Many religious currents extend their influence on the dietary rules of their followers: Jews have the kosher code, Muslims have halal food and so on.
In India it is a little more complex as the different Hindu and Yogic currents have established different dietary rules. One of the cornerstones of Hindu culture is undoubtedly the Bhagavad Gita, the song of the blessed, a sacred text written by the sage Vyasa that tells the dialogue that Arjuna and Krishna have in the middle of the battlefield between the two enemy factions.
Besides being a highly poetic text and a treasure trove of both philosophy and spirituality, the Bhagavad Gita bases its foundations on a concept borrowed from samkhya, an ancient school of systematic philosophy, namely the concept of the guna, or the three attributes of nature : tamas or inertia, raja or passion, sattva or balance.
The three gunas
These attributes or modes of nature permeate all of creation in a dynamic way: the excess of inertia given by the unconsciousness of the initial phases of creation requires an excess of passion and action to produce changes, which in turn require and tend to balance. These patterns also reproduce themselves in the body and character of human beings, whose purpose is therefore to find an evolutionary balance .
The guna that represents the luminous balance is the white one, the sattva and the sattvic man is the one who emancipates himself from the apathy of unconsciousness and from the excesses of passion . Even through food.
Read also the gunas and the feeding >>
The sattvic diet is based on a rather simple principle : it is possible to eat only (or mainly) foods considered sattvic from samkhya, yoga and the Ayurvedic system of medicine:
> Tamasic foods are those that damage the body, degenerative ones;
> rajasic foods are neutral or with both positive and negative characteristics;
> sattvic foods bring only benefits.
All seeds and nuts are sattvic, and consequently all the oils that should ideally be consumed raw. All the fruit is sattvic and represents one of the pillars of the saccid diet : the fruits represent a nutritive concentrate that the plants create in their ascent to the top.
Milk-based products are sattvic if they come from healthy animals that have lived a healthy life in the open air and if they have not undergone treatments such as pasteurization or homogenization.
Most vegetables are sattvic, with the exception of pungent and exciting foods (rajasic) such as chilli, onion and garlic, foods that create fermentation and therefore gas (considered a tamasic process), such as mushrooms; and the tubers, considered tamasic because they are closely related to the inertia of the earth.
All legumes are to be considered sattvic as long as they are prepared so that their saponins have negative effects on digestion as, as mentioned, fermentation brings tamas. Most spices are considered rajasic or tamasic with the exception of basil, curcuma, ginger, cardamom, fenugreek, coriander, anise, cumin.
Almost all wild herbs are sattvic, while natural sweeteners such as unrefined sugar and honey are sometimes accepted, sometimes excluded.
Foods and gunas
All fresh vegetables and organic vegetables are sattvic, food prepared with awareness, in a clean kitchen .
All stimulating foods are to be considered rajasic, those that are addictive like c affe, tea, chocolate, refined sugars, eggs, spices, spicy foods, foods that increase aggression and waste energy .
All sedative foods are considered tamasic, pre-cooked foods or foods left to cool, preserved foods, or foods near maturity, blue cheeses, meat, alcohol and drugs. Eating in excess (even when it comes to sattvic foods) can be either rajasic or tamasic, the products of animal origin from intensive farming and therefore traits without true attention to animal health are tamasic.