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#23912 - 03/18/01 12:56 PM Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism
S_HariKrishna Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/17/01
Posts: 2
Hinduism and Vegetarianism

In the May/June 2000 issue of the popular magazine Hinduism Today, an article entitled "Nine Questions" attempts to offer guidance to Hindus seeking answers to various questions on Hindu philosophy. Sadly, the magazine authors take a very noncommittal position on the issue of vegetarianism in Hindu life. While praising the choice of a vegetarian diet, they seemed to indicate that the decision to adopt it should depend on one's background and personal choice. It was reasoned therein that Hinduism "does not lay down rigid do's and don'ts," and hence, it was concluded that Hindus are free to make their own decision on this point.

But if "Hinduism" is to have any meaning as a spiritual way of life, then it must be based on some sort of authority. Orthodox Hindus accept the Vedas and their supplementary literatures (such as the Puraanas, Itihaasas, and Dharma-shaastras) as a spotless authority for spiritual knowledge. If everyone were asked to simply believe and do according to his or her personal whim, then ethics and morality would forever be subject to the norms of a society at any given time. This is a chilling thought when one considers the degradation of moral values that continues to occur even within Hindu society today. Even scriptures popularly identified as "Hindu" clearly contradict the idea that morality should be so subjective. Bhagavad-Giitaa 16.23 says that those who discard scriptural injunctions attain neither happiness, perfection, nor the supreme goal (na sa siddhim avaapnoti na sukha.m na paraa.m gatim). [1] Hence, the Giitaa advises that the scriptures be used to determine what one's duties are and what activities are forbidden (tasmaach chhastra.m pramaaNa.m te kaaryaakaarya-vyavasthitau). [2] Therefore, a true Hindu must rely on the directions given by scripture instead of choosing his or her diet on the basis of personal preference, and hence he will want to know whether Vedic scriptures sanction meat-eating or prohibit it.

Hindu scriptures are unanimously clear on the negative consequences of meat-eating and animal slaughter. The Bhaagavata Puraana 11.5.14 says that those who harm animals (pashuun druhyanti) are impious (asantaH) and will be slain in their next lives by the very animals which they killed (pretya khaadanti te cha taan). [3] This is also confirmed by Manu Dharma Shaastra 5.33. [4] Hence, the word "meat" is known in Sanskrit as "maam sa" (literally "me-he"), thus indicating the reversal of fates which befall slayer and slain. [5] Indeed, Manu Smriti 5.38 states, "As many hairs as the slain beast has, so often indeed will he who killed it without a (lawful) reason suffer a violent death in future births." [6] One might argue that only the person who kills the animal is getting punished, and that the person who innocently purchases the meat for consumption cannot suffer blame. But this is also contradicted by Manu in verse 5.51: "He who permits (the slaughter of an animal), he who cuts it up, he who kills it, he who buys or sells (meat), he who cooks it, he who serves it up, and he who eats it, (must all be considered as) the slayers (of the animal)." [7] Manu (5.13) explicitly forbids meat obtained from a slaughterhouse [8]. Therefore, there can be no doubt that all persons involved in the slaughter, sale, purchase, and eating of meat are all treated as killers of the animal, and thus they are all severely punished according to Hindu scriptures.

One might wonder how Vedas can prohibit meat-eating when they are sometimes found to contain rules for animal sacrifices. It is true that the karma-kaanda portion of the Vedas contain formulas for the regulated sacrifice of certain animals. However, far from encouraging the cruel slaughter of animals, these sacrifices are meant for the ultimate renunciation of meat-eating. This is clearly stated in the 11th skandha of the Bhaagavata Puraana which says in regards to those sacrifices that "nivR^ittiriShtaa" or "renunciation is the desired end." [9] The idea is that if a person were required to perform a very elaborate sacrifice just to eat meat, he would eventually feel it is not worth his trouble and simply give up the habit. If properly sacrificed according to Vedic standards, animals get the benefit of a higher birth as confirmed in Manu Smriti 5.40. [10] As a result of such successful sacrifices, ordinary people no doubt develop faith in the power of the Vedic mantras. However, according to Manu Smriti 5.42, the success of these sacrifices presupposes the fact that they are properly performed by a priest who is "vedatattvaarthavid dvijaH," or in other words one who is initiated into spiritual life, trained in the proper pronunciation of the mantras, and actually knows the meaning of the Vedas. [11] In the Bhaagavata Puraana 4.25.7-8, the great sage Naarada reveals to King Praachiinabarhi that the large number of animals the King had slain in Vedic sacrifices were preparing to seek vengence on him in his next life. [12] This was because the King, though well intentioned, had allowed the sacrifices to be performed improperly. Because of the risk of unknowingly allowing discrepancies, one should therefore not be attached to the idea of performing Vedic animal sacrifices. In Kali yuga, the current age, there is a shortage of brahmins who can correctly perform these elaborate sacrifices and pronounce mantras according to the ancient Vedic standards. Therefore, the Brahma-Vaivarta Puraana, Krishna-janma-khanda 185.180 explicitly forbids the performance of animal sacrifices in Kali Yuga. [13] And because these sacrifices are now prohibited, this means that even meat-eating must be prohibited, since the only way one can lawfully eat meat is through the perfomance of the appropriate Vedic sacrifice. Manu (5.49) therefore concludes, "Having well considered the (disgusting) origin of flesh and the (cruelty of) fettering and slaying corporeal beings, let him entirely abstain from eating flesh." [14]

It is therefore the duty of all scripturally and morally conscientious Hindus to embrace a strictly vegetarian diet, avoiding all forms of meat, fish, and eggs. Hindu scriptures clearly denounce meat-eating as cruel and self-destructive, both of which can be verified by common sense ethics and modern, medical literature. The ancient system of Vedic animal sacrifices, in which an animal was occasionally sacrificed to be given a higher birth, is no justification for the existence of the modern, large-scale, slaughterhouse in which animals are butchered without compassion for food. By adopting a vegetarian diet, Hindus are not only refusing to fund an industry that ruthlessly slaughters living creatures for profit. They will also be following in the best traditions of their culture, which the Hindus scriptures unambiguously support.




H. Krishna Susarla, MD
Cleveland, Ohio


Verses Cited:

The verses quoted are encoded into ascii characters according to a modified
ITRANS standard given below:

a aa i ii u uu R^i R^I e ai o au .m (anusvaara) H (visarga)
ka kha ga gha .na
cha chha ja jha ~na
Ta Tha Da Dha Na
pa pha ba bha ma
ya ra la va


[1] Bhagavad Giitaa 16th adhyaaya, 23rd shloka

yaH shaastravidhim utsR^ijya vartate kaamakaarataH |
na sa siddhim avaapnoti na sukha.m na paraa.m gatim || giitaa 16.23 ||

Having cast aside the injunctions of scripture, he who acts in an arbitrary
way according to his own sweet will neither attains perfection nor the
supreme goal nor even happiness (bhagavad-giitaa 16.23).

[2] Bhagavad Giitaa 16th adhyaaya, 24th shloka

tasmaachchhaastra.m pramaaNa.m te kaaryaakaaryavyavasthitau |
j~naatvaa shaastravidhaanokta.m karma kartum ihaarhasi || giitaa 16.24 ||

Therefore, the scripture alone is your guide in determining what should be
done and what should not be done. Knowing this, you ought to perform only
such action as is ordained by the scriptures (bhagavad-giitaa 16.24).


[3] Bhaagavata Puraana 11th skandha, 5th adhyaaya, 14th shloka

ye tvaneva.mvido'santaH stabdhaaH sadabhimaaninaH |
pashuun druhyanti vishrabdhaaH pretya khaadanti te cha taan || bhaa 11.5.14
||

Those who are ignorant of this real Dharma and, though wicked and haughty,
account themselves virtuous kill animals without any feeling of remorse or
fear of punishment, and are devoured by those very animals in their next
birth (bhaagavata puraaNa 11.5.14).

[4] Manu Smriti 5th adhyaaya, 33rd shloka

naadyaadavidhinaa maa.msa.m vidhij~no'naapadi dvijaH |
jagdhvaa hyavidhinaa maa.msa.m pretastairadyate'vashaH || MS 5.33 ||

A twice-born man who knows the law, must not eat meat except in conformity
with the law; for if he has eaten it unlawfully, he will, unable to save
himself, be eaten after death by his (victims) (manu smR^iti 5.33).

NOTE: Here "twice-born" refers to those initiated into spiritual life, but
common sense suggests that it should also be taken to include anyone who is
interested in religion though not officially initiated. Reference #3 makes a
similar statement, although not distinguishing between those who are
twice-born and those who are not. Also, "law" here refers to the regulations
of the Vedas.

[5] Manu Smriti 5th adhyaaya, 55th shloka

maa.m sa bhakShayitaa'mutra yasya maa.msamihaad myaham |
etatmaa.msasya maa.msatva.m pravadanti maniiShiNaH || MS 5.55 ||

'Me he (mam sah)' will devour in the next (world), whose flesh I eat in this
(life); the wise declare this (to be) the real meaning of the word 'flesh'
(mamsah) (manu smR^iti 5.55).

[6] Manu Smriti 5th adhyaaya, 38th shloka

yaavanti pashuromaaNi taavatkR^itvo ha maaraNam |
vR^ithaapashughnaH praapnoti pretya janmani janmani || MS 5.38 ||

As many hairs as the slain beast has, so often indeed will he who killed it
without a (lawful) reason suffer a violent death in future births (manu
smR^iti 5.38).

[7] Manu Smriti 5th adhyaaya, 51st shloka

anumantaa vishasitaa nihantaa krayavikrayii |
sa.mskartaa chopahartaa cha khaadakashcheti ghaatakaaH || MS 5.51 ||

He who permits (the slaughter of an animal), he who cuts it up, he who kills
it, he who buys or sells (meat), he who cooks it, he who
serves it up, and he who eats it, (must all be considered as) the slayers
(of the animal) (manu smR^iti 5.51).

[8] Manu Smriti 5th adhyaaya, 13th shloka

pratudaa~njaalapaadaa.mshcha koyaShTinakhaviShkiraan |
nimajjatashcha matsyaadaan sauna.m valluurameva cha || MS 5.13 ||

Those which feed striking with their beaks, web-footed birds, the Koyashti,
those which scratch with their toes, those which dive and live on fish, meat
from a slaughter-house and dried meat, (manu-smR^iti 5.13).

NOTE: This is a partial listing of things prohibited from consumption.

[9] Bhaagavata Puraana 11th skandha, 5th adhyaaya, 11th shloka

loke vyavaayaamiShamadyasevaa nityaa hi jantor na hi tatra codanaa |
vyavasthitis teShu vivaahayaj~na suraagrahair aasu nivR^ittir iShTaa || bhaa
11.5.11 ||

Man is naturally inclined towards the enjoyment of sexual pleasure, flesh
and wine. No rules enjoin him to indulge in them. A certain check is
provided over these tendencies (by the Shaastra) by permitting sexual
commerce with one's wedded wife, meat-eating at the end of an animal
sacrifice, drinking of wine during a Sautraamanii sacrifice (in the case of
those who are addicted to these); the (real) intention (of the Shaastra) is
to turn man away from them (bhaagavata puraaNa 11.5.11).

[10] Manu Smriti 5th adhyaaya, 40th shloka

oShadhyaH pashavo vR^ikShaastirya~nchaH pakShiNastathaa |
yaj~naartha.m nidhana.m praaptaaH praapnuvantyusR^itiiH punaH || MS 5.40 ||

Herbs, trees, cattle, birds, and (other) animals that have been destroyed
for sacrifices, receive (being reborn) higher existences (manu-smR^iti
5.40).

[11] Manu Smriti 5th adhyaaya, 42nd shloka

eShvartheShu pashuun hi.msan vedatattvarthavid dvijaH |
aatmaana.m cha pashu.m chaiva gamayatyuttama.m gatim || MS 5.42 ||

A twice-born man who, knowing the true meaning of the Veda, slays an animal
for these purposes, causes both himself and the animal to enter a most
blessed state (manu-smR^iti 5.42).

[12] Bhaagavata Puraana 4th skandha, 25th adhyaaya, shlokas 7 and 8

naarada uvaacha

bho bhoH prajaapate raajan pashuun pashya tvayaadhvare |
sa.mj~naapitaa~njiivasaN^ghaannirghR^iNena sahasrashaH || bhaa 4.25.7 ||

ete tvaa.m sampratiikShante smaranto vaishasa.m tava |
samparetam ayaH kuuTaishchhindantyutthitamanyavaH || bhaa 4.25.8 ||

Naarada said,

O ruler of men, O king, behold the multitudes of creatures slaughtered by
you in thousands as animals for sacrifice, merciless that you are
(bhaagavata puraaNa 4.25.7).

Retaining the memory of your cruelty, they eagerly wait for you, their anger
having been roused (by the recollection), and will tear you with their
horns, made of steel, when you have departed to the other world (bhaagavata
puraaNa 4.25.8).

[13] Brahma-Vaivarta Puraana, Krishna-janma-khanda, 185th adhyaaya, 180th
shloka

ashvamedha.m gavaalambha.m sannaaysa.m palapaitR^ikam |
devareNa sutotpatti.m kalau pa~ncha vivarjayet || BVP, KJK 185.180 ||

In this Age of Kali, five acts are forbidden: the offering of a horse in
sacrifice, the offering of a cow in sacrifice, the acceptance of the order
of sannysa, the offering of oblations of flesh to the forefathers, and a
man's begetting children in his brother's wife (brahma-vaivarta puraaNa,
kR^iShNa-janma-khaNDa 185.180).

[14]

samutpatti.m cha maa.msasya vadhabandhau cha dehinaam |
prasamiikShya nivarteta sarvamaa.msasya bhakShaNaat || MS 5.49 ||

Having well considered the (disgusting) origin of flesh and the (cruelty
of) fettering and slaying corporeal beings, let him entirely abstain from
eating flesh (manu-smR^iti 5.49).


References:

The BhagavadGita or The Song Divine. With Sanskrit text and an English
translation. Thirty-third edition, 1994. Gita Press, Gorakhpur, India.

Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana. With Sanskrit Text and English Translation.
Part II. Rendered into English by C.L. Goswami M.A., Shastri. Fourth
Edition, 1997. Gita Press, Gorakphur, India.

The Laws of Manu. Translated by G. Buhler.





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#23913 - 03/27/02 02:51 PM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: S_HariKrishna]
gimmegames Offline
stranger

Registered: 03/26/02
Posts: 18
Bravo Prabhu
those who justify meat eating are deluding themselves that it is necessary (especially when other food sources are so abundant in this day and age)
if anything at least to save this planet from the anti-environmental aspects of meat eating (destruction of rain forests and land to produce flesh product, flushing of slaughterhouse waste in our drinking water, mass production of meat is horrendous (not every one can hunt as the ksatriyas)

jai shri krishna


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#23914 - 07/26/03 05:16 PM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: S_HariKrishna]
marik Offline
elder
***

Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 1366
Loc: United States
namaste HariKrishna
very good post and the references are very helpful


marik
_________________________
By cultivating friendliness towards happiness and compassion towards misery, gladness towards virtue and indifference towards vice, the mind becomes pure. -- Patanjali

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#23915 - 09/09/03 10:38 PM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: S_HariKrishna]
chakkar Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/25/02
Posts: 1
I have always been confused about the use of eggs in the Hindu vegetarian diet. Could anyone provide scriptural evidence on the approrpaiteness of eating non-fertilsed eggs?

Milk - cow's milk - is obviosuly an essential part of the diet. I reckon that because milk is an animal byproduct and we [Hindus] consume it, eating non-fertilised eggs should be permitted too.

Here are some the rationales I have already considered:
[1] In advanced agrarian societies, cows/bulls are no longer needed to plough the fields. Most cows are bred today for beef or milk. The rationale for not eating beef is straight-forward. For having milk, though, it's not so clear. If cows are kept in factory farms, where is the compassion that is a prerequisite before asking "gaee-maata" for her milk? I've come across nobody who has qualms about these ethics.

[2] If it's okay to drink milk, why not eat non-fertilsied eggs? They too are produced on factory farms with little compassion for the chickens. The eggs have as much a chance to realise their potential of giving life as do the cows of feeding most of their milk to their offspring.

[3] What is the consequence - karma fal - of eating an egg? The answer to that, in my mind, must be related to the consequence of drinking cow's milk extracted through non-compassionate means.

Thank you in advance.
_________________________
It's all a spin

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#23916 - 09/12/03 05:19 PM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: chakkar]
sickofviolence Offline
pundit
***

Registered: 04/12/02
Posts: 1675
Loc: Brahman
Mahatma Gandhi came to the conclusion that unfertilized eggs were ok...especially for egetarians, who may end up lacking protien if they do not eat enough lentils.

The karma fal of eating anything is Satwik, Rajsic and Thamsic thoughts. based on food eaten...

_________________________
"Seeing universal soul in all is the only solution to practice altruistic love. Where there is love, there is no hatred, envy, greed, lust, anger or ego".

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#23917 - 10/14/03 12:58 AM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: chakkar]
krishna_susarla Offline
initiate
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Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 119
Quote:

I have always been confused about the use of eggs in the Hindu vegetarian diet. Could anyone provide scriptural evidence on the approrpaiteness of eating non-fertilsed eggs?




There is none. As far as food references are concerned, I have never seen a single one which discusses the appropriateness of eggs.

Eggs are not traditionally a part of the Hindu diet. They have only made their appearance in the last couple of centuries, most likely thanks to Western influence and the attitude of "hey since they eat this, maybe we should eat it too!" Sadly, like meat-eating, egg-eating has become established enough that members of the young generation now perceive it to be a "traditional" part of their "culture," even going so far as to cite the example of older relatives in their families. But scripturally speaking, there is no allowance for egg eating.

Quote:

Milk - cow's milk - is obviosuly an essential part of the diet. I reckon that because milk is an animal byproduct and we [Hindus] consume it, eating non-fertilised eggs should be permitted too.




Not really. Milk is understood to be pure from the standpoint of Vedic culture, and it is frequently used in yagnas and abhishekhams. Eggs, however, contain animal tissue that is meant for the birth of a new living being. Eating of eggs is akin to eating of meat because of the "quality" of the food. Food, like all things in the world, is divided into three categories: sattva (goodness), rajas (passion), and tamas (ignorance). Meat, alcohol, and remnants of dead things, along with others with those same qualities, are considered to be taamasa or in the mode of ignorance.

Quote:

Here are some the rationales I have already considered:
[1] In advanced agrarian societies, cows/bulls are no longer needed to plough the fields. Most cows are bred today for beef or milk. The rationale for not eating beef is straight-forward. For having milk, though, it's not so clear. If cows are kept in factory farms, where is the compassion that is a prerequisite before asking "gaee-maata" for her milk? I've come across nobody who has qualms about these ethics.




This is because Vedic practices presuppose a more humane way of getting milk than is current in the Western world, which emphasizes mass production, profitability, and inhumane treatment of the animals. Cows are frequently injected with hormones to increase milk production, antibiotics to reduce the risk of mastitis, and are slaughtered for meat when they can no longer produce milk. The Vedic paradigm does not involve any of these things; cows are looked after and cared for. I have previously read articles on cow-protection by some individuals who work on farms where traditional cow-raising methods are used; they all testify that the sweetness of the cow's nature is such that they do not object to giving of milk.

Quote:


[2] If it's okay to drink milk, why not eat non-fertilsied eggs? They too are produced on factory farms with little compassion for the chickens. The eggs have as much a chance to realise their potential of giving life as do the cows of feeding most of their milk to their offspring.




You are correct; eating of eggs is unethical for the reasons you just mentioned, along with the fact that eggs are more akin to meat than to fruits, vegetables or milk.

As far as milk is concerned, if you want to apply the principles of cow-protection and kindness to your grocery shopping, then I recommend avoiding the purchase of milk from huge brand-name farm industries. Instead, pay the extra buck or two and get the locally produced milk from the local "organic companies." Horizon and Organic Valley are some examples of milk producers who do not use the inhumane methods adopted by larger producers.

Quote:


[3] What is the consequence - karma fal - of eating an egg? The answer to that, in my mind, must be related to the consequence of drinking cow's milk extracted through non-compassionate means.

Thank you in advance.




I do not know what the consequence of drinking milk which is acquired through impure means is. As per bhagavad-giitaa 3.13, consumption of any foodstuff without offering it back to the Lord will cause one to accrue karma. In contrast, taking only that which has been offered first in sacrifice renders one immune to such karma. Thus, if one must purchase improperly obtained milk, it is best that one offer it to the Lord first for consumption. However, I would still recommend that one try to avoid the big-name milk industries and pick the more expensive, but more compassionate, organic types. The important thing here is to do your research and stay with your principles. Don't fall into the trap that because you drink improperly obtained milk, that therefore eating unfertilized eggs is ok too. By this logic, one can endlessly tack on gradually more and more sinful acts, until in the end one has managed to justify almost any heinous activity.

regards,

Krishna
_________________________
H. Krishna Susarla M.D. Achintya Mailing List www.achintya.org

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#23918 - 12/16/03 08:52 PM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: krishna_susarla]
kalibhakta Offline
stranger
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Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 21
Loc: New York, NY
Shri Susharla has evidently quite a strong background in Indian philosophy and direct knowledge of Sanskrit. I learned a great deal from the posts, and so I thank him.
I'm from a liberal Bengali family, and Bengalis like their fish, but I've recently become vegetarian. Through that process, I've learnt a lot about Hinduism.
I agree that there should be a certain uniformity about Hindu practice, and that they should stem from the scriptures. But how many Hindus even have a copy of the Vedas/Upanishads/Bhagavata Purana or any of the others in their homes? 90% or more of Hindus are agrarian villagers, oftentimes illiterate. But only 30% of Hindus are vegetarian. That means that, at best, 66% of villagers are still meat-eaters.
Here's the thing: meat is not at all essential to strength. In fact, it often depletes it. This can be proven with one word: yogis. However, villagers, of which India's Hindu population comprises the most, are largely uneducated and indigent. Also, one needs to, if vegetarian, have access to a variety of tarkaari in order to maintain protein/carbs/fiber balances. Thus, they resort to the closest resources they have for food: meat. I'm sure they have strong ideas of the goodness of vegetarianism as encouraged by Sanaatan Dharm, instilled in them through practices such as abstinence from beef and observing vegetarian fasts on holy days. But how strong is the idea? Strong enough that they'd willingly change permanently?
Also, I find that people, though they often don't really believe it, will give reasons of caste to justify meat: it's my swadharma as a kshatriya. I seem to recall that kshatriyas were defined by practice of severe yogic tapas, intense study of the Vedas and consequently tutelage under a guru, and absolute celibacy (brahmacharya) until a sanctified marriage. Of course, those things don't apply now, but kshatriyas' consuming meat (again, only according to Vedic rites!) does. It's justification in a new age, that of Kali. Here's my pessimistic view:
We, on the internet, are an elite group of Hindus. The trickle-down effect probably won't work. Vegetarianism is still far off... actually, not just far-off, asymptotic: unattainable by the majority of Hindus, let alone mankind. Can it ever spread, especially in Kali Yuga? I, personally, believe firmly in the Vedic prophecies regarding the Yugas... indeed, all have come true, and the rest look to be. And the world doesn't seem to be getting any more enlightened. We THINK we are, and yet atrocities merely change form but continue to be widespread.
So, given that vegetarianism is intricately linked to personality, I feel that it is a far off goal. Just as only a few thousands will ever be exposed to the scriptures, and of those only a thousandth will try to understand them, and of still those only perhaps one will truly comprehend them, I feel that the sattwic ideals of Hinduism, encompassed in ahimsa of the scriptures and Hindu yoga, won't ever diffuse into the general populace.
_________________________
Surya: Kali Bhakta... Shaivaite & Vaishnav: all in all a Sanaatan Dharmik. Hum sub ek mahaaparivaar mein hain: Baraabar Shree Naraayan Sheshnaag ke neeche sotein hain, baraabar hum sub Veda/Vedanta/Mahabharat/Gita ke neeche rehetein hain.

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#23919 - 12/22/03 05:57 AM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: kalibhakta]
krishna_susarla Offline
initiate
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Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 119
If educated people take the time to read *and* follow the Vedic scriptures, "uneducated" people will no doubt follow their example, if not in the reading, then at least in the following. Great and respectable individuals set the example by which common people follow. If the intellectual and economic elite learn to once again respect shaastra, others will follow suit.

The problem is that being "educated" in India today means being raised under a Westernized system of education. Westernized education of India today is built on the foundations laid by early Indologists, whose intentions were always to discredit the Vedic culture.

Consequently, "educated" people in India are far more likely to believe that their Vedic scriptures are an inconsistent hodge podge of mutually contradictory ideas, written by various superstitious sages (who were all evil brahmins who exploited the masses) at various times, rather than the pristine, uniform, and authorless body of timeless knowledge which Vedaantists hold them to be.

It is often the case that even the so-called "religious" Hindus among the educated elite, often do not really follow the scriptures, and instead they make only a pretense of following them, even when it is explained to them with explicit evidence what the scriptural conclusions are. I have seen this especially on this very forum, in multiple instances.

The situation today has now become so bizarre, that when a "religious" Hindu extols the glories of a particular scripture, he will nevertheless criticize anyone as "sectarian" who suggests that we should actually follow that scripture (i.e. "I don't know any Sanskrit, but I don't like what you say so that is only *your* interpretation...."). Yet those same individuals, when unscrutinized, will go on to glorify those very scriptures which they do not follow.

There is very little objective scrutiny of what the scriptures actually teach; rather everyone simply uses the name of the scriptures to put forward his/her own opinions, and then blindly accuses anyone who disagrees with him of "fanaticism," "sectarianism," etc.

Hence, we have arrived at the current level of spiritual medicority that has become contemporary Hinduism. "Sanaatana dharma" is just a cool slogan, and lots of Hindu teenagers are interested in learning about it - as long as you don't tell them they should start respecting their parents and stop sniffing out members of the opposite sex for a date. Similarly, going to temple is "cool" too, as long as no one in temple tell us to stop going to McDonalds. And all this "Hindu" stuff is interesting, as long as we aren't bothered by it when we want to go to parties, drink beer, and make out with some hot Desi chick in a dark corner of some back room. And Bhagavad-gita and other "Hindu" scriptures are ok too.... just don't tell us that they condemn meat-eating, because we think chicken is oh-soo-tasty (therefore, since we like to eat meat, there is nothing wrong with it, right?).

Like that, so many "Hindus" are just using the name of religion as a cover to justify their materialistic habits. It is no longer important to know what kinds of behavior scriptures prescribe. Rather, every Hindu is encouraged to state his/her own beliefs, and follow those beliefs, which always coincidentally excuse oneself from any guilt associated with his/her current behavior. The 21st century motto is "this is right if it is right for you." Hardly anyone cares for Absolute Truth. Indeed, the very notion of "Absolute" is lost in a quagmire of moral relativism that would make an American atheist proud.

So, overall, I agree that dharma will not be propagated even in India. Rather, it will continue to be watered-down and ignored by the blue-jean wearing, bubble-gum chewing, Coca-Cola impersonalist misguided civilization of today. This is, after all, Kali Yuga. It isn't an age for a gentleman. Rather, is an age of inauspiciousness and religious degradation.

But none of that changes the fact that Truth simply Is. Right and wrong are absolute, and do not depend on majority opinion. True followers of Sanaatana-dharma are increasingly rare and will certainly become extinct. But Sanaatana-dharma will always exist somewhere else - in other planes of existence, in higher planetary systems, in other universes, etc. Whether learning it is really important in one's mind will be understood from one's actions, and not merely one's words.
_________________________
H. Krishna Susarla M.D. Achintya Mailing List www.achintya.org

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#23920 - 12/22/03 05:20 PM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: krishna_susarla]
marik Offline
elder
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Registered: 07/06/03
Posts: 1366
Loc: United States
Namaste krishna_sursarla,

I couldn't agree more, with every word. Thank you.

Marik
_________________________
By cultivating friendliness towards happiness and compassion towards misery, gladness towards virtue and indifference towards vice, the mind becomes pure. -- Patanjali

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#23921 - 01/19/04 07:00 PM Re: Scriptural Position on Vegetarianism [Re: S_HariKrishna]
Hemangaji Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/19/04
Posts: 5
Loc: Germany
Dear S_HariKrishna, I found this regarding scriptual position in the www. I fully agree.

Sincerely

yours

Hemangaji

A lot of the ancient belief on begin a Vegetarian seems to have been based on the fact that plants don't have life. The renowned Indian Scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose proved to the entire world that plants have life, they feel pain, they grow/die and exhibit Phototropism/geotropism etc.,

Full article on him at:
http://www.calcuttaweb.com/people/jcbose.shtml

http://krishna.org/sudarsana/archive/msg00328.html
Yes. It Is Sinful to Kill Plants as Well...

Subject: Yes. It Is Sinful to Kill Plants as Well...
From: madhudvisa@krishna.org (Madhudvisa dasa )
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 02:13:40 GMT
Message-Id:
References:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

pchienjr@uclink.berkeley.edu (Peter C Chien Jr) wrote:

>What a crock of [censored]. I think when you associate your religious beliefs
>with something as secularly practiced as veganism, you turn off a lot of
>people. Including me.

We are definately not vegans! It has been said so many times. And karma is
not a religious belief. It is the same law science is aware of that
states for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. They know
it works when you bounce a ball off the ground, but they don't know the
reaction is also there for all activities. Karma is a fact of life.

> I don't believe in Krishna.

That doesn't matter. I may not believe in the Pacific Ocean but does that
mean the Pacific Ocean doesn't exist?

> Therefore I don't
>believe in your theories. Besides, has it ever occurred to you that
>plants are life forms as well? If you eat them, then you are a
>hypocrite.

Yes. It is sinful to kill plants as well. There are two points here. The
first and most important one is devotees are not cooking for themselves,
we cook for Krishna, so we prepare the foods He likes to eat from grains,
milk products, vegetables and fruits, then we offer them to Him. The
result is prasadam, or Krishna's mercy. So there is no karma involved at
all. Service to Krishna is completely transcendental. So those people who
are vegetarians, but who prepare food for themselves are also not free
from all sinful reactions. Only when the food is prepared with love and
offered to Krishna is it transcendental.

The other point is most vegetarian foods can be collected without killing
the plant. In the case of fruit and many vegetables you just pick the
fruit. It doesn't kill the plant. In other cases (such as grains) the
plant dies after producing the grain and therefore harvesting the grain is
not killing the plant.


>There is this plant called the acacian bush, that upon being
>eaten by an herbivore, secretes ascissic acid, which in turn acts a
>signal to other plants nearby to secrete tannins. Tannins are
>unpalatable compounds to animals. Seems like self-defense to me,
>indicating the possibility of sentience. What do you say to that? The
>only *true* lifeanism in diet is eating fruits and milk and decomposing
>carcasses (like vultures do it).

Yes. Plants are conscious too. There is no difference between the
spirit-soul in a plant and you. You are in human consciousness so you have
a human body, the plant is in plant consciousness so it has a plant
body... You can also take a plant's body and the soul in the plant's body
will gradually evolve through the species of life until it comes to a
human body.

>Madhudvisa dasa (madhudvisa@krishna.org) wrote:

>: only eat meat, they have no choice in the matter. But we can eat meat if
>: we want to, it is an optional thing. The vegetarian diet is much more
>: healthy, that has been established and is admitted by most people.

>: We can consider whether it is right to unnecessairly kill others and eat
>: their flesh. I'm sure I have the digestive enzymes which would make it
>: possible for me to eat and digest your body. But is it a good thing if I
>: kill you just to eat your flesh when there are so many alternatives? These
>: things arc considered by thoughtful people, others, who are no better than
>: animals will go on slaughtering innocent creatures without considering it.

>: The law of karma states that if you act violently towards others that
>: violence will come back on you. We are seeing it in the world at the
>: moment, so much suffering, so many wars, so many problems. But we don't
>: connect it. Many of the problems are directly caused by the unnecessary
>: slaughter of millions of innocent animals.

>: For us, as Hare Krishna's, being vegetarian is not the real question. We
>: are "Krishnatarians". We cook food for Krishna, offer it to Him, and eat
>: the prasadam He leaves. So we want to please Krishna. If you invite
>: someone over to your house and want to please them you will find out what
>: sort of food they like to eat and offer it to them. So Krishna describes
>: what He likes to eat in the Bhagavad-gita, He likes foods in the mode of
>: goodness made from grains, milk products, vegetables and fruits. So we
>: cook what Krishna likes and Krishna doesn't eat meat. So we are
>: vegetarians...

>: "As far as the mode of ignorance is concerned, the performer is
>: without knowledge, and therefore all his activities result in present
>: misery, and afterwards he will go on toward animal life. Animal life is
>: always miserable, although, under the spell of the illusory energy, maya,
>: the animals do not understand this. Slaughtering poor animals is also due
>: to the mode of ignorance. The animal killers do not know that in the
>: future the animal will have a body suitable to kill them. That is the law
>: of nature. In human society, if one kills a man he has to be hanged. That
>: is the law of the state. Because of ignorance, people do not perceive that
>: there is a complete state controlled by the Supreme Lord. Every living
>: creature is a son of the Supreme Lord, and He does not tolerate even an
>: ant's being killed. One has to pay for it. So indulgence in animal killing
>: for the taste of the tongue is the grossest kind of ignorance. A human
>: being has no need to kill animals, because God has supplied so many nice
>: things. If one indulges in meat-eating anyway, it is to be understood that
>: he is acting in ignorance and is making his future very dark. Of all kinds
>: of animal killing, the killing of cows is most vicious because the cow
>: gives us all kinds of pleasure by supplying milk. Cow slaughter is an act
>: of the grossest type of ignorance. In the Vedic literature (Rg Veda
>: 9.4.64) the words gobhih prinita-matsaram indicate that one who, being
>: fully satisfied by milk, is desirous of killing the cow is in the grossest
>: ignorance." (From Srila Prabhupada's purport to Bhagavad-gita 14.6)

>: Chant Hare Krishna and be Happy!



>: Thank you. Hare Krishna!

>: Madhudvisa dasa
>: (madhudvisa@krishna.org) /sudarsana
>:
>: All glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!
an other one from:
http://www.hindu-religion.net/showflat/cat/hinduism1/26305/1/collapsed/5/o/1
Isn't the killing of plants also violence? 09/13/01 09:17 PM Edit Reply Dear Sri ..., Hare Krishna. Thank you for writing with your questions. quote: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------I wish to know the justification for eating vegetables and fruits. These are also living creatures and we are not supposed to take away life. Please let me know. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------The shastras explain that all life subsists by the consumption of other living entities. It is impossible to be nonviolent in this world, as simply to exist we need to take the lives of other living entities. Even without eating, so many ants, insects and bacteria are killed every time we walk or breath. This material world is therefore known as duhkhalayam, the place of suffering. Our very existence is suffering for others; and by the law of karma, those sufferings are later returned to us in full. Thus this world is described as being like a net of illusion. When the fish is caught in a net, the more it struggles to be free, the tighter it is bound in the net. The material world is known by the name 'durga', which literally means 'very difficult to move'. This net of maya has entrapped us, and the more we struggle against it, the more our freedom of movement is restricted. The Bhagavad Gita says: yajnarthat karmano 'nyatraloko 'yam karma-bandhanahtad-artham karma kaunteyamukta-sangah samacara "Activities must be performed as a sacrifice to Vishnu, otherwise all work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage." Every action we perform has a binding consequence which increases our entanglement in matter. This is the stringent law of karma which keeps us bound in this world. Every step we walk, every breath we take, it is increasing our bondage. Countless living entities are being killed by us without our knowledge. All of this will lead to our own suffering. The only way to become free from this bondage is by performing every action as an offering to God. This is known technically as 'yajna' or 'yaagam'. Those who eat food, even if it is vegetarian, without first offering it as a sacrifice to God, are eating only sin, for so many living entities have been killed in the process. In this connection, Lord Krishna states in the Gita: yajna-shishtashinah santomucyante sarva-kilbishaihbhunjate te tv agham papaye pacanty atma-karanat "The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin." Whatever one eats that is not prepared as an offering to God is sinful, and it will increase one's bondage and suffering through the laws of Karma. Those who are devotees of the Lord, first offer everything to Krishna, and then partake of his remnants. Such an offering of sacrifice frees one from reactions and situates one on the transcendental platform of akarma. karmany akarma yah pashyedakarmani ca karma yahsa buddhiman manushyeshusa yuktah kritsna-karma-krit "One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities." By performing every action as a sacrifice to Krishna one becomes free from all reactions. Though such a devotee is factually engaged in all sorts of activities, he is transcendentally situated and is therefore situated in inaction. One may then question the need for offering only vegetarian foods to Krishna in sacrifice. The scriptures establish which foodstuffs may be offered to God in sacrifice, and Lord Krishna reafirms this in the Bhagavad Gita: patram pushpam phalam toyamyo me bhaktya prayacchatitad aham bhakty-upahritamashnami prayatatmanah "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it." These are the foodstuffs that Lord Krishna will accept in offering, and even to this day in thousands of temples throughout India these offerings are made everyday to the Lord. Such offerings are factually sacrifice, or yajna, and the devotees are freed from all kinds of bondage by partaking of the remnants, or prasadam. Those who wish to become free from karmic reactions should arrange in their house to offer all of their foodstuffs to Lord Krishna before eating. This will protect you from the sinful reactions involved. The Vedic injunction is mahimsat sarva bhutani, "Do not perform violence to any living entity." In the material world it is impossible to follow this instruction perfectly. We should strive to follow it to the best of our ability, offering all results to the Lord for purification of our imperfections. We should endeavour to cause the least amount of violence to other living entities as we can. Our very existence is violence, so we will not be able to stop violence, but we can consciously act in such a way as to minimize the disturbance we cause to other living entities. Comparitively, more violence is involved in the killing of an animal compared to the killing of a plant. Therefore the scriptures have stipulated that the proper diet for humans is only vegetarian food. Humans are meant to move from the mundane to the spiritual, and as such certain qualities must be developed, such as purity, mercy, compassion, etc. It is impossible to develop these essential qualities while engaging in the merciless slaughter of innocent animals to satisfy our tongues. The scriptures state that only the killer of animals is unable to understand the transcendental message of Lord Krishna. The killer of the animal is not only the hunter or butcher. It includes everyone involved in the process, from the butcher to the one who eats the meat. Such people will not be able to understand the message of Lord Krishna. For them it will not be possible to take to spiritual life, which is everyone's ultimate goal and self-interest: na te viduh svartha gatim hi vishnum. quote: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------There is a person called ... who claims he was an RSS worker till he found a reference in the vedas that said that Jesus was the only true prophet and all others were false. He is now a christian and is propogating this. Any comments? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------There is no reference to Jesus in the Vedas. There is a single reference to him found in the Bhavishya Purana, which states his mission was to establish dharma. The Vedas never say there is only one prophet. On the contrary the Vedas establish that there are unlimited saints, rishis, yogis, drashtas, and avataras, who all come to reestablish the principles of religion: ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti "There is one Absolute Truth, but the learned speak of Him in various ways." This is the conclusion of the Vedas. quote: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------I have been asked by some Christian priests that while they have proof of the existence of Jesus Christ do we have proof of ther existence of Krishna? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Whether there is proof of the existence of Christ or not is a subject of debate. In America there are many scholars who have shown evidence that this assertation is false. I am not saying there never was such a personality, but that belief in him depends on one's faith. Christ existed only 2,000 years ago, whereas Lord Krishna existed 5,000 years ago. We have countless saints whose existence has been established by history and archeology. Saints such as Adi Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Nimbarka, Vishnuswami, etc. In addition to this there is proof of many divine incarnations such as Lord Krishna (5,000 years ago), Lord Buddha (2,500 years ago), and Sri Krishna Chaitanya (500 years ago). There is no lack of evidence. Let us keep in mind the antiquity of Lord Krishna. He was present on earth 5,000 years ago. In the Christian tradition this would compare to the dates of Adam and Eve. Where is the proof that such personalities existed? There is absolutely none. But for Lord Krishna there is ample proof. His city of Dwaraka, beneath the sea, is being studied by archeologists even today. Hastinapura is still existing as an active and living city. The inscriptions and engravings of countless kings establish the existence of Lord Krishna. In other cultures of the world, where is the proof for individual people existing prior to 5,000 years ago? Where is the proof for Adam and Eve? It does not exist. Hinduism is a dynamic religion that continues to reestablish itself through divine descent (avatara). We need not look for proof beyond the incarnation of the Lord. Sri Krishna Chaitanya has appeared 500 years ago, and his life and teachings have been thoroughly documented by the saints of his time. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask. Yours in service, Jahnava Nitai Das,Bhaktivedanta Ashram




Hare Krishna vegetarian recipes links

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http://de.geocities.com/hemangaji/Indian_vegetarian_Vaishnava_cuisine_recipes.htm
http://www.iskcon.com/culture/food/index.html
http://www.iskcon.com/basics/ekadasi.html
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http://www.allbaking.net/wheatfree.html
http://www.enabling.org/ia/celiac/rec/breadmu.html
http://www.recipesource.com/
http://dharmakshetra.com/prasadam/recipies.htm
http://www.iskcon.com/culture/food/hkbook_veg_cook/index.html
Kakri raita - Cucumber and yogurt salad
http://www.iskcon.com/culture/food/hkbook_veg_cook/recipe1.html
Paneer sak - steamed spinach with fresh cheese
http://www.iskcon.com/culture/food/hkbook_veg_cook/recipe2.html
Herbed rice with mixed vegetables
http://www.iskcon.com/culture/food/lord_krishna_cuisine/recipe1.html
Sada moong dal - Simple mung dal soup
http://www.iskcon.com/culture/food/lord_krishna_cuisine/recipe2.html
http://www.hknet.org.nz/ekadasi-page.htm#Ekadasi recipies
http://www.hknet.org.nz/ekadasi-14.htm
http://www.stephen-knapp.com/vegetarian_recipes_and_resources.htm
http://www.stephen-knapp.com/ekadasi_recipes_cookbook.htm
http://www.chakra.org/living/recipes.html
http://www.pratyatosa.com/FastestEkadasiCompleteMeal.htm
http://kurma.net/faq/q14.html
http://www.mediarama.it/sanga/html/recipes/recipes2.htm
http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/diet/recipes.html
http://www.sysindia.com/kitchen/links.html
http://www.hemant-trivedis-cookery-corner.com/snacks/sago-dana-vada.html
http://www.hemant-trivedis-cookery-corner.com/
http://www.nagpuronline.com/recipes/index.htm
www.bhojan.org
http://www.cyber-kitchen.com/search/

Download a FREE Eggless Cake Cookbook HERE:
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