Concept of diet in Ayurveda (heres the meat and bones of it)

ImageConcept of Diet in Ayurveda

Ayurveda  = Ayus + Veda = Life + Knowledge

Body is a microcosmic universe made up of the five primordial elements or panchmahabhutas

  • Ether (akasha)

The field from which everything is manifested and into which everything returns; the space in which events occur. Space has no physical existence; it exists only as distances which separate matter.

  • Air (vayu)

The gaseous state of matter, whose characteristic attribute is mobility or dynamism. Air is existence without form.

  • Fire (agni)

The power which can convert a substance from solid to liquid to gas, and vice versa, increasing or decreasing the relative order in the substance. Fire’s characteristic attribute is transformation. Fire is form without substance.

  • Water (jala)

The liquid state of matter, whose characteristic attribute is flux. Water is substance without stability.

  • Earth (prithvi)

The solid state of matter, whose characteristic attribute is stability, fixity or rigidity. Earth is stable substance.


  • Vata – Ether + Air

Vata is the principle of kinetic energy

  • Pitta – Fire + Water

Pitta controls the body’s balance of kinetic and potential energies.

  • Kapha – Earth + Water

Kapha is the principle of potential energy


  • Controls movement and the remaining two doshas.
  • Is responsible for basic body processes such as breathing, cell division, circulation, sensory and motor nerve transmissions.
  • Resides in the large intestine, pelvis, bones, skin, ears, and chest.
  • People with more vata in their constitution generally are quick-thinking, thin, and fast, and are susceptible to anxiety, dry skin, and constipation.


  • Is thought to control hormones, enzymes, metabolism and the digestive processes.
  • Resides in the small intestine, stomach, sweat glands, skin, blood, and eyes.
  • People with more pitta in their constitution generally have a fiery personality, oily skin, and are susceptible to heart disease, stomach ulcers, inflammation, heartburn, and arthritis.


  • Is responsible for strength, immunity, stability and growth.
  • Resides in the mouth, stomach, chest, lungs, joints, head and sinus cavities.
  • People with more kapha in their constitution generally are calm, have a solid body frame, and are susceptible to diabetes, obesity and sinus congestion.

There are not dosha siet plans like what is sold in Western Ayurveda. To follow those will lead someone into imbalance. Deeper knowledge is Ayurveda. A little knowledge or superficial knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Lifestyle according to bodytype

  • Based on dosha predominance, there are 7 body types
  • Each body type characteristics are listed with fine details and therefore it is possible to identify every individual’s body type.
  • If the individual follows the diet (rules of diet to follow under Hitaahaar: (beneficial food)), regimen and lifestyle according to the season, the land or environment that they live in and one’s basic constitution, he or she can keep diseases at bay.

Seasonal variations (Rtu Parinama) 

  • Based on the sun and moons influences to create the seasons and the interchanging of the five elements within this and its effect on the doshas
  • The external environment can trigger disease by unbalancing the body
    through unnatural or extreme variations in temperature, rainfall or wind.
  • Excessive parinama is extraordinary or unexpected climatic conditions, such as excessive heat in summer or cold in winter.
  • Deficient seasonal conditions include very mild temperatures in summer or winter.
  • Incorrect parinama occurs when conditions are opposite to the normal season, such as being cold in summer or warm in winter.

What is health:

Sushruta Samhita Sutrasthana 15/41

Samadosha samaagnishch samadhautu malakriya|

Prasannaatmendriyamana swastha itiabhidhiyate||

  • Ones whose has balanced doshas, agni, functions of dhautus, and malas are in the state of equilibrium and one who has cheerful mind, intellect and sense organs is termed healthy (swastha).

Asatamya indriyartha samyoga

  • Indulgence in unhealthy subjects of sensory organs / Violation of intellectual transgression Asatmaya means “improper”, indriya means “sense organs”, artha is “the objects of the senses” and samyoga means “to combine” or “to link”.
  • Organs of: Hearing, touch, vision, taste and smell

Pragyaparadha – Misuse of intellect

  • Pragya means “wisdom” or “intelligence”, and aparadh means “offence”. So
    the literal meaning of pragyaparadha is “an offence against wisdom”.

Health is “prasanna” – exhalted state of the body, mind, soul and senses.


  • Rasa – Chyle/plasma/lymph/cytoplasm – the “essence” of the body

Rasa has the property of nourishing (prinana)

  • Rakta – blood

Rakta translates to the red blood cells but serves the purpose of providing life and oxygenating. (jivana)

  • Mansa – flesh/muscle

Mansa has the responsibility of covering, gives shape, movement and plastering. (lepana)

  • Meda – fat/adipose

Meda has the action of lubrication and providing unctuousness, gives bulk and smoothness. (snehana)

  • Asthi – bone

Asthi has the responsibility of support and protection. (dharana)

  • Majja – nervous tissue

Majja is that which fills space. (puranam)

  • Shukra – reproductive tissue

Shukra is the expression of creation, reproduction. (prijanam)


  • Feces (Vit)
  • Urine (Mutra)
  • Sweat (Sweda)


  • Sattva
  • Rajas
  • Tamas

Mental Health:

  • Mental health is an important component of one’s health
  • Mind and mental attributes have been described in great detail in Ayurvedic texts
  • Various means of maintaining mental health like meditation, chantings, charity, community service, etc. have been listed

Rasa (6 Tastes)

  • Madhura – sweet (Earth + Water)
  • Amla – sour (Fire + Earth)
  • Lavana – salty (Fire + Water)
  • Katu – pungent (Fire + Air)
  • Tikta – bitter (Air + Earth)
  • Kashaya – astringent (Air + Ether)

Three pillars of health

  • Aahaar  (Diet)
  • Nidra  (Sleep)
  • Brahmacharya  (Controlled celibacy)                     (Ch. SS. 11/35)

Importance of Aahar

  • Of the three pillars of health, aahar or diet is the most important, and that is why it is mentioned first
  • Of all the factors that are responsible for the growth and development of the human body, diet is the most important.       (Ch. ShS. 6/12)

Based on rasa (taste):

  • Madhura (sweet)
  • Amla (sour)
  • Lavana (salty)
  • Katu (spicy)
  • Tikta (bitter)
  • Kashaya (astringent)                                   (Ch. SS. 25/36)

Based on properties:

  • Guru-laghu (heavy, light)
  • Mridu-kathina (soft, hard)
  • Shita-ushna (cold, hot)
  • Vishada-picchila (clear, unctuous)
  • Snigdha-Ruksha (oily, dry)
  • Sthira-sara (firm, moving)
  • Shlaksna-khara (smooth, rough)
  • Manda-teekshna (slow, piercing)
  • Sukshma-sthula (subtle, gross)
  • Sandra-Drava (viscous, liquid)                    (Ch. SS. 25/36)
  • Heavy: Heavy foods include bread, pasta, cheese, and yogurt. The heavy quality decreases vata and pitta, but increases kapha.
  • Light: Light foods include millet, buckwheat, rye, barley, corn, spinach, lettuce, pears and apples. The light quality decreases kapha, but increases vata and pitta.
  • Oily: Oily foods include dairy products, meat, fatty foods, and cooking oils. The oily quality decreases vata and pitta, but increases kapha.
  • Dry: Dry foods include beans, potatoes, barley, and corn. The dry quality decreases kapha, but increases vata and pitta.
  • Hot: The hot quality describes hot beverages and warm, cooked foods. The hot quality decreases vata and kapha, but increases pitta.
  • Cold: The cold quality describes cold beverages and raw foods. The cold quality decreases pitta, but increases kapha and vata.

Hitaahaar: (beneficial food)

  • Is panchbhautik, because every individual is panchbhautik (made up of 5 components – Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space)
  • Has shadrasa, or has all or most of the 6 rasas or has rasas according to prakruti (body type)
  • Is liked by the one eating
  • Is clean and pure
  • Not very hot
  • Has been freshly prepared                           (Ch. SS. 25/33)(Su. SS. 46/465)
  • It is only hitaahaar that is solely responsible for shareer vriddhi (growth and development of the body) and maintenance of health. On the contrary, ahitaahaar (inconducive diet) is responsible for disease development.
  • Although there are other factors in the development of the body, aahaar is the most important                                          (Ch. SS. 25/33)

Rules for the one eating:

  • Should be hungry
  • Should sit straight on a slightly elevated seat
  • Should eat in silence focusing on the food
  • Should eat not too fast, nor too slow, chewing many times before swallowing
  • Should rinse mouth when changing rasa
  • Should drink sips of water in between meals
  • Should floss with herb twig or silver/brass wire, after meals

(Su. SS. 46/471, 489)

Rules for the one eating: Do not eat –

  • Before or after meal time
  • Less or more
  • Contaminated, uncovered, spoilt, burnt food.
  • Left over food
  • Food that you do not like, or that which tastes and smells bad
  • Food that has not been cooked properly
  • Food that has been reheated, was cooked long time back or is very cold.

(Su. SS. 46/477-481)

Rule for order of rasas while eating:

  • Madhur rasa should be consumed first
  • Amla and lavan rasas should be consumed in the middle
  • Katu, Tikta and Kashaya rasas should be taken at the end.

(Su. SS. 46/466)

Rule for optimum serving:

  • According to one’s agni (digestive fire)
  • Conducive to one’s doshic prakruti (body type according to dosha)
  • That which gets digested in time

(Ch. SS. 5/1-4)

Qualitative assessment:

  • Assessing the gurutva/laghutva of the diet:

– One must evaluate whether the food is guru (heavy) (milk products like curd, cream, etc., red meat, meat of animals of marshy or wetlands, sesame seeds, etc.) in terms of digestion,

– Or laghu (light) – mung dahl (green gram), red rice, bird meat, deer meat, etc.

  • Assessing the rasas of the diet:

– A shadrasa (6 tastes)diet is highly advocated.

(Ch. SS. 5/5-6)

Quantitative assessment:

  • Fill the first 1/2 of stomach with solid diet, guru diet taken first, followed by laghu diet; but if diet is very heavy, fill only 1/3rd of the stomach with solids
  • Fill the next quarter or third with anupaan (adjuvant).
  • Leave the rest quarter or one third space for action of different doshas

(Ch. SS. 5/7)(Ch. VS. 2/4)(As. Hr. SS. 8/46)

  • Eat solids first
  • Eat the highly beneficial amalaki (gooseberries) in the beginning, middle and end of meal
  • Meals should be taken in a timely manner or when hungry.
  • Meals should be taken in the right amount, neither too much nor too less.

(Su. SS. 46/468-470)

  • One should take into account the characteristics of the season, one’s body type, time of the day and other factors, before selecting their diet.

(Su. SS. 46/468-470)

Avoid after meals:

  • Sleep or sit for a long time
  • Laugh or talk excessively
  • Avoid unpleasant sensory exposure
  • Consume large amount of fluids
  • Excessive physical activity like swimming, horse riding, etc.

(Su. SS. 46/495-496)

  • Hot food – increases taste perception

– kindles digestive fire

– easily digested

– is carminative

– dissolves excess kapha

  • Well oliated food

– kindles digestive fire

– easily digested

– is carminative

– acts as a building block of the body

– increases strength and is good for complexion                                                                     (Ch. VS. 1/24)

  • Optimum quantity – easily digested and absorbed

– does not cause dosha imbalance

– conducive to long life

  • Proper time
  • Proper combination        Increase longevity of life
  • Proper place
  • Eating not too fast
  • Eating silently                                                                 (Ch. VS. 1/25)
  • Eating not too slow – results in satisfaction

– does not become cold

– does not become uninteresting

– does not cause indigestion

  • Eating according to Atma Shakti

(means eating with knowledge of what is good and beneficial to one self)

– health and longevity                                      (Ch. VS. 1/25)

Beneficial foods for regular consumption:

  • Shashtika rice(ripens in 60 days), shali rice
  • Mung dahl (Green Gram)
  • Saindhava lavana (rock salt)
  • Amalaki (Gooseberry)
  • Millet flour
  • Cow milk
  • Lean meat
  • Honey (crystallized honey)
  • Aakaash jal (rain water collected at strategic high points)

(Ch. SS. 5/12)


Foods not recommended for regular consumption:

  • Dried flesh
  • Dried plants
  • Lotus stem
  • Pippali (long pepper), Kshaar (alkalies), Lavan (salt)
  • Meat of pig, cow, buffalo
  • Curd
  • Bengal gram                                                              (Ch. SS. 5/10-11)

Vairodhik aahar (diet which is harmful due to processing, combination or other factors):

– Heated honey

– Milk with sour things

– Milk with fish

– Curd taken at night

– Ghee and honey mixed in equal amounts                      (Ch. SS. 26/80-111)

Properties of diet are dependant on 8 factors (ashtvidh aahaar ayatan) namely:

– Prakruti  (Natural Qualities)

– Karana (Preparation)

– Sanyoga (Combination)

– Raashi (Quantity)

– Desha (Habitat)

– Kala (Time)

– Upyoga sanstha (Rules of use)

– Upyokta (User)                                                                 (Ch. VS. 1/21-22)

In the Ayurvedic literature there are five types of nutritional disorders:

1. Quantitative dietary deficiency – includes under-nutrition due to insufficient food and even starvation.

2. Qualitative dietary deficiency – resulting in malnutrition, toxic conditions and lack of essential nutrients. Certain food combinations disturb the normal functioning of the gastric fire and interfere with the state of our vata, pitta and kapha. This disturbance may create a toxic substance called ama, which is the root cause of many ailments.

3. Qualitative and quantitative over-nutrition – includes emotional overeating which can result in obesity and/or high cholesterol which can lead to hypertension, heart attack or paralysis.

4. Toxins in food – certain foods can cause toxemia and lead to digestive disorders.

5. Foods unsuitable to one’s constitution – may affect natural resistance and cause disease.

These five factors are closely connected to the strength of agni (gastric fire). There are four types of agni:

1. Vishama Agni. Gastric fire is vitiated, causing irregular appetite, indigestion and gases. Emotionally this can result in anxiety, insecurity, fear, and neurological or mental problems.

2. Tikshna Agni.  It may cause hyper-metabolism, hyperacidity, heartburn and hypoglycemia leading to inflammatory diseases.

3. Manda Agni.  slow metabolism, overweight, allergies and congestive diseases.

4. Sama Agni.  A person having this type of agni can eat almost any type of food without difficulty. Digestion, absorption and elimination are all normal.

The nutritionist should give consideration to these types of agni when making suggestions concerning diet. According to Ayurveda, every food has its own taste (rasa), a heating or cooling energy (virya) and a post-digestive effect (vipaka). Some also possess prabhava, an unexplained effect. So while it is true that an individual’s agni largely determines how well or poorly food is digested, food combinations are also of great importance. When two or more foods having different taste, energy and post-digestive effect are combined, agni can become overloaded, inhibiting the enzyme system and resulting in the production of toxins. Yet these same foods, if eaten separately, might well stimulate agni, be digested more quickly and even help to burn ama.

Poor combining can produce indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction and gas formation and, if prolonged, can lead to toxemia and disease. For example, eating bananas with milk can diminish agni, change the intestinal flora, produce toxins and may cause sinus congestion, cold, cough and allergies. Although both of these foods have a sweet taste and a cooling energy, their post-digestive effect is very different – bananas are sour while milk is sweet. This causes confusion to our digestive system and may result in toxins, allergies and other imbalances. Similarly, milk and melons should not be eaten together. Both are cooling, but milk is laxative and melon diuretic. Milk requires more time for digestion. Moreover the stomach acid required to digest the melon causes the milk to curdle, so Ayurveda advises against taking milk with sour foods.

These incompatible food combinations not only disturb the digestion but also cause confusion in the intelligence of our cells, which can lead to many different diseases. Before you say “This is MUCH too complicated, how will I ever figure it out?”,

there are some useful guidelines to introduce you to these concepts. And remember that Ayurveda is a strong proponent of the “go slowly” school of thought. You might want to introduce yourself to food combining by eating fruit by itself, as many fruits create a sour and indigestible “wine” in the stomach when mixed with other food. Once you have adopted this change into your eating habits, try other suggestions from the list below. As a general principal, avoid eating lots of raw and cooked foods together or fresh foods with leftovers.

♦ A strong digestive fire can be the most powerful tool of all to deal with “bad” food combinations.

♦ Different quantities of each food involved in a combination can sometimes help significantly. For instance equal quantities by weight of ghee and honey are a bad combination—ghee is cooling, but honey is heating—whereas mixing a 2:1 ratio is not toxic. The reason? Prahbav, the unexplainable.

♦ Very often spices and herbs are added in Ayurvedic cooking to help make foods compatible or to ease a powerful effect, e.g. cooling cilantro in very spicy food.

♦ If our bodies have become accustomed to a certain food combination through many years of use, such as eating cheese with apples, then it is likely that our body has made some adaptation or become accustomed to this. Which is not to say that we should continue this practice, but to explain why the newcomer to apples and cheese may experience a strong case of indigestion whilst the “oldtimer” digests it adequately.


Definition of Antagonism of Foods:
The substances which are contrary to “deha-dhatus” (the body tissues) behave with “virodha” (antagonism) to the tissues. This antagonism may be in terms of properties of the substances themselves, combination, processing, place, time, dose etc. or natural composition.

For An Example of Antagonism of Foods:
One should not take fish with milk. Combination of both of them is madhura
(sweet); madhura vipaka, “mahabhisyandi” (creates great moisture in the tissues when the tissues are being created and it obstructs the channels), because milk has sita (cold) virya and fish has usna (hot) virya the result is
“viruddhavirya” (antagonistic in terms of potency), due to conflicting viryas; it vitiates blood and due to being mahabhisyandi, creates obstruction in channels.

Results of taking antagonistic foods:
impotency, blindness, erysipelas, ascites, pustules, insanity, fistula-inano,
fainting, narcosis, tympanitis, spasm in throat, anaemia, ama visa, leucoderma,
skin diseases, grahaniroga, oedema, acid gastritis, fever, rhinitis, genetic disorders and even death.

Measures to counteract disorders caused by antagonistic foods:
Emesis, purgation, use of medicines for pacification, and prior conditioning of the body with similar substances.

Purgation, emesis, pacification or prior use of wholesome substances alleviates the disorders caused by antagonistic food. Antagonism becomes inert due to: suitability, small quantity, strong digestive power, in young age, in persons having: unction, physical exercise, and strength.


20 thoughts on “Concept of diet in Ayurveda (heres the meat and bones of it)

  1. Pranam mahoday,
    Do you happen to know Nirmalananda Giri Swami by any chance ?
    your teachings reflect that clear flow of understanding that I saw in him.
    Keep sharing these lessons.

    • Namaskar.
      I do not know of him but will look him up. As I can see through what I have experienced and have been taught, its all the same…. the cream rises to the top. 😉 Thank you.

    • Dear Brad,

      For 1,5 year I’ve been overlooking the fact that pitta is light. Glad I checked back in here to finally notice.

      However, the article also says oily food decreases pitta. And that dry qualities increase pitta. Could these be mistakes? I could see how oils are heavy and the heavines might mitigate pitta, but one of pittas qualities ís oiliness…

    • Does ghee mitigate pitta? The reason to study texts with a teacher is thus, a very good example….. the shloka is Pittam “sa sneha” tikshnosnum laghu visram sarum dravam… which sa sneha means a little oily. It does not mean oily.

    • Yes, ghee is (obviously) oily, cooling, heavy and pitta mitigating.

      Thank you for pointing out, the shloka and your explanation show the lack of translations. This, you have pointed out numerous times now. Thanks again.

      The part of ruksha aggravating pitta wás a mistake though right? Pitta being fire ánd water and little oily.

  2. Dear writer,

    For quite a while I’ve stopped eating meat. Last time I ate red meat has been around 5 years. Lately I quit diary products aswell. The only thing I now then still consume is ghee, because I’ve learnt it’s such a stable fat for frying. How does Ayurveda look at the habit of killing animals for ones food? Do we nééd to take anothers animals life to nourish ourselves, and if not, is it morally correct.. ahimsa (I guess there’s much to know about that concept, but the way I know it is “doing no harm”? For example todays diary industry… we’re taking away young calves from their mothers, impregnating the mothers by hand, killing the bulls and we slaughter cows when they’re not productive anymore. I’ve been living with the idea that practicing yoga one should stop killing animals, at the very least cows.. but maybe I’m missing out on something here…

    • Nice question.

      Complicated to answer because there are levels to everything.

      First lets back up a bit and bring dharma into the picture. Dharma is easiest explained by saying an intrinsic nature of something. Water is wet. its a universal truth. It is its nature to be wetting. Fire is hot. It burns. It is the natural cosmic order of things. We translate it as duty, which is an incredibly poor translation. Truth is that it is really not translatable much like all of sanskirt words. With that said, a soldiers dharma is to fight, right? And in this a soldier kills. So is it proper for a soldier to practice nonviolence? Just in general we have to say no, it is not. It would be adharmic for a soldier to practice nonviolence. A soldier (ksatriya) needs to eat meat to keep up his strength for the lifestyle that a soldier leads. The food that someone eats also is fit to their dharma. A ksstriya also cannot be satvic in their food choices as the demand of their dharma is a rajasik nature. Hmmmm.

      Sidebar question: Is it then adharma to try to be something one is not intrinsically. Like maybe taking on ideas and concepts from another culture which does not fit ones own culture as well as their culture not having any container or context for it?

      So is it a sin for a tiger to kill? To eat meat? What if it stopped eating meat and stopped killing because it became cool in the tiger club to do so?
      So we should all stop eating meat because it is considered violence? And then dairy because someone came up with their extension of the idea that taking milk from a cow that is meant for the calf is violence? Hmmm. But wait, this has been going on since the beginning of time. And we are now supposed to stop it because we know better? hmmm. Strange thinking.
      in that train of thought, the ghee is also violence then. because that ghee is being made from milk from the animal it came from and it is only for the baby of that animal. Getting the point? A little insanity and ignorance goes along way.
      So, then lets bring this even further by saying that it has been researched and proven that plants ‘feel’. So now, explain to me how it is not violence to eat vegetables and to take the grain seed that is meant only for growing a new seedling and taking it out of its ‘natural’ mode and consuming it.
      Or let point out the fact that taking that probiotic supplement your taking because it is a popular fad in the pop health world is killing how many thousands of microorganisms that were only trying to survive…. where is your nonviolence now?

      We can continue with the absurdity of this extrapolating it into so many areas.

      Okay, so then let’s look at how any human birth on this planet adds to the use and abuse of the planet as well as others on this planet…. is that not a form of violence as well? Who wakes up in the morning and does any sort of prayers to mother earth apologizing for being the burden upon her as we put our feet down on her constantly?

      Samudra-Vasane Devi Parvata-Stana-Mannddale |

      Vissnnu-Patni Namastubhyam Paada-sparsham Kssama-Svame ||

      What is morality?
      The dictionary states…
      1. conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.
      2. moral quality or character.
      3. virtue in sexual matters; chastity.
      4. a doctrine or system of morals.
      5. moral instruction; a moral lesson, precept, discourse, or utterance.

      I would have to point out that all of this then leads to a foundation of religion. Hmmm. Since the modern/western world has more or less an anti religious sentiment going on (or what they are calling a spiritual movement), what does that leave? Morality is then only based in ones own bias of subjectivity of their experience (which is only really self absorption). Because one’s own individual rights are more important than the right code of conduct for humanity?

      It is all pretty interesting to behold when looked at from a wider lens.

      Morality without religion is a tree without roots — George Bernard Shaw

      Everything has to be looked at from a bigger picture lens. if a man lives in a cabin in the woods far from society, does killing and animal for its meat and for its fur make the man violent a sinner? Amoral? Verses a woman that has a very wealthy husband that buys an expensive fur coat on 5th Avenue in NYC? is it not the wealthy womans dharma?

      Hmmmm. Isn’t pushing one’s own ideas and concepts onto others violence then?…. Say teaching Buddhism to the Western world which is a very very adharmic culture? What kind of dischord will that create in peoples minds when what they are trying to follow does not have any context in the culture they are living in? How about Yoga as well? But all of this can be covered up by not teaching deeply and saying that there is some cosmic shift happening in the world’s consciousness.

      The idea of doing no harm comes in here as well. All very interesting.

      Say a police officer now takes on nonviolence because it is a pop world thing to do. I mean maybe his wife has seen it on Oprah so now she picks up the latest Dalai Lama book then pushes it on her husband. Now her husband gets into a place where his job (dharma) is now not able to be fulfilled correctly because of his new ideas and concepts that have been pushed on him in which he is now trying to put into his life in which it does not have a place. Maybe he gets into a situation hypothetically where he needs to use his gun and instead of firing in a fire fight, he gets shot and killed because he did not want to be violent leaving his family without him? Or better, because he did not use violence, his partner gets killed and his family is now left with no father to provide? Hmmm.

      Can take this into such a variety of situations to see clearly, can’t we?

      All of this is answered in the depth of understanding Satya Sanatana Dharma or what has been turning in to Hinduism in the modern world but really isn’t Hinduism. Who has time to really study and understand this and then live it in the modern world? Does it have any place in it as well? As well, look at what is taking an identification of something that is from a completely different culture and starting to wear it? Isn’t that cultural appropriation? Isn’t that violence? Especially as foreigners, when we don’t really have any true idea of what it is? Yoga? Look what has been created by the violence? And it is totally accepted and not even an eyelash is batted about it. What violence has that been to the actual knowledge and real path?

      Is it adharmic to make programs to be sold to corporations to bring the idea of yoga into the business? Especially when there are ancient texts that are already written about such things like business management etc. but they do not try to bring “yoga” into it to sell it because it is an easy sell with how the pop world is so focused into modern yoga??? Hmmm.

      If we speak of today’s dairy industry…. are they not just doing their part in providing food for the masses that continue to populate beyond what is sustainable? Where does the fault lie? What is doing the harm?
      To try to change the dairy industry….. is that not violence in that look how many families you will be putting out of business that are just doing what they can to survive already. Hmmm.

      What is nonviolence?

      Do you get that all of this comes down to just contentment with what is and turning all the senses inward instead of outward and doing/experiencing one’s karma without expectation or reaction to the fruit of those karmas……. just as what is explained in the Bhagavad Gita as well as other texts?

      Meat and plants that are killed for consumption. Plants are alive and as i said above, it is also violence. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna gives the answer to this in that everything one does is made in an offering to him. By doing so we do not accumulate any bad karma because Krishna nullifies the karma when we offer it to him. but the problem with this is that we then bring religion into the picture which as I said above as well, it is a anti-god world out there today and spirituality has turned into only what ones own experience is and that is all self absorption, not spirituality. I would use the analogy of the snake lying across ones path in a dark night when one is walking on that path. When someone turns on the light they find that the rope that was laying across the path was not a snake at all. So are you willing to say that the senses and the discernment of ones own experience is to not to be relied on as truth?

      Instead of answering your question directly, I have given you all of this….. you answer it.

  3. Thank you for your reply.

    I will reread your answer again in some time to try to completely grasp what you’re saying. English in not my mother tongue so it will take some time. From what I understand, in case of the soldier.. I’d say we have to consider what or who he is fighting for. Is he fighting for big coörporations to get hold of the oil in another ones country? Is he fighting to protect his country from invaders? What is the purpose behind the violence? Even when breathing in we kill many bacterias… I guess there is a middle way in all of this and yes, violence to some extent is nessecary and has it’s place in this physical existence. A tiger can’t help but eating meat and is performing his part of the ecological system… so I don’t bother about it.

    In case of the todays milk factories… we eat a lot of milk products in the Netherlands.. I’d say more than we need.. and our cows are for a big part fed with soy beans grown on pieces of land of the former amazon jungle. To what extent is this about taking care of ones family and body.. and when does it change into egoistic behaviour without looking at the consequences of ones life style choices. The ghee I use is made out of milk cream that’s not suitable for sale anymore.. and thus given to me and my friends to make something usable out of it.. that’s how I justify it towards myself.

    For sure I can’t say I’m perfect. But I guess not becoming a soldier in a western society (because of it’s highly capitalist intentions) and eating as little animal products as possible without hurting ones own body seems like the thing to do to me.

    • UPDATE: Looking back now. Yeah, do as little harm as possible means also taking care of yourself. If from an ayurvedic standpoint, which I trust, it would be healthier for someone to eat meat and dairy products then we should do that. If you were to deny that to yourself it would be like a tiger not eating meat out of compassion for the animals, yet neglecting oneself and violating ones own body. To live is to consume. Even the most lovely flower battles with other plants over for a space in the sun. …But as long as we have western science which seems to change it’s mind al the time about what is healthy or not… and the western world where everyone seems to think they are right according to their own logic, it is easy to just say that we don’t need animal products and that in eating them one is, without question, selfish and uncompassionate, and that in saying that plants feel too you’re just ignorant and delusional, because that is an entirely different thing. Strangely.. or funny enough, two persons who are pretty close to me are or have been vegan. Both evangelizing about it. Yet one has started, basically overnight, eating meat again (yet no dairy cause “milk is for calves”) because he thought it might help him with his health problems. However before that he was telling peopl to stop eating meat to help them with their health problems. hmm… Now, having come back from traveling to Mexico he also eats dairy again, for some reason. The other one is all about animal rights yet doesn’t see it is hypocritical to eat the free “try-out” cheese in stores (cause she doesn’t want to be to extreme either) yet evangelize veganism on the other hand. Like what you said… “strange thinking”.

      If I may throw in another thing. In gardening there’s all kinds of trends and/or ideas too. Only growing perennials, food forestry, polyculture, permaculture, No-dig.

      Now, I’m starting to get rid of being attached to extreme ideas like “It is best if the whole world would change to a diet of eating only perennial plants” which I did think for a year or so. The idea that annual crops are necessarily depleting to the earth and unsustainable.

      Or the idea that plowing is a no go because it ruins the soil and the life thererin. Is this the same modern arrogance where we want to save every little bacteria and worm in the ground and “keep the soil life intact” because think we know better now, yet people have been plowing “since the beginning of time”? There’s even a french man who calls plowing “la guerre avec la terre” or “the war with the earth” (he’s not just speaking of plowing. also the pesticides. but still.)

      I’m trying to make the best out of all these ideas by combining them. Growing both perennials and annuals, using mulch to keep the soil from drying out. I don’t plow.. cause it’s alot of work and I’m not sure if it is nessecary. Whould you care to share your views or knowledge on this?

    • I think that it being Easter today is perfect to go along with this post.

      Doing no harm….. also means do not try to teach or push on others what shallow ideas one is following. Helping someone means not harming them with fad ideas. Sharing knowledge is with a responsibility to access the capacity of the person you are sharing it with to be able to handle it as well as what will they do with it. It is said in spiritual circles you cannot be responsible for what someone else does in this way. That is not true at all. There are laws in place in the material world for this very reason. Like when buying a gun there are laws in place that does a background check on the person and if they have been a criminal they are flagged and cannot buy the gun because they are not responsible nor a fit person for it responsibly. If you tell someone to go on a Vegan diet and they change their diet and die because of it? That is on you. this is not likely to happen, but still. Without the action that creates the entire situation, there would be no situation. This is just fundamental karma. So be wise to what you say and do. Cows and Animals were eaten in ancient India. Its not like cows were not slaughtered and eaten.

      Just this past June, at a national meeting of various Hindu organizations in India, a popular preacher, Sadhvi Saraswati, suggested that those who consumed beef should be publicly hanged. Later, at the same conclave, an animal rights activist, Chetan Sharma, said, “Cow is also the reason for global warming. When she is slaughtered, something called EPW is released, which is directly responsible for global warming. It’s what is called emotional pain waves.”
      Now by reading this, you should get how assinine this is. Deeper understanding would have you see that Chetan Sharma is a politician on top of a top cricketer. To be a politician in India, you are already talking about massive corruption but we are talking emotional pain waves of cows here and not the lives that are harmed in his daily corruption as a politician.
      The Brahmanas and dharma shatras state that a bull or cow is to be killed to be eaten when a guest arrives.
      Chetan is just like your Vegan friends.
      So far i have not even touched the damage to the earth and the gas created by cows and it greatly depends upon their diet.
      What is doing the harming?
      Modi coming into power has caused an uprise in violence due to the killing of cows. Modi even created a focus on this….. 63 incidences from 2010 to 2017, rather than focusing that energy on something that would help the impoverished people of the country instead of feeding the fire of dispute. Politics.
      In the Indians and cows thing… what you end up with is seeing what mostly is said and pushed is opinions not knowledge.
      What beliefs do we walk around with? Or like the shallow and lost people today, grabbing on to a new and kool popular fad and then pushing it upon others. Like Veganism. Why are they so angry if they are eating a vegetarian diet and if it is so satvik?
      What is doing no harm?
      We are not alone and an island in anything. The air you breathe was breathed by someone else prior. Everything we do and say and think has its results which affect everything. Everyone. If everything is from a world of self-absorption????

      Ayurvedic texts have the qualities of so many animal meats and substances. Pretty much every part of different animals are understood for their medicinal use as well as a beneficial use. Please show me in any Ayurveda text where is states to be a vegetarian.
      So, where does the not eating meat out of compassion come from? Vegetarianism came into strength in Hinduism at the time of the advent of Buddhism and Jainism. (Jains will walk around with a mask on their mouths so that they do not kill lesser beings like insects. But what of the organisms inside them that are killed constantly?) Nothing in any Indian ancient text says about strict vegetarianism that I am aware of. There is a knowledge of what is beneficial for each individual. Kshtraiyas eat meat as an example. Where today is the comprehension of dharma of any one thing verses the subjective opinion of what is right or wrong?

      About your friends, when did they become Vegans? The answer is more than likely when it became a popular fad. I would even ask if they are yoga teachers. lol. When there isn’t knowledge one is left drowning in a world of ideas and concepts. Like starting to eat meat again after preaching against it and the excuse is because of his health? Wow, so in other words, he thinks that Vegan is unhealthy after he preached it for how long? No knowledge. No ability or no tools to diagnose anything. Just playing around, putting on a new identity with the passing fads.
      Eating cheese while evangelizing veganism. How profound.
      Everyone is an all-knowing expert today, aren’t they?

      Bottom line. what creates balance is diversity. Everyone is different in so many ways. Is there a container that can hold this? Nothing Western/modern.

      “because think we know better now, yet people have been ploughing “since the beginning of time”?
      Perfect example.

      Yada Kinchit Gyanaha Aham
      Gaja Iva Madandaha SamaBhavam
      Yada Kinchit Kinchit Budha Jana Sakashaat Avagatam
      Tada Jwara Iva Mado May Vyapa Gataha

      When (yada) I (aham) acquired a little (Kinchit) knowledge (Gyana) I became very proud/egoistic (Madandaha) like (Iva) an elephant (Gaja).
      When little by little (kinchit Kinchit) I started to be in the company (sakashaat) of learned people (Budha Jana), then (tada) my (May) ego (Mado) disappeared (Vyapa Gataha) like (Iva) fever (Jwara).

      There is no listening when one is talking. There is no seeing when one is self-absorbed. There is no relating or being in relate-tion when one is an island.

    • “Cow is also the reason for global warming. When she is slaughtered, something called EPW is released, which is directly responsible for global warming. It’s what is called emotional pain waves.”

      Yeah and I feel so much compassion and pain for the impala being eaten by the lion right now. Yet I’m in a spiritual.. ;).. dilemma, because I can’t kill the lion either, cause it will make him suffer. The impalas are the cause of economic crisis due to the disturbed magnetic field when they’re grasping for their last breath in fear of death.

      All jokes aside, In the past I have been preaching nonsense too. As might be seen in some of my older comments. So called spiritual ideas and diet-nonsense and more. Kinda like a “social justice warrior”. I didn’t call myself this, but in hindsight… that was what i was doing.
      You showed me the stupidity of it and subsequently I apologized to the people I’ve forced this nonsense on. Both personally and on Facebook. Thank you, again. I’m glad I can let people do their thing now without shoving my opinion up their plates. Even if it were Burger King junk.

      Yes, both persons have grown into it (veganism) from being a meat eater to being a vegetarian to being a vegan. Both practice “yoga” and one likes the Osho “meditation” stuff of which even the man himself said that they were not really meditation. One of them is a yoga teacher indeed. Or should I say “acroyogi”. He indeed came to the conclusion that he proparbly needed the meat for health. Just confusion, ignorance and ego. A big yes to all three of those.

      “Everyone is an all-knowing expert today, aren’t they?”
      Just for fun I’ll include a quote of her. She invited people to her birthday party. And I don’t want to speak bad of her. She’s a sweetheart, but very much confused from my point of view. During easter in Holland children paint/decorate the outer shell of chicken eggs. Someone proposed to do this as an activity for the children during the party. Her reply: “Ohhhh, I won’t use chicken eggs to celebrate easter. Out of respect of all the chickens who are being “sucked out” during eastern. That’s allready logical to me. Aparently I shouldn’t forget to mention that (to then end with 2 emoticons. 1 of a chicken and one of an exclamation mark in the form of a heart).

      I also spoke about the meat part of ayurveda (which indeed cannot be denied) with an iskcon devotee who started doing some online ayurveda course. I’ll just share a part of our converstation here. Again, not to mock, he’s been good to me. I just think it is a great example and adds to the points you made in your comments here.

      “Well up until now none of my teachers have promoted too many meat recipes..
      For some illnesses..
      But it is clearly stated that it increases Tamas
      If taken regularly
      I try and guide people to a more Sattva diet
      Better for the mind and soul I think.. but of course I respect everyone’s free will
      Last year was interesting. I even had to prepare some meat in the job I had
      Of course was very strange for me
      But was also a good lesson
      To not be so fanatic
      Well.. even a rajas diet can be recommended to get oneself out of tamas and work towards Sattva
      A bit like a balance.. tamas on one side.. rajas on the other.. and Sattva in the middle
      So you can also use tamas to balance get people of out rajas
      That was an interesting concept I heard last year which I had never heard of before
      But Sattva is definitely a good feeling
      And something special you can give to people
      And Sattva also balances the 3 doshas”

      Now, we’ve allready spoken about how it is incorrect what he speaks about. For example that no being can live without rajas or tamas as rajas is responsible for action and tamas is responsible for sleep. Plus the way he writes about Sattva is as if he were speaking about some kind of drug or something. It’s funny to remember how there is absolutely no way any meat or eggs would ever be allowed to enter into the kitchen at the iskcon place he ran. At least not when I was there. It’s all just a mess of appropriated foreign concepts put together and interpretated in such a way that it fits ones biases.

      I guess our confusion about eastern knowledge becomes evident in how black and white we see things like the stuff with the cow. The common thought I was brought up with is that they are holy and not eaten by hindus, because they might aswell be reincarnations of their forefathers. Lol. Recently I spoke with an aunt of mine about trying to eat an Ayurveda based diet and she assumed that no meat would be involved. When I told her that that’s not nessecarily true she said “but no cow meat right?”. I told her I wasn’t sure about the stance of Ayurveda on eating cow meat, but I like how you clarify that that is just nonsense too. Actually, I could’ve known. I remember a buffalo being mentioned in the Astanga Sangraha.

      Interesting on the cows, diets and gas etc. I do wonder though, and to even question this might be controversial now,… if all the CO2 and methane actually have anything to do with the change of climate.

      “Perfect example.”

      Perhaps not coincidentally many of the garden-trends I listed never grow grains. In fact I don’t know of any gardener who grows any grains. They seem to want to rule out the consumption of grains out by the type of logic that they would be poisonous (much like the gluten-demonisation going on. Also paleo is anti wheat) or that we should feed ourselves with perennials. Again, I think this is because they want to make the world fit their viewpoints. Cause I can imagine that growing, harvesting and processing grains might actually be pretty hard/tough. Especially if you’re attached to 100% applying no-dig or agroforestry. Actually, in a popular book amongst these gardeners, called “Restoration Agriculture” Mark Shepard dares to say: ” Every human society that has relied on annual crops as staple foods in their diet has collapsed. Everysingle one. Every human society from the temperate zone to the tropics that has relied on annuals to feed itself, is nowgone. And the rich, abundant ecosystems where their temporary societies once flourished have been rendered into dust.”
      To which I wonder… what about the Hindus?
      I’ve often heard in agroforestry talks that chestnuts should be used as source of carbohydrates. It’s very (!) sweet though. All of this I find unfortunate, because they don’t seem like dumb people to me, and I’ve actually learned a great deal from them, but they lose so much (both potencial ánd credibility) due to dogmatism.

      There’s a movie that is popular amongst vegans which is called Okja. In my view it is delusional as they portray animals as if they were humans plus it’s very much a fiction film, so I wouldn’t recommend watching it. But if, by any chance, you or anyone has allready seen it…: I thought that the violent guy who leads the animal rights activists group beautifully showed the hypocrisy and pretenciousness of the compassion of angry vegans. Plus the excess and delusion that is part of all of these diets, very well portrayed in the guy that is starving himself and doesn’t even want to eat tomatoes, because… (I don’t remember exactly) it was produced on soil which had been plowed and/or fertilized with cow manure ;)?

    • Yup, to all of it.

      As yoga teachers, your friend, one would understand what klesha is. AVIDYASMITA RAGA DVESABHINIVESAH KLESAH Y.S. 2.3

      your ISKON friend, misunderstandings and wrong knowledge.

      All this might sound judgmental to someone else reading but this is just the truth of what is out there today.
      not much else.
      in everything.
      not just the modern pseudo spiritual stuff.
      As shown above in the post.

      As I said before and will say again, It is the diversity that creates everything and is also the chaos and the balance of it. In other words, karma.

    • Thank you for your comment. I wonder about one more thing. Why is it that you think it is perfect that this was posted on easter? Because Jesus was someone pure and the masses killed it in their ignorance? Because they “didn’t know what they did” in their ignorance. Just like we ruin pure knowledge such as ahimsa with our twisted logic of so-called compassionate veganism etc?

    • Back when you told me to research Easter I researched it on the internet. There was lots of talk of it being connected to a heathen goddess called Eostre and also Ostara and Ishtar, but I haven’t found a solid enough basis for those origins. Anyway, I got the general idea of what easter actually is and then left it at some point. However, I did not have an answer as to why the comments on eating meat were so suitable for easter.

      Since that time you’ve spoken elaborately on the unreliability of the internet. So recently, when some new ideas on easter struck my mind, I started investigating. I thought I might share part of what I encountered.

      What is really annoying is that, not unlike the internet, both etymological dictionaries and historical papers seem to disagree on many things. So after researching for some time it seems like no one seems to really know. However there’s just to many “coincidences” here. There’s the catholic Lent, 40 (or rather 46 days including 6 sundays) days leading up to easter sunday, supposedly to prepare and fast (like abstaining from eating meat (!) ) in memorial of the death and ressurection of Jesus. On easter (and other sundays) they can break the fast and can eat meat etc.) If Jesus were Lent’s real roots, then why is it so similar to the dutch name for spring (lente)? aswell as, supposedly, the old english name for spring was lencten. Why is it so similar to lengthen? As in.. lengthening of the days? And I’m not making this up. Numerous Etymological sources state it’s origines comes from the old word for “lenghth” or even “lengthening days”. According to me this is not farfetched as for example herfst, the dutch word for autumn, is derived from hervest or harvest.. the harvest month. Easter is said to have come from ostara, ostreo etc. but… even if the whole goddess part is nonsense.. does it not sound oddly familiar to east? The place where the sun exactly rises during the equinox ie the beginning of spring? And then to think that nowadays easter date is calculated from the 21st (roughly the equinox) and then the full moon on or after it, followed by (easter)sunday. It revolves around the equinox i.e. coming of spring. Around the 3rd or 4rd century CE the christians detached their easter date from the pesach date. Before that the christians celebrated both the ressurection ánd the liberation of the jews from Egypt at the same time, during easter. What’s funny is that Holi (which if I’m not mistaken also has much to do with the start of spring) and Pesach quite consistently (not always) revolve very closely around the same full moon.
      A funny sidenote here is that in the jewish seder meal an egg is eaten (may or may not have something to do with our easter eggs), aswell as unleavened bread and bitter herbs (and I can’t help but make the connection between the chapatis I eat with dandelion in spring; bitterness, dryness and lightness to counter the aggravated kapha of spring).
      The link with meat you were referring to might be the lambs that are sacrificed during Pesach, but rather it is the sacrifice of animals that was supposedly done as an apotropaic rite.. from which the current pesach has “evolved”. Wether or not this rite was connected to the equinox or spring is not yet clear to me.
      The eggs that are involved in easter are not vegetarian either. I’ve read the costum to have them at spring might’ve come from persian origin. That the eggs represent the birth of new life, which is not only a symbol but eggs are actually/obviously just that, and the coloring of them represent the colours that spring brings (for example, winter in Holland is grey, spring is colourful). The bunny, or according to some, a hare, might have got something to do with fertility, but though being a plausible explanation, I have not yet read anything on that which came from a convincing source. The problem is that I encounter much disagreement on many topics so all becomes like a web. It is wildly interesting, but I could spend many many hours more on this while I might better spend my time on researching rice.

      What I got from it is that central in all of this is the equinox, spring, the return of life and light, eggs are eaten and animals are slaughtered/sacrificed. These were our forefathers who undoubtedly had more connection to nature (and the Gods?) than we have now. Not only have we changed the date/disconnected the whole thing from spring or the equinox, intertwined other stories into it, but now we’ll also use vegan eggs and soya lambs. haha.

      Thank you for telling me to research this. It was definitely eye opening and I’ll proparbly dive into it deeper at some other time. It’s interesting to me to see the nonsense that comes in like the way the easter date nowadays is chosen is really pure made up nonsense in my eyes. It is not even based upon the equinox (it’s based upon a fixed date whereas the equinox changes dates throughout the years) or when Jesus supposedly died or anything real or remotely real-ish. It shows it is all a big shiny castle built upon a soap bubble. But no one knows and I doubt many care.

    • With much pleasure. Thanks again. I think it makes me learn quite a bit.

  4. Cows are not the problem, earth is not the problem, humans is not the problem, co2 is not the problem. Our ego’s are the real danger.

    Bradley: do the vedas not say that brahmins should refrain from eating meat? (i do know why. it is because of purity which is needed fore higher learning. real spirituality at high levels requires vegetarianism)

    I want to thank you 2 for these comments i have just learned a lesson which is about time. i think it is just a start and that this will start to unfold more and more from now on. I can sum it up as follow:

    We need to grow spiritually in knowledge by being in the right environment, with the right people, with a guru and then by growing we become purer and change gunas which in turn will change our habits and thus we stop eating meat and some even vegetables (naturally). If we are unable to do all of that we are only getting useless information inside our heads and try to follow what we have heard or read and will defend it with our lives. All of that is ignorance and will lead to adharma. Get out of your head and get into the Moment/Reality/Truth/God/Dharma. Or for me shut down the internet, close all ebooks and go to India and learn it all from a authentic teacher and actually live it at the same time.

    • Veda does not pronounce that one is to be a vegetarian. It states about the sin of killing another being. It states that Indra ate meat.
      Manusmritti talks more rigidly about the sin of meat eating because one cannot eat meat without violence or killing another being.
      Other dharma texts as well. Take Parashara Smriti which is the dharma shastra for Kali Yuga. It makes it clear that Brahmins are NOT to be eating meat by stating if they do eat this or that, they can purify by eating this. But it does not state that one is to only be a vegetarian. I am not splitting hairs here. This is important to understand properly. Let’s be intelligent rather than be opinionated.
      What this all comes down to is Dharma. It is a VARNA or a ‘caste’ thing. And since in my years studying/living in India I have not found a priest that is pure nor a pundit that is not solely focused on looting and making money……. this is Kali Yuga.
      As i said in a prior comment, Kshatriyas eat meat. They eat meat because they need to. It is what they do. In Ayurveda, you see that meat gives strength and bulk. It builds flesh because it is flesh. Would you want the army soldiers of your country to look like and be physically weak as Gandhi? How could they perform their dharma?

      More so, what happens to a Catholic priest when they take the vows of celibacy and they are not fit to take them? This is a much better example. The Catholic priest becomes perverted and rapes young boys as we have seen…. not only in the near past but in history as well. When one is not aligned to be vegetarian the same will be the results. It will create mental issues. Look at Jesse’s friends. This is nothing different than what I have experienced as well in the modern material spirituality movement. Flip flop back and forth. much change of outer things. The need to tell people about one’s vegetarianism or the next new thing they are on to. Putting on a shirt of identification with something and not having any greater knowledge as to how or why.

      Ultimately it comes down to this. Yes, vegetarian is healthier. It is a more satvik diet. It is better for the soul in the extent that it is not creating as much karmic debt. It does support the mind being healthier, but not always. BUT, is the capacity for the person, the dharma of the person, is it their karma to be vegetarian?

      In Ayurveda, if you have someone that is a vegetarian and their life depends upon eating meat as treatment, it states you are to lie to them and gives ideas on how to disguise the meat. Ayurveda has the doctor lie and deceive the patient if the patient’s strict moral code is not in alignment with what is needed to heal them. From an Ayurveda viewpoint, it is what the person needs for their health. A doctors DHARMA is to save lives.

      I think the conversation is done to death with this.

      Repeating….. Let’s be intelligent rather than be opinionated.
      Did you know Vivekananda ate meat and fish? Probably daily even. Lol. And he is held in the highest regard by Hindus today.
      What it comes down to is let not take something and try to make it everything.

      And please do not take anything I am saying as promoting nonveg. I am not. The fact is that we are born to this bhuloka out of our ‘sin’ and we consume everything from birth to death. What needs to be understood is the variables that go into individuality and diversity and what is beneficial for life of that individual for where they are as that individual. Not latching onto a dogmatic practice or guideline because it is a popular fad.

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