Arun Dada And Meera Ba On Simplicity

Posted by Swara Pandya on Jan 15, 2015
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I happened to be with Arun Dada and Meera Ba recently, where we were speaking about the experience of the 21 day Simple Living Challenge. They were happy to know about the challenge and share their good wishes with the KindSpring community.  Considering they live extremely simple lives, we thought we'd ask them some questions about it.

Question: Why should we live a simple life?

Arun Dada: As your needs increase, your mind has more and more fodder to get engaged with. The longer your mind dwells in the mundane, the higher its chance to get entangled and lose the open and free sky it needs to rest in its true nature.

Meera Ba: There is a beautiful saying, “The more you have the less you are. The less you have the more you are.” Either you flourish or the material around you flourishes. The more you possess outside the less opportunities you have to spend on internal growth.

Arun Dada: Somebody once asked Vinoba about the definition of simple life. Vinoba said, "I have defined it for myself but everyone should find their own balance. My aim of material simplicity is that for every rupee I spend, 15 ana should go towards your food and 1 ana on other needs. [1 rupee = 16 anas] This is a simple life. However, I am still working on this, since I am still spending 14 ana on food and 2 ana on other requirements." [Translation: we should allocate 6% of our food budget for our material costs, although Vinoba was at 12.5% and hoping to improve.]"

Question: What can be counted as our fundamental need?

Arun Dada: Food is our basic need. In the name of simplicity, we shouldn't overlook food. Food we eat should be in agreement with our nature, and science can help us in this regard. Suppose the doctor asks me to eat dry fruits and nuts (expensive food) in my diet. How much can I eat? The stomach has a natural limit to how much it can consume. If I exceed that, I will get sick the next day. So we must work in alignment with our body.

The most fundamental need for existence is -- excellent food that suits our body. Rest all are extremely minor needs.  

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