Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What we eat and drink influences our conscience

He did not even think twice while unleashing atrocities on his five month old daughter. The man who hails from Bikaner bit his daughter’s lip, cheek and nose in fit of rage. The multiple injuries were too much for the innocent child to bear. After hard struggle she succumbed to her injuries. Her murderous father was under the influence of alcohol when he committed this horrendous act. This isn’t just one of the incidents. Innumerable acts of violence occur throughout the world because of the influence of alcohol and other seductive.

Our thoughts are not just the mirror image of our surroundings but it also gets influenced by what we eat and drink. This is why the Vedic literatures vividly speak on what should be consumed and what should be avoided. The contemporary world’s clarion call for “Just eat, drink and be merry” is not celebrated by the revealed Vedic literatures. These scriptures graphically classify the different varieties of food in goodness, passion and ignorance.

·         Foods which increases the duration of life, purifies one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction is in the mode of goodness. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome and pleasing to the heart. (Bhagavad – Gita 17.8)

·         Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease. (Bhagavad – Gita 17.9.)

·         Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness. (Bhagavad – Gita 17.10).

So, if we want to purify our conscience then we ought to focus on our diet. It’s true that we cannot live without food and if we start consuming the right food then our mind will get cleansed of all wrong thoughts and desires. If we take food which is in the mode of goodness then slowly we too will cultivate qualities of goodness.

However scriptures further assert that the best food is that which has been offered to Krishna. And Krishna specifies what to be offered to him - patram puspam phalam toyam. He likes grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and their derivatives. So, whatever we eat if we offer it to Krishna before consuming then it will wash off our impurities.

Food is a great benediction. If we just regulate our diet by eating what Vedic literatures recommends then our lives will witness remarkable transformation. 

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