IS SATTVIC DIET VEGAN?

Eat, Salad, Cucumbers, Food, Leaves
Photo credit : Pixabay

Very often we refer to the great qualities of a ‘Sattvic’ diet. Some proponents even go to the extent of calling diets other than pure sattvic as that fit for ‘demons’.

Let us decode Sattvic diet as mentioned in the Indian system of Ayurveda and see whether some of us are indeed ‘demons’.

On a simplistic note the Indian system of Ayurveda describes three basic ‘gunas’.

Guna is a property that just is, it is neither good nor bad.

Sattva Guna, represented by the colour white is the pure expansive intelligence in our mind.

Rajas Guna, represented by myriad colours is the aspect of action while

Tamas Guna represented by the colour black is rest; sometimes lethargy.

Each of these is neither good or bad. Since Tamas is represented by the colour black, there is a popular misconception that it is bad and tamsic foods including lots of grains, heavily cooked meats, spices etc are ‘demonic’.

Can the human being live without rest? or without pursuit through action?

All the three combine to form wholesome perfection.

Sattvic food is lightly cooked food without the heavy use of spices, onions, garlic, and other vegetables that grow underground in the Earth. Such food signifies the element known as Vata or Space or Air. This food creates lightness in the body.

Examples are milk and yogurt, lightly spiced soups and curries, steamed or sautΓ©ed vegetables, a predominance of fruit, smaller portions of grains as porridge, simple mung bean khichdi, water-based plants like lotus stems and chestnuts, and small fish like sardines, mackerel, and pomfret. This is typical sattva in south India.

A Sattvic Jain from Western India, may not eat any kind of root vegetables, meat is strictly forbidden. A Sattvic Brahman from Bengal in the East may eat an occasional Rohu fish. A Kashmiri Sattvic from the North may eat a bit of meat with their rice and veggies to stay warm during freezing winters.

The entire idea of sattva is to eat foods which create lightness inside. These are good for healing, for older people and for those whose professions do not call for heavy physical work.

Imagine giving such a food to an olympic athlete?

A worker at the docks won’t survive with such meals. He would need Tamas diet.

Next time we’ll discuss more about the three Gunas and who should have which type of diet.

Meanwhile, enjoy your meals with gratitude. As we don’t judge ourselves and others, so shouldn’t we place foods in white or black baskets. (Of course, we don’t refer to ‘refined’ or ‘preservative’ filled stuff as foods).

Happy eating.

30 thoughts on “IS SATTVIC DIET VEGAN?

  1. I thought, and have been taught that in Ayurveda medicine that people were advised to eat food to bring balance. I tend to have too much Vata, so at times, heavier foods are helpful for me, just as people with too much Kapha or Pitta would need perhaps more Vata stimulating foods, etc.

    What you write about is very interesting.

    Liked by 5 people

    • You’re absolutely right. If there is imbalance, Ayurveda teaches to set it right. That is why, the three doshas. However, as you would know your body type, vocation, place etc are important determinants.
      I am always so impressed with your knowledge and commitment. A pleasure to be connected.
      Thank you so much😊

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Such an interesting article packed with knowledge! I always learn a lot from you…I’ve been vegan for 13 years, sugar free for 1 year and am super into nutrition. I’d never heard of these diets though, thank you for sharing! Keep up the great work, my friend πŸ–€πŸ€—

    Liked by 5 people

  3. β™‘The entire idea of sattva is to eat foods which create lightness inside.β™‘
    And from time to time an athlete would need the diet.
    Wonderful message.
    Colour is so vital for our diet, and nature provided.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I agree with your closing statement – enjoy our food with gratitude …yes, that should be our first consideration taking notes on what type of foods our body…some people would go crazy over certain diets because it is popular, i think rather than inversting on fad diets,we better assess what’s types of foods are best for us..

    Liked by 5 people

  5. What we eat greatly influences how we feel and our physical and mental health. It was very interesting to read about the different types of foods and the necessary diets that are required according to a person’s work and surrounding climate. Makes a lot of sense. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Very interesting, Parneet. It makes lots of sense that our diet should be appropriate for our occupation or profession. My vegetarian diet works well for me as a sedentary writer, requiring lots of brain power. My diet is far from being a sattva diet. Due to my doctor’s recommendation to avoid adding salt to my meals, I create flavor with a wide selection of spices, onions, and garlic.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. JM+JT

    My dearest friend!

    Ave Maria et Laudetur Christus Jesus!

    I just wanted to write and tell you that I still need to reply to your lovely email; I at least wanted to let you know that I received it and you will definitely be hearing from me in a few days 😁

    Have a wonderful Sunday, to you and your wife!

    ~Mary’s Secretary~

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Today I was reading a book zen which says to be purely vegetarian but I have seen several times that you can be non veg also and finally today I realised that the whole point is to feel lighter which is very true indeed πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ™

    Liked by 4 people

    • Zen has a different philosophy. For a particular purpose.
      However for self realisation, veganism or vegetarianism is not essential.
      Our scriptures clearly say that hunting for food is permissible.
      I respect people’s choices of foods and of the path they follow.
      However, for understanding and awakening the divinity inside, these aren’t essential.
      The Divine is here and now. That’s the point😊😊😊
      Thank you so much for writing this

      Liked by 1 person

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