“Food is a dynamic force that interacts with the human on the physical body level, the mental-emotional level, and also the energetic and spiritual level. The study of nutrition is the study of the interaction with and assimilation of the dynamic forces of food
by the dynamic forces of our total being.”
~Gabriel Cousens, M.D., Spiritual Nutrition and The Rainbow Diet
What is a Sattvic Diet?
In Ayurveda, the emphasis is on a Sattvic diet for healthy living, particularly for keeping our minds clear, happy and at peace. The original Sattvic diet was devised for the development of higher consciousness.
Sattvic foods are foods that are abundant in Prana – the universal life-force that gives life to all sentient beings in both plant and animal kingdoms. A Sattvic diet means not only vegetarian food but food rich in Prana – ‘life-force’ like organic fresh fruits and vegetables. It requires avoiding canned and processed food, and foods prepared with chemical fertilizers or sprays. It also means properly prepared fresh foods. Foods prepared with lots of love will add to their Sattvic quality.
The ancient Ayurvedic criteria for foods to be considered Sattvic were quite simple: foods were grown organically on good, rich, fertile soil; foods were to be attractive in appearance and harvested at the correct time of year. Foods were whole foods, full of life-force and enzymes, and as close as possible to their natural fresh state.
Today, we need to add to these criteria for a Sattvic diet several other modern concerns. Sattvic foods should be grown without pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, irradiation or anything unnatural. The modern use of refinement processes and
chemical additives, besides actually adding substances to our foods, depletes foods of their Prana ‘life-force’ and hence renders them heavy, impotent and lifeless.
Sattvic foods are nutritious vegetarian foods like organic nuts, seeds, whole grains, and oily fruits and vegetables that help build the brain tissue and develop Ojas.
The Three Gunas
In the unmanifested Universe, energy has three qualities, known as Gunas, that exist together in equilibrium: Sattva (purity); Rajas (activity, passion, the process of change); and Tamas (darkness, inertia). Once energy takes form, one quality of the three predominates; thus on an apple tree, some of the fruit is ripe (Sattvic), some ripening (Rajasic) and some overripe (Tamasic).
But no matter which quality prevails, an element of each of the other two will always be present as well. Most of an individual apple will be ripe, but the part will be rotten, even if the naked eye cannot see it, and part will be in the process of changing from one state to the other. The three Gunas encompass all existence, all actions.
If a man commits a robbery, the action is basically Rajasic but the decision to rob, the motive, maybe predominantly Tamasic, Rajasic or Sattvic, according to the situation. In all people, one of the three Gunas has superior strength and is reflected in all they do and think. Only in enlightenment are the Gunas completely transcended.
Ancient Rishis have said you take on the karma of the animal you eat. When you eat meat you are ingesting all the stress hormones released when that animal was killed. The hormones released at death are present in the flesh when you eat it. At a cellular level,
your body is getting the message that you are dying. One goal and effect of Ayurveda, and following a spiritual path is to raise our vibrational levels. Meat has a very low vibration. On a continuum of lower vibrations, fish, chicken, lamb, beef, and finally, pork has increasingly lower vibrations and their energy is very dark, dense and congested.
Through the centuries it has been observed that vegetarians have a more refined etheric body and brighter aura.
A vegetarian whose etheric body is brighter and healthier will generally heal at a much faster rate than those who are not vegetarian. This interesting article speaks more about the healing power of Ayurveda Diet.
Everything on Earth has a primary quality (Guna). Anything we hear, smell, see, taste or touch may be classified into the categories of Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic.
Balancing the Emotional Body with Food
In Ayurveda, a dietary system developed by the ancient Masters and Sages over thousands of years worked with the mind to help support an individual on a spiritual path that perfected the ancient forms of Yoga and Meditation. It is also the foundation of many healing arts.
It has a rich tradition that has been taught, practiced and passed onto many cultures over the world.
Ayurveda or Sattvic foods all have one thing in common: they are high in Prana (the universal life force). More specifically, Sattvic foods are natural, organically grown, and as unrefined as possible.
Modern food processing takes the Prana out of many foods and makes them heavy, impotent, and lifeless – or simply “dead food.”
Mind balance in Ayurveda means modifying the mind from a Tamasic or Rajasic to a Sattvic state.