Why avoid mushrooms?

Priyesh Shah, 13th November 2011

Hare Krishna,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada
All Glories to Guru and Gauranga

I was just wondering why is advisable to avoid consuming mushrooms?

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 13th November 2011

Hare Krishna!
We only eat that which Krishna and the spiritual masters eat, we take their remnants. Prasadam. They unanimously like foods in the mode of goodness – sattvik or sattva guna.

We don’t eat mushrooms because Krishna doesn’t eat them. Mushrooms are in the mode of darkness, “tamasik” or of “tamo guna”. The spiritualmasters also don’t like them because of this reason.

They grow in the dark, musty and in rotten environments.

Many types of mushrooms are highly poisonous and can kill – others are used as intoxicants by many – all intoxicants are actually poisons.The edible mushrooms are also poisonous even if mildly so.

Eating mushrooms makes us dull and it becomes difficult to perform devotional service, especially hearing and chanting. It would be like trying to light a fire (attain to pure bhakti) and then pour water (not follow regulative principles).

Hope this helps.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Priyesh Shah, 13th September 2011

Thank you for clearing my doubt Prabhu

your servant

Harendra Modak, 15th November 2011

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada
All Glories to Guru and Gauranga

In one of the conservation of Prabhupada and his disciples(I do not have the exact reference). I read that prabhupad advised not to eat mushrooms because they grow in dirty places and so they are in the mode of
ignorance but when the disciple asked could they eat the mushroom grown in New Vrindavan? Prabhupada replied Yes. I want to say even though mushrooms are not eaten by Vaishnavas but Prabhupada never banned mushrooms, masoor dal and
urad daal even though they are also not eaten by Vaishnavas.

I just want to clarify my doubt so please help me.

Hare Krishna.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 15th September 2011

Hare Krishna Harendra Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have a question for you Prabhu.

Are you planning to to strictly abide by each and every one of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, or you are only seeking to pick and choose a few here-and-there according to your own preferences?

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Harendra Modak, 16th September 2011

Please accept my humble obeisances.
Sri Guru Gauranga Jayate!
Jai Srila Gurudeva!
Thank you prabhu ji for rebuke. I pray it purifies me. I do not eat mushrooms.

There are so many rules for eating , sleeping, cleansing ourselves which a vaishnava should follow according to Hari Bhakti Vilas. But Prabhupad has eased the rules seeing the present degradation of the material world.
So if he has permitted us or have not restrict us from eating something then why not we should eat that? In Iskcon temples also now a days they are cooking urad daal since Prabhupad never banned it but it  is not
allowed for vaishnavas. Likewise, In Ekadashi we are not supposed to eat any fruits and vegetables which contain SEEDS like apple, watermelon, guava, brinjal, gourds, tomato, chillies, coriander leaves (as its top part contain seeds) etc.
but since Prabhupada never banned these things so we are using it in Ekadashi days. So why cant we use mushrooms which Prabhupada has allowed us to eat provided it has been grown in clean places  (like family gardens or farm houses)?

I mean to say why we are going back to old rules of Vaishnavas which Prabhupada never gave so much importance? Do we know more than Prabhupada or we ourselves can make individual independent new standards for purifying us
rejecting the easy standards made by Prabhupada? I think Srila Prabhupada was better knowing that which rules should be followed by future generarions in ISKCON . So I just desire to follow what Prabhuapada , the great acharya
in milleniums, said rather than going back to standard rules of Vaishnava because of which Vaishnavism almost got lost from Indian map and all new generations of gaudiya, madhva and shri vaishnavas have become
averse to Vaisnavism because of it lengthy, peculiar, strict rules and regulations. I think its better we just follow what Prabhupada said rather than adding old rules in ISKCON by exploring old Vaishnava books which are
now tough to follow  word by word. I have seen as well as seeing everyday the aversion of all new generation vaishnavas(gaudiya, madhava and sri sampradaya) to their old rules and regulations and I am seeing them going to bars,
brothels and butcher shops.

Let not add extra rules in ISKCON otherwise it will also meet the same fate what other sampradayas are facing now.

Please forgive me for my straight forwardness.

Jai Srila Prabhupada!

Hare Krishna.

A well wisher of ISKCON and trying to humble servant,

Vishal, 16th November 2011

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Praphupada
All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga

I am merely a neophyte in Krsna Consciousness so please forgive me for my ignorance on the subject matter.

However what I know is that Srila Prabhupad’s formula is service now samadhi later.  It is by his mercy and out of love for fallen souls like us that he has eased the rules of vaishnavism to a larger degree not only about eating habits
but also in other departments of vaishnavism for e.g. it was mandatory and as a purificatory process that women were never allowed to go and stay in the temple.  They were contrained only to be inside the house and take care of the family.  The women were supposed to take head bath every day else they were considered muchi (untouchable or not in proper condition to do service) which in fact is even followed traditionally in the old house of south India.

There is much more – Srila Prabhupad wanted people to offer service to Krsna and accommodated everyone down from a drug addict to a saintly brahminically brought up boy in his movement.  He did not get bog down by the rituals and
other traditionally followed concepts due to their strictness. Had he introduced too much rigidness in this movement, people would never have come into it saying it is another of formal religion; hence the slow death of vaisnavism.
However he did not compromise on his personal following and adherance to the 4 regulative principles and chanting of the holy name.  By his approach he has revived Vaishnavism.

In relation to the point on ekadasi – yes, ekadasi means nirjal (no water fast) it was for all the brahminical class, vaishnvas, shaivites also ,the smartas also followed it strictly but as  said earlier, the point was not to brood over
food instead eat well with some regulated way of taking fruits and do your service with meditation on the Lord’s lotus feet.  Some of the items like carrot, tomatos were never used in traditional house even now because they
came in from the western world; the most used food items were – raw banana, flowers, and green leafy spinach not more than that..

Urad dhal is considered highly protein so during chaturmasya it was not taken, but in  south India, they used to offer the deities idli and dosas which are made up by urad dhal. Even now they offer beautiful dosas made with
pepper to Lord Ranganath in Srirangam.  So the answer is that urad dhal was not forbidden in past, but subject to restricted usage.

In relation to the mushroom discussion, please forgive my ignorance but I have not come across any books or discussion of Srila Praphupada that if mushroom is grown in a clean place, it can be consumed. Mushroom is a
product of ignorance, it is fungus so Vaishnavas don’t take it or nor it is offerable to the Lord.

In a nutshell ISKCON devotees do not add or substract what Srila Praphupada has taught.

your menial servant
Sanjeev Prabhu

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 17th November 2011

Dear Harendra Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I am grateful to you that you have not taken offense.
I am also grateful to Sanjeev Prabhu’s response.

I sensed that this was not about mushrooms, so my question (not intended as a rebuke) was intended to provoke the
heart of the issue to come out.

You are obviously sincere and clearly you are honest also. Regarding Mushrooms, Jagannatha Prabhu has posted the references elsewhere on this group recently. It is clear from
that reference that mushrooms should not be offered to the Lord. Sometimes, just to encourage the disciple and out of fathomless mercy, a spiritual master may accept some things (example, pasta, tofu, etc) that the Lord would not.
But I doubt that any bona fide spiritual master would find the foul-smelling mushrooms palatable.

Your intent of not adding or subtracting anything from what Srila Prabhupada has taught us is certainly the mood that Srila Gurudeva, Sankarshan Das Adhikari has a deep and abiding dedication to. If one attends programs at the
Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, TX, or interacts with Srila Gurudeva or Gurumata in any way, one can get that sense. They would never deviate from Srila Prabhupada.

At the heart, Srila Prabhupada emphasized time, place, and circumstance. For example, he stressed that everyone should chant Hare Krishna, BUT, he also agreed and allowed the father of one of his disciples to go to the forest and chant “Om”. One cannot take one instruction out of context, or the lack of a very specific instruction to prove that this is the only way or not. Instead, we should take shelter of his disciples, because they were personally trained by him.

For example, my spiritual master is traveling all over the world using the Internet to spread Krishna consciousness. Someone may say, well, there is no specific instruction from Srila Prabhupada that the Internet should be used for
sharing Krishna consciousness. But Srila Prabhupada used letters and printing presses – the Internet is another way in the same line… this is vijnana – application of the knowledge. The spiritual master’s instructions give us “jnana”,
but how to apply, “vijnana” comes from personal practical training under an advanced devotee, otherwise our knowledge remains theoretical. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is intended for that purpose. Otherwise what
is the need for a society of devotees? Someone can read books and follow in their own way? Because time and circumstances are changing all the time, we have to follow Srila Prabhupada’s example without compromising on principles but staying open to sometimes sacrificing details, but we cannot do this whimsically.

Once I attended a program for newcomers, a day retreat, by one of my shiksha gurus, a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, His Holiness Bhaktimarga Swami Maharaja. By the end of the evening, he had the newcomers, a mix of materialists,
demigod worshipers, impersonalists, even Mayavadis, offering a lamp to an image (not a deity) Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. At that time I was inexperienced so I was disturbed, because people were offering a petroleum wax candle, without
being clean (bath, achamana, etc.), and what is more, the persons were offering the lamp to Srila Prabhupada, then to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, and then generally to the others, handing the lamp to next person, and each
person was doing the same. If this was done on temple or home altar, it would be a great offense to re-offer anything to Sri Sri Radha Krishna that was already offered to others. But here, this was a little log cabin far from the city,
all day, the persons had chanted Hare Krishna, heard from Srila Prabhupada’s books, taken Prasadam, participated enthusiastically in Kirtan, served the devotees, each other, and Krishna, and were now for the very first time taking
baby steps towards deity worship. In this case, the principle was upheld – shravanam kirtanam vishnoh smaranam paada sevanam archanam vandanam daasyam sakhyam aatma nivedanam.

For one day the people had given up their time and money and personal comforts to engage in devotional service exclusively. So the details weren’t that important. But I realized this only after some months after that event,
with direction and guidance from more of my shiksha gurus.

Once, Srila Prabhupada handled some situation in an novel way. Afterwards he was explaining the difference between principle and detail. Principles are important, he said, details are less important, and sometimes, details may be
ignored in favour of the principle. So one disciple asked him how to know the difference between principle and detail,and he replied “That requires some intelligence”.

My personal way whenever I come across something I see as a deviation is as follows:
1. Discuss with my wife, who is not yet initiated but definitely a devotee at heart
2. Discuss with fellow devotees in temple community, Vrindavan Prabhu (BMS), Radha Mohan Prabuhu (DS), Shyama Mohini Mataji (BCS), Mangal Aarti Mataji (DS), Keshav Sharma, and others – in appropriate setting, sometimes privately speaking with them
3. Discuss with my shiksha guru His Grace Rupanuga Prabhu (GKG)

If all these steps fail to resolve the matter, then I ask Srila Gurudeva. His instruction on the matter is the final word. I accept his authority as my lord and master.

You are well-wisher of ISKCON, then what are you still doing outside the organization? Come on in! Get initiated and take up some practical services. ISKCON is among the most open organizations in the whole world, spiritual or otherwise.
Any member of ISKCON can approach the GBC through due process and be heard.

So my humble appeal to you is to decide who is the person who is now a spiritual master amongst Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, who have not deviated in any way, who connects you to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna best, then seek that
person’s shelter fully and completely, become that Guru’s disciple, serve your Guru and the disciplic succession, and gradually qualify yourself to see the difference between principle and detail. It is a lifelong process.

I pray this helps Prabhu, with this question and other similar questions you may have.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Divyapriya Muthukumaran, 17th November 2011

Hare Krishna Prabu, the elaborate explanation really helped. Thank you very much. Hari bol.

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari, written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at http://www.backtohome.com

Author: Mahabhagavat Das SDA

I am a formally initiated disciple of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari. My spiritual master was initiated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1971. He is the author of the famous Ultimate Self Realization Course. Check it out at www.joincourse.com.

3 thoughts on “Why avoid mushrooms?”

  1. If it’s true then how a Krishna conscious person simply share a mushroom recipe in YouTube. Check this channel in YouTube “SoultoSoul”


    1. Dear Samrat, thank you for your question. I cannot answer your question myself. But keeping with Vaishnava etiquette, maybe you can gently, respectfully, and kindly ask the person who shared the recipe? Hare Krishna.


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