Bhagavan recommends a Diet
In the fourth year of my stay in Palakottu Bhagavan advised me to restrict my diet.
‘Each day,’ he said, ‘you should eat only one coconut, a handful of peanuts, one mango and a small lump of jaggery [brown sugar]. If fresh mangoes are not available you can eat dried ones.’
Bhagavan told me that this diet would purify the body and help to keep the mind stabilized in the Self.
He also warned me, ‘In the beginning you will get diarrhea but don’t worry, the problem will go away after a few days.’
At the same time, he told me that I should keep mauna [silence] and spend as much time as possible in meditation. The instruction to keep mauna was very usual: Bhagavan normally discouraged people from taking vows of silence by saying, ‘It is more important to control your mind than your tongue. What is the point in remaining silent if you cannot keep the mind still?’
Within a few weeks of adopting this new regime I became so thin that my bones started to protrude.
People would ask me, ‘Are you eating? Are you hungry? Do you need some money?’
To avoid such comments, I kept my whole body covered and only went to see Bhagavan at night. My body became so thin I didn’t even have the strength to lift a bucket of water. It wasn’t too hard to avoid people. As soon as the devotees discovered I was in mauna they left me alone.
I spent most of my time meditating on the idea ‘I am the Self; I am everything.’ During meditation I often felt like a kind of energy rise up to my head. I don’t know whether it was kundalini or some other kind of energy. Whatever it was it came by itself. I never tried to make it come, nor did I try to control it in any way. This meditation, combined with the diet and the mauna, produced one other interesting side effect: my forehead became very shiny and apparently my facial ex