|Chapter 17: The Divisions of Faith|
rasyah snigdhah sthira hridya
Foods dear to those in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one's existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart.
It is well known that sattvika foods increase the life span. They also increase strength of will as well as physical strength, freedom from disease, happiness and delightfulness in eating them. The four qualities mentioned are juicy, mild, substantial and beneficial. The food should be tasty or juicy. Jaggery has taste but is coarse or dry. Sattvika food should also be mild. The foam of milk, though tasty and mild, is insubstantial. Sattvika food should be substantial, with long lasting effect in the body. Jack fruit and other items are sweet, mild, and substantial, but are not beneficial to the stomach and other organs. Sattvika food should be beneficial to the heart, stomach and other organs as well. Thus it is understood that foods such as rice, wheat, other grains, milk and sugar are dear to the sattvika people, because they have all four of the above mentioned qualities. As those foods are dear to them, the foods are understood to be sattvika. However, even if food has those four qualities, if it is impure, the sattvika people do not like it. Thus, purity should be added as a quality of sattvika food.
Srila Prabhupada comments, "The purpose of food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and aid bodily strength. This is its only purpose. In the past, great authorities selected those foods that best aid health and increase life�s duration, such as milk products, sugar, rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables. These foods are very dear to those in the mode of goodness. Some other foods, such as baked corn and molasses, while not very palatable in themselves, can be made pleasant when mixed with milk or other foods. They are then in the mode of goodness. All these foods are pure by nature."
Please read the Sanskrit Verse and the Prabhupada's Purport.