Vegetarianism. Part VII

Throughout history many sages and yogis have advocated vegetarianism as the preferred way of life. This has not only been the case in India; some of the Greek philosophers, such as Archimedes, urged people to become vegetarians. They said this for a good reason, knowing that there is a definite relationship between what we eat and our state of mind. This is not surprising for the mind and body are intimately connected. This is clearly shown when we consider the rapid and direct influence that alcohol has on human behaviour both emotionally and mentally; the same too with various drugs. It is a fair assumption to say that the food we eat also has profound repercussions on our emotional and mental attitudes. Throughout the ages, it has been said that meat eating is conducive to internal tension and disharmony, whereas vegetarian food tends to promote inner calmness.

This doesn’t mean that eating certain types of food will automatically make you calm; far from it, for your mental state is mainly dependent on inner conflicts and problems. But eating certain types of food in preference to others is conducive to attaining relaxed states of mind. Deeper relaxation of the mind, however, can only come by cleaning out all the inner dross. So by becoming a vegetarian, we feel that one is laying down a firm foundation for a harmonious and happy life. And this is the stepping stone to higher awareness. This does not mean you cannot attain higher states of awareness if you are non-vegetarian; this cannot be true, for some systems use meat as an integral part of their ritual under specific circumstances and there have been meat eating sadhakas, but vegetarianism is a help, though perhaps a small one, in starting to tread the path to higher awareness.

If you are still not yet convinced that vegetarianism is preferable to non-vegetarianism, there is one more factor that may sway your mind. The cost of meat is generally far more than most vegetarian foods, and so by becoming a vegetarian it is possible to obtain a highly nutritious diet at less expense.

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