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Re: Rajasic Food

From: Greg Jay (
Date: Mon Jul 27 1998 - 22:07:04 PDT

This topic seems to have come up on both the Madhva and Ramanuja lists at
the same time. I hope no one will mind if I post to both.

Someone on the Sri Vaisnava list said:
>3. similarly some vegetables also yield to rajasic character.

Are not Chilies included in this list of rajasic vegetables? It seems that
many people feel that they can go on eating Chilies by the kilo, but a
small drumstick (insert brinjal tomato or cauliflower or whatever instead
of drumstick here if you like) may cause them a great change in
consiousness. I personally feel that we have to look objectively at the
effects of certain vegetables rather than dogmatically rejecting all
"Videshi" things as bad. Many things were not mentioned in shastras because
they were introduced from foreign contries later. Does that automatically
mean that they are bad? I don't think so. Chilies were introduced as were
many other things that are now accepted (even to the point of
over-indulgence) by most Indians (including Vaisnavas).

As for the argument that we don't take non-veg foods because they are
tamasic and not because of the issue of non-violence. Non-violence and
kindness to all living beings is also a principle of Hinduism (Vaisnavism)
too, Sarva Bhuta Hite Ratah BG 12.4. However I think for Srivaisnavas
(Prapannas) and/or Madhvas the important thing behind following these yamas
and niyamas has to ultimately be, do they please or displease the Supreme
Lord. Whether or not we attain knowledge or not by eating sattvik food, it
is sattvik food that the Supreme Lord wants us to offer to Him and for us
to honor and take as His prasadam.

Keshava das