Guidelines on Diet and Gunas from the Bhagavad Gita
The overwhelming sensation of calm that permeates every aspect of this age-old medical practice is what initially draws people to Ayurveda. This tranquillity is in stark contrast to the world in which we currently reside, in which we vacillate between complaining about having “too much to do” and “dieting” while eating reheated takeout in front of the television.
The word ‘sattva’ comes from the Sanskrit language. The word ‘sattva’ means pure in quality and can be translated as “pure, essence, conscious, wise, rudiment of life.” Sattvic is derived from the word ‘sattva’.The Sattvic diet is a manner of eating that is founded on the teachings of Ayurveda and emphasizes the consumption of plant-based foods. The sattvic diet is one that emphasizes the intake of unprocessed, healthful foods; yet, it also emphasizes the purification of both the mind and the body. It’s more than simply being a vegetarian; it’s more of an entire lifestyle.
āhāras tv api sarvasya
tri-vidho bhavati priyaḥ
yajñas tapas tathā dānaḿ
teṣāḿ bhedam imaḿ śṛṇu
Arjuna hears from Krishna that the preferences for food are primarily divided into three categories: sacrifice, thrift, and charity. Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas are the three qualities that are present in everything, including food. Foods are categorized into three sub-categories called gunas to symbolize these qualities. Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas.
The qualities of cleanliness, well-being, harmony, and tranquillity are all connected with the Sattvic energy, whereas the Rajasic energy is associated with tension, wrath, and restlessness. Last but not least, tamasic is connected to sluggishness and lethargic behavior.
One of these three gunas is ingrained in each one of us. However, the proportion of sattva to rajas and tamas that each person possesses is unique to them. For instance, a person requires Tamas guna in order to properly relax and get adequate sleep, Rajas guna in order to be productive, and Sattva in order to accomplish what they have set out to do in their lives. Increasing one’s level of sattva inside the gunas in order to cultivate awareness by maintaining a healthy body and mind is the primary objective of a yogic way of living.
What we put into our bodies will have an effect on us not only physically, but also emotionally, cognitively, and even spiritually. In order to make progress on a spiritual journey, diet is absolutely essential.
Foods that are high in spices and taste, such as onions and garlic, fried foods, such as coffee and tea, refined foods, such as sugar and chocolate, and so on are the staples of a typical Rajasic diet. These foods give us quick energy for a little period of time, but subsequently we experience a drop in our energy levels or tension. A diet that is predominately Rajasic throws off the delicate equilibrium that exists between the mind and the body. This diet nourishes the body but not the mind in any significant way. A person who is Rajasic tends to have a poor digestive system, is often in a rush to eat, and favors meals that are high in fructose.
The majority of a tamasic diet consists of foods that have been reheated or processed with chemicals, as well as eggs, meats, alcohol, tobacco, and the like. A tamasic individual will be lethargic, forgetful, impetuous, thoughtless, forgetful, and melancholy. They will also be careless. They are going to end up with conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and liver disease.
A diet high in sattvic qualities includes only vegetarian foods, such as seasonal fresh fruits, a large quantity of fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes and sprouts, dried nuts and seeds, honey, fresh herbs, and milk and dairy products that do not contain any animal rennet. These nutrients raise our levels of sattva, which can be translated as consciousness. Love, gratitude, and mindfulness are present during both the preparation and consumption of sattvik cuisine. Sattvic individuals exude qualities such as calmness, serenity, friendliness, vitality, health, optimism, creativity, and equilibrium. The sattvic diet is a regimen that is particularly beneficial in terms of both maintaining a healthy weight and shedding excess pounds. If the food is processed excessively, held for an excessive amount of time, or deep fried, it turns tamasic.