Episode # 555 – “The nature of food we consume determines what kind of a person we are” – An important thought!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of our discussion on why we should try and avoid non-vegetarian food consumption as much as we can. We had been witnessing this narrative as part of the meat-vendor’s explanation of his “Dharma” to Sage Kaushika that even though he sells meat himself, he makes it a point not to consume it because he is walking the spiritual path. This prevents him from consuming non-vegetarian food because he realizes that Bhagawan resides in the hearts of all living beings. Of course, he continues his profession of killing animals to prepare the meat, because of his fundamental duties that he has to perform as part of his daily survival. However, he does it with detachment and this is something that is important for all of us. Hence, we should make sure that we follow the practice of abstaining ourselves from consuming non-vegetarian food, as we’re now walking the path of spiritual growth and development. Ultimately, we should remember here that we do not have any right to deny the fact that every living being wants to lead a peaceful and a happy life in their own respective capacities. If we’re not able to make our fellow living beings happy with some contributions, atleast let us not harm them and create an immeasurable pain in their lives. This is the basic that Bhagawan expects out of us. 

Moving on further, we are discussing many other allied points with regards to our food habits, and today, we’re going to witness yet another important point here – The nature of food that we consume is going to determine what kind of a person we are. For instance, in this context, if we’ve to walk the path of “Bhakti” and spiritual growth, “Saathvika Aahaaram” is very important. “Saathvika Aahaaram” is nothing but a package of food which is devoid of too much spice, too much sweet, too much sourness, too much bitterness and completely devoid of food that is prepared out of inflicting pain to other living beings. In English, we call this as a “Balanced Diet”, wherein with regards to the nutrient part, the food should cover everything that the body requires for effective functioning, and at the same time, these nutrients should come through sources that are sustainable and not through destruction. Hence, the concept of “Balanced diet” is nothing but “Saathvika Aahaaram”. Moreover, as per our “Sanaatana Dharma” literature, there is a mandate that we fast on certain days without consuming food or water. There are certain days of the month like “Ekaadasi”, wherein many of us undertake fasting practices as part of our spiritual development. Actually, fasting is an excellent practice as it gives a break to our stomach and the related digestion processes that are associated with it. Fasting gives an opportunity for the body to cleanse and flush out all the unwanted contents through the intestines. Thus, scientifically too, fasting has a lot of significance. Moreover, in the spiritual sense, fasting gives us “Vairagya” (Self-control and will-power) to withstand any kind of adverse situations in life. Thus, this fasting process also forms part of the “Saathvika Aahaaram”. 

Thus, if our “Aahaaram” (Food) is “Saathvik” in nature, automatically our mind and brain will function in a systematic and a constructive manner, which is essential for spiritual growth and development. Explaining all these points to Sage Kaushika, the meat vendor says thus, “Oh Sage! Given all these aspects of “Dharma” with respect to food, I’m following all these without any blemish. Of course, I’m cutting and selling meat, which is my generational job profile. My father, grandfather, etc. had been doing it for many years and I’m just continuing my family business. Hence, there is no fault in this activity according to me!” Saying all these, the meat vendor now takes Sage Kaushika to his home. As both of them reach home, the meat vendor falls on the feet of his aged parents and explains to Sage Kaushika thus, “Oh Sage Kaushika! This is the secret behind my “Dharma”! I’m every day rendering selfless service to my parents who are sitting here. I’m of help to them in whatever way possible and this “Dharma” of mine is what is protecting me at all times!”

As the meat vendor explains thus, Sage Kaushika is extremely impressed and happy. However, he asks one more important question here to the meat vendor thus, “Oh meat vendor! I’m extremely impressed with the way how you are of service to your parents! Not many of them do this today and we see this “Dharma” aspect deteriorating with time. However, you seem to be an epitome of it. I see that you’re an embodiment of “Sattva Guna” as well. But tell me one thing – The nature of the job that you do everyday in your shop has the mighty potential to invoke a lot of “Rajo-Guna” and “Tamo Guna” into you. However, you’re able to keep all of that away and you’re able to enhance your “Sattva Guna” to a great extent! How is this possible for you? Can you explain to me?” 

As Sage Kaushika asks thus, the meat vendor is going to give an important answer. So for today, we shall understand up to this point and we shall wait till the next episode to witness the meat vendor’s perspective on this important question. Stay tuned for more updates! 🙂 

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 Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, 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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