Aahaarastvapi sarvasya trividho bhavati priyah | Yagyastapastathaa daanam teshaam shrinu ||Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 17, Verse 7||
Food also, is dear to beings of different prakriti in three different kinds. Yagya (sacrifice), tapa (penance) and daan (charity) too are of these kinds. Hear them from me, says Lord Krishna.
In a previous article, we had discussed the three gunas of satva, rajas and tamas and how satva leads to higher lokas, rajas ties one to cycle of painful births on earth and tamas is the road to lower lokas and hells.
Gita categorises food, yagya, tapa and charity too into three kinds, corresponding to the three gunas of satva, rajas and tamas.
Foods that promote health, vigour, intelligence and longevity and are naturally agreeable are satvik. Those which cause sickness, grief and suffering, are dear to rajasik. Foods which are impure, stale, polluted, ill-cooked are eaten by tamasik people. What we eat goes a long way in determining what we are. If one takes the example of red meats, especially from cows that feed on plastic, garbage and hospital wastes, as well as the milk derived from them, it is high in acidic and toxic content and hence tamasik. Consuming highly acidic foods corrodes the cell and takes the body towards destruction and disease. The nature of cell is prakriti and prakriti is balance. An experiment was conducted by Alexis Carell in 1912 where chicken cells, which normally perish in 6-7 years, were preserved for over 20 years in an alkaline solution. Only when the assistant failed to change the solution one day, the cells died indicating cells can go on forever in a healthy state provided it stays in an alkaline environment and it gets a balanced diet corresponding to prakriti, such that toxic wastes are minimal. So an alkaline body can go on healthily for a lot of years keeping disease at bay. Hence one should change to an alkaline diet and gradually convert the body from acidic to alkaline, from tamasik to satvik.
Yagyas which are performed as ordained by the Vedas, without the expectation of anything in return, with the purest of ingredients – samidha (wood), ghrit (cow ghee obtained from a cow whose calf has not been weaned), samagri and mantra as given by the Guru and the correct bhaav (thought) is satvik. Such a havan or yagya results in manifestation of dev purush, is smokeless and purifies and nourishes the body and environment and fuels spiritual growth. Yagyas which are performed as mere show or for their fruit, are known to be rajasik. Yagyas which do not conform to scriptures, use polluted ingredients and incorrect uchharan and are performed devoid of Guru and faith are tamasik, says Gita. And those yagyas that are directed towards lower beings and lower dimensions like bhoot, pret and pisachs (karan pisachini is one such supposed deity) are a direct route to hell.
So the pure composition of yagyas and keeping the body alkaline, results in good health and ensures you do not die in pain but leave the body in happiness, with satisfaction in what you’ve done, at will, and going to higher dimensions. We will discuss the three kinds of tapa and daana in the next article.