Excerpt from Health
Recommendations for behavior are given in three categories:
continual, seasonal, and occasional behavior. The first
is broken into two parts: continual behavior for the entire
life and religious practice.
CONTINUAL BEHAVIOR FOR THE ENTIRE
Everyone wants happiness and a long life and does
not want suffering, and everyone engages in techniques to achieve
these.57 In order to get rid of suffering - disease
- and to lenghten your life span, there are various methods which
you can employ. You can wear precious stones on various places of
the body to lengthen your lifetime and protect from disease. You
also should take medicine that accords with your own physical
disposition, and you should seek the help of protector deities
through the practice of Secret Mantra.
You should, with mindfulness, avoid the two conditions giving
rise to illness: unsuitable eating habits are unsuitable behavior,
these being, for instance, to drink mixtures of different kinds of
alcoholic beverages, to stay out in the sun for a long time and then
come in to the cold, to wear light clothing in the winter, and to
wear heavy clothing and so forth in the summer. You should in
all ways abandon as much as possible the various forms of the
nonvirtues--three physical: killing, stealing, and sexual
misconduct; four verbal: lying, divisive speech, harmful talk, and
senseless chatter; and three metal: covetousness, harmful intent,
and wrong view. You should diminish these as much as you can.
The sense faculties - the tongue sense and so forth - should be
used in a balance manner; you should, for instance, not gaze too
much at the very beautiful or the very ugly or prolongedly smell
very attractive or very unattractive odors. If you gaze too much at
very ugly things too long, eventually the wind element in the body
is stirred up. Similarly, if you smell bad odors to much, it
eventually affects the wind element in your body, and this brings
You should avoid getting on a wild horse, swimming in a
whirlpool, running through fire to show off your courage, climbing
up and jumping down from trees in summer to show off your physical
powers, or playing at the edge of caverns that are filled with water
from the rains of summer. At all times in all seasons, you should
avoid such activities, basically because they could kill or harm.
For instance, if you hang on branches, they could easily break off,
or if you swim in a whirlpool, you can get sucked in; riding on a
wild horse, you can get thrown off, injured, and even killed.
When walking, you should watch the road carefully. When staying
in a single place, you should know the area where you are staying.
You should try not to go about in the night, but if there is
something important for which you have to go outside, take a friend
along for protection. Do not go against the nature of things, in
terms of time and in terms of the nature of the situation.
One reason for taking care about where you go and where you stay
and so forth is that if, for instance, you go into the woods, you
could fall into a trap that has been built to capture a deer. If you
do not watch where you are walking on a narrow bridge, for instance,
when you get to the end you might fall into a trap constructed for
animals - the bridge itself being part of the trap. In other words,
you have to take care.
It is advisable not to fast all the time, or sleep during the day
instead of the night, or put great effort into tasks at which you
cannot possibly succeed. Do not get drunk from alcohol a great deal;
this will cause the strength of your body to be be lost. Do not stay
talking all the time, just chattering on and on. These will cause
your body to become old before its time.
In the spring [or late winter according to the "Western"
seasons], when the nights are becoming shorter, it is a very rough
season, and thus it is not a time to spend fasting, chattering, or
any of the other above mentioned activities; if you do, this will
cause your body to lose strength and the wind element to increase.
Thus, if during this season you sleep a little bit, just after noon,
it is very helpful. For instance, if you sleep for a half hour or an
hour after lunch in the spring, it counteracts the effect of these
activities - counters the loss of strength of body and counters the
increase of the wind element.
If in the summer, fall, and winter, however, you sleep after
lunch, this will cause an increase of phlegm; body and mind will
become heavy, the sharpness of your intelligence will lessen, you
will not want to move around much, you will get lazy, and you will
get common colds over and over again.
A person who has to sleep a lot should be given an emetic and
fast afterward. The purpose is to vomit out the phlegm that causes
heaviness, and thus a special emetic is needed in order to expel the
A person who cannot sleep should at noon take warm milk and at
night take broth made from lean meat. The insomniac should rub
sesame oil all over the top of the head. Also, in a spoon melt a
little pure fresh butter and at the point at which it cools off,
take just a drop and put it in each ear.
In general, you should not commit adultery, that is, lie with
somebody who is married or who is under the care of another person,
nor should you fornicate with animals. You also should not copulate
during the time of menstruation. In the winter you can copulate as
much as you wish - there is no specified limit - but in the fall and
spring you should not copulate more than twice a week. In the months
of summer you should copulate no more than once every two weeks.
This is because summer is the peak time of elements; since
everything is highly developed, if you copulate a lot during this
time, your strength will be lost.
If more copulation is done, this will cause your sense powers
(eye, ears, nose, tongue, and body) to become dull. For instance,
your sight will not be as clear or bright. It can also cause
untimely death; if, for instance, you had been capable of living one
hundred years, you might die at seventy or eighty. Also, your
intelligence will become duller.
In order to overcome the wind that causes you to age, you should
bathe frequently and rub sesame oil everywhere on the body. In India
we can get only sesame oil, but here you have many kinds of oil that
are suitable although mustard oil is to be avoided. This will get
rid of fat, and your body will be lighter. Rubbing oil on the body
will increase the digestive fires; your intelligence will become
clear, and you will have a clear sense of exertion. It also
increases sexual powers.
Question: How often is "frequent"
Answer: It is necessary to bathe at least once
a week, but you should do it twice. In India people who practice
this bathe every day in the morning and then rub on oil.
Question: If you copulate more than the specified number
of times, is there counteraction you can take?
Yes, there is medicine. There is a separate text on virilification
and aphrodisiacs for the sake of restoring sexual potency - making
the impotent potent. It is said in that text that if a man takes
medicine properly, he can lie with a hundred women in one night. I
do not know about that, but the medicine is very powerful.
If you transgress these rules, it is possible to contract chronic
disorders. These specifications of times and season and amounts are
particularly important for the old, for wind or bile. They are
slightly less important for the adult who is not bothered by wind or
Persons who have a strong body should take fatty and oily types
of foods in the winter and spring. However, they should lessen the
intake of these in the summer and the fall, the reason being that
fatty and oily foods will increase bile.
Most important for a person who is predominated by phlegm is any
form of exercise - running, jumping, swimming, whatever. When a
person who is predominated by phlegm washes, as a substitute for
soap, it is good to use powdered lentil. It draws out phlegm in the
hair pores. Through this, your joints will be very flexible. This
also causes fat to dissolve, and the flesh to improve. If you engage
in such behavior, your skin will have good tone, your limbs will be
very strong, and you will have a long life.
Question: What other kinds of oil are good to
Answer: Oils from various types of nuts, even
walnut oil, but not mustard oil.
Question: Can you bathe too much or have sex to
Answer: If you bathe many times during the day,
the water itself might increase wind problems. With regard to having
too little sexual activity, I do not think there would be much
fault, except for the possilbe formation of stones.
sentient beings want happiness, they engage in many activities; in
the previous section, we talk about wordly activities; now let us
turn to religious activities. Because it is the case that even
regular happiness can lead to suffering, it is best to engage in
religious activities. You should not procrastinate with regard to
religious practice, thinking that you can accumulate wealth and a
good situation and then practice later on. Rather, you should begin
practicing right away, not putting it off until later.
The main religious activities are: with regard to physical acts,
to give up killing living beings, stealing, and impure sexual
activity - adultery; with regard to verbal activities, you should
give up lying, senseless talk, harmful speech, and divisive talk
which is the worst of all; mentally, you should give up covetousness
which is a desire to have somebody else's belongings, harmful intent
which is to wish to harm another, and wrong views - for instance, to
view that there is now cause and effect of actions, that there is no
rebirth, that there is no such thing as Buddha, Doctrine, and the
Spiritual Community. In this way you should give up non-virtuous
activities - three of body, four of speech, and three of mind. Even
if you are unable to sit in a cross-legged posture and have the
appearance of one who is meditating, the diminishing and abandonment
of these is religious practice.
Whatever capacity you have should be used to help those
overwhelmed by sorrow, those bereft of wealth, and those stricken by
suffering. Helping others is very special. You should always view
any living being, even bugs and so forth, as like yourself. Just as
you would not like a needle stuck in your own flesh, so even a worm
or bugs does not like such things.
You should, when talking to others, speak altrustically with a
smiling face, without deception, and honestly. You should mainly
seek to help even persons who are acting as your enemy and are
trying to harm you. Also, with a motivation of love you should
generate the two altruistic supreme minds of enlightenment - the
altruistic intention to become enlightened in both its aspirational
and practical forms as well as the realization of the emptiness of
Physically, even if now we are not Bodhisattvas and are incapable
of giving our own bodies to others, we can give gifts to others; we
can give blood to others who do not have enough. Persons who make
organ donations are indeed carrying out the Bodhisattva precepts.
Verbally, we should use speech with an attitude of altruism; for
instance, if another is seeking to kill someone and trying to find
out where they are, even if you had seen the intended victim, you
can tell the killer that you do not know where that person is and
thereby free that being from being killed. Similarly, mentally you
should think about what will be helpful to others, discriminating
between what helps and what harms others.
It is very important to engage in the Bodhisattva type of
altruistic attitude, considering others' welfare to be more
important than your own. These are the ultimate religious practices.
Question: What happens if you feel anger but are
Answer: It would be harmful because you are
angry, but because of not carrying out an action of harm against
someone else, the effect would be less.
Question: It seems that you run the danger of
self-deception rather than the deception of others when you attempt
to act differently than you feel.
Answer: Once you have
desire and hatred, there is no way that you cannot be in a position
of loss. If you show it to others, it will bring a certain problem
and if you keep it inside, it will bring another. We are stuck in
this situation until attaining freedom from the afflictions of
desire, hatred, and ignorance.
57. In Day-si-sang-gyay-gya-tso's Blue Daidurya, Vol. 1,
the corresponding section begins at 308.2. See also The
Ambrosia Heart Tantra, pp.