The single most important strategy for individual
transformation from animal nature to divine nature in human being is in
paying very particular attention to food taken orally and through the five
senses. The following is the heart of the teaching of the Bhagawatgita.
The body and life in it are based on food and are sustained by food or
Anna. So food decides the level of our attainment high or low. However
great and learned a person may be, however much he pays attention to the
teaching of the Veda and takes care to spread them, if he neglects the
strict code laid down for food, he cannot succeed.
How can one escape an evil consequence if the Geeta is held in one hand
and hot coffee or tea or a lighted cigarette or beedi or a pinch of snuff
is held in the other? Some even justify their unregulated lives by
declaring that whatever is eaten, however eaten, wherever eaten, the stuff
is rendered pure and acceptable on account of the raging fire of JNANA
which they have. "If you cannot limit and control your feeling how can you
control and limit your senses ?"
Since it is impossible to escape the Danavic and Asuric nature of man
which are the result of actions and feelings of the previous birth, at
least in this birth, by regulating food and activity man can overcome the
Asuric tendencies that tend to prevail upon him. By a change of food
habits character can be changed from one Guna to another in the
A man’s taste for a particular food is determined according to the Guna
prevalent in him.
Then who is a Satwic person? One who is pure or aspiring to be pure who is
doing good and is of higher consciousness, the one whose heart is full of
compassion, whose words are steeped in love and body is used in the
service of the fellow men.
Satwic food plays an important part in the cultivation of universal
compassion and it is conducive to the progressive attainment of the four
states and saalokya, samipya, sarupya and saayujya that is liberation and
ultimate union with God.
We must understand the mechanics of the three gunas in relation to food,
time, space, gifts, types of persons and types of work.
Eg. Time :
1. Satwic time 4 a.m. to 8a.m. and 4p.m.to8p.m.
2. Rajasic time 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (day) and
3. Tamasic time 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. (night)
Gifts given at the right time, place and to the right person are satwic.
Satwic work is selfless service. Satwic food should be capable of
strengthening the mind as well as the body. It should not be too salty ,
too hot , too bitter, too sweet or too sour. It should not be taken while
it is steaming hot. Food cooked in water should not be used the next day.
It becomes harmful. Even fried articles should be consumed before they
develop unpleasant odours.
Satwic Food : Nuts, fruits, fresh vegetables except onions garlic and
herbs that inebriate (drugs). Also legumes cereals, lentils and integrated
products like whole wheat flour etc., sprouts, milk and curds.
Rajasic Food: all disease producing foods or Satwic foods in excess. Very
sour, pungent burning foods. Excessively full of spices, chillies,
Stimulants like tea, coffee and chocolates.
Tamasic Foods :- Like pickles, cheese, all stale and tasteless putrid
foods, all alcoholic beverages, sedatives drugs, tobacco, cocaine, meat,
fish, egg and all foods that slow you down physically and mentally.
Smoking is tamasic and also destroys the spiritual vibrations in your
surroundings, smoking destroys the kundalini ‘Shakti’ that you possess as
power consciousness in your sushumna.
Then what is true satwic diet? Foods which increase life, purity, health
joy and cheerfulness.
1) Food must be purchased from an honest source and with honestly earned
money. There are three purities to be observed purity of provisions,
purity of vessels in which food is prepared purity of persons who serve
the prepared food.
2) Purity of vessels : The container must not add impurities to food.
3) In the process of cooking, the food should not be or overcooked. Slow
cooking is safe and more nutritious. Stir fry is also better than fully
4) Excess oil, butter, cream should be avoided.
5) The person who prepares and serves must not only be clean in dress but
also in habits, character and conduct. He must be humble and full of love.
There are several stories that verify the above points.
There was once a king who dreamt a terrible dream, he dreamt that he took
his own mother by the hair, dragged her head off. On Awaking he summoned
his chief Minister and sought an explanation. After several days of
investigation, the minister brought a prisoner to the king, and said that
the night before he had the terrible dream, the cook was ill and his
prisoner who was a good cook was asked to prepare the meals. The king then
asked him as to why he was in prison. He related that on one unfortunate
day he had consumed a large quantity of alcohol and in his drunken state
he became very aggressive, he grabbed hold of his mothers hair, dragged
her to the entrance of his house and there he chopped her head off, and
this day he regrets. The most prominent thought in the mind of the cook
has a powerful effect on his environment and these mental vibrations
affect all those who consume the food. So care should be taken with regard
to the character of the cook. That’s why we should not eat in hotels and
restaurants. If it is inevitable, better to live on fruits and fruits
juices, drinks given by nature. For nature is bountiful and also full of
love for all beings. Mother nature nourishes us with good will. No food
material, however, rich it is, is a good substitute for love. Cooking
food, while chanting divine hymns helps consecrate the food while being
by Dr. V. Dharma Rao M.D
Online source: http://www.mihira.com/mihmar99/FOOD.htm