1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Hindus: Vegetarians, move along

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Ardhanariswar, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Ardhanariswar

    Ardhanariswar I'm back!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,380
    Ratings:
    +66
    It bugs me whenever I hear of how Vegetarianism is key towards becoming a better Hindu. No. No. No. Whenever I occasionally visit Religiousforums.com, I get frustrated whenever newbie Hindus are led astray.

    Yes, Vedic scripture suggests that a Sattvic diet is better for clarity of mind (no meat, no irritants like spices, no onions or garlic, etc). But Vedic scripture is meant to be read by priests. The Vedas where ONLY read by priests until fairly recently. These are people that NEED to live in a peaceful/trance-like state because that's their job. Normal people who live, work, and play, cannot survive on such a restrictive and frankly health-damaging diet.

    Hinduism is not defined by its scripture. It's embarrassing how many people want to straight-jacket our traditions and practices into how they feel it should be. Yes, other religions are defined strictly by their scripture, but Hinduism is not. In fact Hinduism existed before the Vedas were even written, and still exists today in the form of folk religion. There are so many denominations and beliefs, its difficult to say which is the correct way, and which is incorrect.

    Many times people bring up the concept of Ahimsa (non-violence) as well as an argument against eating animals. But these are usually the people who are reluctant to take the Ahimsa concept further like the orthodox Jains who wear a rag over their mouths to prevent ingesting small microorganisms by accident. Ahimsa is clearly relative. What makes animals more valuable than plant matter?

    Why is beef forbidden? The answers are all very economic. Similar to how in the Medieval days, Catholicism enforced eating only fish on Fridays to enhance the business of the fishermen. Cows in India are sacred for a reason. They provide milk. India today is the largest consumer of dairy products in the world. Not only that, but water buffaloes are used to farm fields. If Hindus ate beef, this would significantly reduce cheap animal labor in the fields, and milk prices would drastically increase. Cows are not "the Lord incarnate" as some would like to believe.

    It seriously makes me disheartened. I am a Hindu and my family is Hindu, and we have been eating animals perhaps since our cavemen ancestors started. It's so unfair that these people discount us and our faith since we don't fully believe in all aspects of Vedic Hindusim, but rather our Hindu folk religion, which predates the Vedas.

    In addition, I really dislike the whole notion that eating meat is somehow impure. As someone who believes in evolutionary biology, I know that eating animal products is what has enabled humans to evolve into who were are today, which is currently the strongest, smartest creature alive on this planet. Believing in this Vedic pseudo science is a huge step backwards in my opinion.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Sumit

    Sumit Sanatana Dharma

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,536
    Ratings:
    +190
    Religion:
    TANTRA AND YOGA
    just tell me what is pseudo their on vedas ,vedas are purely based on science
     
  3. Sumit

    Sumit Sanatana Dharma

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,536
    Ratings:
    +190
    Religion:
    TANTRA AND YOGA
    provide peoper verse with verse no and tell what is unscientific or pseudo.:drool:
     
  4. Sumit

    Sumit Sanatana Dharma

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,536
    Ratings:
    +190
    Religion:
    TANTRA AND YOGA
    One who is not familier with vedas cannot understand them,vedas are not just scriptures but something more than this,it requires efforts to understand vedas,it takes a long period of time to understand them,vedas are the collection scientific and spritual laws.
     
  5. Ardhanariswar

    Ardhanariswar I'm back!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,380
    Ratings:
    +66
    Explain to me what scientific basis the Sattvic diet has. To me, the restriction against animal product is a huge blow to the validity of the diet as a correct approach towards maximizing human health. As I've mentioned in the original post, humans would not have been able to evolve into the beings we are today if we did not consume animals, and that's a fact. From a religious point of view, God designed us to consume animals, we are only fulfilling our dharma.

    It's true, it does take effort to understand them, which is why I believe the lay people aren't meant to read them for a reason. It's easy to misunderstand and misinterpret. This concept of Sattvic diet I believe is only applicable to those seeking an ascetic lifestyle. Lay people cannot subsist on such diet on the long term.
     
  6. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    34,192
    Ratings:
    +19,457
    Religion:
    Saivite Hindu
    With regard to the idea of it being unhealthy for the normal person, this list Summary list of vegan/vegetarian athletes is just one example of why I think that's incorrect. Then again, maybe they all were closet meat eaters.
     
  7. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    21,694
    Ratings:
    +10,194
    Religion:
    śrī kṛṣṇasya sevāyām - “In Lord Krishna’s service”
    This is a slippery slope: we consume dairy products and use leather goods from animals that are bred and raised in other than ideal conditions. Should we eschew all dairy products? No, perhaps it is the cow's karma to live that life.

    Will I eat beef? No, not when I see a picture like this!

    [​IMG]

    However, there is one criticism of meat-eating in the Gita Mahatmya.

    "Lord Vishnu said, “My dear Lakshmi, Susharma was a very wicked and a most sinful man. Although he was born in a brahmana family, his family had no Vedic knowledge. And he only took pleasure from hurting others. He never engaged in the chanting of My names, in giving charity, or receiving guests. In fact, he never performed any pious activities. For his livelihood he collected leaves, and sold them in the bazaar. He especially enjoyed drinking wine, and eating flesh. In this way he passed his life." Chapter 1

    Though admittedly I can't find anything that specifically addresses it in the Bhagavad Gita. For me, that is the ultimate authority. Now, the context of the verse from the Gita Mahatmya is a description of an otherwise impious and over-indulgent man who came from a family of Brahmanas that should know the Vedas, as you pointed out.

    I'm on the fence about vegetarianism because of the slippery slope I see. For now I am doing my best to avoid meat when I can.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Messages:
    21,694
    Ratings:
    +10,194
    Religion:
    śrī kṛṣṇasya sevāyām - “In Lord Krishna’s service”
    I believe a lot of the dietary restrictions and recommendations came from a time before foods could be properly preserved. In the hot climate of South Asia, unless a large animal carcass was consumed almost immediately it would quickly spoil.
     
  9. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    26,349
    Ratings:
    +3,285
    Religion:
    Anglo-Saxon(esque) Heathenry
    I'd say that none of them are incorrect. While I would argue that many of the modern forms of Hinduism are, at least indirectly, based on the Scriptures, I don't claim that the more tradition-based folk Hinduism is "defined" by the Scripture, so much as the Scripture simply records traditions that already exist.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Messages:
    5,534
    Ratings:
    +2,143
    Religion:
    Sanatana Dharma
    dear ardhanariswar ,

    I am beyond being bugged or frustrated , and from experience I can only say that a very long term vegetarian diet , is very good for both the mind and the constitution ,:)

    initiates , pujaris and the greater congregation , alike are advised to read and perform daily sadhana .

    only recently has everyone had the abbility to read in which case many came daily to hear the preists recite , :)

    from my experience there is much sincere exploration into hindu scripture , and it is a credit to those who are striving to practice and preserve sanatan dharma .
    many hindus keep strictly to the principle of ahimsa sparing the suffering of many millions of animals , which the meat eater causes to be born simply to be slaughtered for the satiation of the tongue .
    surely this is to be praised :D

    because it pleases us to do so , and I belive it allso pleases govinda ,

    forget the economic arguement , forget pleasing fishermen or business men

    please the lord :)

    why be disheartened , if another wishes to follow the shastra of their tradition then let them do so .

    my freind you disslike too much ,

    but please dont make me laugh ..."the strongest, smartest creature alive on this planet." .....you must be kidding ,
    thank you , You have realy made me laugh ....
    what us , the stupid greedy imbeciles ,who use our inteligince to create weapons of mass distruction simply to gain power over the world which we devote the remainder of our days destroying !!!!!
    dont wory my freind you wont have to be embarased for too long , because chances are we wont last much longer , one of these "strongest , smartest creatures alive "
    will press the button ,

    havent you heard ? this is kali yuga , shortest and most degenerate age when the people of this earth planet are of low inteligence and governed by greed and prone to
    athism , hipocracy and lies .

    it is my oppinion that when kalki comes he will save the cows as I beleive that they are far superior in inteligence , and of course they love the lord :)

    and who knows he may just save some of his faithfull devotees , the ones who have sincerely tried to follow scriptural injunctions :D

    govinda hari , gopala hari :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Messages:
    5,534
    Ratings:
    +2,143
    Religion:
    Sanatana Dharma
    [​IMG]

    vaisnava loves krsna , krsna loves cows , vaisnava loves krsna and cows !

    go raksya !, now that is what I call inteligence :)
     
  12. Gorax

    Gorax γοραξ गोरक्ष

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Ratings:
    +4
    To you reverence, Ardhanariswar

    Allow me to tell you that you have been somehow mistaken, Ardhanariswar. You seem to believe that evolved creatures must consume meat because meat consumption helped those creatures get stronger and smarter. This is not wrong. But that doesn't mean that those very creatures must stay meat-eaters forever. Cows have evolved faster, smarter and bigger than piranhas for example. But cows are not meat-eaters when the small and ridiculous piranha is still eating animal flesh.

    Eating meat have been an instrument for the old hominids to become smarter and stronger, for sure. Thanks to that, those hominids have become homo sapiens sapiens. You are absolutely right. But why should evolution stop now? Why should we follow on eating meat? What if evolution was waiting for us to forsake meat in order to become again something new, something even smarter?

    About the IDEAS that you call the VEDAS I won't talk too much, but if you feel hinduism was present in India before the VEDAS, it is okay for me. You have the right to define yourself as a Hindu although the word Hindu was once a pejorative word to conceive the people of India in the muslim and persian ethnography. But please, note that the VEDAS were existing long ago before the so-called Hindu roots of hinduism. The VEDAS were by orality known in other parts of the world and influenced nearly all the Asian and European myths such as the Greek religion, the Roman religion, the Norse, Celtic, Slavic, Persian and Indian mythologies. But all those myths are just imperfect reflections of the real IDEAS. So the Mahabharata and the Ramayana are good epic poetry and the works of Patañjali or Kapila are very good metaphysical teachings but all of them are just inspired by the IDEAS.

    Again about vegetarianism, more and more intellectuals in Europe, in Asia and in America believe that the meat-eating diet is unhealthy and dangerous for the human body nowaday. I won't tell you that meat is impure or bad in the absolute. Of course, that would be wrong. But in our modern context, we note that in our modern societies, people are eating too much meat which causes health disorder and environmental problems. That is just a scientific fact. And this scientific fact has already been noted by the IDEAS.

    You are free to read or not the IDEAS, believe or not in its teachings and feel or not its poetry. IDEAS were not written for slavish Hindus. So slavish Hindus may stay with their Mahabharata and their Ramayana. But IDEAS have been written for all mankind and especially those who want to dignify Creation by the means of some noble and moderate behaviour.

    to you serenity,

    Gorax
     
    #12 Gorax, Mar 10, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Cassandra

    Cassandra Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Messages:
    524
    Ratings:
    +171
    Religion:
    Sanatan Dharm
    I agree with the lower part. There is too much emphasis om scripture as being what Hinduism is about. There are many philosophies. Hinduism is many living traditions and I would consider the worship of Deva's as important, and probably more unique today, than scripture which is a thing for intellectuals and not common folk.

    But the value Ahimsa is prime in Hinduism, even before Truth (even more than scriptural truth). Not wanting to hurt any being purposely, and trying to minimize it according to their level of consciousness. Personally I would consider even vandalism against lifeless objects violating Ahimsa, uprooting plants for no good reason too. Many Animals have the same emotions as we have and suffer like we do. If it is not necessary I do not want them to sufffer. You want to respect the integrity of any being as all have Divine consciousness, but also simply because it does not feel good.

    The biggest problem with scripture is that people think it was meant to judge others. It is not, it is meant to better yourselves, just that. I ate meat for a long time, could not even imagine a meal without it. It was the highlight of the meal for me. It gradually changed. I still eat some meat when with others and with taste, though I would not be able to do that all the time any more. I feel very healthy, more than before.

    I think people used to eating meat should rather stop from an inner want, not because others say so. Otherwise the effect is negligible.The same with reading the Veda's, that was neither meant for people of all consciousness. To feel any effect you must get rid of bigger obstacles first, otherwise it makes people only arrogant and gives them a false sense of progress (Ravan was a master of the Veda's too). But if one is raised in vegetarian family it makes things easier.

    I think the wonderful thing about Hinduism is that it is highly individualistic about what people believe. And Ahimsa is what makes it all work. Without Ahimsa religious differences would end in disputes and war like in many other religions. We do not need the Veda's to understand Ahimsa, it is in our heart primarily. It breaks my heart if animals get hurt, it breaks my heart if I see trees cut. But I can accept it happening. In this world we have to accept many such things happening.

    Reading scripture, practicing Ahimsa, eating vegetarian is for personal progress and certainly not to judge others. Neither are those things a measure for peoples state of consciousness. If you still judge people harshly what good is eating no meat?
     
    #13 Cassandra, Mar 25, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Vrindavana Das

    Vrindavana Das Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    933
    Ratings:
    +49
    I see a lot of discussion on religion going on here. However, I am sorry to say no one knows what religion is.

    Religion is a spiritual SCIENCE. Just like physics or chemistry are material sciences. I am not prepared to read scriptures to understand or know religion, but I want to give my opinion on scriptures and religion. Such opinion is worth NOTHING. If I have never read physics, can I discuss 'Newton's laws' or 'Einstein's theory of relativity' based on my PERSONAL BELIEFS? This is what is going on here.

    Religion bans meat eating because it is AGAINST MERCY.
    Religion bans intoxication because it is AGAINST AUSTERITY.
    Religion bans gambling because it is AGAINST TRUTHFULNESS.
    Religion bans illicit sex because it is AGAINST CLEANLINESS.

    These are the four pillars of religion.

    Let us take only one from these four - meat eating.

    Meat-eating is against mercy. We all can understand that. We are killing a poor innocent animal to satisfy our taste buds. Scientifically we know - 'every action has an equal and opposite reaction'. Same law put spiritually is - 'what you sow, so shall you reap'.

    God loves ALL and is fair to ALL His children - humans, ant, trees, fish, birds, tiger...all! So, we incur an 'equal and opposite reaction' for this heinous act. In another life, I have to become the animal, and that animal will become a human and slaughter me.

    Thus, the religious principle of no meat eating is ultimately for my OWN GOOD! It is like my mother saying - do not put your hand in fire, it will burn. I listen, I benefit. I ignore, my hand gets burnt.

    Without reading or knowing scriptures, how can we concoct various meanings and interpretations of religion that suit our beliefs, understanding and convenience?!!
     
    #14 Vrindavana Das, Mar 29, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    34,192
    Ratings:
    +19,457
    Religion:
    Saivite Hindu
    ...another opinion
     
  16. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    15,836
    Ratings:
    +2,186
    Religion:
    Bhagavad Gita - SD
    I think you are using a different definition of religion to everyone else.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Marcion

    Marcion gopa of humanity's controversial Taraka Brahma

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Messages:
    1,795
    Ratings:
    +961
    Religion:
    None! Panentheism; Neo-Humanism; Orthodox Tantra-Yoga; Manava (human) Dharma
    Indeed, anyone who wants to practise yoga as prescribed by Lord Krishna should try to live a sentient life which also means abstaining from intoxicating things such as meat, fish, eggs, mushrooms, onions and garlic.

    It has nothing to do with being hindu or not, neglecting purity of mind will hamper your spiritual development because static thoughts or foods automatically lead to the crudification of ones consciousness.
     
  18. ratikala

    ratikala Istha gosthi

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Messages:
    5,534
    Ratings:
    +2,143
    Religion:
    Sanatana Dharma
    dear madhuri ,


    I think vrindarvan das is reffering to the four legs (or pillars) that support sanatana dharma .



    Daya ; Mercy .................................ahimsa ... non meat eating !
    Tapas ; Austerity (Self-Control ) .........sexual and sensual control .
    Satyam ; Truthfulness ......................no deceptive or covert activitys(no gambling)
    Saucam ; (Mental and bodily) Cleanliness .no intoxicants or stimulants.



    simmilar exists allso within buddhism

    five lay vows (there are more for initiates)

    to refrain from killing
    to refrain from stealing
    to refrain from false speech
    to refrain from sexual misconduct
    to refrain from using intoxicants
     
  19. Ardhanariswar

    Ardhanariswar I'm back!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,380
    Ratings:
    +66
    I don't believe that all evolved creatures must consume animals. But humans have certainly evolved as a result of our omnivorousness, and we are designed specifically for that. And cows are designed for their specific diet as well. Humans cannot live off grass, and cows cannot live off of other animals. It's impossible.

    It's a matter of debate honestly whether or not animal products are necessary. I follow the Paleo/Primal diet, and I am convinced of recent studies and experiments which have shown the damage grains do to our bodies (look into the harmful effects of gluten). Which is the reason why I'm a huge advocate for a healthy omnivorous diet, high in fat and low in carbohydrates. It's no coincidence that India, a predominantly vegetarian country, as has some of the highest rates of diabetes in the world. Clearly we haven't evolved to live mainly on grains.

    My point is, there are different yogas, different paths which all lead to the same goal. It depends on the individual. So yes, if the life of an empty, passionless acetic is appealing to you, then by all means go for it! But this doesn't mean that its the optimal path for everyone who follows Hinduism. Most Indians don't live the life of an acetic. I for one, want to actually live my life and enjoy it passionately.

    Most of you forget that vegetarianism is a fairly recent development when compared to the long history of Indian civilization. In the Vedic period, animal sacrifices in the form of Yagnas and meat eating was very common. Only when Jainism and Buddhism began to flourish in India, was vegetarianism adopted by Hindus.


    In addition, I personally can use the belief of Ahimsa to actually justify my animal eating. It would do my body more harm to lead a vegetarian lifestyle. It is more healthy for my body to consume the healthy saturated fats of an animal, full of nutrients and complete proteins, which cannot be found in non-animal sources.

    Even if you argue that I should sacrifice my health and well being for the sake of the animals lives, I would still violate the principle of Ahimsa because I still count myself as a life form. Therefore I'd be damned either way! Therefore Ahimsa is a moot argument.
     
  20. Me Myself

    Me Myself Back to my username

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    18,858
    Ratings:
    +964
    The same could be said about rape.

    Yes, that very same.
     
Loading...