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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Can sadhus eat meat?

On Sadhus eating meat… and on Swami Vivekananda not being from ‘right parampara’

Our tradition has all the answers to the age old questions but truth needs to reinstated all the time so that falsehood does not overpower even temporarily. So here it is.

It is funny to see how people believe Shri Amogh Lila Ji of ISKCON as an authority on Swami Vivekananda, but at the same time doubt Swami Ji for ‘not being from a traditional sampradaya’. 

First of all that is wrong. He was from a traditional samparadaya, and brought no revolution. He was bringing in Hindu renaissance, to bring back the lost glory of once glorious tradition. He was not inventing anything radically new. 

Secondly, if you value traditional sampradayas, it is Swami Ji whom we need to put our shraddha in more. 

About the meat eating issue, I will hardly be saying something new now by reiterating that our tradition is very diverse, and just like it is unthinkable for a Madhva or a Gaudiya Vaishnava to eat meat, it is as dharmic and essential for a Shakta to have meat in prasada. 

Neither should Vaishnavas have to eat meat to prove they are good Hindus, nor should Shaktas need to abandon it to prove the same. 

Why can’t both traditions be as valid? Why can’t you support Shaktas eating meat while being a vegetarian yourself? I am a vegetarian who has never ever tasted meat, and personally for me, it is something unthinkable. 

At the same time, I have not the slightest of doubt that it is something essential and centrally dharmic for all Shaktas and any other tradition inside Hindu/Sanatana dharma which has a pratha towards it. 

It is not that hard to support others’ paddhati, while having an entirely different paddhati yourself. 

For a great sadhu or jnani eating meat, let me say that Shri Nisargadattha Maharaja, who was a jivanmukta, a jnani used to eat meat too whenever it came before him. 

As he was above any lipta karma, none of that attached to his real Self, whether it was meat or just vegetarian food. He objected to no food and ate whatever came his way, like a real sadhu. 

Anyone who thinks this is dichotomous needs to study our tradition which is full of examples like this; not just avataras, or kings, and just any sadhus, but even jivanmuktas doing the same. 

I hope we are saner than this, especially when attack on our bali traditions are going to mount many times more in future. 

Every Vaishnava, Shaiva, Ganpatya and any other sect needs now to stand behind the Shakta right to give bali and to eat meat as prasada. This is one of those times to have that umbrella Hindu identity. Let us do that. 

Let us prove our great tradition, our great Hindu/Sanatana dharma is above all of this. 

Guru Kripa Hi Kevalam. 

(This article is compiled from the tweet thread by @PankajSaxena84, with minor modifications to conform to HinduPost styleguide)

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