Discovery of India


A diet that is wholly conducive to the practice of Yoga and spiritual progress is called Yogic
diet. Diet has intimate connection with the mind. Mind is formed out of the subtlest portion of food. Sage Uddalaka instructs his son Svetaketu “Food, when consumed becomes threefold: the gross particles become excrement, the middling ones flesh and the fine ones the mind. My child, when curd is churned, its fine particles which rise upwards, form butter. Thus, my child, when food is consumed, the fine particles which rise upwards form the mind. Hence verily the mind is food.”
Again you will find in the Chhandogya Upanishad: “By the purity of food one becomes purified in
his inner nature; by the purification of his inner nature he verily gets memory of the Self; and by the attainment of the memory of the Self, all ties and attachments are severed.”
Diet is of three kinds viz., Sattvic diet, Rajasic diet and Tamasic diet. Milk, barely, wheat,
cereals, butter, cheese, tomatoes, honey, dates, fruits, almonds and sugar-candy are all Sattvic
foodstuffs. They render the mind pure and calm. Fish, eggs, meat, salt, chillies and asafoetida are
Rajasic foodstuffs. They excite passion. Beef, wine, garlic, onions and tobacco are Tamasic
foodstuffs. They fill the mind with anger, darkness and inertia.
Lord Krishna says to Arjuna: “The food which is dear to each is threefold. Hear the
distinctions of these. The foods which increase vitality, energy, vigour, health and joy and which
are delicious, bland, substantial and agreeable are dear to the pure. The passionate desire foods that
are bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, pungent, dry and burning and which produce pain, grief and disease. The food which is stale, tasteless, putrid and rotten, leavings and impure is dear to the Tamasic.” (Bhagavad-Gita. Ch. VII-8, 9, 10).
Food plays an important part in meditation. Different foods produce different effects on
different compartments of the brain. For purposes of meditation, the food should be light, nutritious
and Sattvic. Milk, fruits, almonds, butter, sugar-candy, green gram, Bengal gram soaked in water