12. Hinduism, Vedic Culture, Offers A Scientific Way Of Life, From Diet, Lifestyle, Daily Schedule, Etc.
With all the topics that are covered in the Vedic scripture, it provides the means for a most well-rounded and balanced lifestyle, both materially and spiritually. For example, in regard to meditation, it recommends that the best time to do so is in the early morning during the brahma-muhurta hour, which is just before sunrise. Why? Because this is best since it is before the business and noise of the day begins. It is just after getting rest, arising during the time when satya-guna, the mode of goodness, is prominent, and before the mind is disturbed by so many thoughts of the day.
Regarding diet, it is recommended that you eat your biggest meal while the fire of digestion is at is peak, which is usually around noon or shortly thereafter. This is also when the sun is at its highest. This helps relieve one from indigestion and associated diseases.
Diet is also further divided not only by different foods at certain times of the day, but also by whether the food is in the mode of goodness (sattvic), passion (rajasic), or darkness (tamasic). Foods in goodness are vegetarian (fruits and vegetables) that promote health, peace of mind, happiness, and enlightenment. Rajasic foods are often based on taste and can be spicy. These lead to mental agitation, passion, and disease. Tamasic foods include those that are old, often of little taste, stale, of little nutritional value, and can lead to delusion, laziness and sleep. So simply by the study of food one can direct the diet toward a happier and more peaceful life.
In regard to the way to divide one's existence, there are four ashramas of life. We are students in the first part of our life, called the brahmachari ashrama for men. In the second part of our life most people are married householders, called the grihasta-ashrama. After we have associated with our wife and had children that have grown and married, then it is time to take up the retired order of life, the vanaprastha-ashrama, and begin to relieve ourselves of the responsibilities of married life. Then when we are ready, usually before we are too old, it is suggested that we take up the renounced order of life, sannyasa-ashrama, so that we can devote ourselves completely to reaching God after death. In this way, by following these ashramas, or orders of life, we not only have a fulfilling material existence, but also reach spiritual perfection so as to not waste this valuable form of human life.
These are just a few examples of how the Vedic recommended lifestyle and science is meant to help one live a balanced existence for happiness and progress both materially and spiritually.
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