Journal of Medical Nutrition and Nutraceuticals

: 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3--4

Nutrition and the Bhagavad Gita

Bharti Kalra1, Navneet Agrawal2, Ambika Gopalakrishnan Unnikrishnan3,  
1 Department of Gynaecology, Bharti Hospital and BRIDE, Karnal, Haryana, India
2 Department of Medicine, Diabetes, Obesity and Thyroid Centre, and Institute of Dental Education and Advance Studies, Gwalior, India
3 Department of Endocrinology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, India

Correspondence Address:
Bharti Kalra
Department of Gynaecology, Bharti Hospital and BRIDE, Karnal, Haryana

How to cite this article:
Kalra B, Agrawal N, Unnikrishnan AG. Nutrition and the Bhagavad Gita.J Med Nutr Nutraceut 2013;2:3-4

How to cite this URL:
Kalra B, Agrawal N, Unnikrishnan AG. Nutrition and the Bhagavad Gita. J Med Nutr Nutraceut [serial online] 2013 [cited 2022 May 17 ];2:3-4
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Full Text

Nutrition is an age-old science, which finds mention even in our ancient scriptures. One such scripture is the BhagavadGita, a divine song, narrating the conversation between Lord Krishna and Arjuna. The Gita constitutes the principal teachings of the Lord, and contains advice on every aspect of life. This scripture contains instructions on nutrition and health as well, which are as relevant today as they were centuries ago.

This editorial consolidates the verses of the Gita related to food, with the aim of helping them reach a larger audience. They are listed under headings created to highlight their appropriate usage. These verses can be used as inspiration and motivation for nutrition care professionals as well as patients needing nutritional therapy. They can be motivating tools for those who find it difficult to resist the temptation of eating in excess, and are unable to limit their food intake. At the same time, they counsel us not to fast in excess. The verses used in this editorial have been quoted from the Srimad Bhagavad Gita published by the Gita Press, Gorakhpur, India. [1]

 The Importance of Nutrition

All beings are evolved from food;……… -Bhagavad Gita 3;14

…….I am the herbage and food grains;……. I am the clarified butter,…… -Bhagavad Gita 9;16

Partaking of a light, Sattvika and regulated diet,… such a man becomes qualified for oneness with Brahma….-Bhagavad Gita 18;51-53

 The Importance of a Balanced Diet

…….there are still others ……., who having regulated their diet…., have their sins consumed away by sacrifice…… -Bhagavad Gita 4;29-30

Arjuna, this yoga is neither for him who overeats, nor for him who observes complete fasts;…."-Bhagavad Gita 6;16

 Live Not for Food

Those sinful ones who cook for the sake of nourishing their bodies alone, eat only sin.-Bhagavad Gita 3;13

 Types of Food

Food also, which is agreeable to different men according to their innate disposition is of three kinds. And likewise sacrifice, penance and charity too are of three kinds each; hear their distinction as follows. -Bhagavad Gita 17;7

Food which promotes longevity, intelligence, vigour, health, happiness and cheerfulness, and which are juicy, succulent, substantial, and which naturally agreeable, are liked by men of Sattvika nature.-Bhagavad Gita 17;8

Food which are bitter, sour, salty, over-hot pungent, dry and burning, and which cause suffering, grief and sickness are dear to the Rajasika.-Bhagavad Gita 17;9

Food which is ill-cooked or not fully ripe, insipid, putrid, stale and polluted, and which is impure too, is dear to men of Tamasika disposition.-Bhagavad Gita 17;10

 Need for Self-Control

Sense-objects turn away from him, who does not enjoy them with his sense; but the taste for them persists. This relish also disappears in the case of the man of stable mind when he realizes the Supreme.-Bhagavad Gita 2;59

The man dwelling on sense-objects develops attachment for them; from attachment springs up desire, and from desire (unfulfilled) ensures anger.-Bhagavad Gita 2;62

Therefore, Arjuna, he whose senses are completely restrained from their objects, is said to have a stable mind.-Bhagavad Gita 2;68

 Need for Physical Activity

Surely, none can ever remain inactive even for a moment; for everyone is helplessly driven to action by nature-born qualities -Bhagavad Gita 3;5

Therefore, do perform your allotted duty; for action is superior to inaction. Desisting from action, you cannot even maintain your body.-Bhagavad Gita 3;8

 The Final Call Is Yours

Thus, has this wisdom, more profound than all profundities, been imparted to you by Me; deeply pondering over it, now do as you like.-Bhagavad Gita 18;63


1Srimad Bhagvad Gita (with English translation and translation). 1584 Gorakhpur: Gita Press; 2009.