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 Post subject: Garlic, leeks and onions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:41 am 
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I have read that The Buddha said that these were not to be eaten.
I really don't understand why.
Is there a reason for this? I thought garlic, for one, was healthy and helped support the immune system.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:16 am 
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If I were you I wouldn't worry myself too much about it.
It seems the reason might be the claim that some of these plants can affect the quality of your meditation, perhaps in advanced stages and depending on the practice you're doing. Or maybe it's a cultural thing that was adequate in Shakyamuni's time.
Maybe someone can add further knowledge.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:47 am 
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It affects the clarity of mind. This is not something to be debate as theory, but something to be tried on our own meditation.

We can see the difference when we do a meditation.

Please note that this eating garlic is also shared with some Indian Hindu yogi. In on of the literature, one respected yogi even mentioned eating meat is even better than eating onion. Of course he doesn't eat meat, but he used that to express what the bad thig onion can do to the quality of our mind.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:44 am 
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The Seeker wrote:
I have read that The Buddha said that these were not to be eaten.
I really don't understand why.
Is there a reason for this? I thought garlic, for one, was healthy and helped support the immune system.


Kind wishes



In old Tibet, if you'd eaten garlic you wouldn't be allowed into a monastery for two days until it cleared from your system...that's how polluting it is considered to be..

However, in some of the wrathful tantras, at a certain point these restrictions may change into eating more of such things.. because you may develop capacity to transmute them. But generally, we can assume we are not at that level.

There are certain practices where it is clearly proscribed, such as White Tara, etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:04 am 
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Ha! I like the idea of transmuting garlic. It's easy to say you have transmuted a quart of beef bourguignon into lentil soup, but if you say the same thing about garlic, that there becomes yer basic falsifiable hypothesis, yep it does.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:31 am 
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Thank you all.
I used to eat more than I have recently, and never knew that garlic was considered that polluting to the body nor the mind.
I learn something new everyday.


Kind wishes

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Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:34 pm 
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DarwidHalim wrote:
It affects the clarity of mind. This is not something to be debate as theory, but something to be tried on our own meditation.

We can see the difference when we do a meditation.

Please note that this eating garlic is also shared with some Indian Hindu yogi. In on of the literature, one respected yogi even mentioned eating meat is even better than eating onion. Of course he doesn't eat meat, but he used that to express what the bad thig onion can do to the quality of our mind.

Funny, I never noticed any difference. I wonder if the power of suggestion isn't what is making a difference...
I would be easy to test though.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:44 pm 
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Adamantine wrote:
The Seeker wrote:
I have read that The Buddha said that these were not to be eaten.
I really don't understand why.
Is there a reason for this? I thought garlic, for one, was healthy and helped support the immune system.


Kind wishes



In old Tibet, if you'd eaten garlic you wouldn't be allowed into a monastery for two days until it cleared from your system...that's how polluting it is considered to be..

However, in some of the wrathful tantras, at a certain point these restrictions may change into eating more of such things.. because you may develop capacity to transmute them. But generally, we can assume we are not at that level.

There are certain practices where it is clearly proscribed, such as White Tara, etc.

It seemed that eating garlic would lessen the power of mantra recitation. As mantra deals with the energy level and that's where the garlic (and leek and onions) is probably active, perhaps there's some truth to it. I'm not sure though if this is not more related with kriya and charya tantras that are closely related with purification practices and all that. To receive the wisdom of a particular enlightened deity, you had to clear your body of certain substances and so on and so forth. That would be quite different from the Maha or Anuyoga perspective, let alone Ati.

I never noticed any difference though. I just do it if it is mandatory (as you pointed).


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:01 pm 
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I can understand why the only monk in a monastery to have eaten garlic may not be welcome for obvious reasons - polluting the air.

I'm sure I ate loads of garlic when I was in India, but Jains would probably regard it as unwholesome as the plant dies to provide it, which is also true of onions.

Since garlic reputedly has a positive effect on the blood, and hence the brain it seems a strange thing to regard as polluting the body, and even stranger to think of it as polluting the mind, unless through attachment etc. to what may be seen as unnecessary flavourings.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:49 pm 
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It clearly makes someone super stinky, so yes, it pollutes the air. It is the equivalent to noshing on a skunk.

In addition, in Ayurvedic and yogic theory it raises the passions-- i.e. increases the intensity of desire and anger, etc. which generally for Yogis is not considered a positive thing.
If one has developed some capacity to transform the passions in the highest yoga tantras of Vajrayana, then I would imagine this is a reason why one may be encouraged to eat more meat, garlic, etc. . because you need fuel for the fire so to speak.

It is also generally considered to reduce the power of one's mantra, yes... but this is also probably due to how it affects the subtle nerves, and is related to how it is considered to raise the passions, etc.

I am sure Namdrol could explain from a Tibetan Medical perspective, if he hasn't already in another thread. In this http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5006&hilit=garlic thread he mentioned it is used medicinally in Tibetan Medicine... but I suppose this may be the same as in ayurveda: it is a medicine for certain conditions but it is not considered to be a good food.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:33 pm 
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Adamantine wrote:
It clearly makes someone super stinky, so yes, it pollutes the air. It is the equivalent to noshing on a skunk.

In addition, in Ayurvedic and yogic theory it raises the passions-- i.e. increases the intensity of desire and anger, etc. which generally for Yogis is not considered a positive thing.
If one has developed some capacity to transform the passions in the highest yoga tantras of Vajrayana, then I would imagine this is a reason why one may be encouraged to eat more meat, garlic, etc. . because you need fuel for the fire so to speak.

It is also generally considered to reduce the power of one's mantra, yes... but this is also probably due to how it affects the subtle nerves, and is related to how it is considered to raise the passions, etc.

I am sure Namdrol could explain from a Tibetan Medical perspective, if he hasn't already in another thread. In this http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5006&hilit=garlic thread he mentioned it is used medicinally in Tibetan Medicine... but I suppose this may be the same as in ayurveda: it is a medicine for certain conditions but it is not considered to be a good food.


I can't remember if Je Tsongkhapa wrote anything about it - as the 'man from the valley of onions' he would have plenty of first-hand experience to call on.

I can see how strong flavours may create desire or aversion but not how it affects mantra recitation, if this differs with spoken and mental recitation. Does it also negate/reducethe effect of a mantra which increases the effect of those which follow it.

If there is a brain chemistry change I can see, however, that logically a more advanced practitioner could reduce the effect on the mind or transform that experience into some form of bliss maybe. Does this make the French less likely to have success in Vajrayana? LOL :)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:50 pm 
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Adamantine wrote:
It clearly makes someone super stinky, so yes, it pollutes the air. It is the equivalent to noshing on a skunk.

In addition, in Ayurvedic and yogic theory it raises the passions-- i.e. increases the intensity of desire and anger, etc. which generally for Yogis is not considered a positive thing.
If one has developed some capacity to transform the passions in the highest yoga tantras of Vajrayana, then I would imagine this is a reason why one may be encouraged to eat more meat, garlic, etc. . because you need fuel for the fire so to speak.

It is also generally considered to reduce the power of one's mantra, yes... but this is also probably due to how it affects the subtle nerves, and is related to how it is considered to raise the passions, etc.

I am sure Namdrol could explain from a Tibetan Medical perspective, if he hasn't already in another thread. In this http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5006&hilit=garlic thread he mentioned it is used medicinally in Tibetan Medicine... but I suppose this may be the same as in ayurveda: it is a medicine for certain conditions but it is not considered to be a good food.


If you are a Hevajra practitioner, for example, you have no dietary restrictions at all -- you can eat anything. But if you are a lower tantra Tara practitioner, you have many. Food restrictions are specific to which level you are practicing at.

Garlic and onions are frowned upon mostly because they smell bad and are associated with lower castes.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:03 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
Adamantine wrote:
It clearly makes someone super stinky, so yes, it pollutes the air. It is the equivalent to noshing on a skunk.

In addition, in Ayurvedic and yogic theory it raises the passions-- i.e. increases the intensity of desire and anger, etc. which generally for Yogis is not considered a positive thing.
If one has developed some capacity to transform the passions in the highest yoga tantras of Vajrayana, then I would imagine this is a reason why one may be encouraged to eat more meat, garlic, etc. . because you need fuel for the fire so to speak.

It is also generally considered to reduce the power of one's mantra, yes... but this is also probably due to how it affects the subtle nerves, and is related to how it is considered to raise the passions, etc.

I am sure Namdrol could explain from a Tibetan Medical perspective, if he hasn't already in another thread. In this http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=5006&hilit=garlic thread he mentioned it is used medicinally in Tibetan Medicine... but I suppose this may be the same as in ayurveda: it is a medicine for certain conditions but it is not considered to be a good food.


If you are a Hevajra practitioner, for example, you have no dietary restrictions at all -- you can eat anything. But if you are a lower tantra Tara practitioner, you have many. Food restrictions are specific to which level you are practicing at.

Garlic and onions are frowned upon mostly because they smell bad and are associated with lower castes.


Hi Namdrol

You cite Hevajra as an example and write that the level is the key -just to check, would this be true for any HYT practice such as Vajrayogini?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:46 pm 
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Blue Garuda wrote:

You cite Hevajra as an example and write that the level is the key -just to check, would this be true for any HYT practice such as Vajrayogini?



I think if you are an HYT practitioner, you can eat whatever you like, meat, garlic, etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:30 pm 
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Namdrol wrote:
Blue Garuda wrote:

You cite Hevajra as an example and write that the level is the key -just to check, would this be true for any HYT practice such as Vajrayogini?



I think if you are an HYT practitioner, you can eat whatever you like, meat, garlic, etc.


Thanks. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:14 am 
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I think you have all missed the point completely. Garlic leeks and onions are going to completely screw up Dzogchen practice for the elementary reason that by turning oneself into a reeking, farting abomination, one makes it impossible to attract the female of the species. How to do your consort practice then? I guess you'd have to solo it.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:43 am 
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catmoon wrote:
I think you have all missed the point completely. Garlic leeks and onions are going to completely screw up Dzogchen practice for the elementary reason that by turning oneself into a reeking, farting abomination, one makes it impossible to attract the female of the species. How to do your consort practice then? I guess you'd have to solo it.

Don't all cultures have a rule that if one person in the family eats garlic, everyone must? That would take care of the consort. :tongue:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:54 am 
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What? I've been celibate for thirty years for nothing?? Omg omg omg

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:58 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:22 am 
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I'm not sure where I have read this, but it was in a post-perhaps in this forum-that
garlic, onions and the like have increased bacteriocidal effect and thus are killing
other life-forms. In this case our normal flora and perhaps some potential pathogens.
I love them, but I have ceased since they do produce a hell of a lot of gas in my GI tract
and as a result are not helpful in my meditation practice.
Shaun :namaste:


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