Your body is renewing itself daily. It is surprising that often the hair and nails of dead persons grow in the grave. Because nails and hair have nothing to do with life, they can continue to grow on dead bodies; they are the dead parts…they can continue their growth.
Food is giving your body new cells daily, and the dead part is discarded by your body every day. This is a constant process. That is why the body is called annamay kosh – because it is created by the anna, the food.
Hence many things will depend on what type of food you eat. Many things depend on your food. Your food is not only supporting your life, it is also creating the first layer of your personality. And whether you can begin on your inner journey or not depends a lot on this layer, because all food is not the same. There are some types of food which will not allow you to go within, they will keep you tied to the outer world; some types of food will not allow the growth of consciousness within you because they will keep you unconscious. Some types of food will not allow you peace and tranquility because the process of digestion itself creates a disturbance in your body, dis-ease. There are unhealthy foods, healthy foods, pure foods and impure foods.
Pure food is that which does not create difficulties for the inner journey – that is all, there is no other criterion. Pure food only means that it will not create a body that will be an obstacle on your inner journey.
Someone may build the walls of his house with solid stones, another may build the walls with only glass. Glass is transparent; standing outside, you can look inside. A solid stone wall will not allow you to look inside from the outside.
The body can also be as transparent as glass. Food is considered to be pure when it makes the body transparent…so that it gives you glimpses of the inner even while you are moving outside. You can also make this body such a dense wall that the inner journey is totally forgotten and glimpses of the inner being can never occur.
The purpose of satvik and asatvik food, pure and impure food, is that your physical body, the first layer, can become transparent. Only then the inward journey begins. Only when the first layer has become transparent can the second be known, not otherwise. We may never know that there is another body within this body. This is the reason for the emphasis on satvik food. The meditator knows that another body exists inside this physical body, because his first layer has become transparent and glimpses of the second layer have begun.
Then there are ways to make the second layer transparent, and then glimpses of the third body begin to come. The third body can also be made transparent, and then comes the fourth. When the fourth has become transparent, the fifth is there. And when the fifth becomes transparent, glimpses of that which is bodiless, beyond all the bodies, begin to come. So you can make your body as solid as a stone wall or as transparent as glass.