Is Ayurveda vegetarian?
Ayurveda does not promote complete vegetarianism as non-veg diet has a medicinal significance in Ayurvedic science. Although this diet is advised to be eaten in moderation and only under certain circumstances. Though animal protein in the form of meat is not encouraged as it is not essential for human growth and is also known to increase Tamas mental state.
Mentions in Ancient Indian Text
Charak Samhita, the ancient book of Ayurvedic medicine, provides guidelines on how to eat animal and vegetable products. It mentions about the nutritious role of meat in treating certain diseases or in times of dehydration, weakness or convalescence, but does not recommend routine meat eating.
Patnajali Yoga Sutra, an ancient treatise, emphasises non-violence (Ahimsa) as one of the core values of Ayurveda and negates non-vegetarianism on the basis of ethics and cruelty towards animals.
Satvic way of Life
Humans can maintain their health, balance and longevity, and as well have complete nourishment with pure and balanced vegetarian diet. A balanced diet rich in fresh Satvic foods provides the correct quantities of protein, vitamins and minerals for health, energy & vitality. It has been proved that vegetarians who feast on Satvic diet, and also inculcate the Satvic way of living by following the human morals of health and wisdom, can enjoy longer lifespan, have higher bone density and low incidence of disease as compared to non- vegetarians.
The Final Take
Finally, let us understand that whatever the everyday diet comprises of, it should produce good health and balance the doshas. Beyond the issues of health, ethics, economics, karma or religion, vegetarianism can re-awaken the essence of oneness with the living spirit which is omnipresent and help us largely to live life through compassion and simplicity.