It is possible to keep our mind in peace by choosing sattvic foods to live consciously.
Sattvic foods are foods that are abundant in Prana- all cosmic energy, permeating the universe on all levels (It also includes energies present in inanimate objects ) that gives life to all sentient beings in both plant and animals. Organic fresh fruits and vegetables are usually rich in Prana. This eating type requires avoiding canned and processed food, and foods prepared with chemical fertilizers. It also means properly prepared fresh vegetables that prepared with lots of love will add to their Sattvic quality.
In Ayurveda a dietary system was developed by the ancient Masters and Sages thousands of years in working 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.”
There are three primary qualities (gunas) emerge creating the essential aspects of all nature energy, matter and consciousness.
These three gunas are tamas (darkness), rajas (activity), and sattva (beingness). All three gunas are always present in all beings and objects surrounding us but vary in their relative amounts. We humans have the unique ability to consciously alter the levels of the gunas in our bodies and minds. The gunas cannot be separated or removed in oneself, but can be consciously acted upon to encourage their increase or decrease. A guna can be increased or decreased through the interaction and influence of external objects, lifestyle practices and thoughts.
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 have increasingly lower vibrations and their energy is very dark, dense and congested. Through the centuries it has been observed that vegans have a more refined etheric body and brighter aura. A vegetarian whose etheric body is brighter and healthier will generally heal at much faster rate than those who are not vegan.
Tamas is a state of darkness, inertia, inactivity and materiality. Tamas manifests from ignorance and deludes all beings from their spiritual truths. To reduce tamas avoid tamasic foods, over sleeping, over eating, inactivity, passivity and fearful situations. Tamasic foods include heavy meats, and foods that are spoiled, chemically treated, processed or refined.
Rajas is a state of energy, action, change and movement. The nature of rajas is of attraction, longing and attachment and rajas strongly binds us to the fruits of our work. To reduce rajas avoid rajasic foods, over exercising, over work, loud music, excessive thinking and consuming excessive material goods. Rajasic foods include fried foods, spicy foods, and stimulants.
Sattva is a state of harmony, balance, joy and intelligence. Sattva is the guna that yogi/nis achive towards as it reduces rajas and tamas and thus makes liberation possible. To increase sattva reduce both rajas and tamas, eat sattvic foods and enjoy activities and environments that produce joy and positive thoughts. Sattvic foods include whole grains and legumes and fresh fruits and vegetables that grow above the ground. All of the yogic practices were developed to create sattva in the mind and body. Thus, practicing yoga and leading a yogic lifestyle strongly cultivates sattva.
The mind’s psychological qualities are highly unstable and can quickly fluxuate between the different gunas. The predominate guna of the mind acts as a lens that effects our perceptions and perspective of the world around us. Thus, if the mind is in rajas it will experience world events as chaotic, confusing and demanding and it will react to these events in a rajasic way.
All gunas create attachment and thus bind one’s self to the ego. “When one rises above the three gunas that originate in the body; one is freed from birth, old age, disease, and death; and attains enlightenment” (Bhagavad Gita 14.20). While the yogi/nis goal is to cultivate sattva, his/her ultimate goal is to transcend their misidentification of the self with the gunas and to be unattached to both the good and the bad, the positive and negative qualities of all life.