lord Rama strictly followed the “Dharma” of a Kshathrya. Thus we should note here that non-vegetarian food in tropical countries like India is only meant for those people who are involved in Army and other allied esteemed institutions of the country’s defence, so that they obtain the required amount of power and energy levels to take on the enemies during wars.

Now moving on further, Vidura explains a bit about an important aspect of our everyday life – Hunger. He again classifies people into three categories – Rich, Middle class and poor. He explains how hunger might be different for these three categories of people. Vidura explains thus:

“Sampanna tharamevaannam daridraa bunjade sadaa!

Kshutu svaadutaam janayati saachaadyeshu su durlabhaa!!”

Here Vidura explains clearly that a person who is poor, feels extremely hungry and thereby consumes food out of intense hunger! Here we can see that for those people who are poor, hunger is a boon! This is the biggest blessing and property that poor people possess in this world! Whereas, this same hunger becomes a bane for people who are rich! Thus in terms of hunger, poor people become rich and the rich become poor!

We might wonder why is Vidura’s explanation so unique in this context. In this modern day too we can observe this phenomenon. How? If we compare the apetite of a daily wageworker in a factory to that of the manager of the same factory, we would be able to witness a clear difference. The daily wageworker comes to work everyday, involves himself in hard physical labor till the evening and as a result he becomes extremely tired and exhausted. Hence when he returns back home, he tends to have a sumptuous dinner with full mental peace and satisfaction. His body also takes adequate rest for the night and gets ready for the next day’s work schedule.

However is this the case for the factory manager? Never! Although he might be a rich person in terms of money and luxuries, his job profile at work is extremely demanding – He is totally responsible for the safety and well being of all the workers put together in the factory and hence to enforce this into practice, he has to undergo innumerable trials and tribulations every day at office. Moreover, the mental pressure would be so severe that he would not be able to find sufficient time to focus on his own self and his own apetite. Hence if we observe the food habits of those people who are rich and in top positions of organizations, they would consume food just enough for them to continue their living and to keep moving on with their everyday hectic schedules. Eventually many of them would start developing physical and mental illness, as they grow older in age!

From the above example we can see how relevant are Vidura’s words in today’s context too! Thus the message from today’s sloka is that, poor people have an excellent apetite and hunger can be considered to be a boon to them given by Bhagawan – The reason being that they do not have any sorts of mental stress and strain, although they might be physically exhausted due to their work demand. However if we look at the case of rich people in the top-level positions, the responsibility becomes higher, which implies that the mental stress and strain is extremely high! This is what affects their food habits very badly and they get into all kinds of physical and mental health complications. Thus for rich people, hunger becomes a big bane and in terms of hunger and food consumption, the poor people appear to be richer and the richer people appear to be poorer!

Hence for today let us ponder over this point and let us realize that health is more significant than many other things in this world! We should ensure that we consume food on a periodic basis without skipping any meal at any time of the day (Breakfast, lunch or dinner). We shall take this point forward in the upcoming tomorrow’s episode! Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at International School of Business & Media, Pune, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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