- Different types of vegetarians
- Deeper meaning
- Arguments to become a vegetarian
- Health and Food
- Biochemistry of the filognostic diet
- Vegetarianism and Worldreligions
- Beyond being a vegetarian
- Government Parliament Party for Animals
- Department of Environmental Affairs starts initiative for ending bio-industry
whereas accepting spiritual knowledge being a meat eater forms a hindrance.
Vegetarianism can be found as the original teachings of all world religions. Through time however many of these orders were wrongly interpreted, deliberately altered or just dismissed. The ancient teachings or parts therefrom were readjusted, rewritten and sometimes even defalcated. The New Testament in the Bible here is a good example.
In Food for the Spirit (1987) by Steven Rosen (Satyaraja Dâsa) we find the following: "Many scholars assert that at the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) priests and politicians completely altered original Christian documents, through omission and interpolation, in order to make them acceptable to Emperor Constantine, who, at the time, bitterly opposed the scriptures. Their purpose was to convert Constantine to Christianity and thus make their religion the accepted creed of the Roman Empire." (25). "Many early Christian groups supported the meatless way of life. In fact, the writings of the early Church indicate that meat-eating was not officially allowed until the fourth century, when the Emperor Constantine decided that his version of Christianity would be the version for everyone. A meat-eating interpretation of the Bible became the official creed of the Roman Empire, and vegetarian Christians had to practice in secret or risk being put to death for heresy. It is said that Constantine used to pour molten lead down their throats if they were captured."
And archdeacon Wilderforce wrote: "Some are not aware that manuscripts of the New Testament after the Council of Nicea have been altered considerably. In his Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the Greek Testament professor Nestle relates to us that ecclesiastical authorities have appointed certain scientists, called 'correctores' and in fact ordered them to correct the texts of the scriptures in favour of what was considered orthodox or conventional." (26).
In the preface of his translation of The Gospel of the Holy Twelve minister G.J.R. Ousley comments on this as follows: "These 'correctores' had as their task to remove as precise as possible certain doctrines of the Lord from the Gospels they didn't plan to follow - namely the rules that forbade the eating of meat and drinking liquor ... (27)". Steven Rosen: "Yet the New Testament time and again cites examples of Jesus asking for meat, which meat-eaters have taken as a sanction for their own dietary preferences. However, a close study of the original Greek reveals that Jesus did not actually ask for "meat". Allthough English translations of the Gospels mention "meat" nineteen times, the original words translate more accurately into "food". (28)." The Greec word for meat is kreas, and this is never used in connection with Jesus Christ. In the New Testament one can not find an indication that Jesus ate meat. This is in line with Isaiah's famous prophecy about Jesus's appearance, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good." It was Jesus Himself who made clear in the Holy Gospel: "And the meat of slaughtered animals in the body will become ones grave. For truth I proclaim: The one who kills, kills himself and the one who eats the flesh of slaughtered animals eats the the body of death." He said also: "If you do not fast concerning the world, you shall not find the kingdom (of heaven): If you do not celebrate the sabbath as sabbath, you will not see the Father."
Did Jesus eat or not from the Paschal Lamb during the Last Supper, poses in this context a problem for many. In his book "Why Kill for Food?" the English historian Geoffrey Rudd analyzes the problem in the following way. The Last Supper took place on a Thursday evening; the Crucifixion, on the very next day, Friday. However, according to the jewish perspective, these two events occur on the same day, as the jewish full day begins at sundown of the previous evening. Naturally, this gets quite confusing. In chapter 19 of his Gospel, John says that the Crucifixion took place on the day of the preparation of the Passover, which would be Thursday. Later, in verse 31, he says that the body of Jesus was not left on the cross because "the day of that Sabbath was a high day." In other words, the Passover, on the Sabbath, began at sundown that Friday, after the Crucifixion. Actually, the lamb is conspicuous by its absence: it is never even mentioned in connection with the Last Supper. The Biblical historian J.A. Gleizes suggests that in substituting bread and wine for flesh and blood in the divine sacrifice Jesus announced the new alliance between man and God, "a true reconciliation with all His creatures (20). If Jesus had been a meat-eater, he would have used a lamb and not bread as the symbol of the Divine Passion, in which the Lamb of God is slain for the sins of the world. All evidence indicates that the Last Supper was not the Passover supper with its traditional lamb, but rather it was a "farewell meal" that Jesus lovingly shared with his disciples. This was confirmed by the late Rev. Charles Gore, Bishop of Oxford: "We will assume John is right when he corrects Mark as to the nature of the Last Supper. It was not the Paschal Meal proper, but a supper observed as a farewel supper with His disciples. Nor do the accounts of the supper suggest the ceremonial of the Passover meal." (''A New Commentary on Holy Scriptures, part three, p. 235). (29)
Also in the Old Testament the vegetarian lifestyle is seen as ideal. In Genesis (1.29) God said: "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food." The Old Testament (Exodus 20.13) orders likewise: "You shall not murder." This well-known statement from time immemorial has been interpreted wrongly, as it would solely relate to murder. The original Hebrew text however reads lo tirtzach. In The Complete Hebrew English Dictionary by Reuben Alcalay is recorded that the meaning of the word tirtzach, especially in classic Hebrew, "every form of killing" is meant and not necessarily the killing of a human being only. Regretfully this information is not (yet) known in general.
Naturally there are also excerpts found in the Bible where God gave permission to man to eat meat, for example in the case of Noah and during the Exodus ('the going out of Egypt'). But these were only exceptions and must be viewed in proper context; the consuming of meat is unjustifiable out of a religious point of view. After the Flood Noah found himself in a crisis situation. Because all vegetation was destroyed God made a concession to Noah, not a command to eat meat (Genesis 9.3). In Food for the Spirit Steven Rosen writes: "One has to keep in mind though that the ideal diet, of what God said that it is 'very good' was given before (Genesis 1.29-31). This expression 'very good' was never used in connection with a meat consuming diet. On the contrary, it is so that God reminds us again in the following verse (Genesis 9.4) that we as the highest ideal should not eat meat, and in the following verse is clearly stated that the one who kills animals will be killed himself (by the selfsame animals) (see also Quotes from the Krishna Bible). Some scientists have discovered that the exact Greec word, that was used when Noah was permitted to eat every moving creature was herpeton (30), which literally means reptile.
During the going out of Egypt the Lord bestowed manna to the people of Israel, a miracle food that could assume every taste wished for. But the people of Israel preferred to eat meat and so God gave them meat in the form of quails and ordered to eat these birds but for a whole month"until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it (Numeri 11.20)." But: " But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. (Numeri 11.33)." And so there are many references in the Old Testament who condemn the consuming of meat and clearly give proof of preference for a vegetarian diet (31).
And Jesus said to Thomas: "Woe to you all, who live in deviation and do not look up at the light of the sun, that judges All and oversees All, that will turn against all your deeds, and will lead all her enemies in slavery. And you also do not observe the moon, as she shines by day and night on your slaughtered bodies," Nag Hammadi, The Book of Thomas the Contender 2.7: 144. Nag Hammadi Texts.
In Thus Spoke Mohammed (the translation of the Hadith by Dr. M. Hafiz Syed), the disciples of the prophet Mohammed ask him, "Verily are there rewards for our doing good to quadrupeds, and giving them water to drink?" Mohammed answers, "There are rewards for benefiting every animal". In particular the Sufi tradition of Islam clearly shows preference for a vegetarian diet. The famous saint Mir Dad said: "Every one who eats the flesh from another living being has to pay for it with his own flesh." In his book Islamic Concern for Animals, AI-Hafiz B.A. Masri writes about the cruelties committed against animals in the name of religion. With quotes from the Koran and the teachings of the prophet Mohammed he makes it clear that all kinds of cruelty to animals are sins. According to his studies it is even forbidden in Islam to cut down trees.
Buddha stated that the principle of ahimsâ, nonviolence, and being a vegetarian are the two fundamental steps to self-realization (enlightenment). In the Dhammapada he says: "Let the disciple abstain from eating meat, to prevent abomination against all living beings .... the food for the wise men is that what is eaten by the sâdhus (saints); that means: no meat. In future foolish people will assert that I allowed the consuming of meat and that I participated also in that, 'but ... I did not allow the eating of meat to anybody, I do not allow the eating of meat and I will never allow the eating of meat, in any form, manner and whatever place; it is forbidden unconditionally for every one." It is a great misunderstanding that Buddha died of eating contaminated pig meat. The Pali word often translated in this connection as "pig meat", is sûkara-madava. Recent research however showed that the Pali word for "pig meat" sûkara-mûmsa is, and that sûkara-madava, means "the joy of a pig": a truffle! Nowadays many buddhist scientists admit that the theory of Buddha's last food was pork, is a careless assumption without a shred of scientific evidence.
In the later Pali scriptures (palmleaf-scriptures, the holy language of the Buddhists) ahimsâ was also promoted, declaring that nonviolence has to go hand in hand with companionship (mettacitta), free from anger (avera), and aversion to malice (abyapajja). Ahimsâ demands further dat one utters no words that are heartless, and hurt and insult a person (na abhisajjana). This definition contains the subtle as well as the public forms of nonviolence.
The Vedic scriptures of India, which predate Buddhism, also stress nonviolence as the ethical foundation of vegetarianism. The Manusmriti (5.49) (smriti: 'that what is remembered'); by Manu, (as the ruler, father and legislator of humanity, a scripture of the ancient Indian code of law and community) warns us: "Meat can never be obtained without injury to living creatures", "Let one therefore shun the use of meat. Having well considered the disgusting origin of flesh and the cruelty of fettering and slaying of corporeal beings, let one entirely abstain from eating flesh." And the governmental control ought to supervise that this useless violence could not spread: "O king, if some one can not be stopped eating human flesh, the flesh of a horse or another animal, and steals the milk of others by killing the cow, you should not hesitate to decapitate such a maniac." (Rig-veda 10.87.16) All living creatures are souls enclosed in a body.
In the Bhagavad Gîtâ Lord Krishna describes the soul as the source of consciousness and active principle that puts in motion the bodies of every living being. According the Vedas the soul evolves from a lower form (than a human being) of life automatically to the next higher form of life. Only as a human being one can concentrate ones consciousness on God and upon time of dead return to the spiritual world.
In his purport of S'rîmad Bhâgavatam (SB 5.10: 2) 'When doing this was the twice-born son, constantly looking three feet ahead (not to step on ants), all the time out of pace with the others and was thus the palanquin shaking. Rahûgana, realizing this then said to the men carrying: 'Oh carriers, please walk in pace! For what reason is this palanquin carried so uneven?' says S'rîla Prabhupâda: "All living entities have to fulfill a certain duration for being encaged in a particular type of material body. They have to finish the duration allotted a particular body before being promoted or evolved to another body. Killing an animal or any other living being simply places an impediment in the way of his completing his term of imprisonment in a certain body. One should therefore not kill bodies for one's sense gratification, for this will implicate one in sinful activity."
But does this refer only to the one who slaughters the animal? According to the Mahâbhârata (Anu parva 115.47 - epic relating the history of Bharatavarsha, the empire of India that controlled the world five thousand years ago and deals with the struggle of the nobles of the vedic culture at the time of Krishna from which is taken the Gîtâ) is the answer: "no": "Also the person who buys the meat is guilty of himsa (violence) through his wealth; the person who eats the meat does this by enjoying the taste of meat; The person who kills the animal is guilty of himsa by tying the animal and slaughter it. So these are the three ways of killing: The one who takes away, orders to bring, the person who cuts off the limbs of animals and the ones who buy meat, sell or cook and eat - all these persons are to be considered/called meat-eaters." In the Bhagavad Gîtâ (BG 5.18) Lord Krishna explains that spiritual perfection begins with seeing that all living beings are equal. "In a gentle brahmin fully educated, in a cow, in an elephant and surely also in an outcast, see those who are wise (the soul) with equal vision." Further, He teaches how we can practice the principles of being a vegetarian in spiritual context when He says: "Whoever offers Me a leaf, a flower, a fruit and water with devotion, that offer brought from the heart by a soul of good habits I accept." (BG 9.26)
This verse taken from A Song of Fortune - A Modern Gîtâ: (26) Anyone faithful to the principles who, devoted to me, offers beans, cereal, fruits and vegetables, and cheese and milk, is making an offering acceptable to me.<br> Originally this verse said: 'a leaf, a flower, a fruit and water', but for the vegetarian wholesome meal that is intended here, according the traditions that defend the Gîtâ, was this replaced with the essentials of that diet.
Quotes from the Krishna Bible (S'rîmad Bhâgavatam or Bhâgavata Purâna)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupâda, the Founder - Acarya of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, says:
''Human prosperity flourishes by natural gifts and not by gigantic industrial enterprises. The gigantic industrial enterprises are products of a godless civilization, and they cause the destruction of the noble aims of human life. The more we go on increasing such troublesome industries to squeeze out the vital energy of the human being, the more there will be unrest and dissatisfaction of the people in general, although a few only can live lavishly by exploitation. The natural gifts such as grains and vegetables, fruits, rivers, the hills of jewels and minerals, and the seas full of pearls are supplied by the order of the Supreme and as He desires, material nature produces them in abundance or restricts them at times. The natural law is that the human being may take advantage of these godly gifts by nature and satisfactorily flourish on them without being captivated by the exploitative motive of lording it over material nature. The more we attempt to exploit material nature according to our whims of enjoyment, the more we shall become entrapped by the reaction of such exploitative attempts. If we have sufficient grains, fruits, milk products, vegetables and herbs, then what is the necessity of running a slaughterhouse and kiling poor animals? A man need not kill an animal if he has sufficient grains and vegetables to eat. The flow of river waters fertilizes the fields, and there is more than what we need. Minerals are produced in the hills, and the jewels in the ocean. If the human civilization has sufficient grains, minerals, jewels, water, milk, etc., then why should it hanker after terrible industrial enterprises at the cost of the labor of some unfortunate men? But all these natural gifts are dependent on the mercy of the Lord. What we need, therefore, is to be obedient to the laws of the Lord and achieve the perfection of human life by service to Him. Let God's mercy be bestowed upon us so that natural properity be maintained by His Grace ..." "... You cannot violate the laws of God. As you cannot violate the laws of the state, similarly, if you violate, you have to suffer. You cannot expect peace if you go on killing animals. That is not possible. If you want peace, then you must think for others also. That is God consciousness. How can you kill another animal? He is also as a child of God. If you violate God's law you have to suffer, today or tomorrow..." "... One cannot continue killing animals and at the same time be a spiritual person. That is hypocrisy. Jesus said, "Do not kill," but nevertheless thousands of slaughterhouses are maintained (while posing as Christians). Such hypocrisy is condemned. One should be happy to see others happy and one should be unhappy to see others unhappy. This is the principle to be followed. Unfortunately, the happiness of humanity at the cost of the lives of others is advocated, in this case the poor animals...''
His basic principles (sarvadharma) of nonviolence: sathya - Truth - prema -Love - (sanâtana)-dharma - Eternal religious principles - ahimsâ - nonviolence, meaning not to kill any living being (to be a vegetarian) - shanthi - Peace.
Sai Baba declares that through eating meat violent tendences will come up and animalistic illnesses will develop. He teaches the basic principles of non-violence: Sathya - Truth; Prema - Love; Dharma - religious dutifulness and/or eternal values; Ahimsâ - non-violence; that you shouldn't kill, so be a vegetarian; Shanthi - peace. From being a small child Sai Baba avoided animal slaughter places and where He could saved them from torture and slaughter. (see Sathyam Sivam Sundaram.)
Translated for this page:
- Sai Baba never ate meat or fish. God didn't create the animals to have them killed by humans. As a child He kept away from places where pigs, sheep and poultry were slaughtered or fish were caught. And He also avoided kitchens where meat was roasted. When He heard that His father or one of the neighbors grabbed a chicken to slaughter, He went there and took the animal in His arms. Most of the time the animal was slaughtered anyway, but one felt uncomfortable. Love for animals, yes, the village people could understand that, but not when it was about their meal. Bodily desires came first for the most of them. His attitude resulted in that His friends also started to object against the slaughter of animals and that the people from the neighborhoods followed His actions with attention. Some then already called Him Brahmajñâni, a knower of God. When His parents wanted to eat meat and wished that He would eat meat also, Sathya went to the house of the Karnam family. They were brahmanas and vegetarians and Sathya would eat the food Subbamma prepared. Later, when Sathya was around six years old, and His grandfather Kondama lived alone in a cottage next to Sathya's parents - Kondama's wife already had passed away - Sathya regularly cooked for the both of them. Often they then elaborately discussed various religious subjects and Kondama was not surprised at all that his grandson obviously knew all about the Holy Scriptures. - Quotation from: Mijn Naam is Waarheid, (My name is Truth) by Wim G.J. van Dijk - ISBN 90-72308-36-0.
Translated for this page:
- When you kill an animal, Baba answered, suffering is caused by you. God is in every creature; how then can you want to cause this pain? To call it a sport to chase an animal in the woods, his own 'home', is nothing but barbarism. .... Baba explained that when you kill animals you let yourself in for a very severe karma. Animals did not come to be used as food for man. They have come to live their lives until the end and as long as necessary for them in this world. As soon as you realize that everything is God and that you cause suffering when you kill an animal, your desire to chase animals and to eat meat will vanish automatically. - Quotation from: Mijn Naam is Waarheid, (My name is Truth) by Wim G.J. van Dijk - ISBN 90-72308-36-0.
- Today, let it be anyone, whether one deems himself a devotee or not, he should give up meat eating. Why? Meat eating promotes only animal qualities and demonic tendencies. It has been well said that the food one consumes determines one's thoughts. By eating the flesh of various animals, the qualities of these animals are imbibed. Hence those who genuinely seek to become devotees of God have to give up non-vegetarian food. Calling themselves Sai devotees or devotees of Râma and Krishna, they fatten themselves on chickens. How can they be deemed Sai devotees? Therefore, whether they are devotees in India or outside, they should give up from this instant meat eating. Those who aspire to become true devotees of God have to give up meat, liquor, smoking and gamblin (Sanathana Sarathi, December 1994, page 315). - Sathya Sai Baba
- The deer, the elephant, the cow, the horse - these live on satvic food and behave in a satvic manner. So they are adored and even worshipped by man. Tigers, bears, hyenas and other wild animals are feared by man and are driven by him into the dark recesses of the forests. The wonder is that the wildness, the cruelty and the terror-inflicting attributes of these beasts are developed and exhibited by man himself! Man prides himself as the crown of creation, he declares that he has in him the spark of the Divine. But he ignores it or suppresses it and revels in displaying the qualities of the ferocious beasts of the jungle - Sathya Sai Baba." (see also: The World Conference of Animals uit: Chinnakatha.)
- You may be famous for scholarship or fortune. But the bee can teach you a lesson to be free from suffering. The tree can teach you patience and tolerance. It gives shade to every one, no matter if you're a man or a woman, which religion, nationality or status you might have. The tree provides fruit and shade, also for the idiot wanting to cut down the tree with an axe! The dog teaches you the lesson of faith, helpfulness and the process of devotion. - Sathya Sai Baba.
- If you wish to live longer and serve society, to longer experience divinity, keep watch over your food - Sathya Sai Baba
- Only sharing can reduce sorrow and increase happiness and joy. - Sathya Sai Baba.
- The giving of (vegetarian) food to the hungry is the most noble gift of all gifts - Sathya Sai Baba.
- Where love is, there is peace, where peace is there is right conduct, there where is right conduct there is truth, where truth is, there is God, there where God is there is bliss." When you stick to these four principles, "nonviolence" will come into being as a natural result. - Sathya Sai Baba.
Translated for this page:
- The body, Sai Baba says, is the boat to cross the ocean of life with. Therefore have a healthy attention for the body, but do not exaggerate. Food intake is the cause of health and disease. The food entering via the mouth, should include fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, peas and beans, grain, rice and (cow) dairy products. Eat only vegetarian food, because from eating meat one develops lust, agression, and animalistic tendences and illnesses; and the eating of fish causes impure thoughts. It is not only about the food entering the body via the mouth, but also what enters the body via the senses. Quotation from: Mijn Naam is Waarheid, (My name is Truth) by Wim G.J. van Dijk - ISBN 90-72308-36-0.
- See also Inspring Thoughts
Hazrat Inayat Khan set forth ten thoughts that form the foundational principles of Universal Sufism (Ten Sufi Thoughts). The Sufi Message is to spread the unity of all religions. Nonviolence and a vegetarian diet form the spiritual essence of most religions in the world and thus is the central key point. The Sufi Message is not opposed to any religion, faith or belief; it is a support of all religions. The Sufi Message is the echo of the same divine message which has always come and will always come to enlighten humanity. It is not a new religion; it is the same message which is being given to humanity. It is the continuation of the same ancient religion which has always existed and will always exist, a religion which belongs to all teachers and all the scriptures. It is the continuation of all the great religions which have come at various times; and it is a unification of them all, which was the desire of all the prophets.
The Yoga-Sûtras or The thread of the science of uniting one's consciousness: II) The practice. a) (30) ''Nonviolence, love of truth, non-stealing, celibacy and the not striving for possessions together constitute the renunciation. (31) This is the great universal vow valid independent of the place, the time, the circumstance and one's birth. b) (32) Cleanliness, contentment, penance, consideration and surrender to the person of God constitute the regulation.
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