Episodes # 96 – Does “Food habits” determine our Intelligence??? An important discussion!!!


In the previous episode we were amidst yet another important discussion with regards to the hatred that prevails against Brahmins in the current day society. We witnessed Vidura’s explanation pertaining to this wherein he says that hating Brahmins or expressing hatred towards them in any way brings harm and downfall. We witnessed some fundamental reasons why Brahmins are being hated so much today – One of the main reasons being intelligence. It is a hard fact for everyone to accept and digest in India that Brahmins are the most intelligent set of people and they have the capability to excel in any and every domain. This is because Brahmins are used to “Veda-Adhyayanam” (Means, gaining mastery over the tough lessons of Vedas). Constant learning and reciting of the Vedas and other scriptures of our “Sanaathana Dharma” enables Brahmins to have more concentration and focusing power in whatever they do and this in turn increases their shrewdness and smartness in their actions.

We shall continue and take this important discussion forward in today’s episode and witness what other reasons make Brahmins the most preferred people for high level jobs even in today’s world.

One another reason why Brahmins are considered to be intelligent is the food (“Aahaara Shuddhi”). How does “Aahaara Shuddhi” or in other words, “Food habits” decide the level of intelligence of a person? Let’s witness a brief explanation today.

As Lord Krishna explains in the Bhagawat Gita, “Aahaara Shuddhi” decides what kind of people are we – Basically as many of us know, there are three main “Gunas” or “Characteristics” that all human beings are made of. They are “Sathva Guna”, “Rajo Guna” and “Tamo Guna”. As many might know, a person having more of “Sathva Guna” tends to be balanced in terms of everything in life. A person who has more of “Rajo Guna” tends to feel angry and tensed all the time. He loses his cool very often and tends to yell at people even for small things. Whereas, a person more of “Tamo Guna” feels very lazy and secluded from other people. He likes to sleep and rest all the time and thus more or less, in an inactive state.

Now how does our food habit decide which of these three “Gunas” dominate within our self? If we tend to eat too much of spicy food all the time, it is said that our “Rajo Guna” starts increasing gradually. This is the reason why we find that those who consume more of spicy food every time constantly keep get angry and frustrated. The spicy essence can be found in chillies and the powders made from them, the modern day readymade “Masala” packs that we use for our day-to-day cooking. So what are those foodstuffs that contain “Tamo Guna”? Mostly those food items that we consume from the modern day Fast food” centers, which are half-cooked or over-cooked are all “Thaamasic” in nature. Also, all kinds of non-vegetarian food items contribute to the “Thaamasic” (Lazy) character in a person.

Now here is where the differentiation lies – Those people who are Brahmins totally refrain from taking any kind of non-vegetarian foodstuffs. This would prevent their mind and body to go into the “Thaamasic” nature. Also, if we look into the food habits of Brahmins, in most of the cases, it would be a mix or a blend of sweet, spice and salt and thus there is no unwanted rise in any of the tastes. This also prevents Brahmins from being “Raajasic” (Anger and tensed). If these two characteristics are made bare minimal, automatically the “Saathvic” (Balanced) nature would start blossoming. This is exactly what we call “Balanced Diet” in modern-day Biological science.

Thus we can infer that if we have a “Balanced Diet” we would be able to develop “Saathvic” or a balanced mind. It is only with a balanced mind, will the intelligence quotient of our human brain would be at its maximum efficiency. Thus it is clear that since Brahmins are used to “balanced” food habits right from their childhood days, they are able to have a balanced frame of mind, which in turn enables their intelligence coefficient to increase. This is also one reason why others are not able to match the intelligence levels of Brahmins – The moment we start consuming non-vegetarian foodstuff, it directly leads us to the lazy (“Thaamasic”) state and in turn, the intelligence coefficient gradually starts decreasing. This eventually leads to lesser thinking and reasoning power and hence, the competitiveness, shrewdness, smartness, etc. takes a hit! This is why the other sects of people can never compete with Brahmins with respect to the “intelligence quotient”.

Of course this is a blatant truth and it might offend many of our readers. However is this the end of all? Is there any solution for this? The answer is “Yes”! The moment we take a vow to slowly reduce the intake of “non-vegetarian” food items, our “Saathvic” characteristic would start increase, which in turn would reduce the “Thaamasic” characteristic. In simpler words, our mind and body would start working more efficiently as they come out of the inactive state and only by reducing the intake of non-vegetarian food can enable this to happen. Hence the message from today’s episode is that, instead of cribbing about someone’s intelligence, let us take the first step forward to increase our intelligence coefficient and one efficient way to attain this is to take care of our food habits and consciously reduce/cut the intake of non-vegetarian food items.

Of course, many of us might ask this question – Those people especially in Western Countries like Europe, US, Canada, etc. consume non-vegetarian food all the time and yet how do they excel in whatever they do? How is this argument valid here? My answer to this important question is that, we should realize that food habits are followed across the world depending on the climatic conditions prevailing in every place. Western countries are cold throughout the year, whereas countries like India lie on the tropical zone close to the equator and hence the temperatures can be soaring high. Since the climate is cold in the west, eating non-vegetarian food, drinking alcohol, etc. adds to the warmth of the human body and to balance the cold outside. Hence, for that climate, consuming non-vegetarian food might be fine. But in countries like India, if we’ve to consume the same kind of non-vegetarian food, alcohol, etc. it is only going to add up to our body heat (since the surrounding temperature is higher too) and will eventually make us tired and inactive. Hence in my opinion, non-vegetarian foodstuff is unsuitable for a tropical country like India and unfortunately many of us fall prey to it just because of the “Western influence”. Thus if we are able to come out of this “false prestige” of consuming non-vegetarian food, our lives would become much better with respect to physical and mental health.

So let us take some time today and introspect within us to realize this folly! We shall wait till the next episode to move on with Vidura’s next explanation. Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at International School of Business & Media, Pune, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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