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Corona virus and Sattvic Living

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

“Ahara-suddhau sattva-suddhih, Sattva-suddhau dhruva-smritih, Smritilabhe sarvagranthinam vipramokshah.”

By the purity(sattva) of food, follows the purification of the inner nature, on the purity (sattva) of the inner nature the memory becomes firm and on the strengthening of memory follows the loosening of all ties, and the wise get liberation thereby. Chandogya Upanisad

It was only question of time when something like current Corona virus from China will spread. There were perfect conditions for it, lots of people gathered at one place and there were cool temperatures that all Corona viruses like. However, we find conditions like that almost all over the world. But the virus did not come from the air. Nor did it emerge from water. Or a plant of a fruit. Scientists proved it must have came either from a bat, or a pretty strange mammal called pangolin, which was meant to be served as food. Now this is all the difference it makes.

TAMAS AND SATTVA There is tamasic food and there is sattvic food. Between these two there is rajasic food. Here we want to concentrate on tamasic and sattvic food, because this is what also makes the difference between sattvic and tamasic living. In China there is still apparently a strong tradition of consuming tamasic food like snakes, batwings and other kind of similar tamasic animals. Rats are also tamasic. In fact, all meat is tamasic. So how can we distinquish between tamasic and sattvic and what does this all mean? Tamasic means dark and impure, the word coming from sanskrit Tamas. Jews have similar concept, but more on that later. Similar word in Slavic languages, coming from same source and kept for few thousands of years, is Tama, meaning darkness. While Slavic people kept the words, they lost the spiritual concept behind it. In India they kept the awareness of the qualities of energy surrounding us in the world and its practical application to everyday life. The quality of energy around us, of things, places, food, people, can be:

  • tamasic (dark, inpure, stagnating)

  • rajasic (passion, heat)

  • sattvic (light, spiritual).

We find and we can feel these energies everywhere. Places can be dominantly tamasic - dark cellars, war grounds; rajasic - bazar crowded with people on a hot day; or sattvic - church, temple, sunny hill, spring of fresh clean water. People living in spiritual or yogic way should feel this energies. But even if you are not living spiritually you can feel it. Many vegetarians are sensible enough and feel tamasic energies very strong, so they do not eat meat at all, even if they might not be aware of the tamasic concept. So if you are vegetarian, this will help you not to contract viruses spread by animals. However your neighbour next door might just eat some very tamasic meat. Here the concept of Tamas and Sattva might have had helped him - if s/he only knew about tamasic food, s/he wouldn't eat it or go to places where it is sold. Thus the risk of infection would be much less, because humans do not come in touch with impure/tamasic animals. So I stated before that all meat is considered tamasic. It means by consuming it, it drags us down. The meat has gathered all the dark, tamasic qualities when the animal is being slaughtered - in state of fear and shock. But as with everything, there are grades of tamas. Some meat is less tamasic than others. Some animals are more tamasic, because they also gather the qualities where they lives. And here we come to snakes and bats. You absolutely can't eat them. It is the pretty much as tamasic as it can get. They live in darkness and dirt, within miriad of bacteria and viruses, and this is what they spread - Tamas. In the West, some Europeans eat (fried) snails and frogs, which are heavily tamasic. However, they are not really sold on markets, but are more like a very rare exception to the diet. Those who eat it are a lucky because diseases do not spread as easily from amphibia to mammals, as they do within mammals. We got TBC when we domesticated horses - it transferred easily from mammal to mammal. In Africa, bats are also eaten. Here we go again: no awareness of Sattva or Tamas + many people at one place + eating tamasic food => Ebola If you eat fresh, thermally untreated and heavily tamasic snail, you might easily die. But if you pluck fresh apple from the tree, you will flourish. This is all the difference between Tamas and Sattva. Watch out for tamasic food. Food that is tamasic for people, can be eaten by animals. Humans thrive on sattvic food, most animals just do not care. If you eat rotten apple, you might not feel it at all. If you eat rotten meat, you might easily die. Apple is sattvic, meat is tamasic. Apple even if rotten it loses some of it sattvic qualites, but it will not really endanger you. Rotten meat becomes very tamasic and dangerous for your life. Whereas many animals may eat rotten meat, and nothing will happen to them, we humans can't. So humans tend to Sattva, animals just don't care. Thus animals remain more within the tamasic realm. So one practical application of the awareness of Tamas and Sattva is - Do not eat snakes, bats or rats, because they are tamasic. In the past, people developed this consciousness of Tamas and Sattva. They realized that Sattva will help them to survive, whereas Tamas, darkness will drag them down into darkness, disease and decay.

TCM & AYURVEDA I appreciate very much Traditional Chinese Medicine, in fact i just had two very bitter TCM capsules to easy the heat and stagnating dampness in my liver. Indian Ayurveda could help here too. In Ayurveda you will find the concept of Sattvic food, and this is how Tajana and me mostly (90%) nourish ourselves - Ayurvedic diet with regard to climate and individual constitution. But Ayurveda developed in hot environment, whereas TCM is at home in climate more similar to what we have in Europe. So while Ayurvedic medicine certainly helps, many Ayurvedic doctors in Europe, not taking into account the elements of Nature, will prescribe you things that are good in hot Indian environment and for Indian sort of diet (lots of vegetables, little animal food and fats), but not so helpful in more European climate and diet, like e.g. fresh milk. Milk is absolutely devastating for Europeans who often suffer under too much dampness in the spleen (like me), because too much of dairy products i had (instead of meat, i prefered cheese, yoghurts) combined with cooling food is not a good idea. So TCM medicine might help here with its medicine and diet faster and more efficiently than your prescribed ayurvedic stuff, because it is already adapted to our climate. But there is one important thing that i miss in TCM - the awareness of Sattva. While it might exist in Tao, you will not find it in TCM. TCM might even use food that is tamasic, like mushrooms. Again, here is the grade of Tamas important. No thing is only tamasic, or rajasic or sattvic. Everything has all three qualities, to a different extent. So processed mushrooms, as they are in TCM, might be good for some time used as medicine in small amounts, but not as food in large amounts. But there is no concept of Sattva in TCM and for that we have to look in Ayurveda and Yoga.

If you want to know more about TCM, Ayurveda and how these are complementary, which diet is for you, what food is cooling, and which is sattvic, contact Tajana who teach about sattvic diet.

Here we clearly see that the missing concept of Tamas and Sattva can lead, does lead and will lead to big problems. Because people who don't know or don't feel what is sattvic and what tamasic, might regard a bat just as (delicious!?) meal. If they knew that a bat is extremely tamasic, they would never touch it.

INDIAN TAMAS and JEWISH TUMAH India has kept the concept of Tamas and Sattva aware, which was lost elsewhere. China lost it for big part (why is that so, is a subject for future posts), and the West also lost it to some extent. One group however, that has kept this awareness, are Jews. And there is striking similarity between Jewish word Tumah and Sanskrit Tamas. Not only etymologically, but also conceptually. In Jewish law, a person who contracts Tumah - impurity - is considered tamé, just like in Sanskrit Hinduism a person who deals with Tamas beomes tamasic! There is a whole list of what kind of food and places are tamé in Jewis law, just like in Ayurveda/Yoga.

This is exciting because while Tumah/tamé being Semitic words, and Tamas being an Indo-European word, both mean the same practical spiritual concept! Because these two languages are not related, it shows that humanity has developed the concept of Tamas and Sattva long ago, which in this case must have been before division of Indo-European languages from Semitic, and this is for sure some 20k years before. Interestingly, only Jews and Hinduism kept this concept aware!

Our ancestors 20 thousands and more years ago were not simple savages, even though these alo existed in parallel, but they were highly evolved human beings who knew and felt the concept of Sattva is what makes them more human, while Tamas drags them down into the realm of decay and decline. And life is all about Light - there is enough darkness in the Universe.

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