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RE: vegetarian and srivaishnava

From: Sriram Ranganathan (
Date: Tue Jan 09 2001 - 22:53:32 PST

Dear Sri Raghu,

Here is my understanding.

In Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna deals with the three gunAs (characteristics)
of prakriti (mind and matter) - sattva, rajas, and tamas - while answering
Arjuna's query about the state of those who go against the scriptures. He
touches on the topic of food as well.

The sattva guna basically reflects a balanced nature and all things good -
humane, non-injury, altruistic, intelligent, God loving - and promotes
knowledge and happiness.  rajas reflects a relatively more harsh nature
involving greed, unrest, longing, hyperactivity and promotes attachment to
sensual pleasures and sorrow. The tamas reflects evil, inactivity,
negligence and causes ignorance and delusion.

These three gunAs are present in every person and the prevalence of one over
the other determines our nature (at any given time). All these gunAs are
nourished by the food we consume.

Food that is balanced, mild, and healthy promotes the sattvic nature. Food
that is bitter, too- spicy, and not agreeable promotes rajasic nature. Food
that is stale, impure and prepared from living / dead creatures promotes the
tamasic gunA.

What we consume is important, should promote righteousness and has to be

aNEna prAna:| prAnayr balam | balEna tapas | tapasA sraddhA | sraddhayA
mEdhA | mEdhayA manIsA:| manIshayA manO | manasA shAnthi: | shAnthayA
siddhan | siddhEna smRti | smRityA smAram | smArEna vignyAnam |
vignyAnEnAthmAnam vEdayathi | tasmA-taNan tatan | sarvAnyE thAni tathAthi ||
[Sri nArayana Upanishad]

Food->Life; Life->Strength; Strength-> Religious Austerity;
R.Austerity->Intellect; Intellect->Wisdom; Wisdom->Mind; Mind->Peace;
Peace->Fulfillment; Fulfillment->Success; Success->Recollection;
Recollection->Knowledge; Knowledge->Self Realization (Atman)

(My translation could be erroneous due to lack of Sanskrit knowledge. I
request the members to correct).

Food we consume influences our behavior in every way. Modern Science concurs
with this thought. Aside from not hurting other creatures, being a
vegetarian is the most natural and sensible way to live. Recent incidences
underscore this truth, quite convincingly.

There are several more references (direct and indirect) in the vEdic
scriptures. Other members may be able to explain more.


-----Original Message-----
From: srimushnam raghu []
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2001 11:25 AM
Subject: Re: vegetarian and srivaishnava

Dear All,
I have a doubt regarding the eating habits of the
I am a pure vegetarian being a Srivaishnava.
I am in Germany for quite some time. I have been asked
by many people why do you not eat meat.
Though I told them some reasons, I would like to know
in detail where (which Upanishad or which VEda) has
this reference and in what context it is mentioned.

Please educate me in this regard.
Thank you

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
To Post a message, send it to:
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Manage your subscription at