Sattva is the prime quality of mind. Foods that increase Sattva are called Satvic foods. Rajas and Tamas are the two Doshas of mind, as per Ayurveda. These two need to be kept in good balance, for a healthy mind and healthy body.
What is Sattva?
Satva is the prime quality of mind.
It is associated with truth, knowledge, purity, sanctity, harmony, courage, compassion, forgiveness, dedication and concentration.
It leads the person in the right path.
Rajas A Dosha of mind.
Drives the person to take action, to work, to make money.
Anger, hatred, jealous, lust, and aggression are its by-product.
Dosha of Mind
Journey to attain Moksha
Through many births, the soul passes from Tamas to Rajas and then from Rajas to Sattva – purity.
Factors that influence Sattva, Rajas and Tamas:
Mental factors –
Things that we hear, think, see, touch, prioritize – all these have impact over which among the three increase.
Things that we do, talk, read, people with whom we engage – all these have an impact.
How we eat contributes to the variation in these three mental factors.
For example, if we are indulged in a whatsapp debate imposing our personal ego-centered opinions on others, then there are good chances of increase of Rajas (anger, hatred) and Tamas (ignorance, darkness)
From whom we eat?
This is interesting!
Suppose we are eating at a hotel and the chef / servers / manager at the hotel is indulging in anger, hatred etc qualities, those qualities are imparted upon the food that we eat. Those mental qualities will get injected into our minds when we eat that food.
Modern science is yet to wake up to this fact.
For this reason, epitome of Spirituality, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to cook his own simple food and eat. His mind was so concentrated on Goddess Kali Maa, that, he used to feel pin throbbing pain with a simple touch of money (Rajas material).
What we eat also contributes to the increase or decrease of these three mental factors.
I tried to compile a list of food etc and then finally bowed down to God Sri Krishna for the best possible way to explain foods that increase Sattva, Rajas or Tamas.
He has explained it in great detail and simplicity as follows:
Sattvik Foods: Foods that increase Sattva
Ayu Vivardhana – All foods that improve life expectancy, improve quality of life. (Eg: Amla)
Sattva Vivardhana – All foods that improve quality of mind, brain.
Foods that improve memory, concentration and such other brain powers. (Eg: ghee, Brahmi, Gotu Kola etc)
Bala Vivardhana – Foods that improve Bala – strength and immunity of the body.
Arogya Vivardhana – Foods that improve / restore health. This way, all medicines and treatments can be considered as Sattvic.
Sukha Vivardhana – Foods, after eating which, we feel comfortable and happy (sweets)
Preeti Vivardhana – Foods that increase love 🙂
Rasya – juicy, well prepared foods
Snigdha – oily and unctuous foods – Oils and fats (albeit in limited required quantities)
Sthira – Stable. Foods that can make us to sit at one place, stable foods, Guru foods – that take a bit longer time to undergo digestion
Hrudya – foods that are congenial to heart. (olive oil, anti oxidants, Vitamins etc)
Rajasik Foods: That Increase Rajas quality in the mind:
Katu – Pungent and spicy foods
Amla – sour foods
Lavana – salty foods
As per ayurveda, these three tastes increase Pitta Dosha. Increase in Pitta dosha leads to Rajas mental qualities such as anger, hatred, short tempered-ness, jealousy etc.
Ati Ushna – excessively hot and spicy – increases Pitta and Rajas
Teekshna – Strong and spicy foods
Rooksha – dry foods, that causes dryness in the mouth, in the gut system. Most of the junk foods, soda etc cause dryness in our systems.
Vidahi – foods that cause burning sensation in mouth, stomach, head and heart region.
Dukha Shoka Amaya Prada – whatever the foods that lead to misery, grief and disease.
Tamasik foods: That Increase Tamas:
Foods that are prepared 1 Yama before – three hours before – As per Ayurveda, the cooked foods should be served freshly made and in light hot condition.
Gatarasa – Foods that have lost their original natural taste (due to time, because of over cooking, half baking, with improper ingredients, under cooking etc)
Pooti – foods that have bad odour
Paryushita – decomposed food
Ucchishta – Remnants of food eaten by others
Amedhya – foods that decrease brain qualities, intelligence, memory, concentration, mental peace etc.
Seeking forgiveness from God Sri Krishna for any wrong translations and interpretations.