aahaaraa raajasasyeshtaa duhkhashokaamayapradaahaa || 9 ||
Food that is bitter, sour, salty, excessively hot, pungent, dry and burning, are dear to the raajasic person, causing pain, sorrow and disease.
katu : bitter
amla : sour
lavana : salty
ati : excessively
ushna : hot
teekshna : pungent
ruksha : dry
vidaahinaha : burning
aahaaraahaa : food
raajasasya : raajasic person
ishtaahaa : dear
duhkhashokaamayapradaahaa : causing pain, sorrow and disease
We now examine the characteristics of food that is loved by one whose faith is raajasic. Shri Krishna says that food which has sharp flavours, any food that is excessively bitter, sour, salty, spicy, pungent, dry or causes a burning sensation in the tongue and stomach, all this comes under the category of raajasic food. Now this does not mean all such food is to be avoided. We need to exercise caution when the proportion of these characteristics is “ati” or excessive.
It is quite easy to assess the impact of such food in our system. Consumption of such food causes duhkha or pain, which begins with the mouth and hurts the entire digestive system for a long time. Such food can also have a long term impact on the body in the form of “aamaya” or disease. Since the person has raajasic faith, he will have a strong preference for such type of food, and will feel sorrow if he is unable to obtain such food. In today’s age, food that is high in sodium, sugar and oil also comes in this category.
Food, in its broader sense, also refers to the intake of information through the eyes and ears as well. Watching a lot of violent movies and TV, for instance, inflicts pain upon the mind. Many people get addicted to the internet and television, and experience sorrow if they are unable to log on or watch TV, even for a short while. It is no different than a bodily disease. In other words, the kind of television or internet content we consume can also reveal a lot about the texture of our faith.