Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 17, Verse 9

कट्वम्ललवणात्युष्णतीक्ष्णरूक्षविदाहिन: |
आहारा राजसस्येष्टा दु:खशोकामयप्रदा: || 9||

kaṭv-amla-lavaṇāty-uṣhṇa- tīkṣhṇa-rūkṣha-vidāhinaḥ
āhārā rājasasyeṣhṭā duḥkha-śhokāmaya-pradāḥ

kaṭubitter; amlasour; lavaṇasalty; ati-uṣhṇavery hot; tīkṣhṇapungent; rūkṣhadry; vidāhinaḥchiliful; āhārāḥfood; rājasasyato persons in the mode of passion; iṣhṭāḥdear; duḥkhapain; śhokagrief; āmayadisease; pradāḥproduce


BG 17.9: Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, very hot, pungent, dry, and chiliful, are dear to persons in the mode of passion. Such foods produce pain, grief, and disease.


When vegetarian foods are cooked with excessive chilies, sugar, salt, etc. they become rājasic. While describing them, the word “very” can be added to all the adjectives used. Thus, rājasic foods are very bitter, very sour, very salty, very hot, very pungent, very dry, very chiliful, etc. They produce ill-health, agitation, and despair. Persons in the mode of passion find such foods attractive, but those in the mode of goodness find them disgusting. The purpose of eating is not to relish bliss through the palate, but to keep the body healthy and strong. As the old adage states: “Eat to live; do not live to eat.” Thus, the wise partake of foods that are conducive to good health, and have a peaceable impact upon the mind i.e., sāttvic foods.