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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vedic, not vegan.

A friend asked me –
Radhe! What is your opinion on VEGANISM in regards to Kṛṣṇa-bhakti? For 9 weeks my wife and I went on a vegan-diet and we BOTH experienced a loss and diminution of our bhakti...we distanced ourselves more and more from Sri Sri Radha Mohan...

Advaitadās -Veganism it is not Vedic or Vaiṣṇava. Offerings to the Lord are detailed in śāstra, like Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta and Śrī Govinda Līlāmṛta.

Friend - what about the "cruelty" against the cows...offering their "tortured" milk is bad
not suitable for Kṛṣṇa. Is it not much more merciful to offer the milk of these poor cows to Kṛṣṇa and they get benefit?

Advaitadās - Yes. Horrible as the status quo may be, at least some of their milk will be used in Kṛṣṇa’s service. Is it not much more merciful to offer the milk of these poor cows to Kṛṣṇa and they get benefit still? If you boycott a poor man he will starve. It is the little we can do for them. Let’s face it – 1 in 7 human beings is Hindu. We will not convince the 6,000,000,000 others to protect mother cow, and we will have to live in this world somehow.”

Friend - IMHO, vegans put THEIR personal "stuff" over the desire of Kṛṣṇa, right? For their well-being…..

Advaitadās - It can be meant compassionately but it deprives the poor cows from that little service they can give.

Friend - A vegan-abhisekha is aparadha, right?

Advaitadās - What is in the abhisek then, just water? Fruit-juice? Coca cola?

Friend - I experienced one and it felt wrong - soya-milk, soya-yoghurt

Advaitadās - This is all speculation - hippy/new age samskāra…..

Friend - "Actually, in my line of bhakti, we consider ourselves to be maidservants of Srimati Radhika, manjaris. To REALLY please Kṛṣṇa, we have to take shelter (āśraya) in those who LOVE Him the most. Srimati Radhika loves Kṛṣṇa the most and we are Her intimate friends. Is She offerering Him vegan sweets? Tofu? Seitan? Nope. Name ONE non-dairy sweet which Kṛṣṇa loves!"

This I wrote in an article. How can we refuse to offer milk?

Advaitadās - Right. Dairy is essential to kṛṣṇa-bhakti.”

Friend - Can you back this up? I like that

Advaitadās - like I said, look at Govinda Līlāmṛta, 3.44-60 –
Mother Yaśodā said: “O mother Lalite! Make Rasālā, condensed milk with sugar and camphor! O Viśākhe! Quickly make Ṣārab (a dairy-drink with sugar, cardamom, ghī and honey)! O Śaśilekhe! Make Śikhariṇī (a similar dairy-delicacy)! O daughter Campaka-late! Make buttermilk (mathita)!............O Sudevi! Make kṣīra-sāra (sweet rice)!............O Manojñe! Mike ripe mango-juice and keep it in condensed milk (kṣīra-yuta) with sugar! O Kilimbe! Make ghī from the milk which was taken from the cow Sugandhā this morning an from which I churned yoghurt (payaso dadhinī)! O Ambike! Slightly stir the milk that Nanda Mahārāja personally milked from the cow Dhavalā and which he sent here for Krṣṇa-Balarāma’s consumption! O girls! Quickly take the best milk, which was taken from the meadows by the milk-porters, on the stove and start slowly stirring it!”

Friend - Many angas of bhakti include "milk" in one form or the other, right? puja, too. ghee...

Advaitadās - Best to make ghee yourself. But milk is everywhere...
These are the top 10 cattle and beef producing countries –
Beef production (1000 MT CWE)
Rank Country 2009 2010 
1 United States 11,889 11,789
2 Brazil 8,935 9,300
3 EU-27 7,970 7,920
4 China 5,764 5,550
5 Argentina 3,400 2,800
6 India 2,610 2,760 (up 5.7%)
7 Australia 2,100 2,075
8 Mexico 1,700 1,735
9 Russia 1,285 1,260
10 Pakistan 1,226 1,250

So taking dairy in India is almost as violent as in the EU or US. I have a kapha-constitution so my face is always full of mucus. Hence I take little to no dairy myself, as it greatly increases mucus. I’m vegan by default. But being vegan without having a mucus-problem, or showering the deities with juice or soy milk is really māyā. There are many who argue that dairy is really unhealthy, as are fried and sweet things. I am not saying one should overindulge in these things, but to refuse mahā-prasāda or caraṇāmṛta because of dairy, sugar, fat or chilli will cause aparādha. One can take a small quantity, to honor the Lord. I knew a devotee in Amsterdam who refused prasāda because it was ‘too fatty, sweet, spicy, milky’ – he died of cancer aged 33, while I knew Bengali devotees who indulged in all these things and became 96-97 years old. You do not live long by your own scheming, but by the will of the lord. Māre kṛṣṇa rākhe ke rākhe kṛṣṇa māre ke.