Many people are not serious about the consequences of eating at random. It not only affects the body but also the psychological, intellectual and spiritual progress of a person. That is why Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and many texts on Yoga, especially Hatha Yoga and also Ayurveda emphasise the need for proper diet.
The CHANDOGYA UPANISHAD, for example says that purity of food is essential for one's conduct and also good memory. The TAITTIRIYA UPANISHAD mentions about the importance of food.
In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna categorises Food into three varieties, viz. SATTVA, RAJAS and TAMAS and names some food varieties under each category.
The SATTVIK food gives happiness, it is pleasing, lighter, makes one’s mind calm and nourishes the body and gives long life.
The RAJASIK food gives vigour, virility and induces one to indulge in action and promotes desire.
The TAMASIK food is generally not recommended as it makes one dull, lazy and sluggish.
The text on HATHA YOGA gives the list of food, vegetables, fruits etc., which have to be partaken and those to be avoided. It applies to people of different strata.
Apart from the quality of food, the quantity is also important. The proper moderate diet is: one should fill half the stomach with SATTVIK food, one quarter with water and leave the rest quarter empty for the movement of air. This is known as Mitaahaara.
Lord Krishna says that one should have moderation in food, sleep and activities. I asked Rev. Chariji Maharaj about the importance of food. He told me that it is important as one progresses in spirituality. He gave the wonderful example of using Petrol for the bikes and cars, but the same cannot be used for aeroplane.
Rev. Babuji Maharaj says in the 8th Maxim that the food should be earned with honest means and should be taken in the remembrance of God. In the book, EFFICACY OF RAJA YOGA IN THE LIGHT OF SAHAJ MARG, he says that if the food is prepared in divine consciousness or in the remembrance of God and partaken in the same condition, it would remove spiritual diseases.
Rev. Lalaji Maharaj summarises entire mode of life in just two words, which include Food also: Balance and Moderation.
It is really wonderful to see Rev. Master, Shri Kamlesh D Patel, President of Shri Ram Chandra Mission also gives importance to this aspect of Food in spirituality. He has talked about how different types of food affects the consciousness. In one of Kamleshji's recent talks, he has quoted this, "Someone asked Babuji if they could eat non-vegetarian food. Babuji said, ‘I allow you to eat it until you can stop it by yourself.’ What a profound answer you see!" And then, Shri Kamlesh D Patel went on to explain further that it is a matter of the subtle bodies. Anything that can harm and hurt creates vibrations and when we consume such food, such vibrations will have an impact on our consciousness.