17.09 – Are we courting suffering with the tongue?
The world is witnessing an upsurge of many diet-induced diseases. A prominent example is obesity, which is increasingly becoming one of the world’s biggest causes of avoidable death.
Diseases can result from diet that is wrong in quantity or quality or both. For example, fast food that is being aggressively marketed all over the world has little if any nutritional value. In fact, such food is frequently known to harm the body in various ways including of course by adding bodily fat. Still, many people gorge on unhealthy foods because the taste is seductive. Thus, they end up courting misery with their tongue.
Sickness-inducing diet is typical of the mode of passion, which is presently the most widespread of the three modes of material nature. The Bhagavad-gita (17.09) indicates that food in the mode of passion provokes excessive sensory arousal and leads to pain, lamentation and disease. We feel pain when the food turns out to be incompatible with our physiology; we lament when our hopes for pleasure triggered by the hyper-stimulating food are dashed; and we get disease due to subjecting the body to daily abuse by adamantly consuming unhealthy foods.
Gita wisdom recommends that we offer our food to Krishna and thereafter transform it into prasad, which is a carrier of spiritual potency. Vegetarian fast food can be offered to Krishna, still that doesn’t exempt us from its material characteristics hurting us at the bodily level.
That’s why it’s much safer materially to access the spiritual potency of prasad through food that is in the mode of goodness. By making such food our regular diet, we use our tongue not to court suffering but to honor Krishna himself who is the reliever from all suffering and the bestower of supreme happiness.