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Is there Any if at all relation between Spirituality & food? If yes, what is good and what is bad? I want to know if there is some proper text/scripture suggesting best food for spiritual growth?

Please forgive if question seems naive, I tried to search but articles/suggestions I got are more confusing & are mostly personal opinions from experienced people. There is some description of food based on nature(satvik, tamasic and rajasic food) but I was not able to find correct source to refer based on different people occupation.

Any help with reference text from scriptures is welcome.

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    No, you should drink milk. – Ikshvaku Dec 3 '19 at 13:01
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    Possible duplicate of What are Tamasic, Rajasic and Sattvic foods? because your question what foods should be taken is answered there with examples and occupation too. Please read all the answers. – Sarvabhouma Dec 3 '19 at 15:44
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    @Ikshvaku, ideally - Yes. practially - No. The 'cow milk' you get in stores today is far from satvik. the calves are not fed the cow's milk, the cow is kept pregnant with injections, it's caged and fed unnatural foods and medicines, the cow is killed after it's old.. none of it is satvik. we're only fooling ourselves if we say 'milk is satvik'. that blanket statement only works for milk obtained from go-shalas. – ram Dec 4 '19 at 9:08
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    Assume we start with Everything - no restrictions - you can eat meat, snake, frog, even human :). Then slowly start avoiding one by one to increase spirituality. First avoid eating humans, then avoid eating animals, then avoid plants, then avoid water, then avoid air. Yes, there are yogis who don't even breathe air. But we're not there yet. So let's restrict to the animals-plants level. First, avoid all animal flesh. Then avoid some animal products (e.g. milk from goshala is ok, milk from store is not). Then avoid some plant products (e.g. avoid onion, garlic, drumstick). – ram Dec 4 '19 at 10:05
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    @ram " there are yogis who don't even breathe air". This isn't possible even for deva's. How did you came to this conclusion? – Wikash_ Dec 5 '19 at 5:32
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Well , there are many aspects that is said to help spiritual growth.

Satvik food is one that does not provoke agitation in us , eg: Eating very spicy food or bitter or drinks ... so on .

There is a saying , As is the food so is the thought, while eating rajasik or tamasik may not stop you from spiritual growth ,it can delay it .

Along with food , time is also very important , time is also divided into satvik , rajasik , tamasik .Waking up early and getting a bath in satvik time is said to be good , also all your daily rituals has to be completed by then . There is no clearcut defn of satvik time as few scriptures mention it to be 4-8 in morning and few mention it 2-6 in morning .

Again , i think everything depends on each person , as Arjuna or Dharmaraya or so on , consumed rajasik food (Meat is considered so) , yet i will never be able to achieve spiritual discipline enjoyed by those 2 , even though i am pure vegetarian .

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Sri Krishna says in B.G. 6.17

yuktahara-viharasya yukta-cestasya karmasu yukta-svapnavabodhasya yogo bhavati duhkha-ha

He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping, working and recreation can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.


Sri Krishna was saying yuktahara - maintaining moderation in eating.

We have to remember that Sri Krishna himself belongs to warrior class and meat eating was not prohibited to kshatriyas. Further, we should also remember that Sri Krishna himself was the greatest Yogi of his times.

What Sri Krishna was saying is only moderation in all activities, ie., the actions that should be done for maintenance.

Food taken without having an inclination towards the taste will be sAtivic, irrespective of the fact that the food consumed is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. However, moderation is required.

Perception matters.

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You should drink milk that is only "COW" milk.Because it is considered under sattvik food. According to "Bhagawad Gita (17.8/9)"- 'Foods dear to those in the mode of goodness(sattvik guna) increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart'. 'Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion(Rajsik guna). Such foods cause distress, misery and disease'.

A practitioner of spirituality must be non violent. By practicing he gradually comes on the platform of humbleness. So non-Violence will come by not killing & avoiding meat.

  • Definitely useful answer. If you can add some examples what food(whether veg or not) is good for spiritual growth, meditation with sources that will be great – Pranav Singh Dec 3 '19 at 15:31
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    Buffalo (water buffalo) milk is prohibited? – user16581 Dec 3 '19 at 18:18
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    Buffalo milk should be avoided,Because it is not good for health for infants & old people.Because it has more amount of fat , that makes it difficult to digest & also it does not help much to improve intelligence of a person than cow milk. – Dave_Anurag Dec 4 '19 at 8:28
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    ideally - Yes. practially - No. The 'cow milk' you get in stores today is far from satvik. the calves are not fed the cow's milk, the cow is kept pregnant with injections, it's caged and fed unnatural foods and medicines, the cow is killed after it's old.. none of it is satvik. we're only fooling ourselves if we say 'milk is satvik'. that blanket statement only works for milk obtained from go-shalas. – ram Dec 4 '19 at 9:08

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