The Ayurveda texts describe six different tastes. However, there exist only five main tastes according to the Shiv Svarodaya, an ancient spiritual text. These five tastes correspond to the Panch-Tattva or the five elements.

"माहेयं मधुरं स्वादं कषायं जलमेव च ।

तीक्ष्णं तेज: समीरोअम्ल आकाशं कटुकंतथा ।।157।।"

It seems that the foods with varying tastes in the meal must be taken as per the following sequence and not as per your own whims and fancies if you wish to remain healthy and strong:

(1) The Madhur (Sweet-tasting) foods

(2) The Kasaiilaa (Salt-
tasting) foods

(3) The Teekhaa/Teetaa (Sharp-tasting) foods

(4) The Khattaaa (Sour-tasting) foods

(5) The Kaduaa (Bitter-tasting) food

The food sequence given above may seem to be a strange one to the Europeans and the other people of the Western world who are habitual of having some kind of a sweet dish at the end of any meal! Even the followers of the traditional Ayurveda may find it perplexing, too!

Dr Swaamee Aprtemaanandaa Jee’s theory and explanation

The Yoga talks of the five basic elements: The Earth, The Water, The Fire, The Air, and The Sky corresponding to different energy-chakras located in the Maanava body. Only one of these elements always is prominent or active at any given point of time.

There exist different methods to ascertain the active element. The taste felt by the taste-buds is one such method.

The sweet taste felt by the taste buds reflect the activeness of the Earth element, the salt-taste shows the presence of the Water element, the sharp taste means the ascendency of the Fire element, the sour taste is the sign of the Air element, and the bitter taste indicates the Sky element.

When the destruction of the universe takes place then the Earth element is the first one to move. It merges into the Water element. Then the Water element moves and merges into the Fire element. This is followed by the movement of the Fire element which merges into the Sky element. Finally, even the Sky element shows movement and is destroyed.

The meal being taken can be compared to the universe. The food enters the mouth only to be destroyed and end up as the waste material.

The food having sweet taste that represents the Earth element moves first into the stomach via the mouth. Then the salt-tasting food representing the Water element is eaten. It is followed by the sharp-tasting food representing the Fire element. Then the sour-tasting food representing the Air element is eaten. Finally, the bitter-tasting food representing the Sky element is gulped down.

Well, the explanation given above may readily be accepted by many Yoga lovers without any question. But, today’s science demands more visible and scientifically sustainable explanations.

The scientific explanation of the food-sequence under examination indeed is very simple.

No one can be sure of one’s own stomach and the other abdominal parts being free from the lesions, ulcers, the worm-infection, amoebiasis or other similar troubles.

(1) The stomach, intestines, etcetera may give an unbearable burning sensation and lead to further trouble if some salty, sharp, sour or bitter food is taken first instead of the sweet food in the case of the people suffering from the internal stomach and intestinal problems such as the ulcers or the lesions.

The salt can further perpetuate the existing lesions and further cause their increased occurrence if it is taken first.

The sharp food if taken in first can generate ulcers. The sour food being basically acidic in nature is known to harm the lungs by forming the mucus, and induce the allergy and related problems.

The intake of the bitter food first, may create trouble, too.

The above description is only indicative in nature as regards the troubles that may be caused if any of these four foods is taken first,

The intake of the sweet food first, in a sense, provides the essential protective coating to the inner walls/membranes of various parts involved in the digestive system.

(2) In the case of people infested with worms, the intake of the salty, sharp, sour or bitter food first, won’t encourage the worms to come out of the intestines which would mean continuance of the worm-menace.

However, the eating of the sweet-tasting food first, which quite obviously enters the stomach and the intestines, lures the worms, if any, out of their worm-holes in the intestinal and stomach walls. The salty, sharp, sour and bitter food that follows helps kill these otherwise hidden worms.

(3) The intake of the sweet food first, provides the energy to the body instantly since the sugar present in the sweet food is quick source of the energy. This helps in the further digestion of the salty, sharp, sour and bitter foods.

4) The sequential intake of the sweet, salty, sharp, sour and bitter foods – in that order - is perhaps the most effective and efficient way of extracting the best possible amount of the energy for the body during the digestion process from the meal eaten, without creating any problems for the body.

Of course, more research is called for to understand exactly the sequential food intake based on five tastes and its full health-implications.

~ Dr Swaamee Aprtemaanandaa Jee
( Dr Swaamee Aprtemaanandaa Jee's Yoga-Secrets-Revealed Series - 15)
fotos: Courtesy Google


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