TEXTS 35–36
tatra candravasa nama
tamraparni vatodaka
tat-punya-salilair nityam
ubhayatratmano mrjan
kandastibhir mula-phalaih
puspa-parnais trnodakaih
vartamanah sanair gatra-
karsanam tapa asthitah
SYNONYMS
tatra—there; candravasa—the Candravasa River; nama—named; tamraparni—the Tamraparni River; vatodaka—the Vatodaka River; tat—of those rivers; punya—pious; salilaih—with the waters; nityam—daily; ubhayatra—in both ways; atmanah—of himself; mrjan—washing; kanda—bulbs; astibhih—and by seeds; mula—roots; phalaih—and by fruits; puspa—flowers; parnaih—and by leaves; trna—grass; udakaih—and by water; vartamanah—subsisting; sanaih—gradually; gatra—his body; karsanam—rendering thin; tapah—austerity; asthitah—he underwent.
TRANSLATION
In the province of Kulacala, there were rivers named Candravasa, Tamraparni and Vatodaka. King Malayadhvaja used to go to those pious rivers regularly and take his bath there. Thus he purified himself externally and internally. He took his bath and ate bulbs, seeds, leaves, flowers, roots, fruits and grasses and drank water. In this way he underwent severe austerities. Eventually he became very skinny.
PURPORT
We can definitely see that to advance in Krsna consciousness one must control his bodily weight. If one becomes too fat, it is to be assumed that he is not advancing spiritually. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura severely criticized his fat disciples. The idea is that one who intends to advance in Krsna consciousness must not eat very much. Devotees used to go to forests, high hills or mountains on pilgrimages, but such severe austerities are not possible in these days. One should instead eat only prasada and no more than required. According to the Vaisnava calendar, there are many fasts, such as Ekadasi and the appearance and disappearance days of God and His devotees. All of these are meant to decrease the fat within the body so that one will not sleep more than desired and will not become inactive and lazy. Overindulgence in food will cause a man to sleep more than required. This human form of life is meant for austerity, and austerity means controlling sex, food intake, etc. In this way time can be saved for spiritual activity, and one can purify himself both externally and internally. Thus both body and mind can be cleansed.

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