According to Yoga texts this nature has three constituents, namely sattwa, rajas, and tamas. All matter and empirical phenomena, including the mind, is matter-manifest in endless combinations of these three gunas. So logically if we are eating Rajasik or Tamasik food we’ll have the thinking of the same kind. The gunas, may also be understood in terms of unactivity (Sattva), activity (Rajas) and inactivity (Tamas). The characteristics associated with these three gunas are mutually different. For instance; Sattva is characterized by purity, serenity, poise, calmness, discrimination, transparence, compassion, clarity, goodness, altruism, dispassion, contentment, etc.; Rajas is characterized by love of fame, passion, lust, strife, impatience, jealousy, pride, display of power etc. ; and Tamas is characterized by anger, greed, ignorance, solidity, resistance, inertia, forgetfulness, confusion, darkness, brutality, etc. Sattva is the condition of harmony in the human system. Contrary to it Tamas and Rajas are Maanas Doshas (mental impurities). Lust, anger, fear, jealousy, attachment, greed, grief and worry etc are all the mental disturbances and are caused by the disharmony between Rajas and Tamas. The Sattwa, Rajas, and Tamas correspond to sukha (happiness), dukha (suffering), and moha (attachment) respectively. In the challenging situations like depression we are already having the mind full of Tamasik and Rajasik thoughts like sadness, grief, desire of suicide, anger, frustration, revenge, violence, guilt and so on. So in these situations eating anything that can aggravate the Tamasik and Rajasik thoughts is asking for bigger troubles. Any food material that we eat consists of all three Gunas Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Most of the food materials that we consume have high quantity of Tamasik and Rajasik gunas. In normal conditions a person may keep eating the same food without any visible ill effects as his body and mind can cope with the good and bad effects of that. But in case of some illness it is logical that same food may become dangerous. Ayurveda literature suggests that jealousy, fear, anger, grief (caused by Tamas and Rajas) reduce the fire in stomach (digestion juices), hence the digestion of food becomes difficult.
By denying to eat the food, body declares that it can not take any more of these tamasika and rajasik gunas as the mind is already overwhelmed by the ill effects of them. While there is no more supply coming from outside of these two Gunas (by fasting), slowly their amount and effects keep on getting balanced. This way body and mind get some time to slowly reduce the effects of rajas and tamas. Besides it, we also need to see that a depressed person is avoiding all his daily routine work that was otherwise pleasing to a normal person because they increase the Rajas and Tamas in his system. These things are sexual activities, physical exercises, sleeping, talking to friends and family members, sports and enjoyment etc. Again it just naturally happens with everyone as it is also the normal coping mechanism of his body and mind.
Moreover we also need to see that in these depressing conditions, most of the time, the body and mind of the person also push him towards the activities that increase the Sattva Guna. It is generally seen that most of the depressed people start taking interest in reading the scriptures like Geeta and his natural inclination is in Vairagya. They start saying that this world is illusion and nothing is real and none is your own. It is called “Shamshaan Vairagya”in India with sarcasm as this is only the momentary reaction of otherwise normal worldly person. Again it all is directed from an unconscious level. But momentary or not we can not deny that these are the natural reactions of a depressed person. All these things clearly point out that body and mind definitely want to increase the Satva Guna in the system.
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