Ahara Vidhi

Ahara is not only needed for the continuity of life, but for Bala, Varna, Upacaya etc. also. The proper diet, taken in proper manner can lead to better health. On the contrary, proper diet if not taken in proper manner can lead to diseases. Ahara, as well as the method of its intake both have equal importance, according to Ayurveda. In other medical sciences, food is considered important, but not the manner of eating. In Ayurveda, proper method of intake food as well as effects of improper methods of intake on body are also stated.

Ahara Vidhi Vidhana

Ahara Vidhi Vidhana means the rules for diet intake mentioned by Carakacarya in Vimanasthana 1/24.

Healthy individuals as well as some of the patients should follow the things stated after. One should eat only that food which is:

  1. In proper quantity
  2.  Hot
  3. Unctuous
  4. Not contradictory in potency
  5. After the digestion of the previous meal
  6. In proper place equipped with all the accessories
  7. Without talking
  8. Without laughing
  9. With concentration of mind
  10. With paying due regard to oneself.

Ushna (Warm):

One should take warm food. Advantages of taking Ushna Ahara are as follows:

  • When taken warm, it is delicious
  • Provokes the factors (enzymes) in the abdomen responsible for digestion
  • Gets digested quickly because it helps secretion of saliva and secretion of Gastric juice.
  • Helps in the downward passage of Vata and detachment of Kapha
  • Helps in detachment of kapha
  • Lightness in body

Snigdha (unctuous):

One should take unctuous food. Advantages of taking Snigdha Ahara are as follows:

  • Unctuous food is delicious
  • Provokes the subdued power of digestion; it gets digested quickly
  • Helps in the downward movement of Vata
  • Gets digested quickly
  • Increases the plumpness of the body
  • Strengthens the sense faculties
  • Brings out the brightness of complexion
  • Promotes strength
  • Increases the prowess

Matravat (In Proper Quantity):

One should take food in proper quantity. Advantages of taking food in proper quantity are as follows:

  • Promotes longevity in its entirety without afflicting Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
  • Easily passes down to the rectum
  • Does not impair the power of digestion
  • Gets digested without any difficulty.

Ideal Matra (Quantity) of Ahara for a person:

There is no such fix quantity of food which an ideal quantity of food. Ayurveda believes that every human being is unique and different from others, hence the needs for everything are different from one to another. The hunger or the quantity of food needed also differs from one person to other. So, it is not possible to decide a specific quantity of food, which will be applicable to all. Because quantity of food for a person is depend on Agnibala (digestive power) of a person which vary according to the person and also the nature of food he is taking.

The stomach should be imagined to be divided in three equal parts and the food items should be taken accordingly.

Ideal time for meal:

A) Lunch

Ideal time for lunch is between first and second Yama i.e. between 3-6 hrs after sunrise (beginning of day).

B) Dinner
Ideal time for dinner is after the end of first Prahara i.e. after 3 hrs after the beginning of night (after sunset).

Wrong Dietary habbits related to ‘Jirne Ashniyat’:

1) Vishamashana

If the food is too much or too little in quantity (Bahu or Alpa), and if it is taken too early or too late of the appropriate meal time (Aprapta or Atita kala), then it is called Vishamashana ( irregular food). Among them effects of Bahu and Alpa Bhojana are stated before. Effects of Aprapta and Atita kala Bhojana are as follows:

2) Ajirnashana

Ajirnashana means intake of food when the previous food is not digested. Effects of Ajirnashana are stated above (ch vi 1/22).

3) Adhyashana –
Partaking meals when there is indigestion (of the food consumed earlier) is known as Adhyashana(excess food / over eating)

4. Virya-aviruddha (No Contradictory Potencies):
One should take food having no contradictory potencies. By taking such food one does not get afflicted with such diseases as may arise from the intake of food having mutually contradictory potencies. Therefore, one should take food having no contradictory potencies.

5. Ishta Deshe, Ishta Sarvopakarane ( in Proper place and with all accessories):

One should take food in proper place equipped with all the accessories. By doing so a person does not get afflicted with such of the factors as would result in emotional strain which occurs when one takes his food in improper places without the required accessories.

6. Na Atidrutam (Not in hurry):

One should not take food too hurriedly. Disadvatages of taking food hurriedly:

  • Enters into a wrong passage
  • It gets depressed and it does not enter into the stomach properly.
  • One can never determine the taste of food articles and detect foreign bodies like hair etc., mixed with them.
  • One can’t decide the things to be eaten first
  • Doesn’t get complete perspicuity of Indriyas
  • Doesn’t get downward passage of Vata

7. Na Ativilambitam (not too slowly):

One should not take food very slowly.  Disadvantages of slow intake of food:

  • Do not give satisfaction to the individual.
  • In this situation, he would take more than what is required.
  • The food would become cold.
  • There will be irregularity in digestion.

8. Ajalpana, Ahasana, Tanmana (With concentration):

One should not talk or laugh or taking food. Disadvantages are same as intake hurriedly. A person taking Tanmana bhojana i.e. with full concentration, knows about quantity, digestive power and procedure. Now days this is the most common reason for Agnimandya. People do not concentrate on the food. Instead of that, they are busy in Watching TV, Phone calls, Computer operations, Chatting, Talk and Laugh etc. Due to this, they can’t decide the exact quantity of food needed. Overeating badly affects their digestive power which leads to Agnimandya and ultimately many diseases like Obesity etc.

9. Atmanam Abhisamikshya (With paying due regard to oneself ):

One should take food in a prescribed manner; with due regard to his own self. Considering his own body constitution, he should be able to decide usefulness or harmfulness of a substance.


Following the life style describe by ancient Indian medicine highly effective in reducing the life style disorders. And helps to live healthy life.


More by :  Dr. Bhushan Sanghavi

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