In my last blog on non veg foods, I had mentioned many references from ancient Sanatan Dharma textbooks such as Manu Smriti, Mahabharata and similar texts which tell us how eating non veg food is harmful and creates negative mindset in human mind which further leads to destructive thought process.
We all know, everything depends on our mindset, whether earning money, good relationship, marriage, success, growth or even having good academics.
Everything depends on our mindset that frames up from the thoughts and our thoughts come from the food we consume.
Do read my last blog on the concept of Food and Non Veg Food Items.
Today, in continuation, I will give you an explanation in context to Shrimad Bhagavata Purana and Krishna’s Bhagvata Gita.
Bhagavata Purana and Non Veg Food Items
People argue with me that these are Mahabharata Quotes, what about those text books other than Manu Samhita and Mahabharata? Hence I will provide reference from Shri Bhagavata Purana also which says :
“Those who are ignorant of real Dharma and, though wicked and haughty, account themselves virtuous, kill animals without any feeling of remorse or fear of punishment.
Further, in their next lives, such sinful persons will be eaten by the same creatures they have killed in this world.” (Bhagavata Purana 11.5.14)
Does Bhagavad Gita say anything about Vegetarianism or Non Veg Food And/meat eating? What is recommended by Lord Krishna in Gita?
Bhagvat Gita and Non Veg Food items
āyuḥ sattva bal-ārogya sukha prīti vivardhanāḥ | rasyāḥ snigdhāḥ sthirā hṛdyā āhārāḥ sātvika priyāḥ || 8 ||
A diet which promotes longevity, intellectual alertness, energy, health, pleasure and cheerfulness and those that are succulent, nutritional, substantial and agreeable, are preferred by Sattvic people.
Intellectual alertness (Sattva) — in this context the term ‘Sattva’ means mind, and refers indirectly to the power of thinking.
For the Sattva Guna promotes the development of learning, as previously declared:— ‘From Sattva knowledge arises’ (14.17).
At the time of ingestion the Sattvic foods in themselves cause pleasure. They are succulent — full of sweet juices. Nutritional — full of oil.
They are substantial — that is produce long lasting effects. They are agreeable — they are presented in a pleasing manner.
kaṭvamla lavaṇāty-uṣṇa tīkṣṇa rūkṣa vidāhinaḥ | āhārāḥ rājasasyeṣṭā duḥkha śokāmaya pradāḥ || 9 ||
Foods that are bitter, sour, very salty, very hot, very sharp, astringent and heating, are all dear to Rajasic people, they produce pain, discomfort and disease.
Sharp foods are those which are difficult to take due to being icy cold, or extremely hot.
Astringent food items are those which cause the feeling of dryness in the consumer.
Heating foods are those which cause burning sensation.
yāta-yāmaṃ gata-rasaṃ pūti paryuṣitaṃ ca yat | ucchiṣṭam api cāmedhyaṃ bhojanaṃ tāmasa priyam || 10 ||
Foods which are stale, tasteless, foul, putrid, left-over and impure, are loved by Tamasic people.
Stale (yāta-yāmam) — that food which has been left standing for more than three hours. Tasteless (gata-rasam) — that which has lost its natural flavour.
Foul (pūti) — emitting a bad smell. Putrid (paryuṣitam) — fermented over a long period. Left-over (ucchiṣṭam) — the food that remains after having been eaten by persons other than Gurus, parents or elder siblings.
Impure (amedhyam) — that which is unfit for offering in sacrifice or worship.
This means, being unfit for offering in worship, they cannot become prasādam and all food should first be offered as naidevyam.( naivedyam)
Is it true that Lord Krishna has said that whatever you eat, veg food or non veg food, it should be first offered to the God and then be eaten?
It is true that Krishna has said to first offer the food to the Lord and then take it as prasadam but he has nowhere said that non veg food items can be offered to him too.
Thinking that he is talking about non veg food items as a dish that can be offered to the Lord is erroneous in itself.
It is a result of wrong interpretation of his word which is why Srila Prabhupada has given such beautiful commentary on the same so that people do no interpret the word of God and take it however they feel like.
Bhagvat Gita 17.10
pūti paryuṣitaṁ ca yat
ucchiṣṭam api cāmedhyaṁ
Translation: Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness.
Non-veg is never prepared on the spot. It is always marinated and kept till the night, later prepared and served whereas vegetarian food is always prepared first hand and served.
Non veg food items consists of remains of the dead body of the animal which Krishna has forbidden in this verse itself.
The remains of any being that has died hence becomes untouchable and decomposed therefore in all senses non veg food items becomes not worthy of being served to the Lord.
To the context of this verse, Srila Prabhupada writes:
Purport: The purpose of food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and aid bodily strength.
This is its only purpose. In the past, great authorities selected those foods that best aid health and increase life’s duration, such as milk products, sugar, rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables.
These foods are very dear to those in the mode of goodness. Some other foods, such as baked corn and molasses, while not very palatable in themselves, can be made pleasant when mixed with milk or other foods.
They are then in the mode of goodness. All these foods are pure by nature.
They are quite distinct from untouchable things like meat and liquor.
Fatty foods, as mentioned in the eighth verse, have no connection with animal fat obtained by slaughter.
Animal fat is available in the form of milk, which is the most wonderful of all foods. Milk, butter, cheese and similar products give animal fat in a form which rules out any need for the killing of innocent creatures. It is only through brute mentality that this killing goes on.
The civilized method of obtaining needed fat is by milk. Slaughter is the way of subhumans.
Protein is amply available through split peas, dāl, whole wheat, etc.
Foods in the mode of passion, which are bitter, too salty, or too hot or overly mixed with red pepper, cause misery by reducing the mucus in the stomach, leading to disease.
Foods in the mode of ignorance or darkness are essentially those that are not fresh.
Any food cooked more than three hours before it is eaten (except prasādam, food offered to the Lord) is considered to be in the mode of darkness.
Because they are decomposing, such foods give a bad odor, which often attracts people in this mode but repulses those in the mode of goodness.
Remnants of food may be eaten only when they are part of a meal that was first offered to the Supreme Lord or first eaten by saintly persons, especially the spiritual master.
Otherwise the remnants of food are considered to be in the mode of darkness, and they increase infection or disease.
Such foodstuffs, although very palatable to persons in the mode of darkness, are neither liked nor even touched by those in the mode of goodness.
The best food is the remnants of what is offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
In Bhagavad-gītā the Supreme Lord says that He accepts preparations of vegetables, flour and milk when offered with devotion. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam.
Of course, devotion and love are the chief things which the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepts. But it is also mentioned that the prasādam should be prepared in a particular way.
Any food prepared by the injunctions of the scripture and offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be taken even if prepared long, long ago, because such food is transcendental.
Therefore to make food antiseptic, eatable and palatable for all persons, one should offer food to the Supreme Personality of Godhead
Bhagvat Gita 3.13
bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā
ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt
Translation: 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 personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.
Is Non Veg food consumed for enjoyment?
There is nothing that vegetarian food cannot provide.
It can provide with all kinds of proteins, nutrients etc but non veg food only provides taste and lethargy which is sense gratification.
You can take anything in vegetarian food it will not intoxicate you into having more but non veg food items, once you have, you will want more.
Like intoxication it will become a habit for you to have more and more non veg food items which reduces a person to the stature of an animal.
An animal will always want to be happy in sense gratification because he has no Lord except for eating, sleeping, defending and mating. That is his life.
Then what will be the difference between humans and animals if humans also become like this? No difference.
The lord doesn’t want that for the humans.
He has given a soul to the body of a human so that he can be devoted to the Lotus feet of the Lord and go back to Godhead. Animals lack that kind of consciousness, he knows that, then why will he ask the souls in the body of intelligence to behave like animals?
Bhagvat Gita 3.14
annād bhavanti bhūtāni
yajñād bhavati parjanyo
Translation: All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajña [sacrifice], and yajña is born of prescribed duties.
In context to this verse, Srila Prabhupada writes:
Food grains or vegetables are actually edible.
The human being eats different kinds of food grains, vegetables, fruits, etc., and the animals eat the refuse of the food grains and vegetables, grass, plants, etc.
Human beings who are accustomed to eating meat and flesh must also depend on the production of vegetation in order to eat the animals.
Therefore, ultimately, we have to depend on the production of the field and not on the production of big factories.
The field production is due to sufficient rain from the sky, and such rains are controlled by demigods like
Indra, sun, moon, etc., and they are all servants of the Lord.
The Lord can be satisfied by sacrifices; therefore, one who cannot perform them will find himself in scarcity – that is the law of nature. Yajña, specifically the saṅkīrtana-yajña prescribed for this age, must therefore be performed to save us at least from scarcity of food supply.
Bhagvat Gita 6.17
yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā
Translation: He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.
There are a number of people that claim eating to not be a part of becoming Krishna conscious but this verse contradicts them all.
Eating should never be for sense gratification, it should only be for the proper functioning of the body but because the people of Kaliyuga have taken everything for sense gratification, they indulge in non veg food or meat eating and similar other sinful activities that transfer them to the body of an animal at the time of death because that is the kind of consciousness they have created.
If you create the consciousness of a human being i.e. to become the eternal servitor of the Lord, you will not indulge into such activities.
Bhagvat Gita 16.24
tasmāc chāstraṁ pramāṇaṁ te
karma kartum ihārhasi
Translation: One should therefore understand what is duty and what is not duty by the regulations of the scriptures.
Knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that he may gradually be elevated.
Some think that oh why there should be any rules and regulations for the humans?
We are God’s children, why would he put so many regulations on us like what to eat how to eat etc. This verse contradicts all of the selfish misconceptions.
Just like a father puts restrictions on a child so that he becomes a better person in future, the Lord also has put some rules and regulations on humans so that the goal of life can be fulfilled.
The goal is to go back to the abode of Lord we got lost from.
Human life means rules and regulations so that the constant need for gratifying the senses is reduced and one of its features is to not eat sin.
Hope this article on Bhagvat Gita and Non Veg Food gives a deeper insight.
Love and Light,