Ahimsa & Food
Honoring Mother Earth through Organic Food
By Maya Tiwari
May the universe never abuse food.
Breath is food. The body eats foods
The body rests on breath.
Breath rests on the body.
Food is resting on food.
The one who knows this
becomes rich in food and great in spirit.
– Taittiriya Upanishad 11.7
Food is not merely nourishment and sustenance to keep us alive; it is the heart of matter, the mind of memory, the imprints of the ancestors, the seed of the newborn, the spirit of a family, the land, river, sky, mountain and universe; every grain of sand depends on Mother Nature’s food. In this work of Living Ahimsa you learn the necessity of reclaiming the spirit of harmony and non-violence within you, and by extension to broadcast good health, joy and abundance to your family and community. You will discover that if you wish to maintain your individual consciousness, health and well-being, you have no choice but to refuse to contribute to the forces that destroy nature. Whoever you are, you will discover that the “good health”, “happiness”, “harmony”, “joy”, and “prosperity” you desire and seek out has absolutely nothing to do with the commercialization of food, the poisoning of the food source, or “killer trends” that are disguised in alluring images with sound bites that promise “progress, prosperity and the quick fix”. Admittedly, it is difficult task for our youths to not become blinded by the explosion of popular trends.
At the center of it all, the world’s intrinsic spiritual abundance is at risk. There is no prosperity without the preservation of wholesome foods. Once nature’s resources are contaminated, they affect the human body, mind and spirit in adverse ways. The core issue and humanity’s top first priority must be to remove violence from the food source and restore nature’s resplendent resources. For this, we need to educate our people on the organic, wholesome ways of caring for themselves and by extension, the family and community. These means must be linked once again to the native stock of knowledge. We must inform our youths about the necessity for healthful, conscientious behaviors and inspire them with authentically packaged knowledge that fosters awareness sand self-respect.
As it stands, our modern world is crammed with manifold layers of contradictions – for example, at one end of the spectrum she is on the verge of massive technological and scientific growth aligned with material prosperity and at the other extreme, we are teetering on the brink of devastating violence, conflicts, inner city wars, despair and poverty. Who in their right mind would deliberately imbibe polluted products and poisoned foods? Obviously, billions of people the world over are now doing precisely that. This behooves the imperative question: Does this malady arise from personal choice or by designed addiction? Where is the education that teaches that the fast foods malaise is largely contributing to the victimization of cultures world-wide? Who is enlightening the addicted population that the hidden price they are paying for these products in far greater than the financial cost- they are paying from their health, memory, fertility, spirituality and their future. We must make it clear that by consuming the “killer diet”, camouflaged under the marketing guise of hip abundance, we are willingly subscribing to disease, disharmony, and despair. Having served thirty years observing and developing the criteria for holistic health education, I cannot help but see that there is a progressive trend, an aspiration toward becoming a “victim of prosperity”. In fact, even the world’s financial trillions will prove to be ineffective solution against the fight of disease epidemic and the growing denigration of life and nature resulting from the popularized “killer diet”.
The simplest person can recognize that polluted “fast foods”, commercially grown “poisoned foods”; genetically engineered “mutated foods” will not enhance our well-being, and that these compel destructive habits which do not contribute to nourishment, nurturance and healing. If we fail to recognize the devastating effects of the popular “killer diet” we will gradually lose individual and communal good health to the despair of disease, poverty, and violence. We cannot afford to become the victims of prosperity – robbed of the most precious human right -that of your free will and the right to choose nature’s wholesome nourishment.
Our personal history teaches us that it is virtually impossible to learn arduous lesson from the mistakes of others. But we can make a difference through self-evident nature of our personal awareness which can promote salubrious choice in food for ourselves and family. To make the difference, take the Vow of Ahimsa, make the commitment to protecting nature by choosing wholesome foods. It is the primal human nature to be a part of the commonality that bind us together, let us then reclaim our power of control by pooling our effort into the well of consciousness by choosing to live a life of ahimsa.
This article is adapted from Maya Tiwari’s article originally published in Purnarnava Ayurveda Conference Booklet, February 2007
Notes: Check out the itinerary for Maya Tiwari’s Living Ahimsa Tour; come and take the Vow of Ahimsa and learn the proven way to cultivate inner harmony and good health.