Episode # 114 – Why should we avoid consuming “Non-Vegetarian” food? A scientific explanation from our “Sanaathana Dharma”!!!

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The previous episode witnessed the continuation of an important discussion upon Vidura’s take on food and how do we balance our food intake in a way that it would nourish our physical and mental health. In that way, we have discussed various points – Right from avoiding consumption of food items from “Fast-food” centers on the roadside, trying to avoid “instant” and “readymade” food items, avoiding too much of sweet or too much of spicy food items and most importantly avoiding those food items that are not offered to Bhagawan. All this put together, is what we call a “Balanced Diet” in the modern day science. In other terms, a balanced diet contains equal and necessary amounts of all ingredients and variety of food items that we should consume and this will lead to a healthy lifestyle, free of any kinds of unwanted diseases.

Moreover in the last episode we had discussed more important and contemporary points with regards to the intake of food – Only based on what we consume as food, our character gets formed. Thus, if we practice a balanced diet everyday, our mind would be stable and calm at all times, which directly infers to “Sathva Guna”. Also, there was a question about how many times do we consume food per day. Ideally it should be twice a day – Once during the daytime and once during the night. However, things have changed nowadays and modern day doctors are advising us to keep eating little by little every now and then so that our digestion process gets streamlined. Of course what we should assume here is that, with the changing lifestyle and with our personal and professional commitments, we undergo lot of stress and strain every passing day. Hence to adapt to these changes, perhaps our food habits should also undergo a change and maybe this is one of the reasons why modern day doctors are prescribing “regular” intake of food.

There is one more important point that we touched upon yesterday, however I had denied an explanation in yesterday’s episode. It is a question that is also part of what kinds of food items can we consume. What kind of food items should we take so that our “Sathva Guna” would grow within us? Here is an important answer – Might be a little harsh but is worth to give it a thought.

Our food should contain a combination of rice/wheat, fresh fruits and vegetables, ghee, permissible quantity of oil and curd. This combination was in practice by our ancestors and forefathers for many thousands of years and this is what our “Sanaathana Dharma” prescribes. Moreover on a scientific perspective, different food habits are practiced by different cultures across the world based on the climatic conditions in the respective geographical locations. For instance if we consider the geographical location and the climatic condition of India, we have a tropical climate owing to our proximity to the equator. This means that India experiences a hot and a dry climate almost throughout the year (Barring couple of months during winter) with temperatures soaring above 35 degrees Celsius many a times. Given this climatic condition, the food that we consume should be in such a way that it reduces the heat within our body. For this reason, fresh fruits, vegetables, buttermilk, etc. are staple food items in India.

On the contrary, due to the climatic condition we should restrain from consuming food substances that would generate more heat within the body. What are those foodstuffs that generate more amounts of body heat? All kinds of non-vegetarian food items, certain varieties of fruits, alcoholic drinks, etc. fall into this category. If we end up consuming food items that generate excessive body heat, it would directly result in many physical complications such as haemorrhoids (Piles), urinary tract infection, kidney stones and various problems in our liver. It is for this reason we advice that, given the nature of our Indian climatic condition, we should try to avoid non-vegetarian food items.

However in the modern day, there is a big misconception in the Indian society – Just because people from the west, along with certain religious groups consume non-vegetarian food, we’ve been brainwashed by them to consume what they do. Isn’t it shameful? Where is our individuality? Why should we fall prey to such anti-national fringe groups? Thus scientifically if we’ve to look into this, if we consume non-vegetarian food it makes the body generate more amounts of heat than it is required, which affects our body metabolism, which makes the body tired and ultimately reduces the efficiency of the body and the mind. This is where the “Thaamasic” character creeps in. It is for this reason that our “Sanaathana Dharma” advises us against consuming non-vegetarian food.

This is another misconception that even people from our Hindu community have. Many people are wrongly guided that Hinduism encourages consumption of non-vegetarian food. This is utterly nonsense. The “Sanaathana Dharma” clearly emphasizes that we should never consume non-vegetarian food items at any point in time. This might be faked and propagated by the other “so-called” religious groups for their own personal benefits, but our “Sanaathana Dharma” never preaches nonsense like others do! Let us be very clear on this fact.

And moreover, if we are consuming non-vegetarian food, we are directly or indirectly hurting and killing other living beings. Every religion in this world is supposed to promote peace and harmony amongst all living beings in this world. Unfortunately today this is not the case. It is sad to see certain religions being hypocritical – On one side they preach peace and harmony and on the other side they end up hurting poor and innocent animals! If a religion tries to be hypocritical like this, it cannot be considered to be a path to attain Bhagawan. I know that I’m pretty harsh on this issue, but I don’t mind to be harsh if I’m talking the fact or the truth.

Hence the message from today’s episode is that, we should strive to avoid or atleast slowly start reducing our intake of non-vegetarian food items. This is good for our physical health, mental health and also this practice would pave the way for our spiritual growth. How does this practice of avoiding non-vegetarian food aid our spiritual growth? An interesting discussion follows up in the next episode. 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 Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, 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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