Monday, October 6, 2008

To eat meat or not to eat meat?

To eat meat or not to eat meat? That is my question.. Can a Sikh eat meat or not? The opinion is divided... There are vegan Sikhs, vegetarian Sikhs and meat eating Sikhs? What does Guru Granth Sahib says? Many Sikhs are strict vegans /vegetarians, abstaining from eating anything considered as a source of life. What is your opinion? Anyone can explain me?

18 comments:

Bobby said...

Some Sikhs are very proud of being vegetarian where as Sikhs do not have to be vegetarian at all. In the SGGS “The fools argue about flesh and meat, but they know nothing about meditation and spiritual wisdom. What is called meat, and what is called green vegetables? What leads to sin? Pg 1289.” Also this is the quote on kundalini yoga in Sikhism “
Inner cleansing techniques, channeling the energy to raise the Kundalini to the Tenth Gate,
inhaling, exhaling and holding the breath by the force of the mind -
by empty hypocritical practices, Dharmic love for the Lord is not produced. Only through the Word of the Guru's Shabad is the sublime, supreme essence obtained” In the book Sikh Identity Opinderjit Kaur Takhar explains how the SGPC president Tohra stated they did not make Harbhajan Singh a Sri Singh Sahib though for a large portion of his life he claimed and even convinced many people that he was a Sri Singh Sahib. So please in the past year and two years I have tried to become a 3ho Sikh myself, I dressed in white and I became interested in Yoga and Yogis. I read from websites that I should eat less to save as eating costs too many good karma and I know that these things have affected people. Also sikh children are being convinced to wear only white and do hindu/ hippie mantras. Please be a real good Sikh, so many Sikhs are becoming friends with Gora Sikhs and preaching their Sikh lifestyle as the true form of Sikhism. Sikhism is a simple religion for simple people not all these weird Yogic things which can make children suffer from mental problems. Please use your blog to educate people on the real Sikhism, not that we have to be enlightened and worship Guru Ram Das. The Sikh children are become swayed by the greedy Sikh converts who want them to buy their CDs and go to their Yoga classes. We are running away from our parents please help Sikhism, by making your voice heard.

Bobby said...

Also some Sikhs are very proud of being vegetarian where as Sikhs do not have to be vegetarian at all. In the SGGS “The fools argue about flesh and meat, but they know nothing about meditation and spiritual wisdom. What is called meat, and what is called green vegetables? What leads to sin? Pg 1289.” Also this is the quote on kundalini yoga in Sikhism “
Inner cleansing techniques, channeling the energy to raise the Kundalini to the Tenth Gate,
inhaling, exhaling and holding the breath by the force of the mind -
by empty hypocritical practices, Dharmic love for the Lord is not produced. Only through the Word of the Guru's Shabad is the sublime, supreme essence obtained” In the book Sikh Identity Opinderjit Kaur Takhar explains how the SGPC president Tohra stated they did not make Harbhajan Singh a Sri Singh Sahib though for a large portion of his life he claimed and even convinced many people that he was a Sri Singh Sahib. So please in the past year and two years I have tried to become a 3ho Sikh myself, I dressed in white and I became interested in Yoga and Yogis. I read from websites that I should eat less to save as eating costs too many good karma and I know that these things have affected people. Also children are being convinced to wear only white and do weird hippie mantras. Please be a real good Sikh, so many Sikhs are becoming friends with Gora Sikhs and preaching their Sikh lifestyle as the true form of Sikhism. Sikhism is a simple religion for simple people not all these weird Yogic things which can make children suffer from mental problems. Please use your blog to educate people on the real Sikhism, not that we have to be enlightened and worship Guru Ram Das. The Sikh children are become swayed by the greedy Sikh converts who want them to buy their CDs and go to their Yoga classes. We are running away from our parents please help Sikhism, by making your voice heard.

Gurdev Kaur said...

Sat Nam dear sister.

This answer lies in your own conscience.

People argue the fact that chatka is ok, peaope argue the fact that raw vegan foods are the least harmful to environment and planet and body etc.

It is not spiritually fulfilling to argue or debate, but we have to search inside ourselves to know what is right and wrong.

Red meat is damaging to the body, lying in the colon for several years then sending the chemicals back into the blood to cause problems such as arthritis, joint pain and even cancer, there has been much research done on this issue, and i am not a scientist so i ask you to search this further for yourself if you choose to.

Before we do ANY action, not only eating meat, we must ask our selves WHY AM I DOING THIS? IS IT IN ANY WAY HARMFUL TO ME/OTHERS/GODS CREATION? IS IT ENHANCING ME AS A SPIRITUAL BEING? and such like questions.

So back to my point the answer is within YOU, and whatever decision you come to only God can judge you. Guru Khalsa Panth themselves argue over such issues today, which is sad. In my own perosnal opinion Gurbani says we can't eat meat and there are a few lines referring to it, that I will again leave you to search.

I hope this in someway has been helpful, or at least makes sense!! Good luck with your journey.

Light and blessings

Gurdev Kaur

Anonymous said...

Hi,

This is what I have been told about the meat or no meat debate. There is no ban on eating meat. It has more to do with spiritual aspect of it. It is up to you.

When someone consumes flesh, they are consuming a life. Not to say that veggies are not a life form, they are but spiritually they are at a different level and consuming them does lesser harm to your quest for spiritual fulfillment, and becoming one with the guru. Animals have a more conscious life. When one consumes an animal, you are taking up all its qualities, its lives left to live, its debts that need to b settled and basically everything it has left unfulfilled. It becomes a part of you. Since all that is a part of you, the bani and nam jap is now being spent on dealing with all that as well. It may take you way longer to reach your goal depending upon your level of enlightenment. You might have more lifetimes( that includes lives that are good and lives that are miserable, it all depends on that animal's karma) to live. It'll take way longer to achieve nirvana.

I think that's a reason why when you take amrit, you have to remain vegetarian. As being an amritdhari and following the guru's set path is a guarantee by the guru to being one with god. Cosuming meat would write that guarantee off.

This is just my take on it. Well not mine but my father's but it makes sense to me. Hope it helps in you out.

Sandhu Singh Navjeet said...

I have a different view all together. I'm too tired to type it again here as I have already posted on this topic in my bog.

Anonymous said...

I think the wording of the Guru Granth Sahib shows that spiritually we are all the same- plant, animal, whatever, it's all one big mystical cosmos of oneness. So there's no spiritual reason not to eat meat.

But on the practical side, that is the Miri bit of the Miri-Piri paradox, I can think of lots. Even though we have evolved to be omnivores, the question is not what kind of society do we live in, but what kind of society do we want to live in. Do we want a society that condones an industry built on the production and then slaughter of animals, which can feel more pain than plants. The animal plant distinction is a practical one, not a spiritual one. And do we want a society that does this when it can viably survive, if not flourish without a meat industry. The same can be said for environmental concerns.

One might even say that vegetarianism is not only a symbol and actual benefactor of environmental harmony but it is also a powerful antidote to an attitude that treats life itself in a consumerist fashion.

If we think that Sikhism only accepts violence out of necessity, then the meat industry is not necessary.

So I think it is not a question of spirituality but one of material and secular values... how we apply our own spirituality. So it is up to the individual.

sarwara said...

I think that we can safely say it is up to the individual. Actually meat is generally discouraged in Sikhism mainly because It arouse potentially bad feelings in human like, desire,lust,anger etc. and these feelings are not good for spiritual uplifting of a human being.
More over in Sri Guru Granth Sahib there are reference to not eat meat,may be unclear but still there. More over the opposing references are not to encourage you to eat meat but these mostly are to hindu or muslim priests or other high class that say that "you dont eat meat out of mercy but real meat eating is hurting someone,using someones innocence for your profit and stuff like that."

So I can safely say that meat should not be eaten by Sikhs. Moreover according to Sikh Rehatnama It says:
"kuthha nahi khana"
'Dont eat kuthha'

kuthha in general mean meat prepared muslim way, but I also mean 'meat', as all punjabi words has lots of meanings. Even great kathakar 'Lt.Bai Sant singh ji maskeen' Also give above reasoning against meat.

BTW DANKA have a healthy pregnancy :) and take care of your self. May GOD bless u with a healthy baby.

Dana and Co said...

Thanks again for your comments and special thanks to sarwara for noticing big event in my life....After I wrote this post, so many readers are coming to read the post and comments.

I guess it's very important topic. Personally I know that we human are not designed to eat meat...it just rots in our stomachs...but if someone wants to eat, I don't have problem with that?

Another question DO YOU CONSIDER FISH A MEAT?

Anonymous said...

The eating of meat is strictly forbidden in the house of the Guru. This is a cardinal sin and it makes one a traitor to the God. In Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (SGGS Ji) there is no place where permission to eat meat is given.

In fact most people misunderstand and come up with their own translations to suit their wants. But the truth is crystal clear and has been repeatedly mentioned by Gurus and Bhaghtas that meat is forbidden. A person that kills an animal and eats it will be reborn in that life form and has to experience being killed and eaten, making it a neverending cycle.

"Kabeer Khoob Khaana Kheechri Ja Meh Amrit Lon,
Hera Roti Karne Gala Katave Kaun"

"Kabeer, the eating of lentils and rice is excallent, in which there is Amrit in the form of salt. Who would cut his own throat to have meat with his chappati" (SGGS Ji Ang 1374)

"Akk Thatoora Khaneyaa Kohea Khal Ookhal Vinsi,
Maas Khaan Gal Vadke Haal Tinaara Kaun Hovsi"

"The grass-eating animals have their hide skinned from their bodies and are killed, imagine what will happen to those who cut throats and eat meat!"
(Vaar 25 Pauri 17)

There are many more shabads like these in the SGGS Ji, but it is of no use if a person doesnt want to believe it. In the end he or she will have to pay for it. And the end is not as far as you think.......I hope you dont want to make your stomah a graveyard, 'cause i certainly dont want to!

"

Anonymous said...

To add on....i would like to say that although being a Sikh we do not believe in eating meat, we are not against any other people from other religions who do so otherwise...every religion has their own restrictions and for us Sikhs, meat is one of them.

And yes, fish is meat...its an animal...and egg is also not to be consumed, because it comes from an animal and the baby chick in the egg has been killed before you eat it. its wrong to kill any animal whether before or after birth.

When the SGGS ji says that meat is not to be consumed, it means every form of meat, there are no exceptions.

Anonymous said...

For further info visit this website:

http://www.info-sikh.com/PageM1.html

Thanx.

Anonymous said...

Eating Meat in Sikhism is personal. See:

*[http://www.sikhs.wellington.net.nz/meat.pdf Professor Gurbax Singh Dhillon - Meat Eating and Rehat Maryada]
*[http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8G8gUr9fIKc Video Showing Jhatka at Hazoor Sahib]
*http://www.sikhs.org/meat_au.htm
*http://www.sikhs.org/meat.htm
*http://www.sikhs.org/meat_gn.htm
*http://www.sikhs.org/meat_gs.htm
*http://www.sikhs.org/meat_q.htm
*http://www.sikhnextdoor.org/teachers/faq.html
*http://www.sikhism.com/rehatmaryada
*http://popularsikh.com/node/65642
*http://www.globalsikhstudies.net/pdf/Prespective_on_Sikh_tradition.pdf
* [http://www.worldsikhnews.com/21%20January%202009/Goat%20Sacrifice%20at%20Hazur%20Sahib%20%20Myth%20&%20Truth.htm The Myth of Goat Sacrifice and Hazur Sahib]
* [http://sikhspectrum.com/112006/doris/ch8.htm Tenets of Guru Gobind Singh by Baldev Singh]
* http://www.sikhism.com/rehatmaryada

Also note www.info-sikh.com has some massive glaring errors and mistranslation. It is not a Sikh site but a Vaishnavite/Dera site, so please ignore it.

Anonymous said...

Sikhs can eat meat. Thanks to the poster above for the links that confirm this.

Also do not use www.info-sikh.com. It is a Brahmin-Vaishnavite site and not Sikh.

Anonymous said...

With reference to the subject of eating meat. Some of you have mentioned that it actually states in the SGGS that it is wrong to eat it and it affects the journey to sachkhand? I cannot read gurmukhi but I have been told by my grandfather that SGGS does say 'by eating meat you will not get closer to god by not eating meat you will not get closer to god' if this is wrong forgive me but it is something that i have always questioned myself. However some of you are actually speculating beyond your opinion and stating what the SGGS actually says and I would ask you to ask 2 questions 1. If meat is so wrong and the eating of it and it is spiritually damning and under no circumstances can it be good for you why did our Guru choose to eat something that would never have a good effect Guru Gobind Singh Ji? 2. Also if you look on You tube you will find a clip of the gurudwara in Hazoor Sahib I believe showing the beheading of a goat in front of a crowd and then the head is put on a tray and taken into what looks like the darbar apparently this is served in langar?? My concern is that we may be giving the wrong information to our fellow brothers and sisters by posting our comments as facts someone has rightly pointed out do your own research and find out what you think and feel. Personally I think what makes us unique as sikhs is our humbleness and our willingness to help anyone no matter what their creed colour sex, or status. We are made not to judge but to assist and surely what is in your heart is more important than in your tummy sometimes? There are some people that come across very religious and always attend gurudwara and stay within the sangat look to be very upstanding but they be very much the opposite inside, not humble at all, greedy and selfish, all the things a good sikh should not attract, only God knows what is inside us so it should be ultimatley left to him to decide Vaheguru Ji KaKhalsa Vaheguru Ji Ki Fateh.

Gurpiar said...

I agree with the last comment. Obtaining a level of spirituality is not about what you eat. How can we argue that killing animals is wrong but killing life forms that are produced by the sun i.e. plants is ok? Is it because mammals are to be treated differently from plants? Those plants we kill and eat could also grow bigger and healthier.

This whole vegetarianism came from hinduism! I am a practicing sikh, I eat meat approximately 3 times a week. My diet consists of a mix of meat and vegetables. As a result waheguru has given me superb health and fitness. I have no micro/macro nutrient deficiencies like most vegetrians do.

We are all creations of the same creator. Different religions have different restrictions e.g. not eating pig or not eating beef or not eating meat at all.

If someone took the time to actually study gurbani, they would realise what you eat has got absolutely nothing to do with connecting to god.

The majority of sikhs who become more religious stop eating meat ONLY because they are afraid how they will be perceived by members of the society. They dont want anyone pointing fingers at them. Shouldnt they be more worried about how they are perceived by Waheguru instead?

Religion is not about RULES. Why dont we spend more time on what guru ji has taught us? Why dont we try and get more involved with Seva and simran. There are more critical and important things to worry about in this age i.e poverty, famine, way e.t.c.
Worrying about insignificant things is pointless.

I enjoy my food and enjoy my connection with god and live a happy life as a result.

Waheguru ji ka khalsa, Waheguru ji ki fathe.

Anonymous said...

I love Gurpiar's comment. It sums up the entire debate over meat eating.

Eating meat, not eating meat will not bring you closer to God. Those people that manipulate one or two lines of Bani to propagate vegetarianism should hang their heads in shame. When they go in front of Waheguru, and they are asked why they manipulated Bani for their own Hankaar, they will have to answer for it. Guruji, leaves this entire debate on this issue to you. YOU make up your mind. If it pricks your conscience to eat an animal then do not eat it. For a Jain, a vegetarian is seen as a Barbarian that kills plants. They wait for plants to die before consuming them.

Then there are the issues of eggs. Eggs are a waste product. They are not embyo’s. They will never become chickens. So what is the view on that. Also milk is in effect cow’s blood. So what is the view on that? The entire argument over meat and vegetables is one of stupidity, and the Guru’s knew this. Some of the Guru’s ate meat, in fact up until the 2nd Guru meat was even in langaar, until Vaishnav’s objected.

An Amritdhari is only prohibited from eating “Kuttha” (ritually slaughtered meat). Sikhs are free to eat meat if they choose. We are not a dogmatic faith.

Danka said...

Please leave your opinion on my duel page: Can Sikhs eat meat?

SinghShere said...

Is a personal choice.

The Fact is that Life MUST consume LIFE in order to survive. In the Gurbani Farid ji says that "those who eat buttered bread will suffer great pain" yet veg only sikhs have no problem with that.

Guru Nanak also has a shabad describing the plight of the sugar cane as it is brutally chopped and boiled down into sugar. Veg Sikhs dont seem to care about that either.



They always misinterpret bani of Kabir Ji which is chastising the ritual and sacrificial meathod that the buthcer kills the meat alone and not the eating of said meat. We know as Sikhs no animal can be sacrificed to God to make him happy and us closer to him. As a result we do not eat muslim butchered meat because theirs is a sacrifice of meat to appease God in trubiute to Abraham and Ishmail.

Plant/Animal all life comes from and is composed of the same one source of creation.

No meat is only an argument for ignorant dualists.

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