“The body is the temple. The soul is the idol in it. It is made out of bricks of food.” Bagavad Gita.
If we don’t feed our bodies with the right food our soul will leave! The quality and quantity of the food we eat directly affects our whole system, how we think, how we react and how we feel. Not only is the food we eat our energy for the day but it is what is making our bodies, that energy directly turns into tissues and cells so we must think carefully about what we are making our ‘body home’ with. Would you make your house out of a packet of biscuits or bars of chocolate? Maybe the answer is yes!! But what we eat and drink also really does have a profound effect on the mind, that monkey that likes to jump here and there and cause lots of trouble! So by what we eat we can also start to manage our minds a little more. Certain foods will make us more prone to gossiping and being more egotistical whilst other foods can make us lazy and lethargic and others can make us calm, peaceful and have good morals, so which would you choose? Eating wrongly can cause big in-balances in the body and mind system; this affects the pranic level (your energies e.g. respiration, circulation, excretion, reproduction and digestion.) Any in-balance in the pranic level is going to weaken the immune system and cause disease, maybe of the body but also of the mind. In fact any disease that is of the body effects the mind directly and visa versa, so we have to really take care of both.
There are three different types of food, Satvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Satwa induces harmony and balance, where rajas induces action and tamas induces lethargy and fear.
These three qualities or ‘Gunas’ we can apply to our food.
Satvic food would be fresh organic vegetables, fruits, natural foods, cereals and grains, nuts and seeds. Reasonably cooked not overly or under cooked. Satvic foods are mildly spiced. They bring cleanliness, calmness, wisdom and spirituality, harmonic thoughts and good morals.
Rajasic foods would be piping hot food, bitter, sour and saline. Fried foods, coloured and with preservatives, processed foods. White sugar, MSG, anything in a tin, packet or can. Anything artificial. With these foods arises a competitive mind, gossiping and listening to gossiping. A fast paced mind, talkativeness, a big ego and self-boasting.
Tamasic foods would be completely tasteless, cooked all night or overly cooked, impure food or food which is decaying. Fermented foods are tamasic as are meats, alcohol and caffeine etc. Tamasic foods bring fear and ignorance, lethargy and laziness, sadness and depression.
However having said this and it is quite clear that you can see what we should be eating as opposed to what our minds tell us we would like to eat, it is also important to know that we do actually as people living in the material world need all three of these types of food, but it is in which quantity that is important. If we eat too much tamasic food we are likely to become depressed, too much rajasic food and we become too full of ourselves so we have to find the balance leaning toward a Satvic dominant diet with a few little bits from rajas and tamas. Fermented foods are tamasic like dairy products and dosa or idly, but we need a little bit of the B12 contained within them. If we are working hard which most of us are in this modern world then we need a little rajasic food for our energy a little biscuit now and then is not going to hurt you.
Recommended is a simple healthy vegetarian diet and eating similar types at a time so it easier for the digestion. You should work toward satwa, but we need to use the right combination of the three according to your situation. If you are a yogi living in a cave in deep meditation then only satvic food is needed but if you are working then it is different, you need to work out how much of rajas and tamas your system is demanding, but EXCESS of these two will lead to disease of your system that is for sure.
So the important thing is to bear in mind what the types of food are and what effect they have on your mind and behaviour. It is all about finding the balance and leading yourself more towards being a calm and peaceful person that others love to be around.
For now have beautiful days full or fresh pure organic vegetables and fruits!! Become a tree!!
Om Lokha Somasta Sukhino Bhavantu
Om shanti shanti shantih
May you all find happiness, harmony and peace peace and perfect peace.
Mangala – Nicky.