htm Excerpts from Section 4 of Chapter 15 of "Hinduism Rediscovered", by Anbil Ramaswamy WHAT OUR SASTRAS PERMIT/PROHIBIT IN THE MATTER OF FOOD -VEDANTA DESIKA's ADVICE Right from Vedic literature down to the Itihasas and Puranas, we find scattered references to vegetables and other edibles that can be consumed and those that are better avoided in order to ensure augmentation of Satva and preclusion of Rajo and Tamo. It was however, left to Swami Sri VEDANTA DESIKA who did deep research in this field (as also in all other fields he touched ) to incorporate in his work entitled "Ahara Niyamam', a catalog for ready reference on what can be consumed, what should not be ingested and what can be taken with certain restrictions and even what go without any restrictions also!. We attempt below to have a glimpse of the various items as gleaned from 'Ahara Niyamam' and Srimad Ramayanam in particular. It should be understood that the prohibition is meant only to enable us to regulate consumption in a conscious, cautious way. Lord Krishna clearly prohibits food that are too sour, hot, salty, too much bileproducing etc. (BG 17/9) And again, he advises that they who consume food that are time expired, those that have lost taste, those that emanate stale odor, altered taste, mixed with spittle and those not fit to be offered to the Lord should not be eaten. Sri RAMANUJACHARYA's SRI BASHYAM `Sarvanna Anumatyati Karanam'Sutras 446 to 448 declare - that in times of danger to life one can consume any food and such intake will not go against Pramanas and Smritis. BUT, SUTRA 449, HOWEVER, CLEARLY AND CATEGORICALLY FORBIDS CONSUMPTION OF LIQUOR EVEN IN THE FACE OF DANGER TO LIFE.7 The case of one Sage USHASTI is alluded to. Due to famine he and his wife were migrating to a far off place. On the way, the Sage was so exhausted due to starvation that he almost swooned and apprehended his end was near at hand. A mahout who passed by on an elephant offered him some horsegram which the sage readily accepted (though ordinarily prohibited). But when the mahout offered water to drink, the sage declined saying that he took the horsegram only for saving himself from starvation-death and taking water thereafter was not proper since at that point of time, the danger to life had disappeared. A. Items prohibited on hygienic and prophylactic grounds (like our not using tooth brushes used by others) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Spittle and food contaminated with spittle Food contaminated by flies, worms, hair, fingernails etc. Food contaminated by excreta Food contaminated by cloth, thread, sneeze etc. Food that has been `smelt' by anybody Food `that has been tasted' by humans, rodent, crow, hen, cat, dog etc. Food that has been partially `bitten' by others Morsel of food partially remaining after eating a portion of it. Vegetables cooked without first being washed Fruits, vegetables etc. cut with finger nails

Food should not be eaten keeping them on the lap (22 to 25 are precisely what we do during buffet) 26. Products (grains. He has given another list of . Those that have been specifically advised against by Acharyas and such others 17. Bubbles and foam arising from liquids (as while drinking coke. Lime used for making chunnam out of seashells 30.SWAMI SRI DESIKAN HAS DRAWN UP AN ELABORATE LIST OF VEGETABLES / PRODUCTS THAT SHOULD NOT BE EATEN. Food set apart for offering to such deities as per Sastric injunctions 10. 12. Food that has not been offered to `Bhagavan' in the first place (during Aradhana)* 7. Food meant for others (especially a sick person) 3. Should not eat out of a broken plate or other vessels that are not clean Note: Items marked * are referred to in Srimad Ramayana (Balakanda) also. Food should not be eaten holding the plate by hand 24. fruits etc. Should not leave without completing the final Parishechanam 33. please do not be put off by this list. Should not eat edibles sitting on the bed 27. coffee etc) 31. 15. pulses etc. Moonlight / Fire are no substitutes for a burning lamp 29. Ghee should not be served after one commences eating 19. Food before offering to guests (Atiti Satkara) 8. cultivated in dirty places * 15. Food offered to lesser deities (Devatantara) 9.) AS DRESS REGULATIONS ARE IMPOSED ON US DURING FORMAL DINNERS. Food kept apportioned for self and guests 4. Food taken out from the vessel of Sannyasis 13. Food remaining after feeding a woman in menstruation* 5. CERTAIN NORMS AND DISCIPLINES ARE PRESCRIBED BY OUR TRADITIONS. No food can be taken without taking bath and washing hands. Food should not be placed on a seat 25. C. Vegetables.ITEMS PROHIBITED ON `SOCIAL' GROUNDS ( LIKE THE `TABLE MANNERS' WE FOLLOW THESE DAYS DURING FORMAL GATHERINGS. Foods cooked more than once (Punar Pakam) 20. One should not take for self food intended for all 2.) not offered to God after the harvest 11. WE GIVE BELOW THE TAMIL AND POPULAR AND / OR BOTANICAL NAMES OF THESE FOR GENERAL GUIDANCE" But. Food prepared specifically for a woman who has just delivered* 6.11. and completing ablutions (Parishechanam) 32. Food offered by Sanyasis directly 12. pepsi. Cooked food served with iron ladles or bare hands 21. 14. Mixed food distributed by hand 18. Food offered without love and affection 14. 13. Food should not be eaten using left hand 23. SOME OF THE RESTRICTIONS ARE: 1. 16. Food prepared by persons who are not clean Food cooked in other people's homes (Parannam) Food that has been found fault with Foods that have been prohibited specifically Food cooked along with prohibited items Foods known to be harmful to vital air and the functioning of sense organs B. Food should not be eaten without a lamp burning 28. Salt served directly by hand 22. Those that are known to affect concentration and meditation 16.

thread etc in such remnants. 42. 35. 25. 36. 24. 22.p. 11. 23. TAMIL NAME Athi Perarku Irali Vellai Kathari Aal Banyan Arasu Ayil Aarai Naruvili Pungu Thigaipoondu Kurinji Tanri Kusumbai Velai Sivappu/Nattu Murungai Sukam Sukampal Tamarai Kizhangu Ulli Siriya Avarai Thummatti Therar Kai Panai Nayuruvi Kadambu Naikkudai Suraikkai Peerkku Sanar Keerai Siru Keerai Sivanda Agathi Purasu Pasala Vilvakkai Madulankai Varagu Mullangi Vengayam Punnakku Pannai keerai Noyyir keerai Seenkadan Oovaikkai Rammananthal Khadi POPULAR AND/ OR BOTANICAL NAME Varieties . 34. worm. The are found remnants of food partaken by father. 27. 44. 8. 40. 18. 37. 14. 19. 9. 28. ! Exact equivalents not traceable |Yeast. 20.Hyperanth era Muringa Lotus bulb Nelumbo Nucifera Garlic Beans Callous Leaved Bryonia Clearing nut Strychnoo Patatatura Palmyra palm Achyranth us Aspera Eugenica Racemosa Mushroom A variety of gourd Ridge gourd Hemp Amaranth us Gangeticu s Cormilla Grandi Flora Balia Frundosa Portulaca Obracora Crataeva Religiosa Unripe Pomogranate Paspalum Frumentac eum Radish Raphenus Sativus Onion Allium Cepa Oil cake ! celosia s. Dried brew| D. remnants of food eaten by wife / husband even if hair. they can be thrown away and the remnants eaten. 41. The 3. 16. 29. 5. 12. 33. 21. 6. 26. 30.exceptions and relaxations under which even some of the prohibited items could be consumed as also yet another list of items that can be consumed freely without restrictions. 2. preceptor and eldest brother. 15. 38. remnants of soma juice tasted through the soma vessel during Somayaga. The 2. 3. 39. 43. (Vide Sections (D) and (E). 45. .Ficus Racemosa Bauhinia Racemosa Ficus Virens White egg plant | white brinjals Peepal Ficus Religiosa Chittagong wood Chickrasia Tabularis Masculia Quadrifoli a Cordia Obliqua/M onoria Dalbergia A plant that causes confusion in mind A shrub Maruthonr i Terminaw a Bellenica Carthamus Tinctoriu m Cleone Pentaphytt a Drumstick . 1. 4. 31. THE FOLLOWING CAN BE TAKEN AS EXCEPTIONS TO GENERAL PROHIBITIONS :1. 13. 17. 7. 10. 32.

17. Too much bitter 3. 13. Tender Coconut Water. 23. raw vegetables. Too much salty 4. Even those foods that had become rotten can be taken after mixing with ghee. ghee. 16. During fasting days one can take water. roots. 5. Food overheated so much as to make it inedible 2. Food cooked on Ekadasi and other days of fasting should not be consumed . 12. 25. All liquids from which the cream has been the essence and has been removed (except buttermilk) 9. Even other impurities like hair if noticed therein can be removed and thrown away. If it becomes necessary to eat totally prohibited items in order to save life. 7. Too much hot (like chillies) 5. even prohibited items can be consumed. medicines . Juice of flowers. Too much sour 6. the following can be taken . F. 24. fruits. 11. Food that smells like mud G. 5. milk etc. sacrificial remnants. 10.curds. Of items that have turned sour. THOSE THAT CAN BE TAKEN FREELY WITHOUT ANY RESTRICTIONS: 1.4. milk. Those that are repulsive 8. Those that are too hot (temperature) 7. Sugarcane juice Curds Milk ( /but subject to restrictions listed at H) Ghee Sangam Pepper Honey Cardamom Ice Betelnut (subject to restrictions listed at J) Anything fried in fire Fruits that have ripened on their own Boiled rice Vadam Appam | even if they are old provided they have not lost their taste Seedai | Chappathi | Milk products Thenkuzhal Murukku Medicines prescribed by doctors Jaggery and flour combined edibles even if old Wheat flour combined edibles Side dishes. 26. ITEMS TO BE AVOIDED WITH REFERENCE TO TIME OF CONSUMPTION 1. ghee. 8. roots. 6. 18. a bit of ghee or honey could be mixed with them and taken. 20. curds mixed with cooked rice Cooked rice put in a vessel with clean water Edibles prepared with curds. 14. 27. 7. 4.these will not spoil the fast. E. 2. Old food that had become rotten 10. butter milk. 6. fruits that became sour due to contact with water. 9. 21. butter. 19. milk. 8. flowers and pickles made out of these (vide Manu Smriti and Srimad Ramayana). 3. 22. ITEMS TO BE AVOIDED WITH REFERENCE TO TASTE: 1. 15. In times of danger to life.

3. Brahmacharis and Sannyasis should not use betel leaves 5. Camel's milk 4. While chewing betel one should not drink water at the same time. 12. Milk drawn from a cow by showing to it a calf of another cow 9. donkey etc. no stored up water standing over a day should be used. if heated Water stagnant in a small pool Water running across a road Water given in hotels and water sheds ( Tanneer pandals) Any water purity of which is in doubt Water down from washerman's ghats Water contaminated with spittle Water held in a conch Rain water before it falls to the ground One should not drink water by cupping both the palms (Vide Srimad Ramayana) J. RESTRICTIONS REGARDING USE OF WATER 1. The stem. Food mixed with sesame should not be taken at night (also referred in Srimad Ramayana) 4. BETEL ITEMS TO BE AVOIDED 1. Milk purchased from a Brahmin 13. No food can be taken at sunrise. sunset and midnight (also referred to in Srimad Ramayana 7. 11. . CONDITIONS REGARDING INTAKE OF MILK. the middle line and the tip of the leaves should be removed before taking betel thambool 3. 1. Milk of animals like mare . which have single hoof (Vide also Srimad Ramayana) 2. 6. During Ekadasi and other days of fasting betel chewing should be scrupulously avoided 7. Except Ganges water. 7. Food prepared with curds at night 6. 9. 2. 5. Milk with which salt has got mixed up 5. One should not munch betelnut before putting betel leaves in the mouth 2. 8. One should not take betel leaf on which lime had been kept 6. Milk and curd taken of milk of cow that has just delivered for at least 10 days after delivery 16. Husband and wife should not eat together at the same time H. Milk kept in bronze vessel 14. Milk of cow that has given birth to twin calves 3. Milk of ewe (Vide also Srimad Ramayana) 12. Milk that had become sour or bad (also in Srimad Ramaynana ) 10. Food prepared in gingelly oil at night 5. 4. Wood apple and puffed rice should not be taken during day time 3. Widows. Milk of cows bearing names of deities other than those of Sriman Narayana 11. 13. Milk of other animals of the bovine family except the buffalo I. 10. Breast milk of women (this is also referred to in Srimad Ramayana) 6.2. Water remaining in a vessel after using part of it for washing feet Muddy water Tender coconut water. The milk of a cow whose calf had just died 8. Cow that is pregnant and cow just ready for sexual intercourse (referred in Srimad Ramayana ) 7. One should not munch both betel leaves and betel nut together 4. Milk overheated to the point of getting charred 15.

transliterated texts of the BG Slokas are not included in this ' Notes'. The doctor can only help in diagnosing the disease and prescribing appropriate medicines. If the patient desires an expeditious and effective cure. . Besides being numerous.138 "Udarasya ardham annasya Triteeyam udagasya tu Vayoh sancharanartam tu Chaturtham avaseshayeth" "Mitam buktva. Smriti saying quoted in VRN. Department of Agriculture's selection of ' Food.Guide.sakha Atyambupanat adisangamascha Diva cha supter nisi jagarascha Nirodanat mutra purishayoscha Shadbir nidanai prabavanti rogah" "Atva jara manushyanam Anatva vajinam jara Amaitunam jara streenam Vastranam atapam jara" 3.17 and Slokas 1 to 40 of Ch. Hence. Anon 7.Pyramid' based on research by Judy Dodd. President. Ruchi Bukh. for the one who is not conversant with Sanskrit. Ch. AND.SECTION 5: CONCLUSION As already mentioned these prohibitions and restrictions are only for general guidance. A NOTE ON THE NOTES FOR THIS CHAPTER [ The purport of this Chapter is to present the contents of the whole of Ch.Sri Ramanujacharya's Sri Bashyam. Chapter and Verse numbers have been indicated wherever necessary.p. they are not drawn as quotations for contextual references. mitam vachah Vamabage sayanasya Bishagbihi kim prayojanam" 'Hita Bukh. Mitha Bukh. President of the Society for Nutrition Education 2.3. If you desire to regulate / eliminate the Gunas you may choose to follow the instructions and if you do not follow only YOU are the loser to that extent.Pada 4. Sutras 446-448 and 449 "Sarvanna anumats cha pranatyage tad darsanath. satam gatva Mitam suptva.] NOTES 1. 'en masse' presentation of transliterated texts would be of no avail while for the one who knows Sanskrit will know the original text itself rendering such reproduction superfluous. US. Anon" 6. However. American dietetic Association and Barbara Shannon. Also. NOW IT IS IN YOUR HANDS TO CHOOSE EITHER COURSE ON THE ROAD TO YOUR SPRITUAL REGENERATION OR DEGENERATION.18 of BG dealing with the impact of Trigunas on the human psyche. the patient is free either to follow or flout the instructions with attendant consequences.Anon Bukh' 5. Anon 4. the patient will have to scrupulously follow the instructions. Adhikarana 115.

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