During the course of discussions, many non vegetarian pagan friends have raised lots of doubts about being non vegetarian or turning to be a vegetarian. Well, I mentioned Pagans(i.e. In India, pagans are known as Hindus), because only they are in a dilemma, as to whether they invite bad karma or sin for being the reason for killing animals for food. I have also listened and observed many so called spiritual leaders from all over this planet hesitate to express a clear stand on this issue with proper reasoning, and will always be noncommittal. At this point, I would like to inform that, once upon a time, I was an animal flesh eater (In order to make the point, I don’t want to sugarcoat(dilute) the issue with the word “nonvegetarian”). The minute I realized that what I was doing was absolutely merciless, I instantly stopped taking animal flesh. So, let me try to explain the reasons for me to stop consuming animal flesh.
My first and foremost reason for being a vegetarian is to “not give pain” to a fellow living being on this planet. Just imagine if somebody pinches us or pokes us with a needle or cut us with a knife. Will it not be unbearable. Now, think of those voiceless animals being queued, terrorised & slaughtered just for the sake of our human tongue and to fill our stomach.
People care their pets like cats or dogs and don’t eat them, but they just don’t think about the animals like cow, chicken, etc because they have already been introduced to eating of such animals. Similarly, had they tasted cats or dogs, they would not hesitate to eat them. Even this happens in some regions across the planet. The foremost reason for humans to keep eating animal meat is because most of them lead an unconscious life. Many of us don’t know that the human life we got is precious and it should be enjoyed to fullest. How can we be happy if we do things which are against our conscience/nature. All of us know at the bottom of our heart or at the back of our mind as to whether the things we do are right or wrong. But, we tend to ignore these things wantonly and lead mechanical and selfish lives which definitely cannot make us satisfied. How can we lead a happy fulfilled life, if we are not conscious to the above fact.
Lots have been written about the reasons for being vegan or nonvegan and many are available all over the net. Hence, let me bring out what is not available widely. Now, let us know what the Ancient Indian scriptures say about being vegetarian or non vegetarian.
I have taken the two most important ancient Indian texts which I use as my life guide in case of any doubt, I come across in my life: (1) Thirukkural & (2) Bhagvad Gita. If interpreted correctly without prejudice, these texts add to the beauty of one’s commonsense. All are self explanatory.
∆THIRUKKURAL(Chapter 26-Spurning meat/ புலால் மறுத்தல்)∆
There is a full chapter on avoiding meat in the Tamil text Thirukkural written by Saint Tiruvalluvar. Thirukkural is one of the most important text on the ethics about all walks of life.
251. தன்னூன் பெருக்கற்குத் தான்பிறிது ஊனுண்பான்
எங்ஙனம் ஆளும் அருள்.
How can someone possess kindness, if one eats meat from another body to grow one’s own body?
252. பொருளாட்சி போற்றாதார்க்கு இல்லை அருளாட்சி
ஆங்கில்லை ஊன்தின் பவர்க்கு.
As one who doesn’t value money can’t be wealthy; the one who eats meat, can’t be compassionate.
253. படைகொண்டார் நெஞ்சம்போல் நன்னூக்காது ஒன்றன்
உடல்சுவை உண்டார் மனம்.
The heart of one who has eaten and relished flesh, is like the heart of one leading an army/holding a deadly weapon; it cannot be compassionate.
254. அருளல்லது யாதெனின் கொல்லாமை கோறல்
பொருளல்லது அவ்வூன் தினல்.
Not killing is compassion; Killing is a kindless action and eating that flesh got by killing is not virtuous.
255. உண்ணாமை உள்ளது உயிர்நிலை ஊனுண்ண
அண்ணாத்தல் செய்யாது அளறு.
Meat/flesh should not be eaten. It is another one’s wound. Not eating flesh contributes to the cleanliness and continuance of life.
256. தினற்பொருட்டால் கொல்லாது உலகெனின் யாரும்
விலைப்பொருட்டால் ஊன்றருவா ரில்.
No one will be selling meat for the sake of earning, if the world stops killing for the sake of eating.
257. உண்ணாமை வேண்டும் புலாஅல் பிறிதொன்றன்
புண்ணது உணர்வார்ப் பெறின்.
After coming to know that flesh is nothing but the unclean ulcer of a body, let people abstain from eating it.
258. செயிரின் தலைப்பிரிந்த காட்சியார் உண்ணார்
உயிரின் தலைப்பிரிந்த ஊன்.
The wise will not eat the flesh which has been severed from a living being.
259. அவிசொரிந் தாயிரம் வேட்டலின் ஒன்றன்
உயிர்செகுத் துண்ணாமை நன்று.
Not to kill and eat the flesh of an animal, is better than the pouring of ghee etc., in a thousand offering/sacrifices.
260. கொல்லான் புலாலை மறுத்தானைக் கைகூப்பி
எல்லா உயிருந் தொழும்.
All creatures will join their hands together, and worship him who has never taken away life, nor eaten flesh.
∆What the BHAGVAD GITA says about food∆
When one reads Bhagvad Gita, it appears that there was no concept of killing animals, for eating their flesh, during those times, as there is no mention of vegetarian or non vegetarian. It only mentions about the three types(guna/quality) of food-Saatvic, Raajasic & Taamasic. Further, there is no mention, specific to sacrifice(offering) of animals by killing.
पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति |
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मन: || 9.26||
9.26 Whosoever offers Me a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water with love and devotion, I delightfully partake the offering of devotion by the pure-hearted.
रस्या: स्निग्धा: स्थिरा हृद्या आहारा: सात्विकप्रिया: ||17. 8||
आहारा राजसस्येष्टा दु:खशोकामयप्रदा: || 17.9||
यातयामं गतरसं पूति पर्युषितं च यत् |
उच्छिष्टमपि चामेध्यं भोजनं तामसप्रियम् || 17.10||
17.8 Persons in the mode of goodness(saatvik) prefer foods that promote the life span, and increase virtue, strength, health, happiness, and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, succulent, nourishing, and naturally tasteful.
17.9 Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, very hot, pungent, dry, and burning, are dear to persons in the mode of passion(raajas). Such foods produce pain, grief, and disease.
17.10 Foods that are overcooked, stale, putrid(emitting bad smell), polluted, and impure are dear to persons in the mode of ignorance(taamas).
When one feels that he/she wants to have animal meat, it is purely his choice. Let that desire of his be fulfilled and saturated, so that the want does not grow to lust (by suppressing) and thereby inhibit his other capacities. The earlier the saturation occurs, the better. It is not about the question of whether vegetarians are good and nonvegetarians are bad. But, about the consequences of what we do without applying our mind. It is also not the fault of the individuals who take animal meat in their diet, as they have no idea of what is happening around them and most of them do not have the time and capability to see/think what is beyond their eyes. If anyone wants to know whether there is negative karma in eating animal meat, they may just visit the nearest slaughterhouse and see for themselves, the fear & pain being endured by these living beings. Are not the animal meat eaters the real culprit for the crime being committed on these innocent living creatures, just because they are born weak? The butchers do the dirty work of slaughtering only on their behalf. Let us human beings not be a terrorist in the eyes of another living being. Is it not plain common sense that there is absence of empathy on the pain inflicted on a fellow being living on this planet? Is it not proof enough that the mere question or doubt which arises in the mind as to whether eating flesh is right or wrong, surely says that something is not right?
I express my sincere thanks to all of you in advance from the bottom of my heart for quitting eating of animal meat after going through this post of mine :). I am sure we all will lead fantastic happy fulfilled lives.
Well, what has being vegetarian got to do in my blog…to reduce bad karma…to take charge of our life, rather than leaving our life to fate (https://swakaarya.com/2019/06/05/fate-its-in-your-hands/)… to get connected to the nature/universe…to attract more money…to live a happy fulfilled life…
P.S.: Experience shows that most of the individuals in the meat industry suffer from neuro problems. Their residences have vasthu issues in the SouthWest.