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Need for a vegetarian diet
April 25, 2011  |  radhanath-swami

A pedestrian at Chandni Chowk offered Richard (now Radhanath Swami) food at a roadside restaurant. While eating his dinner Richard saw a white cow nuzzling its calf. Richard’s heart melted upon seeing the gentle and graceful movements of the calf and the cow. The innocence that shone in the eyes of the animals touched  him and Richard thought how the loving exchanges they shared with each other is so similar to those of a human mother and her child. Just then the host pointed out to Richard the chunks of meat on his plate. Richard suddenly felt pained to realize that meat meant innocent animals are slaughtered in organized slaughterhouses. For the first time Richard made a connection between his diet and suffering of animals; he realized how humans are insensitive and cruel towards these innocent children of God. That night he vomited the meat and repeatedly dreamt of the cows. He then took a vow to never again eat meat.

While meat eating is not advisable for spiritual advancement, cow meat is certainly destructive. It takes a person away from God, says Radhanath Swami. Radhanath Swami personally served cows for over a decade in a farm in America. He points out that in the Indian culture cow is referred to as ‘go mata, ‘mother cow’. It’s abominable for a cultured person to kill and eat the flesh of his own mother. In India thousands of places are named after mother cow (‘go’): Gauhati, Gorakhpur, Goa, Godhra, Gondiya, Godavari, Goverdhan, Gautam, Gomukh, Gokarna, Goyal, and Gochar besides many others. These names signify reverence for the cow, and the abiding faith that cow is to be respected as mother.

The arguments for cow slaughter are no more uncontested. There are better sources of protein than beef. Any dietician’s chart shows that beef with 22 per cent protein ranks below soya-bean (43), groundnut (31) and pulses (24 per cent). One kilogram of beef takes seven kg of crops and 7,000 kg of water to produce. Thus cow protection makes economic and ecological sense. Non-vegetarianism indirectly contributes heavily to greenhouse gases and other pollution. The UN report (2006) states, “Raising animals for meat as food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined”.

’Radhanath Swami explains that we can tell a person’s consciousness by what they eat and how they eat. There are people in mode of ignorance who like to eat all kinds of stale food or food that’s product of bloodshed, murder and horrible suffering. That is the food in the mode of ignorance. Then there is food in the mode of passion, which is very hot and simulating to the senses and the mind. The vegetarian food is in the mode of goodness because it minimizes violence as far as possible. “But even if you eat vegetarian food, it’s still sinful because it’s the property of God, and there is some violence involved”, says Radhanath Swami. Violence is far less compared to eating fish, meat, eggs and similar things. but it’s still sinful because it’s not completely free from violence. Therefore the best food, Radhanath Swami says is a vegetarian food cooked and offered with love and devotion to God; that makes it free of all bad karma.

 

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141 Comments


  1. The Subject matter “Eating meat/beef” is not at all good for human being, explained practically as well as theologically. A great article for those also who doesn’t believe in theology.

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  2. Arjun K Ramachandra

    This article sheds light on this controversial topic in a very beautiful way. Not only is meat production (especially beef) costly and polluting, it brings about ghastly reactions on humanity in the form of natural disasters,wars etc.

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  3. Radhanath Swami gives the importance of the spiritual food in our life to advance in spiritual life. Thank you very much for sharing it

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  4. A self-realized soul is sensitive not only to human beings but also towards other living beings in details.

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  5. Very instructive article…….Thanks Swamiji for sharing your experience of cow & calf…….

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  6. nice article by radhanath swami on sanctified foods,

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  7. One should aspire to become Krishnatarian

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  8. Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Geeta that food which is not offered to Him is sinful and a devotee always honours Prasadam ie. the sanctified food offered to the Lord. Nice message from Radhanath Swami.

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  9. Maharaj has emphasised on Cow Protection. It is time that people take this seriously and avoid any kind of animal slaughter for the welfare of one and all. Thank you Maharaj for this wonderful sharing

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  10. this is amazing….how maharaj then richard could think like this….this shows clearly that he was simply never of this world….he was meant to be a spiritual example for everyone….all glories unto gurumaharaj

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  11. Radhanath swami maharaj love for cows is self evident from the service he did for cows for over a decade

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  12. I wonder how Radhanath Swami is touched by such “insignificant”
    act of a cow mothering her calf.

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  13. rambaboo maheshwari

    Even if we eat vegetarian food, it’s still sinful because it’s the property of God, and there is some violence involved”, and when it is offered with love to the Proprietor it becomes free from sin. Thankyou Radhanath Swami.

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  14. Radhanath Swami explains that one can tell a person’s consciousness by what they eat and how they eat.So profound, made so simple.Thank You Radhanath Swami.

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  15. A very nice meditation,highly illustrative.Yes all creatures are part and parcel of the Supreme being.It is therfore sinful to eat meat,fish and eggs.Also eating vegeatables without offering it to Sri-Sri Radha and Krishna is also sinful.It is good for all to follow the advice given herein by Radhanath Swamiji for betterment of all that includes nature on which we are dependant.Thank you very much.

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  16. One should give the same respect to cows as one gives his own mother……….

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  17. Now days to producing more milk people feed cow Non-veg food like Egg mixed with other food it is too much.
    Cow is our Mother.
    we have to respect come like mother.
    thanking you for sharing your experience.

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  18. Radhanath Swami Maharaj explains that even our personal habit of eating should reflect compassion!

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  19. Eating habit is very important.Depends on that our mind works.

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  20. Thank you swamiji , for stressing the importance of vegetarian food , for the good of not only mental health of the person but also the ill effects of nonveg on the planet earth.

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  21. What Radhanath Swami says is true.Non-vegetarian diet pollutes our consciousness.

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  22. Yes! Our eating habits are also deeply scientific.

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  23. Thank you Radhanath Swami for telling the importance of offering food to God

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  24. thank u for an eye opening post. Even if we are vegetarians, we support cow killings by unknowingly using so many products (leather begs, leather shoe, cosmetics etc) which contains some or the other part of cows body.

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  25. An eye opener speech…. i never knew non vegeterian food contributes in Green house gases….

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  26. Thank you radhanath swami for your causeless mercy upon all of us. Thank you for explaining the importance of having ‘Prasad’ even over vegetarian food.

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  27. Dr. Vivekanand Shanbhag

    Radhanath Swami love for cows is very obvious through his very life

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  28. All Glories To H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    A very beautiful incidence replete with such learning, that even a non-veg eating person will not deny the harm of eating a non-vegetarian diet.

    Hare Krishna

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  29. just like Radhanath swami we should also avoid food which have any content of animal products understanding how our diet is causing pain to other living entities

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  30. This shows the real character of Radhanath Swami. Even before formally getting introduced to the Krishna Consciousness movement, he was so determined in his resolutions and at the same time so much broad minded.

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  31. When i argue with my friends against non-vegetarianism they counter-argue saying that eating veg food also involves killing. But with Radhanath Swami’s explanation I can now defeat their arguments with even more conviction.

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  32. Right!Vegetarian food that is offered to Lord with Love and devotion becomes Sanctified

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  33. There is overwhelming evidence that meat-eating is destructive to the ecology, the physiology and psychology of mankind.

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  34. Even I had decided that I will leave meat eating only for logical reasons. And the logical reason that appealed to me was that how can I kill someone just for my eating? How cruel and disgusting is that?

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  35. A wonderful explaination on Importance of spiritual food in spiritual life.Thank you so much Maharaj.

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  36. Very good point by Radhanath Swami. Even if we eat vegetarian food, there is some vilence involved. We should not only eat vegetarian food, but is should be offered with lovet and devotion to God.

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  37. eye opening article!!

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  38. Suraj Singh Chauhan

    Radhanath Swami urges all of us to rise above the mumdane concept of being vegetarian, and become a devotee by accepting only the food which has first been offered to the Lord.

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  39. Pramathesh Nimkar

    nice article.. thanks

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  40. Thanks for sharing this great realization.

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  41. Yogita Jagannathan

    Thank you so much Radhanath Swami for making us realise the importance of sticking to a sanctified vegetarian diet through your own personal experience and vows.

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  42. Connection between meat eating and the relationship between a cow and a calf.And how we eat tells our consciousness.

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  43. thank u maharaj for saving us from going into darkest regions of hell. thank u.

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  44. Very true. Vegetarianism should be our priority

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  45. Lata Bhanji Mahida

    Now days to producing more milk people feed cow Non-veg food like Egg mixed with other food it is too much.
    Cow is our Mother.
    we have to respect like mother.
    thanking you for sharing your experience HH Radhanath Swami.

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  46. shyama radhika dd

    whatever we eat, it should be offer first to GOD. thank u for nice explanation

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  47. Very Nice Article by maharaj….

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  48. Very nice incident from the life of Swamiji.

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  49. Srinathji Prabhu had once said in one of his lectures, the mind is made up of the subtle part of what we eat!! Shows how important food(prasad) is for a sadhaka and even others!!

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  50. Nice article showing the spiritual significance to a Vegetarian diet.

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