Amrit Sadhana writes in The Asian Age, India, on July 12, 2015.
Look up the word “dieting” and what you find is: “Restricts oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.” What a pity! The act of dieting is reduced merely to weight reduction. In India, food was given extraordinary attention. So much so that the Upanishads called it divine: “Annam Brahman”. Preparing food and eating it was equivalent to a sacrifice. It was considered a fuel to kindle the inner fire which was then used in meditation. The modern dieticians or nutritionists completely ignore this aspect of food. The nutritionists come up with so many theories and food products about what to eat and what not to eat that people get confused. Moreover, their entire focus is on “what to eat” and not on “how to eat.” This is why dieting has become a painful exercise of restrain and repression.
Osho gives utmost importance to everything around food and the way we eat it because it builds the body which is the foundation of meditation. The body has to be conscious, agile and sensitive for intelligence to grow. The right diet is one which does not create excitement in the mind, which is not intoxicating and which does not make you feel heavy or lethargic.
While speaking on the Sarvasar Upanishad, which divides human existence into seven bodies, Osho elaborates on the seven layers that create the human being. The first layer is called Annamaya Kosh or a food body. He says, “Many things depend on your food. Your food is not only supporting your life, it is also creating the first layer of your being. And whether you can embark on your inner journey or not, depends a lot on this layer, because all food is not the same. There are some types of food which will not allow you to go within, they will keep you tied to the outer world; some types of food will not allow the growth of consciousness within you because they will keep you unconscious. Some types of food will not allow you peace and tranquility because the process of digestion creates a disturbance and disease in your body. There are unhealthy foods and healthy foods; pure foods and impure foods. Pure food is that which does not create difficulties for the inner journey.” *)
What is the right kind of food then? This formula could work for you: At the body level, right food should be non-stimulating and non-violent; at the psychological level the mind should be in a blissful state, graceful and joyous; and at the level of the soul there should be a feeling of gratefulness, of thankfulness. These three things constitute the right-food.
Are you eating right?
Amrit Sadhana is in the management team of Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune. She facilitates meditation workshops around the country and abroad.
*) Quote by Osho from The Way Beyond Any Way, Ch 6 (translation from Hindi)
Illustration by Osho News