To spread the original, universal and eternal truth, path or law of yoga, which remains forever the same in essence, yet always adapts to the time and place.

Indian philosophy divides nature into three modal influences - goodness, passion, and ignorance. The sattvic influence of goodness and clarity is one from which our spirituality is developed. Should those interested in spiritual life then eat only sattvic foods?

Harish Johari :

Rajasic or passion foods create sensuality, sexuality, greed, avarice, fantasies, irreligiosity, and egotism. They must be prepared and combined with other foods before they are eatable.

Tamasic foods, or those of ignorance, are foods that consume considerable energy while being digested. They make one dull and drowsy. They increase pessimism, lack of common sense, laziness, and doubt.

Sattvic foods give necessary energy to the body without taxing it, and they are helpful in achieving balanced bodily chemistry, which serves as a foundation for higher states of consciousness. The psyche is brought to a centered state through sattvic foods because they bring readily digestible and nourishing food material into the system.

These three modes are distinct, yet foods can be converted from one to another with time and food combination.

In one sense, those concerned with spiritual development should eat only sattvic foods, but not everyone is a rishi. Many may be interested in spiritual life, yet still have worldly commitments. These three influences - sattva, rajas, and tamas - pervade human society. Generally speaking we people of the world, common people, should eat in a balanced way, while trying as far as possible to avoid tamasic substances such as meats and liquors.

If one is a rishi, then he can eat only sattvic foods. But Krishna was not a rishi and in the temples we offer all types of vegetarian foods to him. If we follow the lead of Krishna, who set an example for all types of work, we will have a proper diet that includes our spirituality.

Also Read : 3 Gunas

About this page

Seema JohariExtract by Seema Johari from The Spirit of Cooking Interview with Harish Johari by Thomas Beaudry for Clarion Call, Volume 3 - Number 4, 1990.

Related pages

Related video : Full Class - Yoga Food (110')

Sanatan Society is an international networking association of students of the late Harish Johari, joining efforts to promote his teachings of yoga philosophy, tantra, worship, art and love. Sanatan Society stands for the original, universal and eternal truth, path or law of yoga. Though it is Hindu in origin, Sanatan Society is not limited to any religion, race, time or country, nor in fact to any particular organisation. More about Sanatan Society...

Thumbnail Image 1
Thumbnail Image 1
Thumbnail Image 1

Sanatan Society

About us

Contact us



Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Saksat Parabrahma
Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah