Thursday November 22, 2018

Find out why Hinduism always emphasizes on being a vegetarian

The non-vegetarian foods make the mind restless, disturb to concentrate in worship, study or meditation

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Vegetarian Food and Hinduism
Indian food, Wikimedia
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August 15, 2016: Vegetarianism is linked to numerous religions but it took shape in India as- Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. There are instances of having non-vegetarian food but from the ancient times, Hindu community people have always supported the vegan way of living and have always fought against violation of animal rights.

The Hindu text, Vedanta teaches that the only goal of a life is ‘Atmanam Bodhi’(self-realisation). It shows the path to a person who can experience being Atman (eternal soul), the indivisible part of God, that has never been born or will never die. As every person is compositive of mind, body, and soul; it is necessary to control the mind to come into direct contact with Atman or soul.

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Swami Vivekananda explains the control of mind with an analogy,”Get hold of the mind. The mind is like a lake, and every stone that drops into it raises waves. These waves do not let us see what we are.” Thus the thoughts- fears, desires, and attachments create waves in our mind, which can be mastered by control on food habits. Food habits change the mind and personality as claimed by Swami Chinmayananda (Founder of Chinmayananda Mission). He says,“Non-vegetarian food is laced with many toxins that create agitation and disturbance in the mind.” The non-vegetarian foods make the mind restless, as a result one fails to concentrate while they worship, study or meditate. So to know the true self and get liberated from the cycle of birth and death, Hinduism always emphasised on Sattvik food (vegetables).

Meditation, Wikimedia Commons
Meditation, Wikimedia Commons

Swami Avedananda (a direct disciple of Paramahamsa Shree Ramakrishna) said,“A Hindu is a vegetarian from the standpoint of Love. Love means an expression of oneness.” Hinduism defines that the whole universe is originated from non-materialised consciousness, Brahman. Chandogya Upanishad recites, “Tat Twam Asi” means, which unifies a person with every animal.

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Apart from these spiritual realisations, Hinduism always nurtured the idea of ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence). Yajur Veda advises, “You must not use your God-given body for killing God’s creatures, whether they are human, animal or whatever.” In Mahabharata, Ved Vyasa stated, “Ahimsa Parmo Dharma“(Non-violence is the primary religion).

George Bernard Shaw once said,“My stomach and body are not a crematorium or cemetery for killed or dead animals. While we ourselves are living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?”

Mot only him, but the great scientist Albert Einstein said, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

Hinduism gives the theory of Karma (cycle of work and result), and considers slaughtering of animals as sinful. One can understand, how modern is the faith, if one delves into it. In Hindu texts, to protect the nature- it is personified as the mountains, rivers, air etc. and worshiping animals as the deity, is a known fact to all.

– by Priyanka Saha of NewsGram. Twitter: @priyanka140490

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  • चाणक्य my teacher

    nice explanation

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Puja for The Spiritualism, Not for Vulgar Entertainment

The westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our "scriptures" and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those "holy books" only in the drawers of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our “butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods' idols !!!

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Hinduism
he westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our "scriptures"

By Salil Gewali

Any auspicious days in Hinduism are expected to be observed with a complete purity of action and thought. The same holds true for other religions too. As per the Hindu scriptures, the believers are required to stay away from any kind of sense gratifications, particularly when the specific days are dedicated to Gods and Goddess such as Navratri, Laxmi Puja, Krishna Janmashtami, Shivaratri, to name a few. The pathway to devotion and spiritualism should not be “desecrated” by the blot of the brazen entertainment. The scriptures logically explain why it is antithetical, and its adverse consequences.

Hindusim
Incidentally, the Bhagavad Gita describes such situation as the rise of “tamasic vibes”.

 But, what a huge irony, rather a blasphemy that many people these days have started to choose the auspicious days of Gods to satisfy their base senses. Without a wee bit of regret, a certain class of people holds almost every auspicious day as the most “unmissable” occasion to booze with the friends, and what not, and stagger back home, lol! Such bizarre practices are fast catching now than ever.  Sadly, hardly any conscious people and spiritual organizations stand up and take the right measures to check such godless deviations.

What is quite unpleasant is that such a kind of unholy practices are often being facilitated by certain “Hindu intuitions” as well. On this past Laxmi Puja, the “propitious time” to perform the ritual had fallen between 6 PM to 7:53 PM. Yours truly decided to use that span of time for meditation. But hell broke loose. Apart from fireworks around, the Bollywood songs in high decibel burst forth from a certain Hindu institution quite frustrated the mission.

Hindusim
Sadhu Sanga Retreat, 2016

 One senior citizen laments – “Nothing could be irreligious than the fact that a favorable time for “puja” is also being used for the wrongful purposes. We rather expect the “Hindu institutions” to teach our children Bhajan, Kirtan, and other spiritual activities, not the loud and feverish parties and disturb others.”

Another college student adds “Having been much disturbed by the noise pollution, I have persuaded my parents to shift our place of residence to elsewhere, not at least near holy places with an unholy mission. I have started to see such institutions with the eyes of suspicion these says.” Is it that our institutions are unable to use their “discretion”, and as a result, they fail to differentiate between right and wrong?  One is deeply apprehensive that Bollywood songs and vulgar dances might as well be included as a part of the “puja ritual” as we have long accepted the fun of fireworks bursting as an integral part of Laxmi Puja which in fact is just an entrenched “misconception”.

Hinduism
Hinduism is expected to be observed with a complete purity of action

Needless to say, our roar for consumerism has almost drowned the whisper of inherent spiritualism. We are only just sending out the wrong messages. I’m afraid, the whole culture itself might be looked down with derision by other faiths. It might just become a subject of ridicule! It is no exaggeration, such negative notions against the “wrong practices” are all what we often read these days in several newspapers and social media. Do we want others to demean our profound spiritual heritage thus?  I believe it calls for a serious soul-searching.

Incidentally, the Bhagavad Gita describes such situation as the rise of “tamasic vibes”.  It warns in the strongest terms that mankind should absolutely be careful not to fall under the influence of any short-lived sense gratifications. Or else, our endeavor to “practice and preserve” the sanctity of a religion/spiritualism will be a futile exercise.

However, on the other hand, the westerners practicing Hinduism have learned a pretty well from our “scriptures” and are becoming more spiritual while we just locked up those “holy books” only in a drawer of the altar. Thus we only love to shake our “butts to the boom-boom of Bollywood”.. right in front of the Gods’ idols !!!

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’.

Twitter:@SGewali.