Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Animals and Ayurveda

I wanted to post about Ayurveda for a long time, so I decided that since the topic is so large, I'll post it in series. I always thought that Ayurveda was about alternate medicine and healing. But to my surprise, Ayurveda is a way of life. Allopathic medicine provides cure for diseases, while Ayurveda tell us how not to get those diseases in the first place. And food is categorised in three catagories, Satvic, Rajsic and Tamsic. I stumbled across this piece on the net and thought that it aptly described the 'Three gunas'.

The Elephant, The Tiger, and The Jackal

"You are what you eat." Ancient Indian texts explain Aahara, or diet, by using the example of the elephant, the tiger, and the jackal. The elephant is a vegetarian. This animal represents the sattvic mind. With Sattva, we can think clearly, and act appropriately, according to the laws of nature. The elephant is strong, gentle and intelligent. The tiger is carnivorous. He represents the rajassic mind, which is action-oriented. He kills and eats animals, which makes him fierce and aggressive. The tiger is restless, always on the prowl. The jackal represents the tamasic mind. Tamas is destructive, but this is not necessarily negative. We need to finish something, complete it, before we can move on to the next. The jackal survives by eating food left uneaten by other animals. He is fearful, cunning, and lazy. Our goal is to acquire the saatvic qualities of the elephant. One way we can do that is to favor a vegetarian diet, and eating fresh foods, beans, and almonds to to increase calmness, clarity and creativity.

*source- CoffeyTalk.com

And you can see the effect of these foods on you body and mind. So judging by the predominant activity you do, its good to eat the corresponding 'Aahara', just even the knowledge of these aspects helps us be more conscious of what we are putting into our body. And its also good to observe which of the 'Three guns' are predominant in us, and you will be surprised that its exactly the kind of food we eat, though not always, that in fact also depends on our individual 'Prakruti' and 'Dosha'. I'll save that for the next post.