WHY IS MEAT-EATING PROHIBITED?

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Five thousand years ago Krishna came to kill some of the demons. (At that time) not all of them were demons. But the next time, when Krishna will come, there will only be demons. Only demons.

Kalki avatāra. What is that stotra? Keśava dhr̥ta-kalki-śarīra jaya jagadīśa hare. So at that time Krishna will not preach Bhagavad-gītā. Kalki avatāra will simply come to cut the throat only. That will be the preaching. That will be preaching. Mleccha-nivaha-nidhane kalayasi karavālam, karālam. Karālam means death personified. Mleccha-nidhane. Mleccha means meat-eaters. Those who are meat-eaters, fish-eaters, they are mlecchas. Mleccha-yavana, they are called, according to Vedic…

Kalki Avatara

So people are becoming meat-eaters nowadays. There is no secrecy. Formerly, at least in India, the meat-eaters used to eat meat very secretly. We had seen in our childhood. If somebody will eat meat, it was not allowed within the house. They, formerly, rich men, they used to keep Muslim servants as the caretaker of the horse or the carriage driver. So in the horse stable they would secretly cook some meat, and the so-called Babu, Zamindar, would eat. It was not allowed. And those who were not rich — poor men, śūdra class—they would go to Kālī-ghāṭa, and get one goat, sacrifice there, and cook there and eat, then come back. Meat-eating was not at all allowed. The higher caste, especially the brāhmaṇas, they would never touch. Still in some provinces, in Maharastra province, in Madras… Of course, they are now taking.

So meat-eaters means mleccha. So now that is increasing – meat-eating. So when wholesale population will be meat-eaters, mleccha, they’ll not understand anything about spiritual matter—“Why it is forbidden?” because the meat-eaters, they cannot understand anything about spiritual matter. It is very difficult. Vinā paśughnāt. Parīkṣit Mahārāja said,

nivr̥tta-tarṣair upagīyamānād

bhavauṣadhāc chrotra-mano-‘bhirāmāt

ka uttamaśloka-guṇānuvādāt

pumān virajyeta vinā paśughnāt

 [SB 10.1.4]

This chanting of Hare Krishna mahā-mantra is possible by a person who is nivr̥tta -tarṣa. Nivr̥tta means finished. Brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam. We have to finish this material business before we can understand spiritual thing. If one has got still inclination for material things, it is useless waste of time for him to try to understand what is spiritual thing. So nivr̥tta -tarṣair upagīyamānāt.

Actually the holy name of Lord can be chanted by a person like Haridāsa Thākura, who has no other desire, material desire. But those, who are not like Haridāsa Thākura, they may take… bhavauṣadhi. If he chants, then gradually he’ll be released from this material disease. For them, this is the chance. Actually it is meant for liberated person like Haridāsa Thākura.

Then why we are chanting? We are chanting to cleanse our heart, to cure the material disease [ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam – Cc. Antya 20.12]. So it is actually relished by the liberated persons, but those who are diseased like us, they can chant and gradually cure the material disease. This is the basic principle of chanting the holy name of Krishna. Bhavauṣadhi. It is medicine of this bhava-roga. What is that bhava-roga? Bhava-roga means you take your birth and again die.

[…] So at the present moment, actually the world is overburdened by the material activities. So Krishna has descended already. Krishna has descended already. Nāma-rūpe kali-kāle krṣna avatāra. Krishna has taken His incarnation in the form of Hare Krishna mahā-mantra. So if people take to it – chanting Hare Krishna mahā-mantra – the present situation of the world can be favorable for our living, and atmosphere will change. Therefore the Krishna consciousness movement is meant for this purpose, to give people relief from all these burdens so that they may live peacefully, understand the value of life, and become spiritualized so they live peacefully in this life and go back to home, back to Godhead. That is the mission of the Krishna consciousness movement.

[An excerpt from a lecture delivered on the Srimad Bhagavatam (1.8.34) on October 14, 1974 in Mayapur, West Bengal, India]

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