Why ghee made from Cow's milk most sattvik vegetarian diet? and Shraddha ritual and chanting of the name of Lord Dattatreya

Why ghee made from Cow's milk most sattvik vegetarian diet?

1. Importance of sattvik diet

Some of the examples of sattvik food are milk, ghee, rice, various kinds of fruits, vegetables etc. The ghee made from cow milk added to the food served, purifies it and imparts greasiness to the body.
Importance of sattvik food is:
·         Consumption of sattvik food provides momentum to the functions of the five vital energies. The energy created as a result of consumption of sattvik food is similar to the energy created by a sacrificial fire. Due to the sattvik waves transmitted by the consumption of sattvik food, the function of the five vital energies located near the navel gains momentum and these spread in the entire body. For this reason sattvik food is considered ‘Absolute Brahman’ or ‘Purnabrahma’ and that which possesses the capacity to purify the five vital energies.
·         Consumption of sattvik food facilitates the absorption of Deities’ Principles. Consumption of sattvik food purifies a person’s gross and subtle bodies and enables the body to absorb the waves of Deities’ Principles. It is beneficial to consume sattvik food on special dates as per lunar calendar (tithis) and festivals. Hence some non-vegetarians too refrain from consuming non-vegetarian food on the special tithis of their worshipped Deity or festivals.
Some sources of sattvik food:
·         1. Food cooked by a sattvik housewife: The trigunas (three components) of the person who cooks food, influences the one consuming it. The touch of a sattvik woman’s hands facilitates the spread of sattvik vibrations in the food, thus making it sattvik. Such sattvik food which is devoid of Raja-Tama is tastier. Obstacles created by negative energies in the digestion process are also removed.
·         2. Consecrated food (Naivedya) offered to God: In the food items prepared as a part of consecrated food, pure ghee is used instead of oil. The components such as chili, spices etc. are Raja-Tama-dominant. Hence, use of such items is mostly avoided while preparing consecrated food or they are used very little. When such food is offered to God, it becomes charged with the waves of Deities’ Principles, thus becoming more sattvik. By consuming such food as Holy sacrament (Prasad), we benefit from the waves of Deities’ Principles. So as to benefit everyone, the Holy sacrament is distributed to all.
·         3. Food prepared in Saints’ ashrams: As compared to other places, the proportion of sattvikta and Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) is greater in the ashrams of Saints. Here the seekers and disciples prepare food with an attitude of service. Hence this food becomes sattvik. Food is Absolute Brahman (purnabrahma); if one consumes it with spiritual emotion (bhav), one derives Chaitanya.
·         4. Food given by Saints: When devotees visit Saints’ ashrams or when a Saint arrives in their home, they offer various kinds of food, fruits etc. to the Saints. These food items become sattvik and charged with the waves of Chaitanya. These food items are distributed in the form of Holy sacrament (Prasad).
While narrating the limitations of science in understanding the benefits available from consumption of sattvik food, H.H. Gurudev Dr. Kateswami of Maharashtra says: Science has not given due thought to sattvikta of food ! Explaining this point, Swamiji says, ‘Science says that food is necessary for development of the body; but it cannot go beyond this. Science does not give due thought at all to the effects of subtle aspects of food. If the food is vegetarian and sattvik, the mind and intellect become sattvik. Only sattvik food can enable us to perform Yogasadhana and attain God. Only through spiritual science one can know about the sattvikata of food.
Hence as a part sattvik diet, vegetarian diet is of great importance.
Meaning of the word ‘Shakahar’, that is, vegetarian diet: ‘Shaka’ + Ahar = Shakahar. The meaning of the word ‘Shaka’ is ‘pure’. ‘Shakah’ means plant. Shakambarî is also the name of a Female Deity, that is, Devi. This form denotes that the Devi is present in vegetables. Substances such as milk, fruits, roots, bulbs and tubers are included in vegetarian diet.

2. Types of food according to the method of consumption

·         Bhakshyanna’ or hard food which is to be eaten by grinding between the teeth, such as fruit, groundnut, laddu etc.
·         Bhojyanna’ or soft food which is to be eaten by chewing such as chapattî, puri etc.
·         Choshyanna’ or food which is to be sucked such as mango, sugarcane etc.
·         Lehyanna’ or that which can be eaten by licking like rayata, jam, chutney etc.

3. Why is vegetarian diet considered to be devoid of reproductive seed?

When compared to the animal species, Tama-dominance in the plant species is less. Vegetarian diet is one which is devoid of the capacity to give birth to new beings through sexual contact. These do not have desires or emotions. However, new beings sprout from them. Hence, such components are known as ‘those devoid of reproductive seed’. From the perspective of Ayurved and Spirituality, vegetarian diet is of utmost importance.

4. Importance of vegetarian diet

From ancient times the Sages and Ascetics of Sanatan Hindu Dharma have mentioned the importance of vegetarian diet.
·         Vegetarian diet is a sattvik diet.
·         The teeth of man can easily chew vegetarian food.
·         Proteins are found in necessary proportion in vegetarian diet.
·         Vegetarian people are healthy, blessed with a long life and active.
Men who acquired prominence in various fields in western countries, such as George Bernard Shaw, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Tolstoy etc. were vegetarians. Modern science has established the undisputed supremacy of vegetarian diet.

5. Why does vegetarianism signify abiding by Dharma?

When creating the Universe, God has laid down rules about specific diets for specific beings. As per Nature’s rule, the cow is purely vegetarian. The dental pattern of man is similar to that of the cow’s. Hence, consuming vegetarian food is abiding by Divine rules. Abiding by Dharma means following appropriate Code of Conduct of diet, enhancing Divine qualities and becoming capable of attaining Bliss. As a result of vegetarian diet the sattvaguna in man is enhanced. Vegetarian diet accomplishes the task of making man Divine, that is, man begins to progress on the spiritual path.

6. Some components of vegetarian diet

A. Plants: Plants are animate. Today, even science agrees that plants have emotions. Despite this plants are included in vegetarian diet. There are two main reasons for this.
·         The emotions of plants are not associated with the Tama-dominant actions denoting desire. Wood contains fire in latent form. Hence, plants are considered Holy.
·         Creation of a being (jiva) through the sprouting from a plant is not akin to that of animals, which are born through Tama-dominant sexual contact.
Waves from the earth, in the form of the Absolute Fire and Absolute Earth are present in plants. Due to this jivas that sprout from plants also possess these earth-waves. Plants do not possess waves associated with Tama-dominant sexual desire and its related function.
B. Milk: From a scientific perspective milk, water, air etc. contain microorganisms. As such, how can these components be called vegetarian ? However, from the perspective of Spirituality, these components are predominant in Sattva-Raja-guna. Upon coming in contact with these components, the Raja-Tama-predominant Jivas become inactive.
Components such as milk, water, air etc. possess higher Principles such as the Absolute Fire and Absolute Air. These Principles absorb within themselves all components along with their Raja-Tama. This is why these components are considered vegetarian. Cow milk is the most sattvik and vegetarian component.
Some components of vegetarian diet, their features and effects:
·         Consumption of ghee derived from buffalo milk increases the cholesterol levels in blood. But it is not the same with ghee made from cow’s milk.
·         Regular consumption of fried foods increases the Raja-Tama.
·         Consumption of rice, wheat, lentils and grains increases Sattva-guna in man.
·         Bulbs and Tubers have the Absolute Earth Element in higher proportion.
·         Ghee made from cow’s milk, as well as fruit and leafy vegetables have higher proportion of Vishnu Principle.

6.1 Importance of ghee made from cow's milk

One of the most important constituent of vegetarian diet is ghee. Subtle-picture of ghee made from cow’s milk is given below:
·         As the ghee made from cow’s milk is sattvik, the flow of Divine Principle is attracted to it.
o    A ring of Divine Principle is created and activated in the ghee.
·         Flow of Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) is attracted to the ghee.
o    Through this flow, a ring of Chaitanya is created in the ghee and is activated.
o    Particles of mild Chaitanya are also created in the ghee.
o    A protective sheath of Chaitanya is created around the ghee.
o    Particles of Chaitanya are spread in the environment by the ghee made from cow’s milk.
·         A ring of Chaitanya-filled Divine Energy (Shakti) of the Deity Sri Dhanvantari is created and is activated.
o    Particles of Divine Energy are also created and spread in the ghee.
Ghee contains Divine Principle and Chaitanya. Hence it is protected from negative energies. However use of synthetic substances in the preparation of ghee or preparing it in a distressing environment, may attract negative energies from the environment to it.
Proportion of vibrations in the ghee made from cow’s milk: The table below highlights the spiritual importance of ghee made from cow’s milk. As it is most sattvik, apart from it being used for consumption, it is also used in ritualistic worship.
Proportion (%)
Divine Energy (Shakti)
Divine consciousness
Divine Principle

7. Misconceptions about vegetarian diet, and its superiority

Some argue that a purely vegetarian diet weakens a man. He lags behind in the race of life. Non-vegetarians acquire more laurels than vegetarians. But true Hindus understand the importance of a vegetarian diet. By consuming vegetarian diet they increase the Sattva guna in themselves and proceed on the spiritual path. They realise that God is the only One who gives awards. This award is of Supreme Bliss (Brahmananda), non-duality (advait) and Supreme Peace (Param-shanti).
Generally it is observed that vegetarians do not have desire for any other medals or rewards. And talking about weakness, a vegetarian lives longer and there are many examples of this.

8. Prevalent vegetarian dishes and their purity

Nowadays it has become common practice to eat bakery products like cake and pastry, processed butter, various types of biscuits, drink tea, coffee and different soups. People consider this as pure vegetarian diet. But is it purely vegetarian in the true sense?
·         In bakery items like bread, cake etc., eggs and animal fat is used.
·         Vegetarian restaurants or hotels serve different soups prepared from items like tomatoes, onion, leafy and non-leafy vegetables, corn, green peas etc. To enrich its taste a thick broth of cow or fowl fat is commonly added.
·         Icecream is prepared from milk. There are 25-30 famous icecream flavours. These tastes cannot be created without the use of gelatine. Gelatine is a completely non-vegetarian item.
·         In some medicines supplementing iron, the extract of animal blood is added.
The above examples force us to ponder whether we are actually consuming vegetarian food.
Reason for prohibition of consumption of food like cottage cheese made by the souring of milk: Milk is considered to be a source of sagun Chaitanya. It is a ‘complete food’. Souring of milk amounts to enhancing its adverse Raja-Tama-dominant constituents and destroying those which function with the help of its sattvikta. Consumption of such food items devoid of sattva, prepared by souring of milk is harmful for the body. Due to this, distressing vibrations get concentrated in the body in maximum proportion, thus inviting many diseases.
Some examples of food constituents poisoned with chemicals:
·         Presently, chemical fertilisers are being used to the maximum for crops of wheat, rice, pulses etc.
·         Green grass is given to the cow to eat. In order to keep it green for 10-15 days, chemical substances are used. The milk we get from the cow that eats such poisonous grass is also poisonous.
·         When vegetarians suffering from rickets (a disease of the bones caused by deficiency of Vitamin D) were examined, it was found that the food consumed by them was poisonous.
·         In some medicines supplementing iron, the extract of animal blood is added.

9. Categorisation of essential dietary components into vegetarian and non-vegetarian, according to their nature

A diet includes vegetables, fruits, flowers, milk, grains, lentils, meat etc.. They are categorised into vegetarian or non-vegetarian depending on their nature. Dietary components contain two types of beings organisms.
A. Animate and mobile: Animals / Organisms can move. They are called ‘mobile animate’. Most of such animates are Raja-dominant. Hence they are characterised by instability. These beings / organisms also have desires. These beings also have sexual desire, due to which they are associated with the process of creation. Such beings are slaughtered and their meat is consumed. That is why, mobile animate beings are included in non-vegetarian diet.
B. Immobile animate: The plant species is categorised as immobile animate. These beings / organisms characterised by stability have low ability to function with the help of Raja-Tama-guna. Food items made from such sources are included in vegetarian diet.

A plant-source diet
/Vegetarian diet
An animal-source
diet /Non-vegetarian
1. Predominant guna
2. Purity
3. Characterised by /
4. Effect on the mind
Steady and calm
Fickle and unsteady

9.1 Difference between vegetarian and non-vegetarian food

Vegetarian diet
Non-vegetarian diet
1. Inherent triguna
or Sattva-Raja-dominant
2. Functional Principle
Absolute Fire-Earth
Absolute Earth-
Inferior Fire
3. Functional Divine
    Energy (Shakti)
Predominantly Action
Predominantly Desire
4. Vibrations attracted/
5. Effect of the diet
Physical health  and
purification of the mind
Deterioration of
physical health and
mental peace
6A. For the one who
Reduction in the give and
take account
Increase in the give
and take account
6B.  For the one that
        is consumed
Birth in higher species
Trapped in the same
7. What kind of
     thoughts  increase?
About abiding by Code
of Conduct (Achar)
8. Protection from
    negative energies
 Not applicable
Upon consuming food, the law of the cause and effect of our actions (Karmaphal-nyaya) becomes applicable to both, the one who consumes and the one being consumed.
Even Saints have advocated vegetarianism. Due to sattvik food, the body as well as the mind remain healthy. When man consumes the meat of an animal he not only harms it, but does damage to himself too.
Today the number of non vegetarians is increasing. Some people want to give up non-vegetarianism. However, due to habit or the influence of negative energy they are unable to do so. What is the way out? There is only one answer to this, spiritual practice.

10. Effects of spiritual practice on diet

While performing spiritual practice, a seeker begins to establish communion with God. Due to Divine grace, every action of his becomes sattvik and enriched with Chaitanya. When the attitude becomes sattvik, his diet changes too and he becomes vegetarian. By complimenting meal times with prayers, he gains sattvikta, Chaitanya and Deity’s Principle. Of course, mere vegetarianism is not adequate for spiritual progress.
According to the science of Spirituality, a vegetarian diet increases a person’s Sattva-guna and complimenting chanting with spiritual emotion (bhav) increases it more. However, it is not possible for an average person to chant with spiritual emotion. Hence, it becomes necessary to increase one’s Sattva guna by adopting vegetarianism.

Shraddha ritual and chanting of the name of Lord Dattatreya

1. Importance of doing the shraddha ritual ardently

During the shraddha rites and the meal, one should not entertain anger and meaningless thoughts. The vibrations generated due to the meaningless thoughts adversely affect the Vishvedev and the deceased ancestors (Pitars) coming to that place. That is why one should completely avoid the meaningless thoughts and the meaningless conversation with others while performing the ritual.
Spiritual experience - Experiencing the smell of Puranpoli, an Indian sweet delicacy, for five minutes; the next day a friend saying that, ‘I wanted to give you Puranpoli' and then having the realisation of his subtle-body getting the Puranpoli due to the intense desire of his friend: One day I got the smell of Puranpoli. Then I started getting hiccups. I felt that 'My friend is remembering me.’ The next day my friend said, “We had made Puranpoli last night and I really wanted you to have it.” My subtle-body (ling-deha) had got the Puranpoli due to his intense desire. - A Seeker
This spiritual experience confirms that the holy sacrament (naivedya) offered ardently to Deities and the Pitars reaches them. Through this spiritual experience we understand that the Pitars are satiated by performing shraddha ardently.

2. Options for the shraddha ritual

·         If brahmins are not available for performing the shraddha ritual of one’s mother, then one can invite married women and perform the shraddha.
·         If two brahmins are not available then seat the brahmin on the seat for Pitars (Pitrusthan), place an idol of Shaligram or baby Krushna on the seat of the Deity (Devasthan) and make a resolve to perform the shraddha.
·         If due to some reason one is unable to perform shraddha, then he can get the shraddha performed through his son, disciple or a brahmin.
·         Invite a brahmin, after he has washed his hands and feet, offer him a seat and after worship with five substances offer him a meal.
·         In case of unavailability of money and brahmin, do a shraddha with sacrificial fire (Homa-shraddha).
The Scriptures have also delineated what a person should do who is incapable of doing any of the above stated options. They are as follows:
·         Give a pitcher filled with water to a brahmin.
·         Give some food to a brahmin.
·         Give sesame seeds to a brahmin.
·         Give some money to a brahmin.
·         Give food grains as per capacity to a brahmin.
·         Feed grass to a cow.
·         Forgoing rituals etc. merely do pinda-dan.
·         After bathing release water containing sesame seeds (Pitru-tarpan).
·         Observe a fast on the tithi of the shraddha.
·         On the day of the shraddha, recite the shraddha ritual.
If even this is not possible, then go to a forest and exposing your armpits by putting both the hands up, wave a blade of grass towards the Deities of the regions (Lokapal) like Sun etc. and pray, "I do not possess anything useful for shraddha like wealth etc. I pay obeisance to all my Pitars. Let all my Pitars be appeased with my devotion. I am helpless."
Alternatively, go to a secluded forest and pray in a loud voice raising your hands, I am penniless and without food. Liberate me from the debt of my Pitars. If even this is not possible, then lament facing the south direction.
This information in Hindu Scriptures shows how inevitable it is for everyone to perform shraddha.

3. How is the benefit of the shraddha acquired merely by praying ?

By praying with spiritual emotion the Pitars, inferior Deities and other Deities are appeased and attracted towards the person who prays. Together with their blessings the person also acquires the benefit of the shraddha. Invoking the Deities by raising hands and praying to the Pitars is a symbol of the devotee’s spiritual emotion (Bhav) of helplessness.

4. Spiritual experiences about shraddha

The pindas prepared for the shraddha of my father were appearing very radiant. After the brahman-bhojana was concluded, I felt that my deceased father and other deceased ancestors (Pitars) were satiated. - Mr. Nitin Sahakari, Goa
At the time of the shraddha of my father-in-law, I experienced the existence of only – my father-in-law, his father and his grandfather. A light yellow colour was visible around the three pindas. I felt the three were satiated and were bestowing blessings. - Mrs. Shruti Nitin Sahakari, Goa.
In Hindu Dharma, at the time of shraddha of the father, pinda is offered in the name of the grandfather and the great grandfather also. This seeker had the practical spiritual experience of the theoretical part explained by Hindu Dharma.
One can understand from this type of spiritual experiences whether the Pitars have been satisfied or not. Contrary to this, when they are not satisfied with the shraddha, their subtle bodies keep wandering in the atmosphere. Then various distresses are felt at the place associated with the Pitars like heaviness of head, giddiness, reduction of vital energy etc.

5. Importance of chanting ‘Sri Gurudeva Datta’

Due to the unsatisfied Pitars there is a risk of distresses like not getting married, financial difficulties, seeing cobra or Pitars in a dream or in waking state. For overcoming such distress, it is important to chant the Name of Lord Dattatreya along with the ritual of shraddha.
Deity Dattatreya is the Principle created from the combination of the Principles of the three main Deities, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. One of His functions is to give momentum to the journey of our deceased ancestors (Pitars) to the next region. Hence, once should chant ‘Shri Gurudeva Datta’.
Benefit of chanting ‘Sri Gurudeva Datta’:
·         The Pitars getting momentum in their onward journey and reduction in the distress due to them: Many desires of the person attached to materialistic life remain unfulfilled after death. Such unsatisfied subtle bodies get trapped in the region of the dead (Mrutyuloka). Such subtle bodies cannot go to the next region because of their unfulfilled desires. By chanting ‘Sri Gurudeva Datta’ Pitars trapped in the Mrutyuloka gain momentum.
·         Creation of a protective sheath: By chanting ‘Sri Gurudeva Datta’ a protective sheath is created around the body of the person. Keeping in mind this benefit of chanting ‘Sri Gurudeva Datta’, one should do maximum chanting during Pitrupaksha. To avoid the risks of future distress due to unsatisfied Pitars and as spiritual healing for mild distress, chant for one to two hours daily. If the distress is medium, chant for two to four hours daily and if it is severe chant for four to six hours daily.
Similarly to perform the shraddha with Bhav:
·         Put up the Name-strips of ‘Sri Gurudeva Datta' in the room where shraddha ritual is done.
·         Play the audio of the chant ‘Sri Gurudeva Datta’ in low volume.
·         Before the shraddha, worship the sattvik picture of Lord Dattatreya and offer arati.
With these actions the obstacles of the negative energies in the ritual of shraddha are removed. The Energy and Chaitanya of Lord Dattatreya is emitted in the venue of the shraddha and the family gets its benefit.

Om Tat Sat

(My humble salutations to Hindu Jagruti for the collection)


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