Ok, tonight we are going to talk about vegetarianism. All the yoga patterns, all the yoga teachings stress vegetarianism. A yoga diet is a vegetarian diet. In ancient times very, very few people in the population ate meat; almost all were vegetarians. And even among those who ate meat, nobody ate cows. So, we are going far away from that. We are in a very different world now. And it’s not a better world.
There are three main requirements to keep the soul and body together. The most important is air. You can live for a very short time without air; it just the matter of minutes. The second is water. You can live ten-twelve days with no water under certain conditions. And the third is food. You can live 2-3 months with no food. Again, under right conditions, if you know what you are doing. But we must have these three so that the body to be able to support life. That’s the design; that’s the way it’s designed. So, we arrange it, don’t we? I mean we just breathe whatever there is, we try to drink some liquids.
Unfortunately, most people don’t drink enough. And the liquids are concocted things like sodas, and coffees, and teas. We drink these because they taste good or they stimulate us. But the body’s designed to drink water first and foremost. And we need at least two liters a day; that’s minimum. Three liters are better, four liters are very good. And it should be good water, not tap water. In the original design of the universe the water was pure. During the distillation process of water, it was evaporated by the sun, forming clouds and coming back as pure rain. Then it was running down streams, and going over the rocks, and gathering minerals, and aerated by the rapids, thus purifying itself. And when you were thirsty, you went and drank pure water from the stream. That’s the original design.
But lord Man has come along and completely contaminated everything. Now we don’t get nice pure rain; we get acid rain that peels off the paint from your car. What do you think that does to your body? And then, of course, it has to be processed with so many chemicals and things to kill all the bacteria, funguses and molds. So, tap water is like a chemical cocktail. Don’t drink it. Bottled water is not much better, but what can we do? See, we are working against a lot of odds nowadays. You can try to do your best, but still there’s a lot of what we can’t overcome. We’ve arranged it like that – we, not the Supreme Lord. So, water: 2-3 liters a day.
And then – food. What is the best food for the human form of life? There are many life forms, and each life form is designed to eat a certain food. The cows are designed to eat grass. Their body’s designed for that food. And it makes their life very simple. The life of all animals is quite simple.
-Oh, mister Cow, what are you going to have for breakfast today?
-Oh, I think I’ll have some grass.
-Ok, what about lunch?
-Mmm, I’ll just chew breakfast.
-What about dinner?
-You know, I’m going to have some more grass.
No problem; life is simple.
Then the soul enters the human body:
-What are you going to have for breakfast?
-I don’t know… Should I have this cereal or that cereal, these tomatoes or…?
-And what about dinner?
-I don’t know… Maybe pizza… Maybe this…
Anxiety. What am I going to eat? I don’t know what I want. What does the tongue want today? So, just deciding what to eat causes a lot of stress. You go to a restaurant and there is a big menu. “Oh, man, what to get? This is good. That sounds nice. I don’t know: should I get this or this?” And then you get it, it’s not so good: “Oh, I should’ve got that one!” More anxiety. And what about dessert? “Oh, I shouldn’t have it but I want it. I’m too fat. But that chocolate pie looks really good. I don’t know, maybe… Ok, I’ll have it anyway.” And we eat it, we’re too full now, we feel like crap: “Gee, I knew I shouldn’t eat, man! All of that money… And all I do is feel sick.” More anxiety. We cause ourselves a lot of stress, a lot of difficulties.
If we follow the yoga system, life becomes much, much more simple. In a non-yoga world the goal is to satisfy the senses, let them run wild; the more stimulation, the better. And we conclude: this is happiness, this is freedom; unrestricted sense of pleasure, that’s freedom. But the Vedas teach a different message: no, that’s not freedom, that’s bandage. You, the spirit soul, must control your senses. You are the master, they are the servants. You decide what they are allowed and what they are not allowed. And that decision is based on the teachings in the Vedas. And if anyone in this room has ever begun to control the senses, you can testify to the increased pleasure. You feel good about being able to say: “No! I don’t want that.” The tongue is saying:
-I want it!
-No. You are not going to have that. We are going to eat this. Not this. This is good for the body. This is not. That’s enough, we are stopping now.
-But I want more. I want it more!
-No. It’s enough.
You gain control. You start becoming the master rather than the slave of the senses. And all kinds of beneficial things start happening to the physical body and the mind. The mind and the body are very closely connected. What affects one, affects the other.
What is the correct food for the human form of life? Vegetarian food. Just look at the construction of the human body. Compare that with the construction of an obviously meat eating body: the carnivors (the tigers, the lions, etc.) What about the teeth? The carnivores have big fangs, few front teeth, no molars to chew the food. Their body’s designed to rip big hunks, to swallow big hunks. It goes into the stomach. The stomach has an incredibly high acidic content which acidifies, brakes down this food. The intestinal track is very short. And very quickly that food exits the body; a short trip. When meat brakes down, it gives off toxic poisons in large quantities. Anybody can see that. Take an apple and take a piece of raw meat. Put the two in the sun, leave them for twelve hours and come back. Which one would you rather eat, the apple or the meat? The meat stinks; flies are flying around and seating on it. Get rid of that! And here is a nice apple: nothing much happened, it just warmed up. Eat it – delicious!
And what does the human body have? What its tooth structure? No real keen knives; there are just some small ones. Front teeth are biting small bites and a lot of molars are grinding the food consistent with all herbivores. So, you grind the food to pulp, then you swallow the food, it goes to the stomach where the further digestion takes place. And it goes into the small intestine, goes around; all kinds of little villi are in there to absorb the nutrition. But it must go slow. Then it goes finally into the large intestine, there’s again a long journey, a slow journey; more nutrition is taken out. Water that was added to it along the way is now reabsorbed. And at the end it arrives to the colon. Where it’s compacted in waste and it finally leaves body. A long journey. That’s perfect for vegetables. It’s totally imperfect for meat.
Meat begins to putrefy all along the way giving off its toxins which are absorbed into the body. There’s no fiber there, so there’s nothing really to sweep away all of this refuge; the body becomes like a stopped up sewer pipe. Everything is just wasted in there. And then finally, if we’re lucky, it comes out. It brings a lot of problems: diverticulitis, which is a disease of the intestine, colitis, which is a disease of the colon. Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of death. And on and on it goes. Basically all this is the result of eating meat; vegetarians almost don’t have any of these problems. Constipation is a constant problem of people. The pharmacies are filled with laxatives that help stuff to move out. As the nature’s design is being violated, it doesn’t move. So, we are fluctuating between constipations and diarrheas; all they are very unpleasant, very damaging to the body, not good. And on and on it goes.
So, by design the human body is meant for a vegetarian diet. What are vegetarian foods? They are grains: the rice, the wheat, the buckwheat, the millet, etc., many grains; all with nice protein, all types of vitamins (B, other various essential vitamins) and a lot of fiber. But they should be whole grains, not refined grains: not white rice, white flour. But a modern man has decided: “Oh, this looks better, it tastes better! Let’s take away all the good things and just leave the starch. Oh, I like it! White bread is so soft!” …And so destructive. Even the bread is filled with so many chemicals, dough conditioners, preservatives; we created all this. So, grains, whole grains.
Vegetables. All types of vegetables are very, very good. They contain so many vitamins and minerals, natural fibers, and are very, very good for the body. And then – the fruits. Fruits are also filled with nutrition, help the body to function, eliminate.
The dairy products. The cow in the Vedas is called one of our seven mothers. Her position in the world is to provide milk for man. Like mothers give milk for the babies, the cow is one of the seven mothers. But, again, we made it so milk is basically now poisoned. Due to the factory farms, the dairy practices of today, the milk is also basically like poison, filled with grow hormones, antibiotics. The cows are under constant stress. All of that goes into the milk. They homogenize it, they pasteurize it to kill everything in it. They package it in some kind of strange sterile containers. So, basically, what we get today is not really milk. But the idea is still the same.
The nuts, the seeds are filled with life. If you do eat nuts and seeds, the best thing is to soak them first. This starts the sprouting process. And you can sprout the seeds. It’s a very easy process. Anyone can do it. You can do it in your home, no matter where you live. If your home is a box on the street, you can do it. And when you sprout the seeds and the beans (you can also sprout beans), their nutritional value increases many, many times. And they take on more life force, more life energy.
If you can eat raw food, this is also very good. The human body is basically an electrical machine. It works on electricity firing the nerves, electrical impulses. When you eat uncooked vegetables, they are filled with the natural electrical charge. So, that recharges the body. It’s like a battery. You can run a battery down, and then you recharge it. That’s exactly the way it is in the body. Through all of our busy lives, whatever we do, we run the battery down; it needs to be recharged, and the uncooked vegetables do that. Also, the natural good water does that.
One thing you can do to improve the quality of your water: put it in a glass container and sit it in the sun for around twelve hours. That sun restructures the water so that the body can more easily absorb it into the cells. Within the cell is where the water needs to be; it has to permeate the cell membrane. So, we can drink 3 to 4 liters of water but that does not necessarily mean that it’s hydrating the individual cells. Often it just goes in and goes out. And the cells are still dehydrated. So, the water needs to be membrane permeable. It needs to be live water. Again, this is really not so easy to do, but this idea of putting it in the sun will greatly help. There is so much to know about water; water in itself is a whole philosophy. And we’re struggling against it, in the cities especially. So, as I say, do the best you can. If you have the means, the facilities, you can buy filters that will recharge the water, ionize the water, restructure the water, and it has a complete different effect in the body. I know a person who drank a lot of water but was completely dehydrated. And on advice of a person, who knew these things, she changed the water that she drank, and her health improved amazingly, just from that.
So, back to the food. The raw food is full with electrical charge. But some cooked food is good, too. It’s interesting: take just the simple tomato. There are certain vital ingredients in a tomato that are destroyed if you cook it. So, it’s good to eat raw tomatoes. But there are other vital ingredients in tomatoes that can only be gotten if you cook the tomatoes. When you cook them, they are made available. So, it’s good to eat cooked tomatoes. So, eat some raw and some cooked, then you get all of it. It’s a huge science here.
Another thing – do not overeat. This is a thrilled struggle for a lot of people. You can eat the best food there is; everything is as good as it can be. But if you eat too much, it starts going the other way. Now the body is under stress; it has to deal with this overload. So the good food causes a lot of problems. The stomach is only this big. But we eat like this (much more). So, when you feel a little bit full – Ok, enough. In one place in the Vedas it says that when you belch, that’s definitely a sign “Don’t eat any more”. That’s the bell: “Ding, ding, ding! Stop!” But for many people that’s just when we get started: “Now I’m ready to go.” So, self control: we need to be able to control our tongues. Our tongues cause us a lot of problems.
So, vegetarian diet – the food for mankind. And you can take this to various levels of perfection. The human body by design is alkaline. I think most of us have been to our basic chemistry classes and biology classes and know there is an acid/alkaline scale. I think people know this, right? And it goes from zero to fourteen. Seven is neutral. Anything below seven is acidic. Anything above seven is alkaline. So, the body by design is alkaline. But by practice, almost without exception, the body is acidic. And this causes big health problems again. Basically, every health problem that there is, is a result of an acidic body.
The blood is the most important thing in the body. The body is only as healthy as the blood. And the Ph of the blood is 7.365. The blood has to stay very close to that range. If it goes very much below that or very much above that, one dies. There is not much room here. So, the body has various defense systems built into it to keep the blood at that Ph. And the main problem is acidity, not alkalinity. So, when the body is getting more acidic and the blood is being attacked with acidity, there are buffers in the body to neutralize this. But when those buffers are used up, it has to get them from some other place.
One of the main buffers is calcium, calcium carbonate. So, when the body uses up the natural supply that are already there, then it goes to the bones, to the teeth. It starts pulling calcium out of the bones and teeth. To keep the blood at the Ph, it must be. So, our teeth become calcium deficient, and we get cavities, all kinds of tooth problems. Our bones become calcium deficient, and we get osteoporosis, etc. They become very brittle. You fall down – boom, you break your bones (it’s very common in older bodies). As the bodies get older, they get more and more acidic, and more and more problems appear.
When the body is getting acid, it is also trying to get rid of it. So it stores it in different places to get it out of the blood. If it stores it in the joints, they call it arthritis, rheumatism. If it stores it on the walls of the vessels, they call it cholesterol. If it stores it in the fatty tissues, like a woman’s breast, it begins to cause tumors, breast cancer. If it stores it in the prostate, then the man gets prostate cancer. Overweight is actually a sign that the body is trying to store all of this in the fatty tissues. Or, if we are too thin, it shows that the body is taking away from the muscles and so on to try to neutralize the acid. Sugar diabetes, a huge problem for many people, is also a result of acidic body. Basically, if you trace back to the original cause of every disease, it’s an over acidic body.
But we are trying to cure it not at the source but at the symptom: “Oh, cut out the breast cancer, have a heart bypass surgery, take cholesterol pills, inject cortisone shots for the rheumatism and arthritis, go on an anti sugar diet for the diabetes and take insulin…” Candida is a very big problem for many people, especially women. Where does that come from? It comes from a fungus. And funguses love acidic condition. They can’t live in an alkaline environment. So, we do all these things to cure the Candida when the real problem is that our bodies are over acidic. So, what’s the obvious conclusion here? We need to alkalize the body! It’s a very simple thing. And how do you do that? You stay away from acidic foods and you eat alkaline foods. You drink a lot of alkaline water, not acidic water. And all of this working together will gradually bring the body up to its original alkaline state.
So, all the refined foods, canned foods, especially meat, they all are very highly acidic. Coca-Cola or all of its cousins, and brothers, and sisters (people drink it by the liter): the Sprites and the Pepsis, the sodas of all kinds. The Ph of soda is around 2.3. Coca-Cola will eat a nail into in one day. Put a nail in a bottle of Coke, leave it and come back the next day – no more nail. One of the best cleaning agents is Coca-Cola. Cuts off everything. It’s a poison. But we love it, it tastes good. I was in a dentist office and there was a young girl about thirteen seating there waiting for the dentist. And out of her bag she pulled a Coca-Cola: “What a hot day!” Not water, not a nice bottle of water but Coke, all day.
From birth people are acidic because that’s the life we live. All the alcohol, intoxications, drugs are all acidic. All the prescription drugs for all the ailments that were caused by acid are acidic, too. The doctor says: “Oh, take this for your liver, take this for your indigestion, this is your heart medicine, this is your cholesterol medicine…” It’s all caused by acid and all that medication is highly acidic. And most people are on all kinds of medications. The drug industry is doing very well.
The best alkalizing foods are green leafy vegetables. You know the ones, anybody knows: the salads, the cabbage, the broccoli, the Brussels sprouts, the spinach and all the green food. They are high in chlorophyll. The chlorophyll molecule is almost identical to the red blood cell; it’s like a 101. So, greens. Make it so that there are a lot of greens in your life. All these sprouts I was talking about are highly alkaline. All the peppers are very good, etc., etc. Most of the vegetables are leaning toward alkaline, some more than others.
Potatoes are quite starchy. Starch leads to sugar. Sugar turns acidic in the body. The more you can eliminate sugar, the better. All kinds of sugar: cane sugar, beet sugar, honey, etc., etc. If you cook potatoes, then when you boil the potatoes and the white foam comes on the top of water, pour that water off, and you’ll get rid of most of starch. There are a lot of simple things you can do. Everybody I know, who’s been introduced to this alkaline diet and followed it, has had a great improvement in health; everybody. And they all are vegetarians. You will have more energy; your body will reach its optimum weight. If you’re overweight, you’ll lose weight. If you’re underweight, you’ll gain weight. Your body will require less sleep. There is no this great tendency to overeat. The food in it of itself is very satisfying.
When you eat, you should use a lot of good oil on your food at the table. Not when you cook it but at the table. I know from experience, you have so many nice oils here in Russia. You’ve got pumpkin seed oil, linseed oil, grape seed oil, walnut oil, and on and on; almond oil, hemp oil… So many. We are trying to get cold pressed, unrefined. Try to stay as natural as possible. When man starts changing things, it destroys it. If possible, get food that’s not sprayed with chemicals, fertilizers. In America we call that organic food (I don’t know what the term is here). Buy from the babushkas; they give you the good stuff. Don’t go to the markets with the big stuff from China.
I was in a market in Khabarovsk. I was talking to a lady who was selling a lot of natural herbs from the taiga, all kinds of things from there: seeds, and roots, and berries – great stuff. And right beside from where she was in the market were all these people selling Chinese vegetables and fruits: big, beautiful. She said: “Do you see those guys? They all buy all that Chinese stuff, they get sick, and then they come up here to buy my herbs to get well.” I said: “Oh, very good.”
So, as natural as possible. Grow your own if possible, and probably many of you do. Another thing I like about Russia is the dachas; it’s very good. So, the closer you come to the natural arrangement of God, the better it all is.
Salt. The modern scientists will say: “Don’t eat salt. It’s bad for your heart, it’s bad for your cholesterol, there’s too much sodium.” But in all this alkaline diet it’s actually a big ingredient, because the body is a saline solution; all the fluids in the body are salty. Have you ever noticed that? The blood is salty, the tears are salty, the sweat is salty, the urine is salty. Every fluid in the body is salty. It’s supposed to be. You go to the hospital and they give you an intravenous drip that is a salt solution. They don’t just put water in there. The body has to have a salty solution. The body is 70 to 75% water. When you’re born, the body is 80-85% water. That’s why babies are so juicy. Have you ever noticed that? But then as you get adult, you start drying out, for many people it’s 70% or even below. And then when we get old, the body is like 55% water. We are like prunes, dried fruit. We dry up because we don’t drink enough water. It doesn’t get in the cells, we are not hydrated.
So, back to salt. When we use a liberal amount of salt in our diet, it charges the body. All the nerve impulses fire through a salty solution. There is an experiment where they have a light bulb, two probes which they put in the solution, and some power source. They put those probes in water. The light bulb doesn’t light. They add a spoon of salt – the light comes on. We need it. But it should be good salt, not the salt in the commercial markets. This is filled with all kinds of artificial ingredients: anticaking agents, all kind of things. The best is Himalayan salt from the ancient Himalayan mountains, from ancient sea beds of 250 million years old. There’s no contamination. This is the best. And some other sources on the planet that are equal to this are good. You can buy them in Novosibirsk but it’s not cheap. But if you’re willing to pay the price, it’s well worth it. Sea salt is not as good as it could be because the sea is very polluted. But natural unrefined sea salt is better than just normal table salt. However to use the salt as it should be, you need to drink a lot of water. You can’t do just one part and not the other part; it’s a formula. You need to have all the parts correct, or you cause problems.
These are some basic guidelines. Eat the fresh food. Try to stay away from the canned, anything processed. They have almost no nutritional value and are highly acidic. So, you get something but you don’t get some. You feel full but you are not. And that’s another reason why we overeat. The body requires certain minerals, proteins, amino acids, fats, and on and on. It’s necessary. But because the food we eat is empty, it really doesn’t have what the body needs, the body craves this food and so we just keep eating trying to satisfy it but we don’t because we don’t get that nutrition. But when you’re eating nutrient rich food, the body becomes satisfied and you don’t need to eat over. When you eat too many sweets, it does the same thing. But when you stay away from your sweets, and you eat this alkaline diet, your tastes change, your cravings change.
I know one man. He used to drink a lot of beer. Whenever his friends came to see him, they always brought him beer because he liked it. And then he seriously applied this alkaline diet. And he lost his taste for beer. His friends come and bring him beer but he says: “I don’t want it. I don’t have any taste for it.” Things change. The way we are now is not the way we will always be. People say: “Oh, I could never give up meat, I could never give up alcohol, I could never give up sweets, I could never give up this, this, and this,” because they are in their present contaminated condition. But when you clear all that contamination out, then everything changes. And then you want to do what you thought you could never do. And you don’t want anything of what you used to think you couldn’t give up. This is evolution.
This is a long talk about the body. Let’s talk about what this all does to the mind. When we eat meat, we are much, much more aggressive. When the animal is killed, it’s under great stress, his body is filled with adrenalin. It stays in the meat. You eat the meat, that goes into your body, and you become much more aggressive, much harsher. It’s just the way it is. So, when you change to a vegetarian diet, many of these things go away. You become calmer, more peaceful, more settled (the mind, the emotions).
See, everything is related. When my spiritual master came to America in the mid 1960’s (late 60’s, early 70’s just was the time of the Vietnam War), America was totally involved in the Vietnam War. And America’s one of the main places where they slaughter the cattle is Chicago, a big slaughter scene. So, my spiritual master said: “As long as there are slaughter houses in places like Chicago, there will also be slaughter houses in places like Vietnam.”
It’s all connected. We think: “Oh, It has nothing to do with that.” Everything is connected. We are slaughtering animals, we are eating them, our consciousness is molding in a certain way. And that consciousness reflexes itself in many, many activities. So, it’s much more than just the body. It’s all of our emotions, our attitudes, our feelings, our view points. It makes our hearts harder. It covers us with layer after layer of hardness, automatically so. And you don’t realize that until you change your diet, and you see all of these changes as well. It’s nothing but benefit.
You are able to perceive higher knowledge, spiritual knowledge, more easily. When we’re covered with this thick layer of consciousness, we can’t even understand this higher truth. That’s why a very few people are interested – we are too covered. When we add the meat, the alcohol and the drugs (that’s people’s lifestyles), we are like under the dark blanket. We can’t even see out, we don’t want to see out. We are immersed in darkness, and we like it. But when you change your lifestyle, you begin to come out, you see the light. You want to have that light shine on you. You want to hear more, know more, improve your life. It automatically happens. You gravitate towards the light. So, it’s so beneficial.