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We Are What We Eat

Foods support us or weaken us

āhāras tv api sarvasya tri-vidho bhavati priyaḥ
yajñas tapas tathā dānaṁ teṣhāṁ bhedam imaṁ śhṛiṇu (BV 17-7)

Sanskrit has three very key words that are critically important and must be understood to better support our lives and to know the attributes or Gunas of any phenomenon. Today we briefly overview foods from an enlightened perspective which are classified as Satvic, Rajasic and Tamasic.

Satvic:

āyuḥ-sattva-balārogya-sukha-prīti-vivardhanāḥ
rasyāḥ snigdhāḥ sthirā hṛidyā āhārāḥ sāttvika-priyāḥ (BV 17-8)

Satvic is Sat, Satya or essence of truth as in the Latin Sativus or noble which is derived from Satya. Sativus or Satvik qualities represent higher self, divine [ilaahi of Farsi that comes from Sanskrit ila ] and all energy of higher dimensions, positive higher qualities, Usually area above neck is considered Sativus or Satvic for some and for other above the eyes [above the sixth Chakra or nodal point].

Sattvic foods are those that lead to clarity of mind and physical health. These foods are to be consumed on a regular basis. Fruits, vegetables, Legumes, Lentils, dry fruits, nuts, milk and dairy products, raw honey come under this category. Your mind becomes more positve when these are consumed in a good proportion.

Satvic foods promotes longevity, virtue, strength, health, happiness, and joy are juicy, smooth, substantial, and nutritious. Persons with good and noble attributes like such foods.

Rajasic:

kaṭv-amla-lavaṇāty-uṣhṇa- tīkṣhṇa-rūkṣha-vidāhinaḥ
āhārā rājasasyeṣhṭā duḥkha-śhokāmaya-pradāḥ (17-9)

Rajasic is another key word, Regis, rey, reigh, regent, raj, raja [for king], rough or rogue, [Red] and dozens of more words are derived from Rajasic that denotes a system that runs blood circulation and is considered the main body in a living being. It literally means Physical energy.

Rajasic foods are those that have a stimulating effect on the mind and body. These foods lead to aggressiveness and irritability. For instance, excessive strong caffeine induced foods, White refined sugar, purified alocholic beverages, sof drinks. the meat of hens, birds, fish & crustaceans etc fall under this. These create anger & irritability, frustration and insatisfaction after consuming regularly.

Tamasic:

yāta-yāmaṁ gata-rasaṁ pūti paryuṣhitaṁ cha yat
uchchhiṣhṭam api chāmedhyaṁ bhojanaṁ tāmasa-priyam (17-10)

Tamasic comes of Tama, Yam or Darkness or shaded energy. It is energy yet it is shaded and eclipsed by bad habits, evil attributes or wrong mind, improperly driven thoughts and most negative qualities.

Tamasic foods are overcooked, stale, putrid, polluted, and impure yet dear to persons in the mode of ignorance. These are not foods but considered food by thoughtless people, are said to have sedative negative effect on the mind and body. These foods are to be avoided as they can cause mental dullness and physical numbness, all kind of diseases; clog digestive tract, proliferate cancer cells to develop & cluster, enrich bodies with excessive indigestible proteins that actually do not do any good to the body and are not needed!

Animal foods like Beef, pork, mutton, mushrooms, purified alcohol etc come under this category. In Vedic thought, red meats of any kind, such as beef and pork are prohibited as they are thought to increase the tamasic gunas in a person limiting knowledge and life expression.

By Dr Naila Hussain edited - more posts

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