आहारा राजसस्येष्टा दु:खशोकामयप्रदा: || 9||
āhārā rājasasyeṣhṭā duḥkha-śhokāmaya-pradāḥ
kaṭu—bitter; amla—sour; lavaṇa—salty; ati-uṣhṇa—very hot; tīkṣhṇa—pungent; rūkṣha—dry; vidāhinaḥ—full of chillies; āhārāḥ—food; rājasasya—to persons in the mode of passion; iṣhṭāḥ—dear; duḥkha—pain; śhoka—grief; āmaya—disease; pradāḥ—produce
Food that is excessively bitter, sour, salty, hot, acrid, dry, and burning is liked by people endowed with rajas. It causes pain, grief, and disease.
Such is the food relished by the Rajasic people, the effect of such food is immediately felt by pain in the body and consequent mental discomfort. The word ‘ati’ is applied to all the adjectives used, by some commentators. Sour, bitter, and burning food-stuffs should be abandoned, if spiritual progress is to be kept up by the Sadhaka.
In the eighteenth Discourse 38th verse, the Lord explains that Rajasic happiness appears to be pleasing in the beginning but turns out to be extremely painful in the end. Similarly hot and sour food may be relishing to some palates, but they produce grievous discomfort, pain and disease, in the end. This is experienced by many in everyday life. Besides, Rajasic food disturbs Dhyana Sadhana. The mind becomes distracted and agitated and so it cannot remain steady in contemplation. Among the animals, lions, tigers, and wolves are restless and foul, whereas cows, goats and others of their kind are calm and non-injurious.
amayapradah: Rajasic food produces disease. What can man achieve with a disease-sticken body? He has neither worldly nor spiritual welfare. So the seekers should abandon all such varieties of food and strive in every way to keep the body light, pure and strong. The choice of food is in itself a part of self-discipline and an important aspect also. We find real Sadhakas extremely fastidious about their food. They take food and water at regular intervals, and do not load the stomach at all odd times with all odd food-stuffs. Such discipline goes a long way to secure self-control easily and these men rise to higher planes of spiritual experience. That should be the standard to be followed by all earnest seekers.
Question: What is the nature of Rajasic food?
Answer: It is bitter, sour, hot, pungent, dry and burning. It causes pain, discomfort and disease. Realising the evil effects of such food, the real seekers should abandon it completely.