[Advaita-l] Vegetarianism

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Apr 21 02:34:24 CDT 2012

On Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 7:24 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> If someone wants to make
> a point about the importance of sAttvika dietary habits in the context of
> sAdhana, that is most welcome. If someone wants to talk of the virtue
> of ahimsA, satya, Arjava, amAnitva etc in the pursuit of jnAna and if
> that involves something about avoiding killing animals and meat-eating,
> that is also quite okay. Those kinds of context are the only reason why
> we have allowed these discussion threads historically on the list.

Purely in the above context I wish to make an observation here.  It is held
by some people that those who eat meat as a habit/family practice are doing
it out of 'their attachment to its taste.'  In this regard the question
arises: Is there no 'attachment' element when it comes to pure vegetarian
diet?  I ask this because, we have observed and even practiced for ages the
'giving up' of a vegetable, a fruit and a leaf (keerai) when making a
ceremonial visit to Kashi/Gaya.  It is said one should make a vow, at that
place, never to eat that fruit, vegetable, leaf in his life.  And that
which is to be given up is something one is very fond of.  People give up
mango, guava, grapes, etc.  for fruits.  And they strictly observe this vow
in their houses, even when they happen to eat outside - like functions
outside, etc.  I know of a couple who had 'given up' mango in all its
variety, even in pickle and would meticulously follow it.  This practice is
said to symbolise reduction of rAga, attachment in life.  Actually one
should give up kAma and since this is one manifestation of kAma, the
practice starts with something that is quite easy to manage giving up.

The point I am making is that there is enough occasion for rAga even when
it comes to pure vegetarian diet/practices.  The mind boggling variety of
dishes we make in sweets and savories is an indication.

By the way I wish to get a reference to this point:  Years ago Vidwan Sri
Krishna Jois while teaching the Br.Up.Bhashyam had remarked: 'AhAra
sevanam' is 'rAgataH  prAptam.'  Surely there must be a scriptural
statement to this effect.  It means: the very urge to consume food
(irrespective of whether to sustain oneself or mere satiating the taste
buds) is due to the innate 'rAga'.  Is this the rAga to 'live on' called
'abhinivesha' (the love for clinging to life) of the Yoga sutra?  Is there
a specific smRti sentence for the 'rAgataH prAtptam' with ref. to


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list