A befitting Diet for spiritual seekers when taken helps to balance mind, body, spirit, emotions and energies!
Diet and Spiritual Development
For most of us diet is a matter of physical health alone, as a matter of fact, diet is an indispensable aspect of one’s emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development. Moreover, diet and awareness are interrelated, and being spiritual is fully aware of the energies and vibrations within.
To make it more lucid, here are verses from Chandogya Upanishad which states:
दध्नः सोम्य मथ्यमानस्य योऽणिमा स उर्ध्वः समुदीषति तत्सर्पिर्भवति ॥ ६.६.१ ॥
एवमेव खलु सोम्यान्नस्याश्यमानस्य योऽणिमा स उर्ध्वः समुदीषति तन्मनो भवति ॥ ६.६.२ ॥
dadhnaḥ somya mathyamānasya yo’ṇimā sa urdhvaḥ samudīṣati tatsarpirbhavati || 6.6.1 ||
evameva khalu somyānnasyāśyamānasya yo’ṇimā sa urdhvaḥ samudīṣati tanmano bhavati || 6.6.2 ||
Meaning: 1. When curd is churned, the finest part of it rises to the surface. That becomes butter.
2. O Somya, in the same way, the finest part of the food that is eaten rises to the surface and becomes the mind.
Connection between Spirituality and Diet
People often ponder, “What is the connection between spirituality and our diet?” Diet for spiritual awakening is an important aspect and plays a crucial role to accomplish the desired goal. There is a saying “you become what you eat” and it holds true in every situation, diet for spiritual growth is important.
Hence, we can say that whatever we eat become mind. Diet for spiritual awakening is crucial to have a balanced state of mind, energies and vibrations. Howsoever we behave whether positively or negatively is because of the character of the food taken. Whatever we feed ourselves with, the outcome will reflect the nature of the food we ate.
How you ask……
It’s simple, whatever we eat not only provides energy to our body, but also affects our thought process majorly. For instance, if we are tended to over eat junk food then we will observe mood swings on and off, albeit often having no reason to get disturbed, yet we are disturbed, and we wonder, ‘why on earth we are feeling this way?’ That’s because of the food which we ate maybe last night or in the morning. Likewise, the diet for spiritual awakening affects our state of mind invariably positively. Everything we eat affects us either positively or negatively.
Why you ask…..
Spiritual Benefits of Vegetarian Diet
In Bhagwad Gita (chapter 6, verse 17) while having a discourse with his friend and devotee Arjuna, Lord Krishna stated:
युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु |
युक्तस्वप्नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दु:खहा || 17||
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā
Meaning: “But those who are temperate in eating and recreation, balanced in work, and regulated in sleep, can mitigate all sorrows by practicing Yog.”
Often we find people asking, ‘why one should eat a vegetarian diet for spiritual life?’, ‘How does it matter what we eat?’, ‘Is it acceptable if one eats meat?’ So on and so forth. Basically when we walk on the path of spirituality the foremost thing is the synchronization of body, mind, energies, and emotions. If, either of the four is not in harmony then we are easily distracted from the path. Diet for spiritual life helps us to control, and handle those distractions.
First thing first, whom do we want to feed an animal, or the human or the divine in us? While walking on the path of spirituality what we eat and our diet for spiritual life matters a lot. Feeding ourselves on animal can be justified if we aim to gain physical health, whereas if we wish to feed our mind and the body we will eat food that leads to an intellectual mind. But, if it is the divine we wish to feed then certainly our only diet should be the one which will be conducive to our higher self, that is, the diet for spiritual life. Purity of diet for spiritual life is more effectual. And vegetarian diet being one of the best is considered most resilient means for achieving the highest goal which is spirituality.
The Three Gunas:
The gunas here means three predominant qualities of the human beings, another key points. Gunas are not only present in the human beings but also we are environed by these three gunas all the time. And these three gunas are: Sato Guna, Rajo Guna and Tamo Guna. What all and how all we behave is because of the dominance of a certain guna at that point of time. Often, we lose our temperament for no reason or for a trivial cause? Why so? Certainly, at that point of time tamo guna is active and dominating us. On the contrary, if our sattva guna is predominant, then we will be ultra-soft and genial.
Types of food based on three gunas:
आहारस्त्वपि सर्वस्य त्रिविधो भवति प्रिय: |
यज्ञस्तपस्तथा दानं तेषां भेदमिमं शृणु || 7||
āhāras tv api sarvasya tri-vidho
yajñas tapas tathā dānaṁ teṣhāṁ bhedam imaṁ śhṛiṇu
Purport: “The food persons prefer is according to their dispositions. However, same holds true for the sacrifice, asceticism, and altruism they incline toward. Now hear of the distinctions from me.”
Sattvic diet is for spiritual life explicitly, anyone who is in the mode of goodness or is spiritual prefer diet that promote longevity and increased virtue, besides providing them purity, strength, health, happiness, and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, pulpy, tender, wholesome, nutritious, succulent, naturally tasteful, and most important satisfying to the heart.
Rajasic food, on the other hand is taken by people who are in the mode of passion. Evidently, people who are very passionate about everything, their preferred food would be over cooked that too with excessive chilies, sugar, salt, etc. and hence they become rājasic. Thus, rājasic foods are very bitter, very sour, very salty, very hot, very pungent, very dry, over cooked and so on. As a result, rajasic food produces discomfort, diseases, ill-health, pain, agitation, distress and despair.
Finally, meat eaters have their tamo guna predominant most of the time. One who is in the mode of ignorance prefers to eat Tamasic food. Food which is cooked long back, stale, is not fresh, left over, tepid, rotten, and impure is tamasic in nature. Those who eat tamasic food are bad-tempered, ignorant and so. Not only this but also meat-eating creates bad karmas, it is stated in The Manu Smriti like this:
māṁ sa bhakṣhayitāmutra yasya māṁsam ihādmy aham
etan māṁsasya māṁsatvaṁ pravadanti manīṣhiṇaḥ (5.55)[v2]
Meaning (not to be taken literally)*: “Who so ever I am eating today shall eat in my next birth” and that’s called karma. “We are responsible for our actions and there are consequences.” Animals have emotions near to humans, when an animal is killed it has certain emotions like fear, fright, agitation, distress etc. When we eat that meat, the emotion and commotion carried by the animal at the time of its killing becomes our vibrations eventually, due to which we feel negative, and fearful, and that becomes the consequence of eating meat. Hence, the more complex the food, the greater its impact.
Diet for Spiritual Seeker:
To sum up, based on description of foods above, it can be said that the best diet for spiritual awakening is Sattvic food. Because, such food keeps our mind focused and clear, if one wants to strengthen the sattvic nature “the mode of goodness,” “self-discipline,” “self-realization,” and want to attain spiritual goals, sattvic food is what should be consumed. In addition, even the process of eating be without attachment with the food. Only if one eats to live and not live to eat, can achieve the ultimate goal of life i.e., knowing the higher self. Not only these foods have peaceable impact on mind, but also promotes good health and strong body, which is what is required to attain the ultimate goal of spirituality, in all.
Lastly, sattvic food purifies one’s body, mind and soul ultimately taking him/her forward towards spiritual awakening. Upon moving on the path of spirituality we encounter higher forms of energies and the vibrations, those vibrations are no normal vibrations one need to be sattvic by all means to be well-disposed to those energies and vibrations.
Eat Sattvic, Attain Spirituality, Peace, Purity, Happiness and Growth!!