The Milk Controversy – should we give it up?

Should spiritualists consume milk or should they be vegan? The Vedic texts enjoin us to develop solid intelligence through milk consumption, but yet modern milk production is fraught with violence. So what is the spiritualist to do?

Partha Das, 26 April 2020

Hare Krsna,

I was surprised to see many articles and interviews by modern day doctors saying milk is white poison.

As a Hare Krsna devotee, I have given up tea, coffee, alcohol smoking etc . My only source of pleasure is daily cups of hot milk . I also enjoy all the milk byproducts such as yogurt, paneer, cheese, milk, sweets etc.

I tried to be a vegan for 3 months , on advice of a doctor who is against milk. But the result was that my bones and tooth became weak and brittle. I was forced to restart milk immediately.

Could you enlighten me a little on this matter. It is not possible to get milk from an ISKCON farm , which doesn’t use injections on cows, or is not cruel to animals.

What is the ISKCON stand on this matter, as our source of milk is the Govt dairy farm and it’s not possible to keep a cow in a city.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Paramahamsa Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna, 

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

I would like to thank you for your wonderful question and also appreciate that you have worked your way to avoid Tea, coffee, and nasty habits like smoking. It indeed shows your dedication to imbibe a proper lifestyle that will bring you closer to Krishna by at least reaching to the mode of goodness. 

As far as Milk and milk products are concerned or in that case, any foodstuff you enjoy if you do so without making an offering to Krishna then you are verily eating sin as mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita 3.13 

yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo

mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ

bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā

ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt

And if you enjoy the foodstuff after they are offered to Krishna then you can rest assured that you are not eating white poison as you point out modern doctors referring to milk. Of course given the fact that your body is able to digest milk and you don’t have some intolerance which might be the case for some individuals and they need to be consulting proper medical care. 

But, from the perspective of Sastra, Srila Prabhupada has very clearly mentioned in many different places that one can maintain ones’ body with any kind of foodstuffs but special emphasis is on Cow milk. It is very essential for the development of finer tissues of the human brain so that they can understand the intricacies of Transcendental knowledge.

Now as far as the milk you are referring to (from ISKCON Farm ) is called Ahimsa milk. This is very rare for people like us living in a city to get but in this matter, Srila Gurudev gives an analogy of a thorn to remove another thorn.

If you are not able to protect or participate in any way to directly protect Mother Cow then at least the milk you get from commercial dairy farms could be used to offer it to Krishna so that at least that particular Cow’s life is successful and you are getting the needed nourishment to developed your brain’s fine tissue to understand the Transcendental knowledge and who knows in the near future with that intelligence you might be able to come up with some scheme for Cow protection! 

your servant, 

Paramahamsa Das

Rahul Prasad, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna …

Dandavat Pranam…

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

How can milk (commercial) be considered in goodness? In the current scenario, cows have to suffer a lot to produce milk (commercial). For the production of commercial milk, the cow needs to undergo various known sufferings.

Then how can the milk produced commercially be considered in goodness?

I request you to please advise.

your servant

Rahul

Paramahamsa Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna Rahul, 

Please accept my humble obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev

The milk that has been offered to Krishna and then accepted as prasadam is transcendental i.e above 3 modes of material nature. 

The milk of the cow even though derived by commercial means when offered to Krishna could be seen as service rendered by the Go (cow/cows) to Govinda  ( the Supreme Personality of Godhead) so it is similar to us working in the commercial world going under so much trouble and collecting little Laksmi and then we utilize it i in the service of Guru and Krishna( Narayan ).

Does this help?

your servant, 

Paramahamsa das.  

Partha Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krsna Rahul Prabhu,

If we see the way plants are treated nowadays with pesticides, DDT, chemical fertilizers etc , I am sure such vegetables are not suitable for offering to Krsna. They will fall in the same category as milk produced in modern farms by torturing cows.

Hence I feel offering milk and vegetables to Krsna , before consumption is the only option left for us.

Nothing in this modern world is pure.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Partha Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krsna Paramhamsa Prabhu,

Thanks for your guidance. I am already offering the milk to Krsna before consumption. 

Hope to be part of the Ahimsa farm community in the near future.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Priya Sundari devi dasi, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna Prabhus. 

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

In my recent years of doing some research and talking to farm devotees as well as non-devotees, this is what I have concluded with the help of some senior Vaishnava inputs: 

1. If you have access to ahimsa milk then that is best. Drinking even 1 cup of ahimsa milk is better than loads of non ahimsa milk. Some devotees get raw milk delivered in bulk and freeze this and use this as needed. 

There are different degrees to the meaning of Ahimsa in this context. 

a. Where a cow is left free to graze and the calf is allowed to freely feed and then what remains is consumed….to…. 

b. Where cows are tied in a farm and allowed to graze for a bit and calves are allowed to feed limited. 

c. Of course the idea is that at the end of Mother Cow’s life, she is not slaughtered and the male calves are not sent away to be killed. 

2. If you don’t have access to ahimsa milk, then the next best option is Raw + Organic whole Milk. You can check with your local farm suppliers. 

a. This ensures that we are not ingested the various antibiotics and other medications that mother cow is subject to 

b. Also organic milk = mother cow is fed a better diet 

c. Raw because is it best to not have milk that has been treated (pasteurized and homogenized) 

*** Please note raw milk will need to be gently boiled before consuming to ensure that any other harmful bacteria have been eliminated***

3. If you don’t have access to raw milk, then the next option is Pasteurized + Organic + Unhomogenized Whole Milk. 

This can be bought locally in many supermarket chains. 

This follows the order of best, better and good. If you are able to afford / have access to ahimsa milk then that’s best. If that’s not an option then the next so on and so forth. 

In the least, the milk that we consume should be Organic and unhomogenized and always whole milk. 

Dr. Marianne Teitlebaum who is a renowned Ayurvedic practitioner talks more about that in her book: 

The demonization of milk

— Dr Marianne Teitelbaum

“Almost every blog or nutritional book I read calls milk a poison. Ayurveda considers milk a nectar and perhaps the most important food we can give to our body. Why the disconnect? There are several factors to consider here, all of which I discuss in my new book “Healing the Thyroid With Ayurveda.”

When you milk a cow and let the milk sit, the cream will rise to the top. This is called unhomogenized milk. Nowadays most of the milk is homogenized so you don’t see that layer of cream at the top anymore. But homogenized milk isn’t as nourishing and can contribute to heart disease and clogged arteries due to this processing of the fat molecules. So strive to get unhomogenized milk.

Get the full fat milk as it is the fat in the milk which delivers the calcium into your bones. If the milk is low-fat your bones will suffer as the calcium is now excreted out of your body contributing to the epidemic levels of osteoporosis we are currently experiencing. 

Many people cannot digest milk due to faulty digestion so it is imperative that you fix your digestion in order to receive milk’s health benefits. 

Some people cannot digest the protein in A1 milk, however numerous small dairies are springing up around the country which supply A2 milk which is lacking that hard to digest protein (see my book or previous posts about A2 milk). 

You must boil the milk to melt down the fat globules for best absorption into your cells, otherwise it will clog your throat and sinuses. 

If cow’s milk bothers you, try goat’s milk which is much lighter and easier to digest, and is similar to Mother’s milk. It is good for losing weight, congestion in the lungs and infections in the gut. 

Simmering the milk for a few minutes with 2-3 cardamom pods helps you digest the protein in the milk. And add a cinnamon stick to help you digest the sugar in the milk. Always add a few pinches of turmeric when simmering milk as the fat will deliver the turmeric into your cells. 

Milk is the only food that instantly absorbs into your cells to nourish all 7 tissues (blood plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow and reproductive fluids). within one day of ingesting whereas any other food can take up to a month to assimilate into the body. 

And boiling the milk forms tryptophan which helps you make more serotonin which makes you both happy and calm. 

This is why drinking warm milk before bed can contribute to a deep restful sleep. 

Many of our thousands of patients have reincorporated milk back into their diets and have experienced the strength, stamina and radiant health that warm whole milk can bring back to our depleted bodies. 

Don’t buy into the argument that we should avoid milk. It’s one of THE most nourishing foods if taken in the correct way.”

follow Dr Teitelbaum’s posts on Facebook. 

If there’s a large group of devotees in your area OR you have consumers who are favorable to not slaughtering cows / calves then you can talk to local farmers and request milk to be delivered for a higher price so that the cow is not harmed and to help the farmer not sell the cow at the end of her life to a slaughter house.  This has worked in some communities in the past. This also means that if people are interested then there is scope for preaching. 

I hope this has helped shed some light on the milk topic. 

your servant 

Priya Sundari devi dasi.

*Kṛṣṇe matir astu*

Partha Das, 29 April 2020

Hare Krsna Mataji,

Thanks for your elaborate explanation.

Partha Das

Rahul Prasad, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna

Dandvat Pranam

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

I do agree that if we offer the Milk (commercial or other type) it will be freed from all 3 modes.

But if we/vegetarian people will avoid consumption of Milk and Milk products then the demand of Milk will fall and the Milk industry will not (will reduce) production of new cows.

As most of the cows are first subjected to the Milk industry and later on moved to Meat industry.

So for the benefit of cows we can move to a (no milk product) vegetarian diet.

I request you to please advise me.

your servant

Rahul

Dr.Reena bhardwaj, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna    

Milk products like curd are good for health , increase immunity, and provide relief for gastrointestinal infections. So, milk in moderate amounts is good for health. 

Dr.Reena Bhardwaj 

Sailesh, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna:

With my limited knowledge, I share the following facts that I am aware of:

 Milk bearing cows are slaughtered once their calf bearing days and milk giving days are done.  It is better in my humble opinion that we be intellectually honest with ourselves, that by supporting milk industry we support the beef industry as well. PETA has a campaign about it as well ( Are you drinking beef?)

 Yes, we can say offer the milk to Krishna , by saying “Krishna Arpana” and then all consequences including the slaughter of the Cows go to Lords feet. But let us be very clear that there is a direct connect between us drinking milk and the end result of what happens to the Cow.

This happens in India as well. The moment a Cow stops giving milk and cannot produce calves, they are released on to the streets. The Cows eat from garbage bins for a while, eventually they are captured and slaughtered . No doubt many are taken to Gau Rakshak sheds, but that is not always the case.

If I have offended anyone, I beg forgiveness. If any feel these are not the facts, I would be grateful if I could be corrected.

Sincerely,

Sailesh

Kumar shivam, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and matajis.

Is there any evidence that if we stop consuming milk then that cow will not yet be slaughtered? Maybe,it might then be used solely for meat purposes and get cultivated as a meat machine as the economic value of milk will go down..

Can’t we promote cow dung for biogas plants, manure and it’s urine for medicinal purposes(as many brands are marketing now itself) so that slaughtering becomes a less viable option.

your servant,

Shivam

Harold Meier, 1 May 2020

Hare Krishna

The only real solution to this matter is to have your own farm and your own cow.  Not very practical.  However you decide to act, act for the sake of Krishna.  If you decide to give up drinking milk, do that for Krishna.  If you decide to continue drinking milk, do that for Krishna.  Either way, don’t be attached to the result and be grateful for each step you take towards Him.

Hare Krishna

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.ecstaticmedia.com ), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com

Are there many Gods? Who is Krishna? Who is Vishnu? Who is Shiva? And who are the others?

How are they all related? Who should we worship?

Jayakrishna, 25 June 2018

I have the following doubt and i think you devotees can give the right answer:

In the Bhagavad Gita As It Is (BG 4.12 purport), it is stated that, “Actually, the demigods are not different forms of God, but they are God’s different parts and parcels. God is one, and the parts and parcels are many”,

then, in Brahma Samhita(5.32) it is stated that “Limbed though Kṛṣṇa is, His every limb is the whole entity. He performs all varieties of divine spiritual functions with every one of His limbs. Hence He is an indivisible whole and a perfect transcendental entity. ” this sounds confusing (If Demi Gods are parts of Krishna, and Krishna can take the offerings given to him by any parts, what wrong is there in Demigod worship? especially if it is to get extra strength in our devotion to Krishna?)

again, related with the above doubt,

In Srimad Bhagavatam (9.4.63) “The Supreme Personality of Godhead said to the brāhmaṇa: I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me” So worshiping Demi Gods is justified because they, especially Lord Siva are Vaishnavas and hence Demi God worshiping is an easy method to please Krishna or get taste in Krishna? ( meanings and purports to srimad Bhagavatam 10.22.4 & 10.53.46 are also giving this confusion).

My understanding is that it is Ok to worship DemiGods if the aim is Krishna? am I right in this conclusion,Kindly clarify,

Bhakta Jayakrishna

Bhakta Sunil, 25 June 2018

*Question: Why not pray to the Demigods?*

Hare Krishna Srila Gurudeva

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to You!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I have understood that there is no separate need to pray to demigods as Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and by simply serving Him under Your guidance I can achieve the topmost perfection. How should I respond to people who argue that one should pray to demigods for assisting us in our service to Krishna because the demigods are Vaisnavas and the scriptures reveal that service to Vaisnavas is even higher than direct service to Krishna? I understand that you are Krishna’s servant and that I need to serve you and the Vaisnavas, the ISKCON devotees. So please guide me how to understand and respond to this argument for praying to the demigods.

Hare Krishna

Your insignificant servant

Syama Kunda das 

*Answer: Guru is Sum Total of All the Demigods*

The spiritual master is the sum total of all the demigods. So by praying for his mercy you get even the more than the benefit of praying 33 million different prayers to the 33 million different demigods. And besides this, how long would it take you to pray to each of the 33 million demigods? If you made a one minute prayer to each of them, and you did nothing but pray to them 24 hours a day without sleeping, eating, or doing anything else, it would take you more than 60 years to pray to all of them. Compare that with saying a simple one minute prayer to your spiritual master, which yields more benefit. Now intelligently analyze what makes more sense: praying to your spiritual master or praying to the demigods.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

http://www.joincourse.com

www.sda-archives.com Thought for the Day 2 Oct 20216

your insignificant servant,

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26 June 2018

Dear Sriman Jayakrishna,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

It is possible to take one point from the Vedic scriptures and use that to justify practically anything. History is strewn with examples of people quoting scriptures to suit their own needs. But our path is “mahajana yena gatah sa panthah” – follow in the footsteps of the great souls who have “made it”. Just like soldiers walking behind the lead in a single file in a minefield. We put our footstep exactly where the previous footstep was.

As a principle, yes, one can ask for help in devotional service to Krishna from anyone who is capable of giving us that help. So, the gopis, topmost devotees, do this by worshipping Mother Katyayani, or the consort of Lord Shiva. Similarly, Srila Rupa Goswami has written about the worship of Lord Ganesha prior to beginning of our service to Sri Krishna.

However, Krishna, our Acharyas, Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva give us clear context and the means how to attain the final goal. With this context it can be seen that demigod worship for any reason is not really required.

Krishna has said

” ye ’py anya-devatā-bhaktā

yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ

te ’pi mām eva kaunteya

yajanty avidhi-pūrvakam “

” Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kuntī, but they do so in a wrong way. ”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/23

and even more strongly:

kāmais tais tair hrta-jñānāḥ

prapadyante ’nya-devatāḥ

taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya

prakrtyā niyatāḥ svayā

“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures. ”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/20

I have an instructing spiritual master in Toronto, Rupanuga Prabhu, who gave me a simple way to satisfy the demigods consistent with our understanding of the demigods as “karma mishra bhaktas” (devotees tinged with some sense of material contamination) of Krishna. He said that after we pick up the Prasada from Krishna’s altar, we can mentally put the Krishna Prasada into other plates and offer the Maha Prasada of the Lord to the demigods mentally. They actually hanker for Krishna Prasada. Then, similarly, the Krishna Prasada can also be mentally offered to the ancestors. This is not contrary to what our gurus have instructed us.

As Srila Gurudeva has said in many ways (quote by Sriman Sunil before), including today’s thought for the day:

Worshipping Krishna Only

Srila Prabhupada very nicely mentions as follows in his introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is:

“The Lord descends to this mortal world to show His pastimes in Vrindavana, which are full of happiness. When Lord Sri Krishna was in Vrindavana, His activities with His cowherd boyfriends, with His damsel friends, with the other inhabitants of Vrindavana and with the cows were all full of happiness. The total population of Vrindavana knew nothing but Krishna. But Lord Krishna even discouraged His father Nanda Maharaja from worshiping the demigod Indra, because He wanted to establish the fact that people need not worship any demigod. They need only worship the Supreme Lord, because their ultimate goal is to return to His abode.”

Our perfection of happiness will be to follow the example of the inhabitants of Vrindavana by making Krishna the only object of our worship.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari TTFD 26 Jun 2018

Therefore, instead of trying to extract meanings from the scripture that are not specifically given to us by Sri Guru, instead, we should strive to figure out how to align with Sri Guru and follow in his footsteps, starting with aligning our routine and how we live our life in the footsteps of a person who is already expert in following the previous Acharyas.

I hope this makes sense.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Chandrika, 26 June 2018

Sitaram

Can you please tell me if Lord Shiva is a demigod  or one part of the Trinity?

Regards

Chandrika

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna!

The concept of “the Trinity” is somewhat contrived in it that it is assumed that all three members, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva are somehow equal but this is  not so.

Lord Brahma of our Universe is currently a jiva, and hence a demigod, however, when no jiva is qualified to act as Brahma, then Lord Vishnu Himself expands Himself as Brahma.

Lord Shiva is certainly an exalted personality, and plays the role of demigod (father of the material world) as “Shiva” and is a separated expansion of Sri Mahavishnu as “Shambhu” – the glance of Mahavishnu to impregnate the conditioned spirit souls into the womb of material nature.

But Lord Shiva is hard to understand, he is a special “tattva” a category between that of jiva (little spirit soul) and Vishnu tattva (God category).

Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja once explained that Lord Shiva is Vishnu in contact with the material energy, like how milk, once it comes in contact with a sour substance is no longer milk. He was using the analogy of the verse in the Brahma Samhita:

https://www.vedabase.com/en/bs/5/45

(the purport by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, the spiritual master of our Srila Prabhupada is pretty comprehensive, please do read)

But especially relevant to this conversation “So Śambhu cannot be called a jīva. He is the lord of jīva but yet partakes of the nature of a separated portion of Govinda. “

For more information on the topic of Lord Shiva, as discussed in previous conversations on this group, please refer to:

https://www.dasadas.com/tag/shiva/

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Chandrika, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna

So if Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma are demigods , are you saying that Lord Vishnu, and by his incarnation as Krishna, is the only God (as opposed to demigod)?

Regards

Chandrika

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 June 2018

Dear Mother Chandrika,

Hare Krishna!

Lord Shiva is extremely special, as mentioned before 🙂

Yes, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead

ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya

yāre yaiche nācāya, se taiche kare nṛtya

Lord Kṛṣṇa alone is the supreme controller, and all others are His servants. They dance as He makes them do so. CC Adi 5.142

Krishna is the original Vishnu.

ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ

 krṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam

indrāri-vyākulaṁ lokaṁ

 mrḍayanti yuge yuge

All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Krṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists  SB 1.3.28

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/1/3/28

Please do kindly read Srila Prabhupada’s purport: https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/1/3/28

Yes, without a doubt, Krishna is the Supreme Master, everyone else is His servitor in one way or another.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

J. Raul C, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna!!

 Why when I ask people from India who is Krishna, their answer is an incarnation of Vishnu?

I understood Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source from everything emanates!!!

Haribol Krishna devotees!! 

J. Raul C.

Kardama Muni Das, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to Gurudev and Gurumataji

Raul prabhu, this is a very common question. I had this misunderstanding my self when I came to Krishna Consciousness. What I realized was that most people who speak of Lord Krishna as an incarnation of Visnu refer to Ksirodakshayi Visnu as the source of all incarnations. They are limited in their understanding that Ksirodakshayi Visnu comes from Garbhodakshati Visnu, who comes from Karanodakshayi Vishnu, who is an expansion of an expansion of Krishna. 

Srila Prabhupada explains that all the incarnations in the material universes come through Ksirodakshayi Vishnu. So for someone whose knowledge is limited to the material universe only, it is natural to think that all the Visnu-tattvas that appear here are incarnations of Ksirodakshayi Visnu. But someone who can see beyond the material world through the eyes of sastra, specifically Srimad Bhagavatam, it is not very difficult to understand that all the Visnu-tattvas are expansions of Krishna and are only appearing in this universe through Ksirodakshayi Visnu. 

I hope that what I have spoken is correct and helpful. If there is something that does not seen to to be in line with Srila Prabhupada, please correct me.

In your service,

Kardama Muni Das

Jayakrishna, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna! Thank you Prabhujis and Matajis for your replies. Yes, from Srila Gurudevas message it is clearly explained and the doubt ends there. It seems not a coincidence as i have the same experience of getting my doubt answered by his daily messages, it seems that when we are strictly following Sri Guru, he will answer our doubts even without getting asked! such is the power of a Guru! Jaya Srila Gurudeva! we are all blessed to be here as his disciples or students and very very fortunate to have a pure Krishna devotee as our Siksha Guru or Diksha Guru.

Regarding Lord Vishnu, my understanding is that the original form of Vishnu is Krishna with his two hand form, and hence we may say that Krishna who appeared 5000 years ago is an incarnation of Krishna ( two handed Vishnu) himself, the proper word however is not incarnation, it may be described as a descending of Krishna, and this continues in every chaturyugas but each of the past times of Krishna are eternal and is happening somewhere in this universe, as there are many many universes existing and developing. for better understanding we may explain it(though not in the strict sense) to our seeing some stars which are no more there, from some billions of light years.

I have read Devi Bhagavata, there also we can see Krishna and Radha as the supreme authority!, though these Puranas are rajasik or tamasik, there too, the glory of Sri Krishna and Srimati Radha devi is mentioned elaborately! My personal experience is that when we worship Lord Siva faithfully and whole heartedly, we will get directed to Vaishnava devotee association. This is because, as it is mentioned in Brahma Samhita,  Lord Siva is our father,  father of the mundane world and also is the greatest Vaishnava and very much merciful..

your humble servant

Bhakta Jayakrishna

Jayakrishna

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com

Why can we not offer meat, fish, and eggs to God?

In the Bhagavad Gita, only leaves, flowers, fruits, and water are mentioned – so why do we offer other things like roots and stems and beans and nuts? Why not offer meat, fish, and eggs to Krishna then?

Bhaktin Suzanne

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear Devotees,

I have questions after reading this verse from Bhagavad Gita 9:26.

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

I have a question.

All foods mentioned in this verse grow above the ground (leaves, flowers, and fruits).

This verse does not mention roots ( potato, carrot, beet etc).

This verse does not mention stems (celery , cinnamon etc.).

And Krishna also does not say He will accept seeds of plants such as nuts, beans. All grains , which are seeds too are not mentioned in this verse.

Krishna does not mention meat fish and eggs in this verse, so we do not offer these to Krishna.

He does not mention seeds, nuts, and roots. He is very specific about which part of the plant He will accept.

Why then do we go ahead and offer to Krishna the other parts of the plant?

Is there another scripture somewhere that says Krishna accepts roots, stems, seeds and grains? Please enlighten me.

Bhaktin Suzanne

Naren Tippavajjula, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Dear devotee Suzanne

The meaning of :

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati

tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/26/

Even water is underground

It doesn’t mean anything specific.

In broad sense, Krishna means, you need not give me silver, gold or keep payasam (opulent sweet) in golden bowl

Even a leaf, a sprinkle of water, a fruit which you give me with pure heart and devotion it is counted and God will see the bhakti and pure heart in you

This is the meaning in this verse

Devotion to God and being enlightened is what God sees in you

Thank you

Naren Tippavajjula

Shridhar Das, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisance,

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! 

Interesting question. Your attempts to introspect is well appreciated and the act of confirming with a bonafide audience is indeed devotional!

I fully agree with the below answer by Bhakta Narendra. It is the essence. 

Of the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita, 7-12 are treasure in the middle and even in their midst, 9th is still further confidential and this particular verse is the crux. Just as a careful person in previous ages would want to guard the jewel by putting it in a case and pack that case inside another and so on until he feels satisfied, so is this verse similarly packed in the middle.

Consider this example: It is very laborious to attain a B.Tech degree with high grades, especially from a very reputed college like IIT (in India) and that too with a Gold Medal. Firstly, to get into a college takes good school grades. Besides that many entrance exams have to be attempted which involves cut-throat competition. But imagine if it was available very simply? It is not so in Material World but Krishna Consciousness, which is the topmost goal of life, aspired by even the greatest sages and demigods with lifetimes of austerity is actually simple to attain. Srila Prabhupada is writing in the purport: 

The process of achieving such a marvelous result is very easy and can be attempted even by the poorest of the poor, without any kind of qualification.

The only qualification required in this connection is to be a pure devotee of the Lord. It does not matter what one is or where one is situated.

The process is so easy that even a leaf or a little water or fruit can be offered to the Supreme Lord in genuine love and the Lord will be pleased to accept it.

Srila Prabhupada now is very staunchly declaring in his magnanimity:

No one, therefore, can be barred from Krishna consciousness, because it is so easy and universal. Who is such a fool that he does not want to be Krishna conscious by this simple method and thus attain the highest perfectional life of eternity, bliss and knowledge? Krishna wants only loving service and nothing more. Krishna accepts even a little flower from His pure devotee. 

Therefore the purpose of mentioning these 4 items are to indicate how simple has Krishna made Himself to be approached.

And He is not even asking all these items, but simply any one of these.(In comparison, some demigod worship involves offering items like meat, some demigod worship requires humongous amount of ghee, gold, perfection in performing rituals, etc.)

And the appearance of the word “bhaktya” in the verse doesn’t indicate error of repetition of the word devotion on Krishna’s behalf but emphasizing the importance of offering them with love and devotion, by a devotee.

As far as your curiosity on what is bonafide to be offered and what not – One sign of love is to offer what is right. Of course, in Kali that is not possible to understand. Therefore, Acharya, direct representative of God comes to teach us and share with us the essence of the oceanic Vedic wisdom. Here also Srila Prabhupada specifies: 

Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Kishna Himself. Whatever else we eat cannot be offered to Him, since He will not accept it. Thus we cannot be acting on the level of loving devotion if we offer such foods.

Even within the above, whatever is easy to digest for the body, in goodness, favorable for our consciousness, should also be offerable to Krishna although Krishna accepts betel nuts as well which is not suitable for us. The lives of great Acharyas simplifies for us what is offerable and what is not. More details on this can be presented by other devotees. 

your servant

Shridhar das

Brajanath Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna Suzanne Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva! 

Interesting question and enlightening answers by Narendra Prabhu and Sridhar Prabhu. Here is my humble attempt to give a context of my 2 cents on this subject.

“… a leaf, a fruit, a flower, or water.” This means that vegetables, fruits, nuts, juice, and all kinds of produce can be offered to Him and then eaten. We also offer dairy products that aren’t mentioned in that verse.

Out of His kindness, Krishna will accept even the smallest token of our faith — even a little water or a Tulasi leaf — if it is offered with love. When Krishna asks us to make such an offering, He is really inviting us to reawaken our eternal, blissful relationship with Him. He wants our love. Therefore the key ingredient in the preparation and offering process is our affection for Him, our desire to please Him.

This verse explains how Krsna emphasizes the love and devotion of the devotee and that is what He sees when we offer Him something.

We develop our love for Krishna by offering/accepting the things He likes and rejecting the things He dislikes. Lord Krishna begins Bg 9.26 with the word patram to explain that pain does not exist in the performance of bhakti to Him, and it can also be performed with ease.

The word bhaktya has been used in the second line and also again in the third line in the word bhakty-upahatam. The repetition emphasizes that, if someone other than My bhakta offers Me fruits or flowers with superficial devotion, I do not accept it, but I accept (açnami) whatever My bhaktas give Me, be it even a leaf. In other words, I fully enjoy that which is offered to Me with bhakti, but I do not enjoy the offering of someone who has been forced to do it. 

Vidura’s wife, Vidurani, felt such great ecstasy at the opportunity to serve Krishna personally that she offered Him a banana peel instead of the fruit and Krishna ate it with great relish.

Sabhari, a devotee of Lord Rama offered Him fruits after biting each piece to ensure that they didn’t taste sour and Lord Rama ate them with great relish.

One can satisfy the Lord simply by devotional service. Gajendra did this by offering a flower, and thus the Lord was satisfied with him (SB 7.9.9).

We are supposed to be essence seekers.

I hope that helps.

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear One,

Your response is gentle and soothing to my mind and heart.

Thank you.

Devotee Suzanne

Rasika Krishna Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please see below excerpt from Sri Valmiki Ramayan:

As per the instructions of Guru Vishwamitra all of them decided to take night rest there. Ram and Lakshman,both the brothers, collected “Kanda-Mool-Fala” (eatable bulbs, roots and fruits/ vegetables) from forest and dedicated to the sage. With the Guru, both the brothers also ate the collected items considering that as boon. After completing the bath and worship, Ram and Lakshman listened variety of stories and religious discourse told by Vishwamitra. Finally, after providing appropriate services to Guru and getting permission from him, they laid down to their gross beds pronouncing the holy “Gayatri Mantra”.

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Thank you to all devotees responding to my question.

I am carefully reading and studying your offerings to all of us.

your servant,

Bhaktin Suzanne

Shridhar Das, 23 June 2019

Oh, I am very enlightened by reading all the answers! Especially the examples below and from Ramayan. 

Few more examples:

Sudama Brahman was shy and embarrassed to offer the chipped rice that his wife had given him in dirty wrapped clothes. Sudama and his wife had no proper clothes to wear. Only 1 pair. They were torn and besides that dirty as well. Coming to Dwarka and being honored by Krishna in the best possible way, experiencing the topmost opulence and welcome in Dwarka, Sudama indeed felt that his gift was not worth offerable to Krishna. Krishna being the Supersoul asked Sudama, “Do you wish to gift me something?”. When Sudama replied No, Krishna told Sudama that he doesn’t taste anything material that His devotees offer. He tastes the spiritual love and devotion and Krishna snatched the chipped rice and honored with great relish.

Another pastime:

Srila Raghunath Das Goswami once gave up begging food as a renunciant in Jagannath Puri and in the deepest of his humility exhibited topmost renunciation by honoring the rice that was coming out from the drainage of Jagannath Puri temple. That rice was the most rejected in material state, being leftovers after the cows had chewed and spit them. This was Srila Raghunatha Das Goswami’s feast everyday. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu heard of this, The Supreme Lord Himself came and snatched that Prashadam from hands of Raghunath Das Goswami and told that He had never tasted anything delicious like this. Lord was tasting the devotional renunciation of Srila Raghunath Das Goswami.

your servant

Shridhar das

Naren Tippavajjula, 23rd June 2019

Hare Krishna

There is another verse from purusha suktam

antar bahischa tatsarvam vyapya narayanastitaha

Meaning, in all of us and everyone, the lord Vishnu is present, we are offering the one which God gave us

Regarding offering in Bhagavad-Gita it’s written as 3 types

Satvik food

Rajasik food

Tamasik food

We should take and even offer only satvik food for the God

As rajasik and tamasik if we take ,it gives rise to anger ,greed and other 5 evils kama,krodha,lobha,madam,matsaryam

So Krishna suggested us not to take those food items by which we can reach eternal happiness

Thank you for your valuable questions

Naren Tippavajjula

Suryakant Vibhandik, 25 June 2019

Hari bol. Thank you so much for all the observation by various prabhus. I would also like to add something i have heard.

Patram is to offer a page of our day’s activities. We are daily writing something on this page with the help of the supersoul.

Pusham is to offer a petal of our heart’s love. We cannot bestow our love fully on anyone or anything in this material world.

But the love can be reciprocated with the Supreme Lord and both are fully satisfied fully by this exchange of love.

Phalam is to offer the results of our activities.

Toyam is to offer a tear with love and devotion for the supreme person. Lord Krishna came to help Draupadi when she helplessly cried for help. She tried her best to save herself by herself but when she raised her both hands Krishna came by the mediam of her tears.

Thank you guru maharaj for providing a platform to express and receive opinions of enlightened souls. Please correct and rectify me. Hari bol.

Bhakta Sunil, 25 June 2019

Hare Krishna

would like to add a speck to the wonderful answers,

All the foods mentioned in the Verses are in mode of goodness, accordingly only foods in mode of goodness are to be offered

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das, 25 June 2019

Dear Mother Suzanne,

Hare Krishna!

The Bhagavad Gita is a summary of the vast Vedic literature, just 700 verses, or 1400 lines in all, spoken in a little over an hour. Bhagavad Gita was spoken in the Vedic context by the Greatest Vedic Authority to a highly advanced and learned disciple who got it in one shot. One lifetime, or a hundred of our current lifetimes are not sufficient to study the entire Vedic literature.

In Bhagavad Gita, for example, it is not directly mentioned “Chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”.We rely on the spiritual masters to tell us that this mantra is what Krishna means when He says amongst all types of sacrifices, “japa” is the highest and best. यज्ञानां जपयज्ञोऽस्मि yajñānāṁ japa-yajño ’smi  Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa] https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/10/25/

In addition to scripture, we have two other sets of authority., You mentioned scripture, or Shaastra… the other two are “Sadhu” – the great saintly personalities, and “Guru” – the spiritual masters in disciplic succession. So just as I don’t need to wait on a DNA test to determine who my mother and father are, I take their word for it unless I’m in some unusual circumstances! 🙂

So therefore we read scriptures in the association of the devotees, because reading alone, it is possible that we reach some strange conclusions – so many conspiracy theorists, tin-foil hats, despots, tyrants, murderers, and other such persons have claimed to have “direct communion” with God or the scripture they were reading…

These 3, Guru, Sadhu, and Shastra are our GPS triangulation points. We consult all 3 to determine our course of action. That is why the International Society for Krishna Consciousness exists, to provide all three, Guru, Sadhu, and Shaastra, plus a large community of those trying to follow them carefully.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhaktin Suzanne, 28 June 2019

Thank you for your response.

Hare Krishna

Bhaktin Suzanne

J. Austin Tomlinson, 28 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Krishna will also accept stems and roots.

He cares more for your spiritual enlightenment and liberation and transcendence. He is very specific that he cares more about you than you know. Krishna is the supreme person. He will also accept beans and nuts. Imagine he is your best friend and you are his guest. Also imagine his power. This I say in Krishna consciousness. Hare Krishna

J. Austin Tomlinson

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