Know the foods to be avoided in Sadhana

In the third part of the series of article on the topic of food we will discuss the food that should not be taken by the Sadhaks.


We have discussed the importance of food in sadhana and as the first step in the sadhana is to take proper food so that we tune our body or the annamaya kosh to become subtle and lighter. In this process it is very important that we don’t give up to the craving of food and scrupulously avoid these foods.


The food according to adhyatmik practitioner is divided into three fold classification namely:

  • Satvik
  • Rajsik
  • Tamsic

The thumb rule for the foods to be avoided is that any food which is considered rajsic and tamsic needs to be avoided. So keeping these in mind lets discuss some rajsic and tamsic food.

Lets discuss what Bhagwad Gita considers rajsic and tamsic food

Rajsik and Tamsic Food Defination in Bhagwad Geeta
Rajsik and Tamsic Food Defination in Bhagwad Geeta

The rajsic food are:

  • Excessive pungent (katu)
  • Excessive acidic (amla)
  • Excessive salty (lavan)
  • Excessive hot (ushna)
  • Excessive bitter (Tikshna)
  • Excessive Dry (Ruksha)
  • Excessive Burning (Vidahin)

The tamsic food are categorized as:

  • Leftover food especially overnight(Yatyam)
  • ¬†Without rasa (gatrasa)
  • Rotten (puti)
  • Stale (Paryushitam)
  • Left over food by others (uchist)

It is to be noted that the list is not exhaustive and Ayurveda deals with it in a holistic manner which we will discuss later on further posts.


Fried food and food with lot of spices.


Spices and fried food like samosas, pakoras, vegetables cooked with lot of spices, pulao, biryani, sweets( fried ones like gulab jamun) etc must be avoided. Usually these food are categorised under Rajsic food which causes the mind to become restless. Usually when we take such food increases the heat in the body and as result, the mind is not able to concentrate properly in meditation.


Usually when we take such food usually we notice sweating in our body and increases the imbalance in the doshas in the body.


Food cooked in the market.


Food doesn’t only builds our body but the subtle part of food goes on to make samskaras in the mind. The food that is cooked in the market is usually prepared from just commercial point of view. As a result the items used int the preparation is not pure and clean. Also the cook who make the food are also don’t have the proper bhava during the preparation of the food. Usually in market, the cooks do overtime and have booze to remove fatigue. So when we take such food though it may taste superb usually the subtle part of food that becomes the part of our mind gets affected by the chitta vrittis with which it was prepared.


This makes the food from the market or restaurant obstacle in our path of sadhana.


Avoiding Tea and Coffee.


Tea and Coffee have caffeine and hence they cause addiction. And anything which causes addiction is not considered good for sadhaks even though they may seem to be helpful in short term. Both of them alters the normal functioning of mind and leads to obstruction in natural sleep pattern and meditation.



Non-Vegetarian food and Egg


For serious sadhana it is must to give up non-vegetarian food. Non-veg food is neither good from ethical point of view and also the from spiritual point of view it is considered the most tamsic food. Moreover taking non-vegetarian diet also restricts the pranamaya kosha and drains our prana. It also increases the gross-ness of the annamaya kosha and increases our karmic debts.


Apart from this some people consider the egg to vegetarian but it is not suitable for the sadhaks.  Though presently the egg available in market is not fertilized and does not have life, but still it is considered tamsic food and hence must be avoided.


Garlic And Onion


Many people have confusion regarding onion and garlic. Many people especially the vaishanavas and jains do not take Garlic and Onion. However they dont have any reason behind this. They have just taken up the practice from their home. And usually the youngster when they go out of their home, they usually take these food and even non-vegetarian food. In fact such food habits were promoted by the ancient gurus to help their followers to advance in spirituality. However with passage of time, the original reasons were lost and the lifestyle of people too have changed and progressing in adhyatma is no longer the primary goal of the people.


The real reason is that though Garlic and Onion are vegetarian but they are considered tamsic food. Hence the main factor behind this categorization is not vegetarian or non-vegetarian but tamsic nature.


Usually avoiding these foods, often it is seen that the sadhak is able to control ones libido or kaam vasana.


However it must be kept in mind that according to Ayurveda, onion and garlic is very good for health. Such food can be recommended to non-practioners and there is absolutely no reason for the non-practitioner to give up these food.


Wine, smoking and tobacco


Wine, smoking and tobacco are strict no for sadhana. Most of these products are addicting and mostly used by people to forget or ignore their negative emotional blocks. However by ignoring these emotional blocks doesn’t pacify them. They remain lurking in the deep sub-consciousness which will resurface again and again. This will push the individual to take these substance again and again. Thereby the mind start craving for these substances and creates the addiction.


Apart from these, its harmful impact on body like liver and lungs are known to world.


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