Facts about Food
- Why is it forbidden to eat onions and garlic during navratri ?
- What is satvik, rajasik and tamasik bhojan ?
Before answering why onions and garlic are prohibited during navratri it is important to understand the three thypes of bhojan in Ayurveda. Those who do not have the patience to read the entire article can directly read the last two paragraphs to know why onions and garlic are prohibited during navratri.
According to Ayurveda, Nature consists of 3 primal qualities, which are the main powers of cosmic intelligence that determine our spiritual growth.These are called “Gunas” in Sanskrit and are of three types:
All objects in the universe consist of various combinations of the three gunas. People are more or less dominated by one of the three gunas and an important way to regulate these gunas in body and mind is through eating right food.
- Sattva – It is the quality of purity, intelligence, stablility, balance, peace, spirituality, ethics and love for truth.
- Rajas – It is the quality of change, activity and turbulence and therefore causes distress and conflict. People have fluctuating ethics, worldly inclination and are egoistic, proud, aggressive, competitive. They like power, prestige and position. They have fear of failures and are angry and jealous.
- Tamas – It is the quality of dullness and darkness. People are dull, impure, inactive and have poor hygiene, unethical behaviour and unkind nature.
The purpose of life is to move from lower to the higher, from Tamas to Sattva and finally to a state of oneness with consciousness. There is a belief in Ayurveda that “We are what we eat”. Therefore a good Satvik diet is of prime importance. The food that we eat not only nourishes our body but it affects the mind and conscious. It is always advised to take Satvik food as it leads to the development of higher consciousness. Lets have a look at Satvik, Rajasik and Tamasik diet.
- Satvik diet
- Includes fresh fruits like pomegranate, apples, bananas, oranges and grapes.
- Grains like rice and wheat.
- Dairy products like, milk, ghee and curd.
- Fresh green vegetables like spinach, green beans, green peas etc.
This is the purest diet for a healthy and spiritual life. It nourishes body and keep our mind calm and quiet.
2. Rajasik diet
- It includes vegetables like onions, garlic and spicy, salty and sour food.
- Drinks like tea, coffee and alcohol.
- Meat, fish, eggs, chocolates etc.
- Eating in hurry is also considered Rajsik.
- Include meat, poultry, eggs, fish, alcohol, tabacco, onions, garlic, fermented foods such as vineger.
- Foods that are overprocessed and over cooked and no longer fresh and are difficult to digest.
- Overeating is also considered as Tamsik.
- Tamasic is the unhealthiest food of all.
Onions and garlic fall into the category of tamasik food and are therefore forbidden. Disciples of the Lord must avoid any food or drink that are considered Rajasik or Tamasik because these causes obstacles in worship of God.
The kind of food we eat effect our mind so Rajasik and Tamasik bhojan increases jealousy, greed, anger and restlessness. In such state of mind one cannot worship God. Therefore, disciple of God must abstain from such food and should try to establish a state of “Satva”.