- 1. Why does a person have a non-vegetarian diet?
- 2. Why does Hindu Dharma prohibit consumption of non-vegetarian food?
- 3. Adverse effects of a non-vegetarian diet
- 4. Adverse effects on man of the Tama-dominant waves in non-vegetarian diet
- 5. Subtle-effect on the walls of the slaughter house, of the pain caused to animals
- 6. Effects of consuming non-vegetarian diet during Pitrupaksha
- 7. Why are people consuming non-vegetarian food troubled by negative energies?
- 8. Examples of great men opposing non-vegetarian diet
- 9. Why are the various rules devised by authors of the Scriptures for destroying the inclination towards non-vegetarian diet?
- 10. Reasons for not abiding by Scriptural rules and its effect
- 11. Why do Saints advocate giving up non-vegetarian food?
- 12. Remedies for obliterating sins caused due to consumption of non-vegetarian diet
The two main reasons are:
A person has a liking for non-vegetarian food that is why he has it.
Negative energy also prompts a person to have a Tama-dominant non-vegetarian diet.
Majority of Hindus believe that, ‘Non-vegetarianism is demonic and the height of cruelty’. A Hindu woman says, “My husband, who has adopted Western Culture, may have non-vegetarian food; but I, being a Hindu wife, will never even touch meat.’ However, in this day and age some Hindus in the villages as well as in cities, blindly imitate the western culture and have non-vegetarian food. They can be called as namesake Hindus!
The reasons why Hindu Dharma prohibits consumption of non-vegetarian food are
Eating meat is a Tama-dominant act. That is why, it is prohibited in Hindu Dharma. The act of eating meat represents the Raja-Tama-dominant foreign culture.
Hindu religious texts advise refraining from consuming non-vegetarian food.
It is said in Manusmruti,
न मांसभक्षणे दोषो न मद्ये न च मैथुने ।
प्रवृत्तिरेषा भूतानां निवृत्तिस्तु महाफला ।। - मनुस्मृति, अध्याय ५, श्लोक ५६
Meaning: Since man has a natural inclination towards consuming alcohol, meat and copulation, having a desire for them does not amount to sin. But being free from the three is beneficial.
Another shloka in Manusmruti advises giving up all consumption of non-vegetarian food by looking at the origin of meat, the shackling and slaughter of animals for meat. All points elucidated in these shlokas are advice to Hindus by the religious texts.
A. All people associated with meat are destructive / vicious in nature: It has been said in Manusmruti,
अनुमन्ता विशसिता निहन्ता क्रयविक्रयी ।
संस्कर्ता चोपहर्ता च खादकश्चेति घातका: ।। - मनुस्मृति ५.५१
Meaning: One who promotes or supports non-vegetarianism, the butcher, one who sells or purchases meat, the one who cooks it, serves it or consumes it, are all destructive / vicious in nature.
B. A person who has a non-vegetarian diet does not attain happiness:
य: अहिंसकानि भूतानि हिनस्ति आत्मसुखेच्छया ।
स जीवंश्च मृतश्चैव न क्वचित् सुखमेधते ।। - मनुस्मृति ५.५४
Meaning: One who slaughters non-violent, helpless animals for his own happiness never attains happiness when alive and even after death.
Manusmruti also says that, if a person consumes an animal’s meat on Earth, then that animal will consume the person’s meat after his death / in the other world.
C. Due to a non-vegetarian diet, there is a greater possibility of the person suffering from various diseases: Due to the excess of proteins in non-vegetarian food, the person consuming it suffers from various diseases. By consuming non-vegetarian food, obstacles are created in the blood circulation and respiration. Eating meat adversely affects digestion. People who eat non-vegetarian food develop heart disease, cancer of the chest and stomach etc.
D. As a result of consuming non-vegetarian food, obstacles are created in a person’s spiritual progress and he gets trapped in the worldly cycle. With the consumption of non-vegetarian food, the Tamoguna present in the animal enters the person who eats the non-vegetarian food and his body becomes inactive. Due to this, obstacles are created in his spiritual progress, that is, the person moves away from God.
As against this, Manusmruti says about those not consuming non-vegetarian food:Meaning: One who does not have a desire to shackle and slaughter animals, becomes the well-wisher of animals and acquires infinite happiness.
यो बंधनवधक्लेशान्प्राणिनां न चिकीर्षति ।
स सर्वस्य हितप्रेप्सु: सुखम् अत्यंतम् अश्नुते ।। - मनुस्मृति ५.४६
One of the tenets of Dharma is - ‘A diet made from slaughtering another being destroys all the virtues in the person consuming it.’ Due to the adverse effects of the Tama-predominant waves in non-vegetarian diet, the Sattva guna in the person is destroyed. Consequently, his benevolent thoughts are also destroyed and Tama-dominant, in-discretionary, violent thoughts originate or surface.
Many types of adverse effects may have to be endured by every non-vegetarian. That is why, many Saints and great men have opposed a non-vegetarian diet.
Scientists of Delhi University, Professors Manmohan Baj and Vijayraj Singh went to a Russian slaughter house and studied the effect of the suffering of the subtle bodies of the beings slaughtered there. They say that, inflicting blows on the animals in the slaughter house generates broken waves of suffering in its stones. Through this example, the subtle-effects of slaughtering animals for meat becomes clear.
During the fortnight for appeasement of deceased ancestors (Pitrupaksha) the earth gets covered with the subtle bodies (ling-dehas) of departed ancestors. Depending on the actions of the person during this period, his departed ancestors gain corresponding momentum for their onward journey. The Tamoguna increases in the person who indulges in consuming non-vegetarian diet. As a result, the Tama-dominant energies, in the form of departed ancestors, satisfy their desire for non-vegetarian food through that person. Due to a similarity in the unsatisfied desires of the departed ancestors and the desire for non-vegetarian food in a person, the departed ancestors begin to frequently satisfy their desires through the person.
By performing the ritual to appease the deceased ancestors (shraddha), the person’s debt unto the ancestors is reduced. However, by performing a Tama-dominant action like consuming non-vegetarian diet, a person’s debt unto the ancestors increases instead of decreasing. For this reason the Hindu religious Scriptures have advocated refraining from non-vegetarian diet during Pitrupaksha.
In the process of cooking of meat and fish, subtle foul air is released. As a result negative energies are attracted to it.
Some tithis and time periods advocated for abstinence from non-vegetarian diet: Keeping in mind the possibility of attracting the negative energies, try to avoid non-vegetarian diet as far as possible.
On the no moon and full moon days and two days prior to and following these tithis
During the transition period, that is, during sunrise and sunset.
During an eclipse, refrain from non-vegetarian food that increases the Tamo-guna.
Subtle-desire bodies of the person who has non-vegetarian food and those in his proximity come into contact with one other. As a result, even those who do not consume non-vegetarian food are affected.
The great statesman Arya Chanakya says, ‘Those who consume non-vegetarian diet and alcohol are a burden on Mother Earth. Saints and Ascetics like Maharshi Vyas, Kapimuni, Adya Shankaracharya etc. have strongly opposed non-vegetarian diet.
While elucidating the meaning of a quote from the Mahabharat, ‘Ahimsa Parmodharma’, Raman Maharishi says, ‘Non-violence is the supreme Dharma.’
While describing a person who is a non-vegetarian, George Bernard Shaw says, ‘People who consume non-vegetarian diet are akin to corpses of slaughtered animals !’ When George Bernard Shaw was on deathbed, his doctors gave him meat as a medicine. Doctors told him, “You will die if you do not consume non-vegetarian diet.” Shaw replied, “Instead of eating non-vegetarian diet, I would prefer to embrace death. If I remain alive without taking this prescribed non-vegetarian diet, then my doctors will also turn vegetarian.” Thereafter, he remained alive despite not consuming non-vegetarian diet.
9. Why are the various rules devised by authors of the Scriptures for destroying the inclination towards non-vegetarian diet?
Despite being instructed about the adverse effects of consuming non-vegetarian diet and advised on refraining from it, some people continue to be non-vegetarian. To destroy the inclination of such people towards non-vegetarianism, authors of the Scriptures have devised certain rules about it. For example, prohibiting the consumption of or even looking at non-vegetarian diet on certain days and during specific time periods.
This means that we get engrossed in whatever we see. Its impressions are formed on the mind. On the other hand, when scenes, thoughts or actions are removed from our vision, mind or memory, their intensity diminishes. Abiding by the rules of not consuming non-vegetarian diet too has similar results.
The Scriptures devised rules about diet; but the influence of Western Culture kept increasing. Also systems for providing education on Dharma became non-existent. As a result, people gave up following the rules of Dharma. Their attraction for non-vegetarian diet and alcohol continued to increase. Taking advantage of the increased Tamo-guna in the person due to consumption of non-vegetarian diet, may have negative effects. They fulfill their unfulfilled desires of consuming non-vegetarian diet and alcohol, using such people as a medium.
Saints are the Sagun form of God. They are aware of what is spiritually necessary for the person who visits them. That is why, they advise or ask only about those aspects.
A non-vegetarian diet makes one susceptible to the effects of negative energies and also results in sin. For some reason if consuming non-vegetarian food is unavoidable. In this regard, a verse (shloka) says:
गोमूत्रं गोमयं चैव क्षीरं दधि घृत तथा ।
पंचरात्रं तदाहार: पंचगव्येन शुद्ध्यति ।।
Meaning: By consuming panchagavya, that is, a mixture of cow-urine, cow-dung, cow-milk, curd and ghee made from cow’s milk over five nights, the sin caused by consumption of non-vegetarian food is obliterated.
If it is not possible to perform this remedy, then maximum chanting of God’s Name can help in purification. This makes us realise that the Hindu Scriptures have given due thought to save man from any sins committed knowingly or unknowingly, thus leading him on the path of Spirituality.