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Food For Thought - Vegetarian Philosophy

One of the worries people have when they think about adopting a vegetarian diet is, “Will I get enough nutrition if I don’t eat meat? Will I get enough protein?” They have nothing to worry about: a vegetarian diet can provide all necessary body nutrients. In fact, many studies have shown that a vegetarian diet provides much more nutritional energy than a meat diet.

Health Drink

Food and the Forces of the Universe

Thousands of years ago, yoga sages realized the tremendous importance of the food we eat on the state of our bodies and minds. Through their deep, introspective investigations into the nature of the universe, those ancient yogis realized what modern scientists since Einstein are just beginning to discover: that the entire manifested universe is composed of vibrations - vibrations of energy and, ultimately, vibrations of consciousness. In this universe of multifarious waves, what we call matter (solids, liquids and gases), sound, light, and thought, are all simply waves vibrating at different frequencies, from gross to "subtle." All foods are also permeated with their own subtle vibrations, at different frequencies, and these vibrations in turn affect the body and mind of the person eating them. After long experimentation with different foods on their own bodies and minds (for the yogis were practical, empirical scientists, not merely theoreticians), those ancient seers characterized foods into three categories, corresponding to the three forces which are operating simultaneously everywhere in the universe, in all entities. When any one of these vibrational flows, or energy forces, predominates in any object or creature, it takes on the qualities of that force.

 

Vegetarian Dish

1. The Sentient Force and Sentient Foods

The first of these universal forces is the sentient force of self-awareness, love, peace, purity and joy. When the sentient force is predominant in our minds, we feel peaceful, relaxed and calm, and our minds flow easily to higher levels of consciousness. "Sentient foods" are those in which the sentient force is dominant, which make our minds clear and calm. These foods are the basis of the yogic diet, for they are the most conducive to physical health and mental peace; they are the best diet for those who seek to elevate their minds to higher states of consciousness and attain self-realization. This group of foods includes fruits, most vegetables, beans and nuts, grains, milk and milk products, and moderate amounts of most herbs and spices. The sentient diet (sometimes called "lacto-vegetarian" because it includes milk and milk products) provides a wide variety of nutrients supplying proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and all the essential vitamins and minerals.

2. The Mutative Force and Mutative Foods
The second of these universal flows is the mutative force, the force of restless movement, activity or change. When this force is predominant in our minds, we become agitated, nervous and restless, unable to calm down and relax. Mutative foods are those which stimulate the body and mind, and should be taken only in moderation in order to maintain our mental balance. Indeed, eating too much of these stimulating foods, disturbs the mind makes it impossible to still the mind for subtle mental pursuits such as meditation. Included in this category are caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea, carbonated drinks, chocolate, hot spices such as red peppers, fermented foods, and some medicinal drugs.
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3. The Static Force and Static Foods

The third force is the static force, the force of dullness, inertia, decay and death. Death occurs when the other two forces in any living entity have completely waned and the static force alone predominates. When this force is operating in our minds, we feel sleepy, dull and listless, lacking energy and initiative. The static foods include meats, fish, onion, garlic, eggs, mushrooms, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and food that is fermented, stale or spoiled. These foods should be avoided by those who seek to attain health of body and elevation of mind.

However, in certain situations, according to the climate or activity of an individual, they may be eaten – for instance, in extremely cold climates with heavy snowfall, where meat or small quantities of alcoholic beverages may be necessary to maintain body heat.

What Yogis Take

Knowing these three main characteristics of foods, yogis choose a diet that comprises mainly sentient food and may include a little mutative food. Static food is not taken due to their adverse effects on the body and mind. By taking largely sentient food, the body becomes healthier, the mind becomes purer, and the person as a whole becomes more alert and calm.

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