Dvaita and Sophistry - Part 3(Inherent natures of jivas)

Shrisha Rao shrao at NYX.NET
Fri Mar 14 18:18:16 CST 2003

On Fri, 14 Mar 2003, kalyan chakravarthy wrote:

> Namaskaaram,
> Actually, in the BG, it is clearly the jIva-s, and not the foods, who are
> >labeled as sAttvika, etc.  The usages in chapter XVII are clearly `AhArAH
> >sAttvikapriyAH' (foods dear to sAttvika-s), `AhArA rAjasasyeshhTAH' (foods
> >liked by rAjasa-s), and `bhojanaM tAmasapriyam.h' (meal dear to tAmasa-s).
> >To support your contention, the usages *should have been* `AhArAH
> >sAttvikAH' (foods that are sAttvika), &c.
> Agreed that the label is not given to the foods as such. But that does not
> in anyway reduce the strength of the argument.

If you think closely, it does.  If I recall, your precise words in this
regard were, and I quote:

  In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna tells Arjuna about sattvic, rajasic
  and tamasic foods. Each kind of food when eaten produces a different
  result. Otherwise, if all foods act on the jiva in the same way, then
  it is useless to classify them. For example, rajasic foods increase

Clearly, unlike what you said before, Krishna is *not* labeling foods
themselves as rAjasa, etc., as you now accept.

The question in the BG is the preferred natural behavior of each type of
jIva; Krishna first says (BG XVII-2) that there are three types of
shraddhA in the jIva-s, born of their self-same natures (svabhAvajA), and
that these are sAttvikI, rAjasI, and tAmasI.  He further adds (XVII-3)
that in line with one's own nature does one's shraddhA form, and that
whatever a person's natural shraddhA, that verily is he (i.e., a person
with sAttvikI-shraddhA is a sAttvika, one with rAjasI-shraddhA is a
rAjasa, &c.).  In defining what the natural states of behavior for these
types of jIva-s are, Krishna adds that they worship differently, the
sAttvika-s worship deva-s, the rAjasa-s worship yakSha-s and rAxasa-s,
whilst the tAmasa-s worship ghosts, spirits, and other low entities.

It is in this context that even the food (AhArastvApi) is said to be liked
in three ways by the jIva-s: the sAttvika-s like healthful, delicious
food, the rAjasa-s like food that is overly hot, bitter, salty, etc., and
so on.  There is no statement in the BG conveying the impression that the
foods cause the qualities in the persons; rather, persons have, based on
their own natures, likes for certain kinds of food.

> The first class of foods has been said to increase the duration of life,
> purify one's existence and give strength, health, happiness and

Notice that it is not stated *what* foods have these properties (which
would be inappropriate, of course, as the 'Gita is not a manual of food or
health).  It is merely said that food that is of such nature is liked by
sAttvika-s.  Again, the qualification is of the person, not of the food.

> >No, because your interpretation of the relevant scriptural text is clearly
> >incorrect
> My interpretation does stand. An assumption that a sattvik always eats only
> sattvic foods or a rajasic person eats only rajasic foods does not follow

Agreed, and no one is saying that it does.  What is being said by Krishna
is that certain types of food are *liked* by certain types of people.  It
is a given that no one always obtains what he or she likes, but the likes
themselves do not change for that reason.


Shrisha Rao

> Kalyan

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