Wild Sattva

Recently, on my facebook wall, I was discussing the merits of a vegetarian diet.  Ayurveda was mentioned and it was suggested that this was a vegetarian approach.  My response is:

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It is important to demarcate between Ayurveda and a Sattvic diet/lifestyle.
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An Ayurvedic diet acknowledges that there is no one dietary choice for everyone, which is why it has three basic body types and several combinations of body types.  It does include meat for every dosha (body type).  Whereas the Sattvic approach to diet (aka: Yoga diet, sentient diet) emphasizes pure foods rich in Prana, coupled with a lifestyle that promotes spiritual awakening.
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Sattva means ‘pure, existence, reality’.  Aside from eating ‘pure’ food, or that which is “as close to {the} s/Source as possible”, there are other observations.  Such as:
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-Have a purely vegetarian, healthy and (where possible) organic diet.  A Sattvic diet includes both vegan and lacto-vegetarian.  A Sattvic diet is one that avoids meat, fish and eggs, and where dairy is taken.  Milk, yogurt and cheese are acceptable from either a cow or goat that is raised in good surroundings, is healthy, has been raised from birth at its current location, has been fed well, it treated well when ill, and is never over milked.
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-Eat locally.  The closer to home and the fewest number of hands handling food is best.
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-Avoid overcooked and undercooked food, unripe and over ripe food, putrefied, stale and burnt food.
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-Sit while eating.  Eat in silence and face east (regardless of the time of day).
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-Likewise, eat alone or with mindful friends.
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-Be mindful while eating.  Refrain from reading, music, or eating in front of the television.
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-Pray / give thanks before eating.  Acknowledge Mother Nature in the food harvested and eaten.  Beyond religion / spirituality, this is an act of reciprocity.
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-Avoid restaurants or only eat at known restaurants.  In such establishments, food is a commodity so not always fresh.  Food that one may throw away in their own kitchen, may be cooked and served in a restaurant.
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-Likewise, if someone else cooks for you, let it be someone who loves you, for this is transferred through food.  (Hence the reason to not eat meat, for that animal was filled with fear and suffering.)
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-Before eating, chew ginger to awaken the taste buds, start the digestive fire and purify the mouth and tongue.  After eating, drink lemon in water to aid digestion and cleanse the intestinal tract.  Where possible, it is best to not drink while eating.
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-After eating, give thanks, clean your mouth and tongue, urinate/eliminate and take a walk.  If one has eaten heated food, wash the eyes with water to prevent them from drying out or becoming weakened from the drying/cooking process.
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-Live in accord with the philosophy and disciplines of Yoga on a daily basis.  Meaning, adherence to the Yamas and  Niyamas (for example), and the psycho-physical asanas (‘exercises’) of Yoga (especially those suited for your dosha / body type).
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-Understand the affect of external influences on one’s consciousness.  So that one is best to avoid tamasic (sexual, malicious, insensitive, critical) and rajasic (violent, dark) movies, books, music and the like.  The Sattvic lifestyle is one where the individual focuses their life on holy wo/men, works for the welfare of others (including animals), reads spiritual literature, listens to uplifting music and watches inspired films.  Sattvic living includes brahmacharya (divine-like virtue), moderation, time spent in prayer and worship, and daily meditation.
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-And association with those who are on or are learning about the Sattvic lifestyle.
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In all, Sattva is the singular quality sought by all spiritual practitioners.
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AUM Tat Sat!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mike
    May 20, 2010 @ 02:51:48

    I’ve always wondered about the difference between the two. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    • Raw Yogini
      May 27, 2010 @ 12:17:09

      Many do Mike. Unfortunately, some will push the Sattvic diet as the only acceptable one in Yoga, and so use that position to attack others for eating meat. Im not a meat eater, but I do not agree with putting others in a position to defend themselves. Then of course, there is the obvious: demanding acceptance of others is not Sattvic behavior.

      Reply

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