Thomas Paine once wrote -“Reason obeys itself; and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.&rdquo..
Merely partaking in vegetarian food does not result in full
benefit to a person who dislikes non-vegetarian diet. The food has
to be both vegetarian and Sattvik as well. The vegetarian food
available in restaurants which also serve non-vegetarian food is
not Sattvik. The cooks use common utensils to cook both types of
foods. Even the waiters are not particular when they serve
both types of dishes. Here are some insights on vegetarian
food that is Sattvik as well.
Importance of sattvik food is: Consumption of sattvik food provides positive energy to the functions of the five vital energies (Panch-Pran) which spread to the entire body. The energy created as a result of consumption of sattvik food is similar to the energy created by a sacrificial fire (Yadnya). For this reason sattvik food is considered ‘Absolute Brahma’ or ‘Purnabrahma’ and that which possesses the capacity to purify the five vital energies.
Consumption of sattvik food facilitates the absorption
of Deities’ Principles. This purifies a person’s gross and subtle
bodies and enables the body to absorb the waves of Deities’
Principles. It is beneficial to consume sattvik food on
special dates as per lunar calendar (tithis) and
festivals. Hence some non-vegetarians too refrain from consuming
non-vegetarian food on the special tithis of their
worshipped Deity or festivals.
Some sources of sattvik food:
1. Food cooked by a
sattvik housewife: The
trigunas (three components) of the person, who cooks food,
influences the one consuming it. The touch of a sattvik
woman’s hands facilitates the spread of sattvik vibrations
in the food, thus making it sattvik. Such sattvik
food which is devoid of Raja-Tama is tastier. Obstacles
created by harmful energies in the digestion process are also
2. Consecrated food (Naivedya) offered to God: In the food items prepared as a part of consecrated food, pure ghee is used instead of oil. The ingredients such as chili, spices and similar . are Raja-Tama-dominant and should be avoided while preparing consecrated food. When naivedya is offered to God, it becomes charged with the waves of Deities’ Principles, thus becoming more sattvik. By consuming such food as Holy sacrament (Prasad), we benefit from the waves of Deities’ Principles.
3. Food prepared in Saints’ ashrams: As compared to other places, the proportion of sattvikta and Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) is greater in the ashrams of Saints. Here the seekers and disciples prepare food with an attitude of service. Hence this food becomes sattvik. Food is Absolute Brahma (Purnabrahma); if one consumes it with spiritual emotion (bhav), one derives Chaitanya.
4. Food given by Saints: When devotees visit Saints’ ashrams or when a Saint arrives in their home, they offer various kinds of food, fruits etc. to the Saints. These food items become sattvik and charged with the waves of Chaitanya. These food items are distributed in the form of Holy sacrament (Prasad).
Science does not give data on the effects of subtle aspects of food. If the food is vegetarian and sattvik, the mind and intellect become sattvik. Only sattvik food can enable us to perform Yogasadhana and attain God. Through spiritual science one can know about the sattvikata of food.
To include sattvik diet, vegetarianism is of great importance.
Meaning of the word ‘Shakahar’, that is, vegetarian diet: ‘Shaka’ + Ahar = Shakahar. The meaning of the word ‘Shaka’ is ‘pure’. ‘Shaka’ means plant. Shakambarî is also the name of a Female Deity, that is, Devi. This form denotes that the Devi is present in vegetables. Substances such as milk, fruits, roots, bulbs and tubers are part of vegetarian diet.
Types of food according to the method of consumption
- ‘Bhakshyanna’ or hard food which is to be eaten by grinding between the teeth, such as fruit, groundnut, laddu and similar.
- ‘Bhojyanna’ or soft food which is to be eaten by chewing such as chapattî, puri and similar.
- ‘Choshyanna’ or food which is to be sucked such as mango, sugarcane and similar.
- ‘Lehyanna’ or that which can be eaten by licking like rayata, jam, chutney and similar.
Why is vegetarian diet considered to be devoid of reproductive
When compared to the animal species, Tama-dominance in the plant species is less. Vegetarian diet is one which is devoid of the capacity to give birth to new beings through sexual contact. These do not have desires or emotions. However, new beings sprout from them. Hence, such components are known as ‘those devoid of reproductive seed’. From the perspective of Ayurved and Spirituality, vegetarian diet is of utmost importance.
Importance of vegetarian diet : From ancient times the Sages and Ascetics of Sanatan Hindu Dharma have mentioned the importance of vegetarian diet.
- Vegetarian diet is a sattvik diet.
- Human teeth is made for chewing vegetarian food.
- Proteins are found in necessary proportion in vegetarian diet.
- Vegetarian people are healthy, blessed with a long life and active.
Men who acquired prominence in various fields in western
countries, such as George Bernard Shaw, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle,
Tolstoy and others were all vegetarians. Modern science has
established the undisputed supremacy of vegetarian diet.
to be continued at Why does vegetarianism signify abiding by Dharma?
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