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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sattvic Food - Food for fasting

(Don't have the source of these, essentially notes gathered from various sources, collected over time. Some saatvic recipes are also given below)

Sattva, which means Essence, corresponds to Pitta.
Rajas, which means Activity, corresponds to Vata.
Tamas, which means Inertia, corresponds to Kapha.

In the unmanifested Universe, energy has three qualities, known as Gunas, that exist together in equilibrium:
Sattva (purity); Rajas (activity, passion, the process of change); and Tamas (darkness, inertia).
Once energy takes form, one quality of the three predominates. Thus on an apple tree, some of the fruit is ripe (Sattvic), some ripening (rajasic) and some overripe (tamasic). But no matter which quality prevails, an Element of each of the other two will always be present as well. Most of an individual apple will be ripe, but part will be rotten, even if the naked eye cannot see it, and part will be in the process of changing from one state to the other. The three Gunas encompass all existence, all actions. If a man commits a robbery, the action is basically rajasic but the decision to rob and the motive may be predominantly tamasic, rajasic or Sattvic, according to the situation. In all people one of the three Gunas has superior strength and is reflected in all they do and think.
Only in enlightenment are the Gunas completely transcended.

Ancient Rishis have said you take on the karma of the animal you eat. When you eat meat you are ingesting all the stress hormones released when that animal was killed. The hormones released at death are present in the flesh when you eat it. At a cellular level, your body is getting the message that you are dying.

One goal and effect of Ayurveda and following a spiritual path is to raise our vibrational levels. Meat has a very low vibration. On a continuum of lower vibrations, fish,
chicken, lamb, beef, and finally pork have increasingly lower vibrations and their energy is very dark, dense and congested. Through the centuries it has been observed that vegetarians have a more refined etheric body and brighter aura. A vegetarian whose etheric body is brighter and healthier will generally heal at much faster rate than those who are not vegetarian.

Sattvik Food
Sattvi foods should be grown without pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, irradiation or anything unnatural. Modern use of refinement processes and chemical additives, besides actually adding substances to our foods, depletes foods of their Prana 'life-force' and hence renders them heavy, impotent and lifeless.Sattvic foods are fresh, juicy, light, unctuous, nourishing, sweet, and tasty. Because these foods give necessary energy to the body without taxing it, they are helpful in achieving a balanced body chemistry--the foundation of higher states of consciousness, in which sattva redominates. Fresh fruit juices from sweet, ripe fruits are the best sattvic foods. seasonal fruits, grains, and vegetables that are juicy, light, fresh, and sweet, as well as easily digestible, are the only diet To eat only fruits, such as oranges, apples, bananas, grapes, and mangoes that are juicy (not pulpy), is ideal wheat, cracked wheat cereal, bread made from freshly hand- or stone-ground flour (coarsely ground and with the wheat kernels),
barley, moong (mung) beans, yellow split peas, rice, leafy vegetables, squash, milk, and butter are very good. when cooked with excessive butter and spices, their sattvic nature is converted to rajas.Roasted garbanzo beans (chick peas) are sattvic, but when eaten frequently, they produce gas and thus become tamasic If garbanzo beans are sprouted and eaten raw, they are sattvic.

Almonds, as well as sunflower, cucumber, pumpkin, and honeydew melon seeds, are very nourishing. Almonds are rendered more sattvic when soaked overnight, peeled, and ground into a milky substance. In winter, a milky paste made from 7 almonds can be gently boiled with 1 cup of milk. After honey, raw cane sugar (jaggery) is the best sweetener, and, like honey, it is sattvic. cow’s milk is the most sattvic. However, four hours after milking, cow’s milk becomes rajasic. Fresh buttermilk and lassis (liquified yogurt with raw sugar) are also sattvic. Mountain salt (rock salt) is sattvic and therefore recommended above sea salt, which is rajasic. Onions and garlic are blood purifiers. Ayurveda classifies onions as tamasic, but garlic, because of its medicinal qualities, is considered rajasic.

Rajasic Food
The temperature of food should not be greater than the temperature of the body and blood. Rajasic foods are bitter, sour, salty, pungent, hot, and dry. These foods create sensuality, sexuality, greed, jealousy, avarice, anger, delusion, conceit, fantasies, egotism, and irreligious feelings. Foods fried in oil, sweets sold in shops, spicy foods, stimulating vegetables, salted bread, biscuits, sodas, homogenized milk, and all aphrodisiacs are rajasic in nature. Sattvic foods become rajasic if they are fried in oil, overcooked, or treated with pungent and sour-tasting spices. Sattvic foods cooked in ghee are not rajasic, but sattvic. In small amounts, liquor, wine, beer, coffee, and tea are rajasic
Garlic is hot and unctuous. Excessive use can create dryness. Garlic increases longevity and produces muscular strength It also increases semen and the glow of the skin and gives digestive power to the stomach. Garlic subdues excess wind (vata) and mucus (kapha) Foods cooked in butter or ghee are sattvic, but when foods are cooked in oil they become rajasic. Raw milk that has been boiled for a long time acquires a thick consistency and becomes rajasic. Red peppers, hot spices, pickles, oils, dry and fresh ginger, and salt are rajasic. Foods that are hot in temperature while eaten, hot drinks, cold foods, and cold liquids are all rajasic.

Tamasic Food
By overcooking, foods become tamasic. Leftover food is also tamasic. Food contains prana, and this pranic energy is lost in food that is overcooked, overripe, or old.
Tamasic foods consume a large amount of energy while being digested. They are dry, old, bad smelling, decaying, distasteful, and/or unpalatable.
Tamasic food increases pessimism, ignorance, lack of common sense, greed, laziness, irreligion, criminal tendencies, and doubt. Tamasic foods create a severe inferiority complex and antagonistic feelings Foods that have been processed, canned, or frozen are tamasic. Foods that are cold and stale or that have been obtained by violence are tamasic,
Incompatible food combinations--like milk and vinegar, or radishes and honey--produce tamas in the body chemistry. When hot and cold foods are taken together, they become tamasic. Meat, fish, and eggs are tamasic foods. Candies, biscuits, and bread more than eight hours old are tamasic. Cod liver oil and shark liver oil, as well as hard liquor, are tamasic. Medicines that create dullness are tamasic.

Nature’s Sattvic Foods


Apples, Kiwi, Prunes, Apricots, Loquat, Tangerines, Bananas, Lychee, Pomegranate, Cantaloupe, Mango, Papaya, Cherries, Melons, Nectarines, Cranberry, Honeydew, Oranges, Grapefruits, Watermelon, Pineapples, Grapes, Peaches, Plums, Guava, Pears, Persimmon


Artichokes, Eggplant, Lettuce, Beets, Mustard, Greens, Asparagus, Daikon, Onions, Endive, Fennel, Maitake, Parsnips, Bok Choy, Peas, Broccoli, Green Beans, Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Radishes, Cabbage, Leeks, Lima Beans, Shallots, Carrots, Celery, Spinach, Cauliflower, Chard, Chanterelles, Sprouts, Corn, Squash, Shitake, Mushrooms, Watercress, Turnips, Yams

Sprouted Whole Grains

Amaranth, Barley, Buckwheat, Bulgur, Millet, Quinoa, Rice:Basmati, Brown and Wild Rice.

Olive, Safflower, Sesame, Sunflower, Garbanzo, Lentils, Mung.


Asafoetida (hing), Coriander, Basil, Cumin, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Fennel seed, Parsley, Cardamom, Fenugreek, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger


Brazil nuts, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Walnuts

Milks & Cheese

Seed milk, Soy milk, Almond or other nut milk


Cane juice, Raw honey, Stevia, Fruit Juices, Maple Syrup

It takes time for the effects of dietary changes to manifest on the mind. Changing our diet may not impact our psychology overnight, but in a period of months can affect it significantly.

The Sattvic recipes are here

This has some pretty neat recipes on food to eat during fasting.
I believe if you eat certain types of food, since they are considered easy on the digestive system, qualifies you as still fasting.
Fasting basically helps the cleansing of the body and mind.

I would certainly recommend the SABUDANA KHICHDI - if someone needs help with any of these recipes, shoot me a note.

Recipes here are thus what you CAN eat on a fasting day.


What you need:
1-2 cups finely ground, roasted peanuts
2 green chilies
tamarind or kokum to taste
ghee (clarified butter)
3-4 cups water

For paste:
cumin seeds
fresh coconut
2 sticks of cinnamon
2 cloves
salt to taste

What you do:
Boil water, add ground peanuts and ground paste of cumin seeds, green chilies, cloves, cinnamon, salt and jaggery .Add kokum or tamarind pulp to it according to taste. After the curry is well cooked, garnish with coriander leaves and coconut.


What you need:
6 ripe, peeled rajali bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh coconut
green cardamom
ghee for frying

What you do:
Cut banana into 3-inch pieces. Cook sugar and coconut with cardamom seeds on slow fire, until sugar melts and the mixture thickens. Slit each banana piece, and fill in coconut mixture. Hold together with a toothpick. Fry in ghee over medium flame till golden brown.

Recipes, fasts, foodSABUDANA KHICHDI

What you need:
2 cups sago (sabudana)
1 cup roasted, coarsely pounded peanuts
1 tsp. cumin seeds
6 green chilies
4 tbs. ghee
1/2 lemon finely chopped
fresh coriander for garnishing
1/2 cup freshly scraped coconut

What you do:
Wash sago, drain and set aside for one hour. Heat ghee. Add cumin seeds. Then add green chilies, letting it fry briefly. Mix in sago, peanuts, salt and sugar to taste. Keep covered and cook on slow flame for 5-10 minutes. You can add small cubes of boiled or fried potatoes. Garnish with coconut and coriander leaves. Serve hot.


What you need:
1 cup grated sweet potatoes (ratali)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh coconut scraped
5 cardamoms, ground
4 cups full cream milk

What you do:
Wash, peel and grate sweet potatoes. Cook in milk till it turns soft and the mixture thickens. Then add sugar, cardamom powder and coconut and cook for a few minutes. Serve hot or cold. This kheer looks like vermicelli kheer and tastes excellent.


What you need:
1 kg sweet potatoes
250 gm sugar
ghee for frying
cardamom powder

What you do:
Wash and remove skin of sweet potatoes. Cut into round thin slices and fry in ghee. Take sugar (1/4 in equivalent volume of the slices) and make sugar syrup of one thread consistency. Add cardamom powder to it. Place fried sweet potato slices in syrup and stir lightly. Keep for some time and then remove. They will turn crisp.


What you need:
2 cups varai
1 cup roasted, coarsely pounded peanuts
salt and jaggery to taste
4 green chilies
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 cloves and 2 pieces cinnamon, powdered finely
chopped fresh coriander leaves
1/2 cup fresh coconut
2 tbs. ghee

What you do:
Heat ghee. Add cumin seeds and green chilies. Then add varai and roast for a while. Put 4 cups of hot water in the varai along with salt and jaggery.

When almost cooked, add ground peanuts and clove-cinnamon powder. Add a little ghee over it and cover and cook a little more. Garnish with coconut and coriander. Just before serving, squeeze lemon juice over it.

For variation, add small cubes of fried potatoes to the dish.

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This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K (http://www.jyotirlinga.com) on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress. Not finding the time (yep, bad excuse!), this blog suits me fine in quickly adding content... my spiritual forays and thoughts - helps log them too. My spiritual journey started with Hinduism and it's simple stories/ teachings as far back as when I was a 2nd grader, with Lord Shiva and has now found convergence with Advaitism / Duality. The Advaitism gurus like Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj; they have provided that spiritual boost of energy in many lagging moments and have tremendously influenced me ... little baby steps at a time... that will hopefully all lead upto a final crescendo. The merits of satsangh are many!

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