'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

MenoSafe and Sound

sÅv
Sattva - spiritual essence, vitality, courage, existence… (long list!)

The simplest way to describe the sattvika nature is 'pure'.  Every single one of us is born sattvik. Then the sanchita karma kicks in and determines whether we retain that or have to work through our vaasanas in the state of rajas or tamas. Regardless of our current state, if we are not already in a sattva-predominant nature, then we can make efforts to reach there.

What is sattva and why would we want to be it? The sattvika personality knows how to be still, how to be quiet. Sattva is cheerful and accepting, content and unperturbed. It can see the troubles of the world but does not carry them. It moves only when necessary, takes only what is required, seeks to return more than was taken. Sattva is capital 'ell' Love, it is compassion and able to provide a haven for the hurt and needy. Sattva is serene, watchful, has no desire beyond spiritual gain. Sattva is clear about what is "I" and what is not. It knows how to be in the world but not of it. There is detachment and clarity. We can all find a bit of the sattva within us at times, but to be classed as sattva personality, it needs to be instinctively present.

How do we work towards more sattva in our lives? Less careless living; instead, listening to uplifting music, reading fine literature and philosophy, films which carry a message of high human values. Embracing the quiet; appreciating nature, little moments with friends and family, learning to make appropriate boundaries between work and self-time, keeping better company. Taking up self-improvement; be prepared to self-assess without ego, spend time with ourselves to do that, watch for the excuses as to why not…

Then there is the diet;
  • These are foods that are nourishing, soothing and help sharpen the mind, making it more aware and active.
  • Sattvik foods are vegetarian and eaten in moderate amounts.
  • These are foods that are free of chemicals, preservatives, artificial colours and flavours.
  • Processed foods generally are to be avoided - these days, there is an argument for the use of frozen items and organic canned goods - but these should be used minimally.
  • Organic and fresh fruits and vegetables that have been grown and picked with love. More and more we can source our foods if we don't grow them ourselves.
  • Whole grains, such as buckwheat, barley, rice.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Beans and lentils of the lighter variety; butter beans, broad beans, green beans, peas, moong dal, chana dal etc.
  • Dairy products like milk and ghee.
  • Oils mostly derived from plants; coconut, mustard, sunflower.
  • Foods that are not overly sweet; honey or sugar of minimal processing, such as jaggery.
  • Spices which are beneficial for the body and mind; turmeric, cardamom, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, fennel, cumin…


Many will read this and say 'oh, that is the government standard for healthy living.' Which is true, many countries now understand the need to eat better quality and less quantity and encourage their citizens to this… but the ayurvedic diet has been around for millennia. Nothing new under the sun!

To be sattvik is to walk upon the earth lightly, to be ahimsa. It is represented in the colour white, in which all colours unify.


17 comments:

  1. Lovely menorise...is the background navy? Very nice.
    Now for the Sattva...I could use some 'work on this.
    The sattvika personality knows how to be still, how to be quiet, these two as I'm only good at them for a bit. I'm a talker but then you know that. I have become a better listener with age so that is good.

    Sattva is cheerful and accepting, content and unperturbed. I think I'm cheerful and accepting and I feel content about 95% of the time. I do still get perturbed though
    I need to let go of what I have no control.
    I am a work in progress.

    Hugs HiC

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    1. Hari OM
      LOL... we all are, darlin', we all are!!! The desire to improve and little steps toward are all that are required. Then acceptance and self forgiveness for what we cannot change. Yxx

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  2. I love the ending statement - white that unifies all colours! So true!

    Nature, solitude, learning to be still, learning to be mindful are my versions of sattvik. Foodwise many of the items already part of regular diet as they are all basic ingredients in any Indian kitchen, but still have much rajas to work through...and omg, does sattvik allow chocolate? otherwise catastrophic - no hope of ever getting there!! as far as I can see... :)

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    1. Hari OM
      Hehehe... such a rajasik plea!!! It is not the chocolate which would be the problem here, but the attachment to it... this is vaasana at work! That said, yes, chocolate is permissible in sattva; in fact our Mukhya Swamiji (Head of Mission) Swaroopananda-ji is known as 'the chocolate swami' for he carries Lindor balls around everywhere as prasaadam!!! Yxx

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  3. So, yes to chocolate but no to onions? (I'll remember for the next visit!)

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  4. Ah - that diet is very much what my daughter is doing as she works on detoxifying her system after her cancer bout.

    Like HiC, I too am a work in progress:)

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    1. Hari OM
      Yes, it is a most nurturing and healing diet! I live by it, with occasional forays into the rajasik diet when I have to be more active (Like going to visit the father). Yxx

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  5. I really like this one - it really resonates with self improvement and self development - and being present in the world. I don't think I'll take up the vegetarian part of it though.

    Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    S for Stop Procrastinating

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    1. Hari OM.
      Gail, this is something common to virtually all flesh eaters. If one is born as mainly rajasik, then the taste (craving) for raja foods will be present... however, there is also the aspect that if exposed to these foods, then they will exert a rajasik influence. Modern living has brought about a rajasik society, with all the processed and non-organic foods. It is also causing the societal shift to more tamas (see Monday's post) with so many preserved (stale) - by sattvic standards), microwaveable foods. To see the shift, even from the physical level, this is not a difficult experiment to make for oneself. I started out by eliminating red meats, sticking with chicken and fish for a year. When I was faced with a situation (only about three months after that decision - I was in my 20s) of having only red meat or nothing, I of course ate - but had a terrible disturbance in my gut as a result. The requirement of the gut to digest it now became very apparent to me. The chicken and fish fell away by themselves, eating less and less because the desire for flesh was not there - and I hadn't even come to Vedanta or its knowledge yet! I was a Homoeopath and Counsellor, but I was also a qualified nutritionist and was doing this for my health. Once I eliminated garlic, onion, mushroom from the diet based on sattvik understanding, my digestion much improved - and when I have to consume foods with these in (such as going out for meals with no choice given), I have to warn my company because the wind it produces is room clearing! I may (once a year at most) partake of good ol' British fish and chips with family - this does not make me rajasik, it makes me failing in sattva... YAM xx

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  6. i love this spiral, black and white is my favorite combo and black is my go to color for clothes. you are so talented with these spirals, i have zero talent and a 4 year old could do one better than mine. i am mostly vegetarian, but do eat a burger once in a while. i don't like most meat. when i read the list of foods, i thought this is the way my grandparents ate and their grandparents. but then they worked themselves into the ground at an early age trying to eat this way, the biggest problem now is most people don't have a place to grow food, or the know how if they do or the time to do it. and organic food in our stores here, who knows if it is or not and it is so much more expensive. i found there is a huge difference in the taste of raw organic carrots and the others... i am couging up the extra money because they taste so good and last longer. to bad we can't find a way to get this Sattva all over our world, as in a shot or food to give people

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    1. Hari OM
      Not sure how it is in the States, but here in UK and in OZ there has been a move towards growing organically for environmental reasons and not just because of consumer demand, this means that organic has become a bit more affordable (still more than average though)... however as this cycle continues, in the large-scale stuff, it will improve. On the small-scale lots of people here are starting to grow their own things such as carrots and (as in my case) chillis and capsicums and tomatoes; cucumbers, zucchini, berry fruits... and as in my case without gardens. Large post and growing up walls has become quite the thing! Not to the full self-sufficiency of course, but it beats shopping all the time. As you say, once tasted, it is difficult to NOT choose organic! Yxx

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  7. Hari Om

    In response to your query on my post - The G+ button is there below the photograph and so are the followers badges.

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    1. Hari OM
      Hello Deepak... just checked - not visible this side! I used the main G+ page instead - this occasionally happens when Google is doing an 'upgrade'...sigh... I could see that mine went missing so could reset them - but if you can see yours, there must be something else going on... maybe it is only at my end  Thanks for getting back to me anyway. YAM xx

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  8. If we all and I would put effect in more positive life. We would be more healthier all the way around.
    Coffee is on

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  9. This is my favorite post till now of your A to Z series.
    Very enlightening. It's always a pleasure to read your blog. I love the easy and simple way in which you explain things. Thank you :)

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  10. Diet is an interesting topic for us! I find it telling that there were foods I eat now that I never remembered my mother serving. The farmer's menus are different than city menus, as well. My client is diabetic, as are perhaps 5 of her seven children, plus several of their spouses. They are all hard working people, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, and, perhaps have grown up with a heavy dessert component. This is slowly changing. I found it difficult, once I retired, trying to limit portions, as I wasn't on my feet 5 days a week. Well done, Yam.

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