Food and Spirituality
Food is correlated to the divine power. It is considered that the food is the root cause of all living creature. You are what you digest, not what you eat. Only in the beneficial circumstances for digestion with beneficial foods will health be created.
Properly taken food helps in building up of the body and mental factors where as improper food habits leads to various diseases. A famous verse from Veda refers that “Ahara Shuddhou Satwa Shudhihi” – the food what we intake reflects the nature of our mind and if one consume a quality food he will have the clarity of mind. Thus a wise man to get a complete well being should follow some of the rules and regulation of dietetics. Ayurveda explains eight types of dietetic rules among which Tanmana Bhunjitha and Atmana Abhisamikshya Bhunjita – Intake of food by giving due concentration and considering his self are also included. Food will produce its proper effect only when the mind and self of a person is free from any mental afflictions.
In Bhagavad Gita we find explanation of three types of foods viz. Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Food which is sweet in taste, unctuous, stable and pleasant is considered as Sattvic and it enhances the Ayu (life), Sattva (true state of mind), Bala (strength of the being), Arogya (whole health), Sukha (happiness) and Priti (love). On contrary the Rajasic types of food leads to mental sickness like Dukha (unhappiness), Shoka (fear), Kama (desire) and Tamasic food leads to Alasya (laziness), Moha (attachment) etc. Ayurveda too mentions some of the articles like milk, ghee, Shashtika shali (red rice), Amalaki (indian gooseberry) etc which are considered as Hitahara (beneficial foods) and are to be practiced daily. Ahara (food) is said to be Shadindriya Prasadaka – Pleasing all the six Indriyas viz. five sense organs and the mind. If person take the Tamasic Ahara like the food which is kept overnight, refrigerated, reheated, microwaved, devoid of or altered taste, stale, contaminated etc. it covers the mind of a person leading him to darkness.
Na Raagaat Naapi Avijnaanaadaahaaraanupayojayet| Parikshya Hitamashniyaat Deho Hi Aahara Sambhavaha || One should not take food when he is afflicted with Raga (attachment), Avijnana (no consciousness) etc. Body is the replica of food what we intake. One should take it only after proper analyzing, with proper knowledge, what is wholesome and what is unwholesome. What you consume ultimately turns into you. Its consciousness, health, and energy ultimately becomes yours.