Why not eat flesh, if vegetables have life too?

If vegetables have life and vegetarians eat them, then what’s the harm in eating flesh of birds and animals?

Rathin, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I will humbly request all of you to enlighten me on this subject.

When I talk to my friends about non-veg. The very common excuse is that vegetables also have life.

Telling them about the consciousness of the body and offering food to Sri Krishna, is something beyond their comprehension.

I will like to ask you all, what else can be said in layman terms to help them understand their ignorance.

your servant

Rathin

Delicious Meal of Krishna Prasad – Pure Vegetarian Food Cooked With Love and Offered to Krishna

Sridhar Das, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji!

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

If we read Srila Prabhupada books, especially The Hare Krishna challenge book, it clearly explains there. Jivo jivasya jivananam. In other words, the material nature is so designed that one living entity is food for the other. So therefore kill we have to. Howsoever, an intelligent human will prefer to commit necessary violence or take whatever is necessary from nature as goes the saying – one must consume as per one’s need rather than one’s greed.

The Hare Krishna Challenge

In fact animals are already doing that. So human has to commit violence. But if one can, more than maintain one’s life from such a variety of vegetarianism then why kill animals? We agree violence has to be done, but why commit unnecessary violence?

I find it important to make them realize through an example. Everyone can use their own and I generally say – if a thief hijacks your family one night and points the gun on your head and demands – your phone, money, jewellery, all valuables now or I shoot one or more of your family members, choose one!

There can be many versions. Some friend preached a family of 5 with a dog, the option being, one has to be shot down, choose one.

Now of course an intelligent person won’t let his/her parents off. He/She will prefer that which is less violent and more tolerable to the mind relatively.

Similarly, one should intelligently choose to kill plants (still unintelligent because this is also sinful and thievery, if consumed without thanking Krishna through the offering process).

Actually, if one performs proper farming then there is no killing incurred. The grains, fruits, etc. if pluck on the right time after a specific time period, there is no killing incurred and the quality is best too! Besides that, you take one and very easily we get another fruits from same tree. But if they take an animal, where do they get another so easily? Can they grow animals so easily like fruits? Why do they want to deprive animals of life? Why do they consider them devoid of emotions?  A cow or any other bird feels same anxiety as a human does when their children are lost. If it’s all the same then why don’t they offer their own children for slaughter?

Sometimes they will say – we eat meat to become like a strong bull.  But then where did the bull get all its nutrients from? Grass!!

Another point, if we study the nature and body of herbivores and carnivores ( intestine length, acid strength, teeth architecture, claws/nails, etc as given in Hare Krishna cookbook) it’s evident what we are meant to consume.

Moreover I was reading Back to Godhead magazine’s Jan/Feb issue where an aspiring devotee said that his wife forced their child to take meat for proper protein value, is that true? The answer was such people neglect the fact that along with protein, excess cholesterol and animal fat are also ingested into the human system resulting in fatal diseases as per many doctors. Also, to keep up the meat business, many industries drug the poor animals for better meat quality (I have watched many documentaries like “From farm to fridge”. Just imagine what effect this will have on consumers? Greenhouse is another result. Point is that nature provides sufficient milk, lentils, grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and what not for a healthy human diet (includes proteins). Excess protein rather leads to severe body damage and damage to it’s immunity system.

Back to Godhead Magazine. Do you have a subscription?

If they love God or nature, if they respect all, they will respect God’s other equal children too than depriving them of rights to live on the same land just because they can’t speak human language or just because they can manage their living without working hard in coats and suits. 

If they continue to keep slaughtering like this sinfully then as per nature’s law nature will also continue to slaughter them as Srila Prabhupada concludes through world wars/crimes going on day after day.

Slaughtered Slaughterer, or karmic reactions from killing

So, there are many such points that can be spoken strongly with faith and confidence, to the extent we are convinced about the disgusting nature of animal slaughtering and also to the extent we take shelter of Prabhupada’s teachings faithfully.

But if they can often be fed with sumptuous Krishna Prasadam, then that alone will act as the best counter, trust me!

your servant

Sridhar Das

Nashvin, 28/04/2015

Hare Krsna Rathin Prabhu!

If they do not see the spiritual perspective of offering food etc, you can propose something to them:

Living entities all survive by consuming the bodies of other living entities (either animals or plants).  So, would they like to kill other animals themselves and eat them, or harvest some crops instead?  There is a reason that families go pick strawberries together, but do not have excursions to the slaughterhouse…

your servant,

Nashvin

Premananda Das, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna

In layman terms it is fact that “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”When it rains the umbrella shopkeeper is happy that it keeps raining as more  more umbrellas  sells and he makes profit but the people who buy wish it does not rain.This is law of nature each person is dependent on someone one whether he likes it or not.

One Man’s Food, Another Man’s Poison

Similarly Krishna says in BG 9.26 :

patram puspam phalam toyam

yo me bhaktya prayaccati

tad aham bhakty-upahrtam

asnami prayatatmanah

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf,a flower,fruit or water,I will accept it.

It is clearly mentioned in this verse that without offering to Him every mouthful of food will keep the person entangled in birth and death. Krishna mentions leaf,fruit,flowers and water this He will accept.He does not mention meat ,fish and eggs.

Another point is when you have not created anything that means you are not the Supreme controller or owner.As Krishna is the Supreme proprietor we must agree to what He says in Bhagavad Gita as it is without interpretations.

In BG 3.13

yajna-sistasinah santo

mucyante sarva-kilbisaih

bhunjate te tv agham papa

ye 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 sense enjoyment verily eat sin.

The most important point in this verse is that these performances keep them aloof from all kinds of contamination of sinful association in material world.

Therefore in order for people to be happy they must be taught to perform the easy process of sankirtana-yajna,in full Krishna consciousness.Otherwise there can be no peace and happiness in the world.

You try your best to explain to him the method of real happiness and if he accepts it is the best welfare activity.

your servant,

Premananda Das

Manian VB, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna prabhu: 

Vegetable food also is a living being, but when offered to Krishna, the sin of eating it is removed and it gets purified. This is what our Guruji has said. Chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Manian VB

Nishima, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna

Sripad Sankarshan Das Adhikari

The same question was being asked by me to HH Sankarshan Maharaj ji and He gave me the following answer:

My Dear Nishima, 

Please accept my blessings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I am absolutely delighted to learn that our daily Krishna conscious broadcast, “Thought for the Day”, is enabling you to have Krishna conscious day every day. This is dream come true for me that I can be helping others in this way. It is surely the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna.

Regarding your question, Krishna orders us in the Bhagavad-gita that we can only take foods which have been first offered to Him. Since Krishna is a vegetarian, He will not accept any offering of meat. Therefore as the eaters of only Krishna prasadam we have no choice but to be vegetarians also. So actually we are not vegetarians; we are Krishnatarians, those who eat only the remnants of what has been offered first to Krishna.

I hope this meets you in the best of health

and in an ecstatic mood.

Your ever well-wisher, 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Nishima

Mahabhagavat Das, 28/04/2015

Dear Sriman Rathin Mandal,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Your question is nice because I know that you are not unaware of the various reasons why meat is not recommended food. I also read with interest all the answers and was happy to read them, thank you to all who responded to Rathin’s request.

I was thinking you were asking “what might appeal to a person who is arguing only for the sake of arguing” or “what might convince a person who does not care about another living entity’s suffering”.

What’s in it For Me? This is what materialists care about.

My personal experience is that speaking  to a materialist, pointing out what is in it for them has the greatest effect. Everyone is interested in “What’s in it for me” – “WIIFM”. So you can focus on health, how the educated and wealthy elite worldwide are switching to a vegetarian diet while the poor and uneducated are eating meat, how eating meat causes so many diseases like heart disease, hypertension, cancer etc., and so on, you can talk about the toxins released in the body as a response to fear of death, how those toxins cannot be removed from meat, etc.

All the arguments are there in the book “Higher Taste”, just familiarize yourself, and see which one works best with which person.

The Higher Taste. Get a Copy!

Above all the arguing etc. though, the best thing would be to give them the actual taste of Krishna Prasada, this works wonders, Srila Prabhupada starting the Hare Krishna movement by his Kirtan, classes, and his lovingly cooked Sunday feasts. The person who cooks your food influences your consciousness greatly, so why not take an indirect approach to increasing the spiritual intelligence of the poor meat eaters by giving them Krishna Prasada without necessarily telling them all about it?

Many advanced devotees have done this, and I was also a recipient of such mercy myself.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna

My respects to all readers

Regarding this topic , i had a debate with a social media contact and to convince him about importance of vegetarian food , i researched and gave him the following reply after which he did not debate further and was friendly too

——–

Dear , it is very nice that there is a tendency to not give pain to animals. But kindly note that denying the right to live defies mercy , irrespective of giving pain or not. For example , the punishment to a criminal for homicide is same irrespective of whether the homicide involves pain or not.

That one can eat plants does not imply that one can eat animals. Yes plants are also living entities.

Kindly note that meat is food in mode of ignorance.

Meat is also not easy on the GIT , as is known to medical science. Medical science provides documentation that Humans are biologically Herbivores. As pointed in the bottom line of the following article link by Physician (wonders never cease!) named Milton R. Mills : “Here’s another piece of information to digest: plant foods leave the body in 2 – 4 days; flesh foods leave the body in 5 – 7 days. If a clump of rotting flesh sits in your body for a minimum of 5 days, where do all the poisons, chemicals, and excessive hormones that flood the animal’s body at the time of death go? And we wonder why we suffer from degenerative diseases!”

Refer to http://blogs.naturalnews.com/humans-are-biologically…/

“Clean India Campaign” can be linked linked to meat eating because cleanliness is not only physical but also internally of habits , of which meat eating habit is predominant

Meat eating in long run develops animalistic propensities of terrorism , violence , cruelty to fellow beings. No Meat= No killing = No mentality of violence = No terrorism/No violence

Refer to this article : http://www.veggieboards.com/…/121433-meat-eating-leads…

Vegetables , fruits , grains , milk are foods in mode of goodness and make one feel energetic and fresh

Yes eating vegetables is violence, and vegetarians are also committing violence against other living entities because vegetables also have life. But here, significantly, it is stated that every living entity has to live by killing another entity; that is the law of nature. One living entity is the life for another living entity. But for a human being, that violence should be committed only as much as necessary. Extra violence is against the law of nature.

If we will have mercy on the animals, mercy will be given to us. What goes around comes around. We should be merciful to the animals by not slaughtering them and giving them all protection. We should allow them to live peacefully and happily. The more we give mercy to others, the mercy will be given to us.

———

in a humble mood,

Bhakta Sunil

Sulakshana devi dasi, 28/04/2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Yes, vegetables also have life. Therefore Vaishnavas offer their eatables to Krishna before they partake it. By offering the food to Krishna the food is sanctified and we are free from all the sin.

Krishna Lifts Govardhan
Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, lifts Govardhan Hill

The fruits and the grains when they are taken from the tree or a plant do not kill the tree. Typically when the grains are harvested the plant is usually dried up so in other words there is no killing of the plant or tree there. Of course every living entity subsists by killing another living entity. The consciousness in the plant life is very dormant compared to other higher moving living entities. Consuming animal flesh for one’s sustenance is much more sinful than consuming vegetarian meal. Also Lord Krishna says in BG that He will accept a flower or a leaf or fruit or water if one offers Him with love but He does not say that He will accept animal products.

your humble servant,

Sulakshana devi dasi

Nashvin, 30/04/2015

Hare Krsna!

Another thing you can query is:

If eating animals is equivalent to eating plants, why not eat humans as well then? 🙂

your servant,

Nashvin

Rathin Mandal, 03/05/2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you everybody for giving me so many wonderful answers.

This enlightened me to a great extent

your servant

Rathin

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What should we pray to God for?

What should we pray to God for? Bread? Comfort? What is the best prayer to offer to God?

Kaspars, 3 Dec 2015

Hare Krishna!

1. When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty.

2. Maybe early christians were in great difficulty of food, Jesus taught them to pray for bread, or see food as God’s mercy.

3. Why does everyone in Krishna consciousness criticize christians about praying for daily bread? Jesus himself taught that. I think we should not criticize other religions prayer, we should not criticize Jesus? That whole christian prayer is all good. It is saving people from all bad.

Kaspars

Premananda Das, 3 December 2015

1) All material difficulties are due to our lack of Krishna consciousness, no external suffering.

2 & 3) Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness means to follow the order as it is without interpretations.

your servant

Premananda Das

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

Shridhar Das, 3 December 2015

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

Your question has been answered here:

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

yajeta puruṣaḿ param

“A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead.”

SB 2.3.10

So we must somehow or other develop the practice of always praying and remembering God. Should we be silent?

Krishna says in 4.11: As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.

So not advisable as a callous/impersonal approach.

Regarding patience, that’s very pleasing to Krishna and we must if we can but this quality manifests in advancing stages of devotional path automatically and needn’t be imitated artificially.

In BG 18.58 Krishna says:

mac-cittaḥ sarva-durgāṇi

mat-prasādāt tariṣyasi

atha cet tvam ahańkārān

na śroṣyasi vinańkṣyasi

“If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditioned life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.”

BG 18.58

In fact Krishna emphasizes in BG 18.65:

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto

mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru

mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te

pratijāne priyo ‘si me

“Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.”

BG 18.65

So it is a very good practice to always pray and remember God. This is possible when we know who is God, how is God, what are His qualities, just as we cannot love a person in air blindly. We need to be aware of their qualities and features before devoting to any person.

Regarding question 2, I am curious about ‘maybe’. But in general, whenever God or His emissaries like Jesus, the son of Christ descend, their only mission is to take the fallen stuck up souls back to Godhead by developing their attachment for God. In fact, in our Krishna Consciousness we also pray sarira avidya jal prayers thanking God for not only giving us food but for sanctifying. The thanks is extended by offering food to the source of food, God, begging him to kindly take away the sinful reactions from that food and bless it with His love and devotion. And then this is distributed in mass for what is that love centered around personal liberation?

However, although the practice of praying to God for bread is glorious, if the end result is attachment to food instead of God, then such a process is not topmost. Hence, whenever the prayers aren’t fulfilled, people in general become atheist.

Not only food, Krishna in the 10th chapter of Bhagavad Gita tells us He is the taste of the water, He is light of sun, of senses He is mind and so many things.

His mercy is not limited to food, it’s beyond our imagination. In one of the lectures by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada that I was recently hearing, it was stated that it’s a fact that our existence at every moment is Lord’s kindness. If we’re existing, it means it is the personal will of the Lord at every moment. What can be the ultimate mercy than God Himself descending to show us the guiding light? How can one not feel loved and purchased when we see Lord has given His Holy Names as the means to attain Him? Lord is Himself directly present in His Holy Names simply for our deliverance and is constantly sending His representatives time after time in this unbroken lineage. So our vision must stretch beyond food, water and material products.

Before answering the next question I wish to first clarify that the conception of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jew,… as religions is incorrect. These are mere labels. Just as son of a lawyer cannot be rubber stamped as lawyer, a daughter of a doctor as a doctor, similarly no living entity can be labelled anything other than servant of God and ultimate religion being to love God by addressing Him as Krishna, Christ, Allah, Ram, Jehovah, wherever one’s devotion flows…

If someone criticizes a sect simply to satisfy one’s own senses or false ego, that’s displeasing to God. This is against austerities of speech clearly stated in the Bhagavad Gita. However, it’s very honest of you for having inquired the same sincerely.

What real religion is, in truth, is explained here:

“Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart.”

SB 1.1.2

In a lecture on this same verse Srila Prabhupada says:

“So we should not approach God for economic satisfaction or for bread or for wood or for anything necessary for our life. God has arranged food for everyone, the aquatics, the birds, the beasts, the trees, the elephants or the other, four-legged animals, and why not for human being? Human being also, those who are uncivilized, still living in the forest, they have no arrangement for economic development, or they do not know, but they have got also food. Therefore sastra says,

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido

na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhaḥ

tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ

kalena sarvatra gabhira-raṁhasa

[SB 1.5.18]

“One should try for developing God consciousness, not for anything else, because happiness and distress, they come automatically.” We haven’t got to try for it.

Happiness, everyone aspires for happiness. Nobody aspires for distress, but distress is forcibly come upon you. Similarly, the sastra says, “As distress comes without any desire, similarly, happiness also will come without any endeavor.” So long we are in the material world, the so-called happiness and distress will come and go, but our, the human life, the endeavor should be how to find out or revive our relationship with God. That is our main business.” [Unquote]

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Therefore, the verse states, any faith or sect that has taught their follower how to love God, how to depend on God, how to remain satisfied, in bliss, undisturbed, amidst of all difficulties and miseries, simply by taking shelter of God is a successful religion, else it has failed. For the same reason our prayers, devotion, love, happiness, distress, everything should be aimed for the satisfaction of God, not personal satisfaction only.

Last point I wish to add is whatever the faith be but it must teach their followers to expand their vision to see God as an ever youthful all-perfect person, who is not aristocratic but all loving, indiscriminately. A true lover of God sees all the living entities as part and parcel of God including animals, insects, birds, trees, worms, aquatics and not without soul. Therefore, real love of God means loving all living entities. Most of them I meet while preaching conclude they love God but then they also love torturing their brothers and sisters by killing and eating them, which is very demoniac and sinful irrespective of one following Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, etc, as laws are universal just as 1+1=2 everywhere. Rather, in the ten commandments, the merciful Jesus, who is often cited as an ideal example in our movement, as Lord’s devotee, in whose foot steps we follow, has clarified “Thou shalt not kill”.

The Krishna Consciousness movement is not criticizing anyone rather my spiritual master has stated often, that the aim of the movement is to help everyone become a true lover of God. If one is a Christian, then a very ideal Christian, if Islam then a true one, if a Sanatana Dharmi, then a genuine Sanatana Dharmi or follower of Vedas.

Hence the movement is aimed around harmonizing all souls under the universal love of God.

What seemed as criticism to you against Christianity can be properly understood by Lord Jesus’s statement: Hate the sin, not the sinner.

So that pointing out was a merciful correction on an improper attitude of “Give me, give me, give me” whereas the mood of a devotee must be of “Giving giving giving”. 

It is the duty of an acharya to point out the fallacies in a system established by other acharyas (Lord Jesus here) if they are being misinterpreted. The acharyas share a common consciousness, love of Godhead. They are not to be understood like us for they are free of hatred, envy, lust and other such mundane qualities. Their vision is centered around God, not nation, body, society, sect and so on.

Hope this satisfies you!

your servant

Sridhar Das

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Kaspars Gulbis,

Please accept my greetings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thankyou for your humble inquiries.

1. I would say why not?

“..Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ..” In SB 10.14.58 this material world has been described as a place full of miseries and danger lurks at every step. So why not pray to God in all circumstances. Whether in happiness or distress we should always try to remember God and never forget Him.

2. Indeed the food offered to lord is also known as “Prasadam” in Sanskrit, which in literal sense means “mercy”. The food we offer to the Lord with love and devotion is transformed into Lord’s mercy and when we honour such transformed food stuff it has a great spiritual impact on our consciousness.

3. Also, a truly Krishna conscious person would never criticize anyone. Infact, in the conversations of Srila Prabhupada, we can see him addressing Jesus Christ as a vaisnava. A vaisnava is actually a para dukha dukhi, one who can not tolerate the suffering of others. Therefore, we have great respect for Jesus Christ who was preaching the message of the God, as per time, place and circumstances to relieve the living entities from the miseries of this material world. 

 Coming back to your question: praying for daily bread seems insignificant when we see that even a tiny ant gets its daily food without praying, What to speak of thousands of Elephants roaming on Earth eating tonnes and tonnes of food daily. Atleast, I never saw them praying for food. Who provides them all the required food? God. God is all merciful. Since we are in the human form of life with a developed consciousness compared to other forms of life, it only seems wise to capitalize on this unique opportunity and pray for something very rare, very precious, something which is inconceivably priceless- and that is Pure love of God.

I hope this helps. However, it would be enlightening to hear more from other readers as well.

Sincerely,

Shyamapriya devi dasi

Lalit, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

I share my learning.

If we are in Krishna consciousness, we will not be in need of any prayer for “anything”.

With awakened consciousness,we can see things as they are and not as we perceive.

Pain or suffering is there till we are attached to it, the moment awakening happens we realize that everything is like a dream which shall pass.

We do not feel the pain of injury in dreams on waking up.

Many great saints suffered from ailments but their awakening helped them realize that suffering was for the physical body and not aatma (soul) or jeev.

Everything is temporary here, so enjoy as it comes, without any attachment.

Lalit

Sunil, 3 December 2015

Dear Kaspars,

—–

From introduction to Gita :  Just what is the Bhagavad-gita? The purpose of Bhagavad-gita is to deliver mankind from the nescience of material existence. Every man is in difficulty in so many ways, as Arjuna also was in difficulty in having to fight the Battle of Kurukshetra. Arjuna surrendered unto Sri Krishna, and consequently this Bhagavad-gita was spoken.

From the book “Science of Self Realization” :

Whoever teaches how to know God and how to love Him—he is a spiritual master. Sometimes bogus rascals mislead people. “I am God,” they claim, and people who do not know what God is believe them. You must be a serious student to understand who God is and how to love Him. Otherwise, you will simply waste your time. So the difference between others and us is that we are the only movement that can actually teach one how to know God and how to love Him. We are presenting the science of how one can know Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by practicing the teachings of theBhagavad-gita and the Srimad-Bhagavatam. They teach us that our only business is to love God. Our business is not to ask God for our necessities. God gives necessities to everyone—even to one who has no religion. For example, cats and dogs have no religion, yet Krishna supplies them with the necessities of life. So why should we bother Krishna for our daily bread? He is already supplying it. Real religion means to learn how to love Him.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.6) says,

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo

yato bhaktir adhokshaje

ahaituky apratihata

yayatma suprasidati

First-class religion teaches one how to love God without any motive. If I serve God for some profit, that is business—not love. Real love of God is ahaituky apratihata: it cannot be checked by any material cause. It is unconditional. If one actually wants to love God, there is no impediment. One can love Him whether one is poor or rich, young or old, black or white.

Science of Self Realization by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

From book “Teachings of Queen Kunti” :

Christians and Muslims are also Vaishnavas, devotees, because they offer prayers to the Lord. “O God,” they say, “give us our daily bread.” Those who offer this prayer may not know very much and may be at a lower stage, but this is a beginning, because they have approached God. Going to a church or mosque is also pious (catur-vidha bhajante mam janah sukritino ‘rjuna [Bg. 7.16]). Therefore those who begin in this way will one day become pure..

Teachings of Queen Kunti, by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Jayendran C, 3 December 2015

Thank you devotees for the wonderful answers. Here is a wonderful shloka from the Bhagavatam that would be relevant.

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

 mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

 yajeta puruṣaṁ param

Translation

A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead

Purport

The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is described in the Bhagavad-gītā as puruṣottama, or the Supreme Personality. It is He only who can award liberation to the impersonalists by absorbing such aspirants in the brahmajyoti, the bodily rays of the Lord. The brahmajyoti is not separate from the Lord, as the glowing sun ray is not independent of the sun disc. Therefore one who desires to merge into the supreme impersonal brahmajyoti must also worship the Lord by bhakti-yoga, as recommended here in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Bhakti-yoga is especially stressed here as the means of all perfection. In the previous chapters it has been stated that bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal of both karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga, and in the same way in this chapter it is emphatically declared that bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal of the different varieties of worship of the different demigods. Bhakti-yoga, thus being the supreme means of self-realization, is recommended here. Everyone must therefore seriously take up the methods of bhakti-yoga, even though one aspires for material enjoyment or liberation from material bondage.

Akāmaḥ is one who has no material desire. A living being, naturally being the part and parcel of the supreme whole puruṣaṁ pūrṇam, has as his natural function to serve the Supreme Being, just as the parts and parcels of the body, or the limbs of the body, are naturally meant to serve the complete body. Desireless means, therefore, not to be inert like the stone, but to be conscious of one’s actual position and thus desire satisfaction only from the Supreme Lord. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has explained this desirelessness as bhajanīya-parama-puruṣa-sukha-mātra-sva-sukhatvam in his Sandarbha. This means that one should feel happy only by experiencing the happiness of the Supreme Lord. This intuition of the living being is sometimes manifested even during the conditioned stage of a living being in the material world, and such intuition is expressed in the manner of altruism, philanthropy, socialism, communism, etc., by the undeveloped minds of less intelligent persons. In the mundane field such an outlook of doing good to others in the form of society, community, family, country or humanity is a partial manifestation of the same original feeling in which a pure living entity feels happiness by the happiness of the Supreme Lord. Such superb feelings were exhibited by the damsels of Vrajabhūmi for the happiness of the Lord. The gopīs loved the Lord without any return, and this is the perfect exhibition of the akāmaḥ spirit. Kāma spirit, or the desire for one’s own satisfaction, is fully exhibited in the material world, whereas the spirit of akāmaḥ is fully exhibited in the spiritual world.

Thoughts of becoming one with the Lord, or being merged in the brahmajyoti, can also be exhibitions of kāma spirit if they are desires for one’s own satisfaction to be free from the material miseries. A pure devotee does not want liberation so that he may be relieved from the miseries of life. Even without so-called liberation, a pure devotee is aspirant for the satisfaction of the Lord. Influenced by the kāma spirit, Arjuna declined to fight in the Kurukṣetra battlefield because he wanted to save his relatives for his own satisfaction. But being a pure devotee, he agreed to fight on the instruction of the Lord because he came to his senses and realized that satisfaction of the Lord at the cost of his own satisfaction was his prime duty. Thus he became akāma. That is the perfect stage of a perfect living being.

Udāra-dhīḥ means one who has a broader outlook. People with desires for material enjoyment worship small demigods, and such intelligence is condemned in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.20) as hṛta-jñāna, the intelligence of one who has lost his senses. One cannot obtain any result from demigods without getting sanction from the Supreme Lord. Therefore a person with a broader outlook can see that the ultimate authority is the Lord, even for material benefits. Under the circumstances, one with a broader outlook, even with the desire for material enjoyment or for liberation, should take to the worship of the Lord directly. And everyone, whether an akāma or sakāma or mokṣa-kāma, should worship the Lord with great expedience. This implies that bhakti-yoga may be perfectly administered without any mixture of karma and jñāna. As the unmixed sun ray is very forceful and is therefore called tīvra, similarly unmixed bhakti-yoga of hearing, chanting, etc., may be performed by one and all regardless of inner motive.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/10/

Bhagavatam had many instances where people depended on Krishna for their material miseries. King Gajendra depended on Krishna to save his life, Draupadi to protect her chastity, Uttara to save her womb from being destroyed, Dhruva to save his pride after being insulted. In this way, the Bhagavatam in my humble understanding states whoever comes to Krishna is never turned away and is purified even from the material desire they came for.

your humble servant,

Jayendran C

Kaspars Gulbis 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. Please excuse my offenses.

All your kind answers are very nice! I understood that in real Krishna consciousness one doesn’t need to pray for ”anything”. That one has to expand his needs beyond bread and accept love for God that only our Krishna consciousness movement gives. Jesus is a Vaisnava and preached according to that place and circumstance. Also I understood that we can pray to Krishna anytime and must remember Him always. Is it all right?

Thank you!

Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das, 3 December 2015

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Thank you to all of you who participated in this wonderful Q&A. Indeed, this is the main purpose of this sda_students group, to ask questions, receive answers, help us all strengthen our faith, kill the doubts, and become gradually purified with this hearing and chanting about Krishna.

In a gathering, there needs to be a sincere question, and loving, knowledgeable authoritative answers from devotees who truly care.

Both are in abundance in this group of sincere spiritualists from all over the world.

Let the questions flow! Let the answers illuminate! Let us all hear and chant about Krishna and thus be fully engaged in body, intelligence, word and mind, let us enter into the spiritual dimension.

So what are we waiting for?

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Vidaa Joon, 9 December 2015

Great answers, thank you. I agree and wish not to subtract anything from the answers but would like to add that for me another verse that comes to mind regarding the first question is BG 12.13-14, one of my favourites: 

One who is not envious but who is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor, who is free from false ego and equal both in happiness and distress, who is always satisfied and engaged in devotional service with determination and whose mind and intelligence are in agreement with Me-he is very dear to Me.

I love it because, sure, we sometimes feel a need to pray for help with our problems, and who better than Krishna to be the recipient of our prayers, but if we keep in mind what the above verse says, even our problems will seem to vanish as we put things into perspective, and not only that -it’s exciting to hear how this attitude makes us dear to Krishna! 

Also, I believe one should seek guidance from guru, sadhu, shastra when faced with difficulties, not that one has to suffer blindly. 

your humble servant

Vidaa

Yamini Narang, 9 December 2015

Hari Hari!

Dear devotees,

Thank you very much for the wonderful Q&A discussion! So enlightening! Thank you so much! All glories to all of you! Jai Gurudev! Jai guru Mataji! Jaya Srila prabhupada! 

your grateful and aspiring servant,

Bhaktin Yamini

Rathin Mandal, 9 December 2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your questions. They are very good and important at the same time.

1. When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty.

When in a difficult situation we should remember Sri Krishna. Actually we should remember Him all the time. And yes, we should keep patience too. It should be understood that material and psychological problems are due to our own doing, our own past karma. One should understand that by present suffering one is burning his past karma. One should approach a senior devotee and discuss what Krishna Conscious activities he can do to lower his suffering and remember Sri Krishna more.

2. Maybe early christians were in great difficulty of food, Jesus taught them to pray for bread, or see food as God’s mercy.

3. Why does everyone in Krishna consciousness criticize christians about praying for daily bread? Jesus himself taught that. I think we should not criticize other religions prayer, we should not criticize Jesus? That whole christian prayer is all good. It is saving people from all bad.

I assure you, no one is criticizing Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus is a great Spiritual Master and taught us by his exemplary act as how to remember God at all times. 

What may be confusing you is this, among the 10 commandments, one commandment says ‘Thou shall not kill’. Today christians are opening slaughterhouses to eat meat. Is that what following commandments mean? 

Christians are praying for bread but are they offering the bread to Lord Jesus first. If Lord Jesus is providing them bread then the first share belongs to Lord Jesus. Just like the head of the family gets the first share. The better process would be to pray to Lord Jesus, thank Lord Jesus, offer Lord Jesus and then take what’s remaining.

your servant

Rathin

Kaspars Gulbis, 9 December 2015

Dear devotees,

All glories to all of you!

Every answer is wonderful and nice teaching. Thank you!

Serious Christians do offer prayers before eating, thanking the Lord for food and welcoming Jesus to join the meal with them. Although usually there is meat also having no idea of killing. They say animals have no soul, only humans have. There are also some serious people who strongly preach about vegetarianism and not killing.

Sincerely,

Kaspars

Tirtharaja Das, 11 December 2015

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Jai Sri Sri guru gauranga

Thanks prabhu for this touchy aspect of the nine processes of devotional service.

To humbly respond to the first enquiry, yes devotees should approach the Lord for everything, thus by so doing we learn to completely and entirely depend on the Lord. In the advanced stage from the kanistha mentality we should aspire to not only imitate but to pray like queen Kunti. (Refer to Prayers of Queen Kunti).

In humble submission to 2 & 3, the Lord’s prayer as taught by Christ Jesus contains more than supplication for daily bread and for one to appreciate the depth of the prayer itself, it has to be taken in its entirety lest we seem to be like the blind men describing what is an elephant by the parts of an elephant they can touch.

For my own edification, I quote the same prayer and humbly entreaty all of us who can to meditate on the words of the prayer as vaishnavas and let it speak to our hearts.

Jesus Himself said (in Matthew 6: 8 – 13) … “Your Father already knows what you need before you ask Him. This then is how you should pray:

“Our Father in heaven;

May your Holy Name be honoured;

May your Kingdom come;

May your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us day by day the food we need.

Forgive us the wrongs we have done,

as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

Do not bring us to hard testing,

but keep us safe from the Evil One.

Matthew 6: 8 -13

In verse 31 He further advises “So do not start worrying: ‘Where Will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes? (These are the things the pagans (atheists, Asuras,) are always concerned about). Your Father in Heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you…”

I ask forgiveness if I have offended anybody by quoting from a different scripture but just like Srila Prabhupada would quote Canakya Pandit saying that “a wise man should be able to collect gold from a rubbish damp” …..

Regards,

your lowly servant

Tirtharaja Dasa.

Mahabhagavat Das, 11 December 2015

Dear Tirtharaja Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you so very much Prabhu, for your insights!

Srila Prabhupada and all the Vaishnava Acharyas taught us to respect all the scriptures.

The only caution was to stick to those scriptures we study and understand thoroughly.

Srila Prabhupada`s statements, if not understood properly can cause misunderstandings.

Here are some quotes to help us appreciate context that Srila Prabhupada never criticized the Christians for this prayer, though it can be misunderstood that he criticized them, actually he was explaining the broader principle:

`There are different kinds of love or worship in the world. The beginning is, “O God, give us our daily bread.” This is the beginning. When we are, I mean to say, taught to love God, we are instructed that “You go to temple, go to church, and pray to God for your necessities, for your grievances.” That is the beginning. But that is not pure love. Pure love, perfection of pure love, can be found amongst the gopīs. That is the example.`

Srila Prabhupada lecture, Seattle Sep 30, 1968

`Yes. For the leaders. They are seeing this poor man is going to church or to temple for asking God, “God give us our daily bread.” They are taking the opportunity to spread atheism. They say, “Well, you have prayed for your bread in the temple or in the church. Have you got the bread?” They say, “No. Not yet.” “All right. Come to me. You ask me bread.” “Yes.” They are innocent, “Yes, Mr. such and such, give me bread,” and he gives bread. “Take this bread.” Then they are convinced, “Oh, God cannot give us bread. Our political leader can give bread.” This is, propaganda is going on.`

SB 1.1.2 lecture, London, Aug 18, 1971

`Those who are following the Vedic principles, they think like that. Not only they, others also, the so-called religious system, they also think like that. Just like the Christians. They go to church, “O God, give us our daily bread.” So this bread-supplying business is like that: “God simply supplies bread, and we eat and we enjoy.” Similarly, the Hindu system also there is: “O God, give me some money. I am very poor. I am suffering from disease. Please cure it.” And so everywhere you will find some motive in religiosity. So religion does not mean to solve the economic problem. `

Lecture SB 1.1.2, Caracas, Feb 23, 1975

`The Christian religion also, they say, “O father, give us our daily bread.” So God is accepted, actually He is the father. Must have. We must have original father. You cannot say there is no God. If you are existing, you are existing because of your father. Your father is existing because of his father, his father, his father. There must be somebody original father. That is logical conclusion, not that “I am born out of air” or “My father is born out of air, my grandfather is born…” No. There must be somebody—father. `

Lecture SB 1.2.1, New Vrindaban, Sep 1, 1972

Just like people generally go there like that, “O God, give us our daily bread.” Well, why you are asking God for daily bread? Daily bread is already given to everyone, even birds and bees. Your bread is also there. But people do not know that “My bread is already there. Why I shall bother God for daily bread? Let me learn how to love God.” God is giving us so many things without asking. God is giving us light, God is giving us water, God… Bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhiḥ… (BG 7.4). Everything He is giving you, without which cannot live. 

Lecture SB 1.2.6 Delhi Nov 11, 1973

Dharma is not meant for that purpose.” People have become materialistic more and more because, just like in our country, “If you want economic development, then why you should go to temple?” The communist theory is also like that, that “If you want material happiness, why you are going to church and accepting, ‘O God, give us our daily bread’? The bread, you manufacture. You just work for it.” In one side, it is good. But this is also fact, that without God’s mercy, you cannot get even bread. Although bread you can manufacture, but the ingredients of the bread, the wheat, that is not in your hand.

Lecture SB 1.2.9-10, Delhi, Nov 14, 1973

In this case, the Bible is very much a hallowed scripture, your understanding of this scripture is clearly a most exemplary Vaishnava understanding, and Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva both quote from the Bible.

In fact, Srila Gurudeva loves King David`s prayer “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff…`

So thank you Tirtharaja Prabhu for adding your perspective. I pray that we may receive more of your association in this group.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Guru Vandana Devi Dasi, 19 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I would like to add one more reference to this question:

When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty

Our real goal of life is to become a pure devotee of Krishna. Srila Prabhupada explains in his introduction to Nectar of Devotion that any desire except for service of the Lord is material desire. Then does it sound as though Uttama Bhakti is not for us and restricted to particular group or sect who do not have any desires at all? No, pure devotional service is not too exclusive . When Srila Rupa Goswami  gave the definition for Uttama Bhakti, he did not write” anya abhilasa sunyam”, he gave it as ” anya abhilasita sunyam”. This means “void of any desires for sense gratification”. 

We have integral desires for our survival, for self preservation but still we are not out of the realm of pure devotional service. When we face difficulty we pray, “Oh Krishna please help me” .It is a personal desire for existence still we are not excluded from pure devotional service.We have to be very careful to be pure in our desires, our motive should be pure without any personal agenda for sense gratification.

Out of six principles which Srila Rupa Goswami explains which assure complete success in pure devotional service, being patient (dhairyat) is one of them.

your servant

Guru Vandana devi dasi

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Whose Consciousness have you eaten?

What is the most intimate act? Do you know how consciousness can get transferred just from the food you eat? Did you know you are literally eating someone’s consciousness?

What is the most intimate physical act?

What is the most intimate mental act?

What is the most intimate thing you can share with someone else?

I don’t know what your answers were to the above questions, but I will tell you what the most intimate is…

The most intimate thing you can do is to eat something prepared by someone else. When a person cooks something, it is not just the ingredients getting combined and heated together to produce something… the consciousness of that cook quite literally descends into whatever they are making.

This is why something that your mother or grandmother made can never be replicated by anyone else.

So when a person cooks, especially with grains, then every single element of their consciousness enters into the food they are preparing.

Every source of jubilation

Every source of anger

Every source of sorrow

Every single source of satisfaction

And Frustration

Every hope, desire, longing

Every single fear, every single moment of embarrassment

Every intention, every belief, every single trait

It is all there in that food they have prepared.

It is all there, in what you eat.

Consciousness, you eat

And you are eating it. You will imbibe it all, all their joys and sorrows, their satisfaction and their frustration, every single one of their hopes, desires, and longing will be in your heart too. Every single fear and moments of embarrasmens, every single intention and belief, their very character descends in your heart.

And there it all mixes and mingles with all the other consciousness you have imbibed, from all the other food you have eaten in your life.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said

viṣayīra anna khāile duṣṭa haya mana

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in https://vedabase`.io/en/library/cc/adi/12/50/

Srila Prabhupadw writes in the purport to that verse…

It is very risky to accept money or food from materialistic persons, for such acceptance pollutes the mind of the charity’s recipient…In fact, a Vaiṣṇava should not even accept charity or food from persons who do not follow the rules and regulations of the Vaiṣṇava principles.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/adi/12/50/

My grandparents never used to eat outside in restaurants, etc. This was exactly for this reason, that they did not want to pollute their consciousness.

Do you know who works in those restaurants? Do you know what goes on there? Do you know the character of your cook? You should, because you are about to eat his consciousness, quite literally.

Next time you feel tempted to order take-out or go to some fancy restaurant or even a fast-food place, remember, you are buying more than just a plate of food. You are inviting all those people who work there to come and sit in your heart, feed you their thoughts and desires… it could be a lot more than you bargained for.

Before the pandemic, there were more than 70,000 restaurants in Canada alone. In the United States there were over 660,000 restaurants! Just think of how many meals of darkness are being spread? How many are inside you?

It is no use of course, to tell someone not to do something without giving them an alternative!

The ideal would be to take food prepared by an advanced spiritualist in sacrifice to God. Not meat or other dirty things, but clean pure vegetarian foodstuffs, prepared in a clean state of body and mind, clear consciousness, and in loving devotion to Krishna. The person should be cooking only to please God, not for money or any other such mundane reason.

But there are various grades of consciousness, try to find the person with the best consciousness then.

Of course, you can try cooking yourself. Cooking for God is such as wonderful loving personal service to God. Why don’t you try it?

Eating or Drinking water in front of the Deity

Is it OK to eat or drink water in front of the Deity?

Sudhanshu Soni, 22 July 2019

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisance

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

Hare Krishna as far as I know in front of deity we should not eat anything but I have seen many time devotee drinking water in front of altar many times especially during chanting they keep bottle with them or while having Bhagavatam class.

I wanted to know what is acceptable or prohibited in it and why is it so…

Thank you so much

your servant

Sudhanshu

Manian VB, 22 July 2019

Water is the human necessity.if they drink water during Bhagavatam classes or during chanting

Manian

Priya Sundari devi dasi, 22 July 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhu.

From what the Nectar of Devotion (Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu) states, in Chapter 8 (Offenses to be avoided) –

One should not eat / accept / honor prasadam in front of the deities yes.

If the curtains are closed ie deities are resting then it is ok from what I have seen in various temples. Water is not considered a food in that sense so it is accepted. Same with Caranamrita – which is why after the darshan arati in the morning, devotees are given caranamrita and they wash their hands and mouth once it is honored.

I hope this helps answer your question.

your servant,

Priya Sundari devi dasi

*Kṛṣṇe matir astu*

Sudhanshu soni, 24 July 2019

Thank you so much Mata ji.

your servant,

Sudhanshu

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Why no onions and garlic?

Harish V Menon, 18th January 2014

Hare Krishna!

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

I humbly seek clarification on my following ignorance.

Why is onion and garlic forbidden from offering to Krishna. I understand that they are in the mode of ignorance and would develop the characteristics of passion and ignorance to the person consuming it. Kindly enlighten in detail about the reasons behind the same.

Are there any other vegetables generally avoided from offering to Krishna?

Are there any other vegetables which are under the mode of passion and ignorance but are still offered to Krishna and then consumed?

I find it very difficult in making my family members understand about avoiding onion/garlic and its significance. They are not accepting this opinion citing health issues which might arise later for not consuming onion/garlic and for the loss of flavour in the food prepared without those items.

Kindly advise me how to handle this situation and make them understand and follow these principles.

Please forgive me for any offenses.

Thank you.

your Servant,
Harish V

Srivatsa Das SDA, 19th January 2014

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

Regarding Onion/Garlic kindly read the article in the below link

why no onion/garlic

Regarding how to offer food to Krishna and what can be offered , kindly read below article

how and what to offer to Krishna

Regarding the health benefits, there are articles which says that “These natural foods are full of chemicals that can help protect a person from a variety of infections, diseases and illnesses. Garlic and onions help to protect against cardiovascular disease, respiratory concerns, diabetes, and a variety of cancers.”

By eating onion or garlic, there is no guarantee that we can avoid above diseases, since we are fully under the control of the law of nature (destiny).

Instead, if we surrender to Krishna and follow a Krishna conscious life, we are less likely to fall prey on these diseases due to healthy food habit (and healthy life too) and also our destiny is controlled by Krishna

I hope the above explanation helps.

your servant
Srivatsa Das

Rohini Devi Dasi, 22nd January 2014

Hare Krishna prabhuji,

All glories to srila Gurudev and srimati gurumataji
All glories to srila prabhupada.

Please accept my humble obeisance.

Harish prabhuji, thank you for asking, a question related to onion and garlic. Its very important to know the reason when we are avoiding certain food items.Although for devotees, when the statement cms from bonafide guru, it is accepted without any deviations and questions.
I understand its very difficult to convince family members, but pls share the two stories mentioned below and also explain the scientific reason to them. This might convince them.

Eating onions and garlic adversely affects one’s consciousness.
The modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance influence every living thing — human, animal, or plant — and we learn from the Vedic literature that onions and garlic are in the lower modes of nature: passion and ignorance. In spiritual life one should cultivate the mode of goodness and avoid the lower modes. Sin in its broadest sense is any activity that hinders our spiritual advancement. Since eating foods in the modes of ignorance and passion hampers our Krsna consciousness, Vaisnava spiritual masters teach their followers to give up onions and garlic. Most important, as aspiring devotees of Krsna we eat only what we offer Him. And His great devotees tell us He doesn’t eat onions and garlic.” The foul breathe and sweat of anyone who has consumed garlic is enough to turn many off. Not only the breathe but the whole body may reek.

In Bhagavad Gita (17.9) Krsna states that ‘Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease.’ Onion and garlic fall in this category. They excite the baser instincts and make it difficult for one to control the senses. The prohibition on onion, garlic etc. is implicit, by virtue of their characteristics.

There are several stories about the actual appearance of onions and garlic in this world – here are a few:

(The following story was kindly provided by HH Bhakti Purusottama Swami) One ayurvedic doctor had told me that this description is there in Ayurveda: When Lord Vishnu in His Mohini form was distributing nectar to demigods two
demons named Rahu and Ketu sat down along with the line of Demigods. By mistake the Lord served them nectar into their mouths. Immediately the lord was informed by the Sun and Moon that those two were demons. As soon as the Lord came to know of this He cut off the heads of both demons. By that time nectar had not passed through their throats. It was still in their mouths. When the Lord cut of their heads , the heads were separated from their bodies. Thus nectar did not pass to the stomach but fell on the ground . (That is the reason why Rahu and Ketu’s head are still alive but their bodies were finished.) When their heads were cut off  garlic and Onions manifested from this nectar which fell on the ground from the mouth of the  two demons. Thus Garlic and Onions are regarded as nectar but not used for the Lord because these are remnants of demons having touched their mouths. Even the nectar touched the mouths of these two demons still garlic and onions act like nectar in curing the diseases. But they are not meant for Vishnu or Vaishnavas. The doctor told me that whoever will eat garlic and Onion, their body will Be very strong like demons body and at the same time their intelligence also will be contaminated like the intelligence of demons.

Here is another historical account:
“Once, in Satya Yuga the rishis were performing gomedha and asvamedha sacrifices for the welfare of the whole universe. A cow or a horse would be cut into pieces and placed in the fire. Afterwards the rishis would utter mantras and the same animal would come alive in a beautiful young body. One time the rishi who was about to perform a gomedha sacrifice, his wife was pregnant. She had a very strong desire to eat and she had heard that if, during pregnancy one has a desire to eat and does not fulfill this, then the baby that will be born will always have saliva coming from its mouth. Very strangely, she desired strongly to eat meat, thus she decided to keep one piece of meat of the cow’s body that was offered in sacrifice. She hid it and was making a plan to eat it very soon. At that time the rishi was finishing the sacrifice and uttered all the mantras for the new young cow tocome to life. However when he saw the new cow, he noticed that there was a little part missing from her left side. He went into meditation and realized that his wife had taken away a piece of meat during the sacrifice. Now his wife also understood what happened and quickly threw the meat far away in a field. Due to the effect of the mantras uttered by the rishi there was now life in this piece of meat. Then the bones in that piece of meat became garlic and the meat became onions in that field. Thus these foods are never taken by any Vaishnava devotee because it is not  vegetarian. Plus it is in the mode of ignorance.”

Onion and garlic are forbidden for the pregnant mother because the child’s body is too delicate and new for him to tolerate such pungent food. Restrictions and precautions to be taken by the pregnant mother, as enunciated in the smrti scriptures of Vedic literature, are very useful. Many ancient cultures recognized the aphrodisiac effects of onions and garlic and highly recommended them for those who wished to increase their sexual potency and discouraged them for those who were on the spiritual path, as they irritate the mind and senses.

There is certainly much information to indicate that onions  and garlic are beneficial in many areas of health such as the following: Antibacterial, antifungal, blood pressure, cholesterol, circulation, impotence, diabetes, as a cardioprotective, anti-oxidant, coughs and colds, stomach conditions, cancer. However for those wishing to cultivate spiritual life they should better not be taken even for those reasons.

Eating only food offered to Kṛṣṇa is the perfection of vegetarianism. In itself, being a vegetarian is not enough; after all, even pigeons and monkeys are vegetarians. But when we go beyond vegetarianism to a diet of prasādam, our eating becomes helpful in achieving the goal of human life-reawakening the soul’s original relationship with God. In the Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa says that

“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I will accept it.” From this verse it is understood that we can offer Kṛṣṇa foods prepared from milk products, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains. Meat, fish, and eggs are not offerable. And a few vegetarian items are also forbidden—garlic and onions, for example, which are in the mode of darkness. (Hing, or asafetida, is a tasty substitute for them in cooking and is available at most Indian groceries or from Temple Services.) Nor can you offer to Krṣṇa coffee or tea that contain caffeine. If you like these beverages, purchase caffeine—free coffee and herbal teas.

While shopping, be aware that you may find meat, fish, and egg products mixed with other foods; so be sure to read labels carefully. For instance, some brands of yogurt and sour cream contain gelatin, a substance made from the horns, hooves, and bones of slaughtered animals. Also, make sure the cheese you buy contains no rennet, an enzyme extracted from the stomach tissues of slaughtered calves. Most hard cheese sold in America contains rennet, so be careful about any cheese you can’t verify as rennetless.

Devotees pls add to the list. I could remember only few.

Hare Krishna.

your servant,
Rohini devi dasi.
Harish V Menon, 21st January 2014

Hare Krishna Srivatsa Das Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Thank you for your nice clarification.

your Servant,
Harish V

Harish V Menon, 03rd February 2014

Hare Krishna Rohini Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisance.

Thank you so much for enlightening me.
Regards,
Harish V

Sulaksana devi dasi, 29th January 2014

Hare Krishna mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisance.
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati gurumataji
All glories to Srila prabhupada!

Thank you! Enjoyed reading the answer.

your humble servant,
Sulaksana devi dasi

Srivatsa Das SDA, 05th February 2014

Hare Krishna
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

When I asked this question some time back to a senior devotee in a local ISKCON yatra, the answer I got was that “Srila Prabhupada is so merciful that he has given us such nice opportunities to serve Lord Krishna”.  So, what I understood is that there are devotees, who celebrate these opportunities of small small sacrifices.

your servant,
Srivatsa Das

Shreyas, 06th February 2014

Hare Krsna Prabhuji
Dandavat Pranam!
Jaya Srila Gurudeva!

This one is one of my favorites as I had the good fortune to attend this lecture from Srila Gurudeva personally. Srila Gurudeva read out the following question which was the same as you have asked by a sincere listener and Srila Gurudeva replied to the Why: Because they stink! They are stinky. How can you offer such a stink to Krsna? Just by eating them one gets a foul smell. If you eat them then please at least do not come near me, stay away from me! (audience is appreciating and laughing with Srila Gurudeva’s amazing and simple response)

The best way to be convinced is and be able to realize this is by hearing it from sda-archives, audio,2013: 2013.09.20/SB.5.14.10/Katwaria.Sarai.BACE/New.Delhi/India (I am unsure if we are allowed to share the link hence no link, kindly search).

So with respect to family we already have such nice explanations from above but it depends on how much are we convinced?  Theory is there but so is also realization there. And depending on that we can smartly preach to family or friends as per circumstances and people. In simple words onion and garlic promote mode of passion and mode of ignorance. It is scientifically proved that these makes one more sex conscious (Aphrodisiac food) and Krsna and sex go ill together, its the worse combination! Hence a sincere spiritualist or a devotee would reject anything that is rejected by Lord or that which makes one easily serve maya. So if one is sincere to understand God one would act sincerely by rejecting these. Sources are already mentioned by Srila Gurudeva, link to which has been shared above by Srivatsa Prabhuji.

your servant
Hare Krsna!

Shreyas

Bhakta Sunil, 08th February 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I had asked similar question to His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Following is copy of the question answer :

——————————

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Please clarify about foods like onion , garlic

I agree that Lord does not like these types of food and also that these are not in mode of goodness

I myself also do not like to consume these types of foods

Even after reading your reply recently about this same topic , I have few confusions that I humbly request you to clarify :

Onions and garlic are also part of Lord’s created foods. So why such foods are created by Lord though He Himself does like to be offered such type of foods?

Are there permissions for those persons who are used to eating onion , garlic  , to consume such foods under restrictions , and that they can gradually avoid such foods?

Regards,
Sunil

Sankarshan Das Adhikari Jan 24

From: ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

My Dear Sunil,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Onions and garlic are there to satisfy the taste
buds of those who desire such unpalatable things.

There are no permissions.  They are forbidden
in the scriptures:

Manusmriti 5.5

laśunaṁ caiva palāṇḍu abhakṣyāṇi

“Garlic and onions are unworthy of eating.”

I hope this meets you in the best of health
and in an ecstatic mood.

Your ever well-wisher,

Description: SDA

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

kṛṣṇe matir astu (“May you become Krishna conscious”).

————————————

Regards,
Sunil

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How to choose correct food products

Premal, 24th February 2012

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
All glories to Swami Prabhupada
Please accept my humble obeisances
Are energy drinks like red bull ok?
Is soya ok?
Are carbonated drinks like soda ok?
your servant
Premal

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 24th February 2012

Dear Bhakta Premal,
Hare Krishna!
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Red Bull contains immense quantities of caffeine and other chemicals, it is an intoxicant… the same goes for other “energy drinks” in that category… basically they give you energy by artificially burning up more of your body’s resources, and many of them cause a crash. That is on the material level. Spiritually speaking, these drinks make you dull and unable to understand spiritual topics, and also cause intense material attachment and illusion. The best energy drink is a glass of nice milk that has been first lovingly offered to Sri Krishna.

Soya – this is a personal choice, ask the local devotees, your counsellors, spiritual master, etc.. Some devotees don’t eat soya, and other devotees love it… there are some different statements by Srila Prabhupada and he did not conclusively prohibit us.

Carbonated drinks, technically speaking, anything that contains bubbles in it is undesirable. As long as the drinks don’t contain caffeine, many devotees accept, for example Thums up and Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola etc., are classified as intoxicants, whereas some drinks don’t contain any caffeine. As far as possible try to avoid – we have some dentists on the group, they can elaborate on the negative health effects including enamel erosion, etc., and of course, nutritionally, they contain way too much sugar.

Other devotees, please add your perspectives too.
Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Ankit Vora, 24th February 2012

Hare Krishna Premal Prabhu
Please accept my Humble Obeisances
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Soya beans although being quite nutritious especially in protein are considered in the mode of passion because of excessive high amount of protein content which is not at all good. This you can also find in our book: The Higher Taste, Chapter 1, Health and Meatless Diet, page 11. You will find a research conducted by Dr. Fred Stare and Mervyn Hoarding article stating that even the vegetarians consume a lot of protein and excessive protein is not good even for the vegetarians and we are not even vegetarians we are vaishnavas, our goal is to please Krishna and his associates and our beloved spiritual master; so we must eat only Krishna Prasadam nothing else, and we cannot even offer such items which are in the mode of passion. One more thing I would like to add, those people who give up meat based diet often consume soy and rice (many people also consider this as vegetarian meat) which actually resemble them the taste quite similar to meat but this can also work other way round, if someone consuming soy and appreciating its taste, by some accident or willingly consumes meat its quite probable that one may stick to that because of the taste of soy quite resembling the meat. So my personal opinion is to avoid the soy based products including tofu and soy sauce which is too bad. And secondly in USA and Canada, 97 % of the soyabean is dangerously genetically modified which is highly dangerous to health. see the below link why GMO food is dangerous and completely developed in the mode of passion and ignorance damaging earth and the soil.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnD-DiDRIJA (must watch documentary, I really insist, because these policy and practice are also hampering our farm community projects)

Secondly, these kind of energy drinks contains excessive carbonates which not only have a excessive high level of carbonic acid and phosphoric acid, which is too acidic, its acidity is in the level of ~4-5 pH which is highly acidic and not only its acidic, I have personally seen that people consuming these products have knee and bone weakness, even youngsters of 23-25 years of age due to excessive carbonic content. And secondly they also have appreciable content of caffeine and consuming caffeine is like consuming coffee which is against our regulative principles. And as I stated earlier, these energy drinks have high fructose corn syrup which is another genetically modified product and you won’t consume that. It’s too unhealthy and above all these reasons, they all are in the mode of ignorance and passion.

Instead of that you can consume jaljeera or lime drink made freshly with lime, pepper, honey or jaggery (gur), mint and ginger and offering it to Krishna and tasting this out of the world nectar.

I Hope I have answered your question to some extent.

your servant
Ankit Vora

Harish, 24th February 2012

Hare Krishna

I felt in devotees association that a neophyte devotee or in a starting stage there is no compulsion. Else if on first meeting or first day if we will say these or those things are prohibited, they will run away. As we are regular in associating with devotees, attending Iskcon BG or Bhagavatam classes, chanting, eating prasadam, then desire to eat only Krishna prasadam comes from within and we start eating and drinking only those products which are first offered to Krishna.

Moreover those eatables and drinks, which our tongue cannot avoid and always drag us towards them must be avoided. Tongue should be controlled by chanting and eating Krishna prasadam only.

Dairy products and fruit juices are offerable and healthy too. So why try carbonated drinks. These particular items can be checked from nearest Isckon temple.

Hari Bol
Your insignificant servant

Harish Rana

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