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Tamas Guna - who/ how was it decided what is tamasic?

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  #1  
Old 15 February 2012, 05:28 PM
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Tamas Guna - who/ how was it decided what is tamasic?

Dear all,

I hope this message finds you well and at peace.

I am vegetarian in the Vedic understanding, I don't eat meat (including not eating fish) and I don't eat eggs. As far as I am able, I consume only organic milk products, following the principles of Ahimsa.

I understand that tamasic foods make the mind sluggish and indifferent. However, why is it that garlic, mushrooms, onions be considered tamasic, and not rajasic?

What is it about the properties of these foods that make them more like drugs, and meat in their effect on the body? How are they worse than rajasic foods such as chillies?

I really struggle to understand why onions, garlic and mushrooms are tamasic, whilst ginger, chillies and other spicy foods are only rajasic?

Please help me with this issue.

Many thanks

Matt
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  #2  
Old 15 February 2012, 07:52 PM
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Re: Tamas Guna - who/ how was it decided what is tamasic?

hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~

namasté


ॐ रुद्राय नमः
om rudrāya namaḥ

This point of view below is more from a spiritual perspective, yet I will also offer my unoffical āyurvedic¹ view.

Spiritual - looking for balance
This comes from the śiva mahāpurāṇa and hence those that may follow śiva as the Supreme. These followers usually wear rudrākṣa. Then the question becomes w
hat foods should a wearer of rudrākṣa avoid?

Both the rudrākṣajābala upaniṣad & the śiva mahāpurāṇa give guidance on this. This information seems to cause some clamor as onions and garlic are quite popular in India ( and all over the world).
  • garlic & red garlic
  • onion
  • śigru - a kind of horse-radish
  • liquor
  • flesh ( meat ) - 'pigs of rubbish' are called out (viḍvarāha)
  • glutinous fruits
  • potherb
So, one may ask - why not eat these items? Let me offer my conjecture. From āyurvedic point of view these items listed above increase pitta doṣa in one's constitution (dhātu).
An over abundance of these foods aggravates pitta. Pitta is tightly coupled to agni , that quality that governs not only our metabolism but agni directly influences intelligence, understanding & comprehension and perception. These items influence ones view of the world, balance, one's meditative abilities .

āyurved - a bit more informaton
Agni is found in the 7 dhātu-s within our system e.g. plasma, blood tissue, muscle tissue, bone tissue, marrow, and reproductive tissue. Also note that excessive pitta drives rago-guna ( anger and the like).

Yet onion specifically offers the influence of sexual desire. This in excess brings imblance to the system. Onion is considered guru (heavy); this is where the ~tamasic~ idea comes in.

So, one may think pitta is 'bad' - this would be an incorrect conclusion to draw. Those are my views , others may differ.

praṇām

words & references
  • āyurved is āyus + veda = the knowledge of life , vital power , vigour , health .
    • āyus = life , vital power , vigour , health , duration of life , long life ved = knowledge
  • Ayurveda by Dr.Vasant Lad ( one of the better books on ayurveda I possess)
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Last edited by yajvan : 15 February 2012 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 16 February 2012, 10:03 AM
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Re: Tamas Guna - who/ how was it decided what is tamasic?

Thankyou very much yajvan for your help.
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Old 26 February 2012, 03:18 AM
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Re: Tamas Guna - who/ how was it decided what is tamasic?

Namaste Miyazaki,

I have heard of lists of rajasic and tamasic foods include more than the ones
you mentioned but for certain the ones you mention are included. As to milk,
organic refers to how the feed that is given to the milk producing cows is grown,
it does not have anything to do with violence. In the U.S. and U.K. male calves,
if not slaughtered outright, will usually end up as veal - however it will be organic veal.

Hari Aum
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Last edited by R Gitananda : 20 July 2012 at 02:56 AM.
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Old 19 July 2012, 11:14 PM
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Re: Tamas Guna - who/ how was it decided what is tamasic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~

namasté


ॐ रुद्राय नमः
om rudrāya namaḥ

This point of view below is more from a spiritual perspective, yet I will also offer my unoffical āyurvedic¹ view.

Spiritual - looking for balance
This comes from the śiva mahāpurāṇa and hence those that may follow śiva as the Supreme. These followers usually wear rudrākṣa. Then the question becomes w
hat foods should a wearer of rudrākṣa avoid?

Both the rudrākṣajābala upaniṣad & the śiva mahāpurāṇa give guidance on this. This information seems to cause some clamor as onions and garlic are quite popular in India ( and all over the world).
  • garlic & red garlic
  • onion
  • śigru - a kind of horse-radish
  • liquor
  • flesh ( meat ) - 'pigs of rubbish' are called out (viḍvarāha)
  • glutinous fruits
  • potherb
So, one may ask - why not eat these items? Let me offer my conjecture. From āyurvedic point of view these items listed above increase pitta doṣa in one's constitution (dhātu).
An over abundance of these foods aggravates pitta. Pitta is tightly coupled to agni , that quality that governs not only our metabolism but agni directly influences intelligence, understanding & comprehension and perception. These items influence ones view of the world, balance, one's meditative abilities .

āyurved - a bit more informaton
Agni is found in the 7 dhātu-s within our system e.g. plasma, blood tissue, muscle tissue, bone tissue, marrow, and reproductive tissue. Also note that excessive pitta drives rago-guna ( anger and the like).

Yet onion specifically offers the influence of sexual desire. This in excess brings imblance to the system. Onion is considered guru (heavy); this is where the ~tamasic~ idea comes in.

So, one may think pitta is 'bad' - this would be an incorrect conclusion to draw. Those are my views , others may differ.

praṇām

words & references
  • āyurved is āyus + veda = the knowledge of life , vital power , vigour , health .
    • āyus = life , vital power , vigour , health , duration of life , long life ved = knowledge
  • Ayurveda by Dr.Vasant Lad ( one of the better books on ayurveda I possess)
Namaste Yajvan,

Pardon for necrobumping an old post, but I searched for this very thing and I noticed your emphasis on the words "over abundance.". May I take this to mean that onion in small quantities is ok? I am trying very hard to quit eating poultry as fish but it seems even many vegetables I like are restricted.

Also, the OP mentioned mushrooms but I did not see them on your list. Mushrooms are my favorite thing next to cheese, I am hoping your lack of inclusion means they are not on the tamasic list.

Last edited by Vasa : 19 July 2012 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 20 July 2012, 01:03 AM
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Re: Tamas Guna - who/ how was it decided what is tamasic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasa View Post
Namaste Yajvan,

Pardon for necrobumping an old post, but I searched for this very thing and I noticed your emphasis on the words "over abundance.". May I take this to mean that onion in small quantities is ok? I am trying very hard to quit eating poultry as fish but it seems even many vegetables I like are restricted.

Also, the OP mentioned mushrooms but I did not see them on your list. Mushrooms are my favorite thing next to cheese, I am hoping your lack of inclusion means they are not on the tamasic list.
Namaste,

In simple words,

Anything that grows underground is tamasic in nature.

Fruits grows in air. So they have more of sattivik tatva.

All foods are good. Tamasic foods also help one have a healthy body. Afterall onion, beetroot, etc are made by nature.

But, if you live a spiritual life, like a monk, then one needs to have maximum satva Guna.

Eating Sattvik Food is one way to increase satva Guna in Body. Mind is connected with body, so any changes in body also influences mind, until you are detached from your body.

Rajasic food will seed or increase rajasic qualites, like leadership, aggression (though controlled aggression is preferred - martial artists will know this), glory, etc, needed to live a successful life.

Whatever food you eat, has some gunas in max percentage.

So food selection is important, and depends upon the way you life.

Aum
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Old 20 July 2012, 01:25 AM
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Re: Tamas Guna - who/ how was it decided what is tamasic?

So if you job demands more physical activities or for labour class who do heavy physical work, they cannot live on Fruits. They need solid diet with good nutrients.

But for saints, physical work is minimum. What ever efforts are made are more of mental, like listening to discourse, reading, meditating. So the body fluids used or consumed in these processes can be maintained at a desired level by taking liquid food, fruits, milk, etc.

Regarding eating non-veg.

If the land is not fertile. No kind of seed can be sown, then for survival, you have to kill an animal or a bird and eat it. It is for survival. That's how these cultures have risen (just a personal thought).

Now people eat as a delicacy. Non-veg gives you strength, but not stamina.

Nobody wants to die. So chicken whom is slaughtered is not happy for it's own sacrifice. Now the food cooked with anyone dying with negative emotions, will it protect your body.

Food in ayurveda is called 'Aushada' i.e. medicine to cure a dis-ease called 'bhukha' (hunger).

We talk of animals being killed. Even plants are living being and they do respond to emotions.

You can try it yourself. Take 2 plants of same flowers. Give everything same, same fertilizers, mud, water and sunlight.

Ignore one plant and the another plant, just smile show some love and affection, touch it and move your hand on it like you put your hand on a little child.

You will notice that the plant that is being ignored will give 75% less flowers then other one.

So, if you cut vegetables without their permission, and do not pray to them to be allowed to be eaten and forgive any mistake, then will this food protect this body. Eventually, your mind will grow weak.

On the other hand, plants and trees are created for everyone to satisfy hunger. They are necessary for our survival. Trees have a Guna of 'Paropkara' . (I cant translate it this word into English. maybe someone else can do it.). But still you need to respect them (as per ayurveda), but alas now a days, hardly anyone follows ayurvedic principles.

Aum
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Old 20 July 2012, 01:37 AM
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Re: Tamas Guna - who/ how was it decided what is tamasic?

BG. 17.10
Half cooked, insipid, stale, tasteless, polluted, contaminated or leftovers and tama guna based like non-veg or alcohol etc are tamasic.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiaspirituality View Post

Anything that grows underground is tamasic in nature.
Nature product are not tamasik.
Tobacco and other drugs grows in air but they are rajas and used for medicine, however they become tamasik when they are made toxic. Many other vegetables like Potato grow underground but never described anywhere as tamasik.

Onions and garlic were cultivated by Sattvik nectar and Tamasik poison during DevAsur AanGrAm, so they are rajas with gunas of both nectar and poison. According to the Ayurveda, a diet that destroy the body's ability to fight disease is Tamasik.
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Old 20 July 2012, 01:58 AM
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Re: Tamas Guna - who/ how was it decided what is tamasic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PARAM View Post
BG. 17.10
Half cooked, insipid, stale, tasteless, polluted, contaminated or leftovers and tama guna based like non-veg or alcohol etc are tamasic.




Nature product are not tamasik.
Tobacco and other drugs grows in air but they are rajas and used for medicine, however they become tamasik when they are made toxic. Many other vegetables like Potato grow underground but never described anywhere as tamasik.

Onions and garlic were cultivated by Sattvik nectar and Tamasik poison during DevAsur AanGrAm, so they are rajas with gunas of both nectar and poison. According to the Ayurveda, a diet that destroy the body's ability to fight disease is Tamasik.
What about herbs?

they grow underground. but they have healing properties.

Why do Jains avoid anything that grows underground
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Old 20 July 2012, 02:34 AM
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Re: Tamas Guna - who/ how was it decided what is tamasic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiaspirituality View Post
What about herbs?

they grow underground. but they have healing properties.
I never said this will make them Tamasik, they are used for healing and not for consumption as toxic, this is actually I mean.

Quote:
Why do Jains avoid anything that grows underground
Jains avoid only non vegetarian, not vegetables. I had meals made of Carrots, Potatoes and even had peanuts with my Jain friends.
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