1. Introduction to Satvik food
‘शरीरमाद्यं खलु धर्मसाधनम् ।’, meaning, the physical body is the only medium for performing spiritual practice.
The obvious reason is that, for God-realisation, which is the ultimate goal of human life, having a physical body is extremely important. For the physical body to remain healthy, the diet has to be nutritious. Besides being nutritious, if the diet is sattvik (Sattva-predominant) also, then it helps in enhancing the Sattva component. Increase in the Sattva component within the body smoothens the passage to God realisation.
This article elaborates on how a sattvik diet plays an important role in enhancing the Sattva component. A sattvik diet makes our body, mind and intellect sattvik; whereas, consuming meat and alcohol makes an individual tamasik (Tama-predominant). In reality, a non-vegetarian diet is just not the diet of human beings. God has not created non-vegetarian food for human beings. Modern dieticians do not state clearly, which among the vegetarian or non-vegetarian diets, is superior. Their grasp of the subject fails to transcend the knowledge of vitamins, calories and proteins. Alcohol cannot even be categorised as food. This series of articles elaborates on the harmful effects of consuming non-vegetarian food and alcohol, and the distress caused by negative energies through their medium. We would like to stress here that the modern science fails to give due consideration to the sattvikta (Sattva-predominance; Purity) in the food, the way spiritual science does. Today, modern medical science is unable to find the root cause of many ailments. For this, a thought needs to be given to ‘contradictory diet’. ‘Contradictory diet’ means consuming a harmful mixture of two or more ingredients; for example rice + milk + salt.
If the importance of a sattvik diet and the harmful effects of tamasik diet are revealed to mankind, it will help make the life of individuals happy.
2. Diet in Kaliyug
‘Dietary habits in Kaliyug (Era of strife) are completely dominated by Raja-Tama-predominant acts. Hence, the diet is no more an act supported by achars (Conducts); instead, it has become inauspicious due to its existence through the perverted nature of people. Diet today is completely influenced by the Tama-predominant western culture, and hence, it has transformed into a perversion that nourishes the demons.
3. Importance of a sattvik diet ( Satvik food )
The satvik food develops sattvik pinda (Subtle-body). The sattvik pinda is required for spiritual progress. When the diet is Tama-predominant, the body (that functions on Tama-predominant diet) becomes prone to sinful karma. The sinful karma releases its subtle-vibrations into the atmosphere on a large scale, congregates them at the respective levels and transforms them into specific activity centres. Individuals raised on an appropriate and sattvik diet are pious, and through good thinking, follow a virtuous path. Sages and monks of the earlier times were strict with their diet. An appropriate sattvikta-restoring and Tej (Radiance) imparting diet generates a type of radiant vibrations in the body and makes an individual an Ascetic. Controlling the diet, meaning, not relenting to the demands of the taste-buds, is undeniably a difficult task. An individual that has control over its taste and speech attains the status of a Yogi
4. Changes that take place in an individual due to sattvik diet
A. Enhancement of sattvik thoughts
Consuming an appropriate and sattvik diet generates sattvik energy in the mind, leading to enhancement of sattvik thoughts and creating an impression of the merit thus accrued, on the subconscious mind.
B. Sainthood, Sagehood and Divinity
Having sattvik food can bestow Sainthood, renouncing food bestows Sagehood, transcending the stage of awareness of taking or not taking food bestows divinity to the jiva (Embodied soul). The system of abiding by the rules set by Hindu Dharma of preparing an appropriate and systematic sattvik diet takes an individual progressively through various stages from being a virtuous person to a seeker, Saint, Sage, attaining divinity and finally merges it into Moksha (Final Liberation).
5. Complement sattvik diet with spiritual practice !
A sattvik diet is necessary to keep the body healthy; the journey of a human being should not be from a humanitarian to a demoniacal attitude, but from a humanitarian attitude to divinity. For this reason, everyone should practice knowledge gained about sattvik diet provided in this Holy text. However, only a satvik food is not enough in the journey towards divinity. Everyone should commence spiritual practice, and that is need of the hour.
Reference : Sanatan Sanstha’s Holy text ‘Importance of a sattvik diet’.