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Nature, Karma & Diet

Nature is the ground below our feet. Nature is the sky above our heads. Nature is the mother of life. Nature is the fresh air, the food and the water, all so very essential to our survival and growth. Nature grows in spring, shines in summer, fades in autumn, dies in winter and takes its birth again in the new spring. Nature is the cycle inside and outside of us. Nature is our day as well as our night. Nature is the plants, the animals and we humans. While the animals and the plants live as one with their nature and therefore seem completely at one with nature regardless of what angle we consider it from, humans have a choice to live at one with nature or to live against nature. Indeed, whilst we are clearly meant to be an integral part of nature just like a deer or a tree, we have more free will. We can decide to align with our innermost natural instincts or we can align with today’s society, a society in most parts of the world that lives in complete disharmony with nature.


All our actions, from the most insignificant to the most significant create movement in our world and in nature at large, no matter how noticeable the effect is to our limited perception. The reason I find the study of nature is so important is because in my view, nature is much deeper and much more significant than the general societal accepted views of it.


Nature is the ocean of vibration that extends from our hearts to the stars and beyond. From the faintest heartbeat or thought to the loudest storm, each vibration constitutes a part of its vast existence. All its vibrations build up into complex shades and colours that eventually translate into the material world. In the same way that any physical action needs to have an original internal intent (conscious or not), what we perceive as nature in the physical world comes from an intelligent conscious force. Nature is the result of the spirit’s desire to experience itself. By extension, nature is the law of the universe and of the spirit. As a consequence, its study is indispensable for a serious spiritual aspirant who is on the quest for knowledge, truth and freedom.

This is what the mind is for. The human mind when purified enough, can connect to nature in the same way nature connects with itself. The same way two plants will connect with each other with their roots or in the same way two birds will understand each other with their own ways and language, we humans can connect with anything in nature through the power of our minds. The mind can reach past the 5 senses and connect with anything, whether it be a tree, an animal, a breeze, a cloud, or even a star or a planet. Nature is a conscious living entity in the same way that we are. Of course, it goes without saying that its gross functioning, while comparable to ours, is still very different and obviously very varied from one lifeform to another.


This process of connecting with nature through our purified minds is the way to learn. This is how we should reach sound decisions. The mind is like the lens through which we see the world, and the cleaner it is, the better we can tell what is what. This is how we should know what to eat, who to associate with, and what to do in our lives in general. However, desires arising in the mind obscure the lens of our perception and corrupt our reason.


The desires in our minds are the reason happiness gets interrupted. Desires make the mind discontented and relentless in its search for material achievement. However, when the mind is free from desire and focused on the spirit, it is simply contented and does not seek anything outside of itself.


Our actions in our everyday life are guided by our inner desires and beliefs regarding the world. In other words, in the same way that our actions always have consequences, our actions in the present are the consequences of our inner functioning which is itself a result of past actions. This is the workings of karma around the spirit.


“Karma” in Sanskrit translates into “action”, “activity”, “work” or “fruitful work”. It relates to action but also to the many consequences actions create in all of an individual’s lifetimes. Karma relates to the inner and outer circumstances we find ourselves in in our lives. Freedom from karma means full union with the spirit. It means that our consciousness is not interested in initiating actions in the material world.


Indeed, even if the spirit is changeless, eternal and forever pure, our mind’s desires in the material world keep us from constantly fully experiencing the nature of god in everything. As long as our mind is attracted to action in the material world, we will remain caught in the karmic wheel of birth and death. The high purpose of a human birth is freedom. Freedom comes from being able to renounce the thoughts related to initiating actions. This does not mean that we stop doing actions in the world because we need to perform actions to survive. It means that we renounce the fruit of the actions we perform. The mind that is fully engrossed in the spirit remains indifferent to the ups and downs of the material world.


An important step on the path of renunciation is to adjust one’s diet. Eating food is essential for our survival. In fact, beside sleep, food is the main way we get energy. The nutrients in the food we eat becomes part of us thanks to the digestive fire of the stomach. This is one of the reasons why it is very important to be aware of the food we eat.


In my view, a vegetarian diet (no meat, no fish, no eggs) is the best. While the world is still very divided on this topic, if we consider a vegetarian diet including grains (lentils, beans …), carbohydrates (wheat, rice …), vegetables and seeds, being vegetarian is by far the healthiest dietary option. Many say that a vegetarian diet does not contain enough vitamin B12, or enough protein calcium or iron. However, when we include the grains and the seeds in the equation, this issue disappears. Besides, non-vegetarians have a stronger risk of contracting chronic diseases, diabetes, hypertension, blood sugar issues, heart issues and more. Being vegetarian also makes it so much easier to regulate one’s weight which is very important in this era where obesity is still an issue in many parts of the world. Also, a vegetarian diet gives a healthier amount of fibre and vitamin C.


Another reason we need to be careful of the food we eat is because of karma. Our mental and physical health are obviously at stake but we also need to understand the path our food takes before it ends up on our plates. One of the main reasons that people are becoming vegetarian/ vegan is because they find out about the suffering animals have to endure in a society that is more focused on material gains than on moderation and decency. In order for animal products to be mass produced, manufacturers are keeping and treating animals in hellish conditions. Those hellish conditions reflect in the animal product that we buy in the supermarket and at the end will reflect in the minds of those who consume it. As a result, in this world meat eating is an act that facilitates violence in ourselves and in the world at large. The stress, worry, sadness and other negative emotions felt by animals is passed down to us consumers who actually perpetuate the cycle of violence by being meat eaters. The violence felt by animals remains in their tissues which makes its way to our plate and then to our mind and heart.


In other words, being non-vegetarian is an act that hinders peace on an individual level and ultimately at large in the world. The way we treat other living beings is very important. It shows not only the state of our consciousness but also the state of the world. The world we live in today is conflicted in major ways and that cannot change until mother nature is honoured the way she is meant to be honoured.


We owe our lives to the mother. Our biological mother gives birth to us. Mother nature sustains us. She allows us to live patiently and unconditionally, and that too despite how foolish we humans have become. Our society is inherently masculine. It is about action, competitiveness and power, not about nourishment, compassion and cooperation. Women are mistreated. Nature is mistreated. The feminine principle is disrespected.


In the Vedic philosophy, the cow is seen as the Divine Mother. Her milk provides tremendous nourishment that is hard to compare with other foods. Her dung is used in agriculture and in times when Vedic culture on the planet flourished, her urine was used as medicine. Eating cow meat was considered a heinous act. However, the extra milk she had after feeding her calf was consumed by humans and was a great source of nutrients and also great medicine. In this day and age, I find it very difficult to drink milk given how cows are treated horribly. Nevertheless, I believe that cow milk is an important aspect of human nutrition and that if possible, we should include milk products that come from a place where cows are treated decently. Due to the current mistreatment of cows, in today’s context being vegan makes alot of sense.

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