Jesus, Fish, Prasadam

Devotee: ...because Jesus ate fish. (laughter)

Devotee (6): He said, "The fish can say, 'Its not what goes in your mouth, its what comes out of your mouth that's important.' "

Devotee: Because Jesus ate fish.

Prabhupāda: Jesus said?

Devotee (6): He said that the... [break]

Prabhupāda: (indistinct) allowed.

Devotee (6): But if there's no vegetables you have to eat something.

Śyāmasundara: I read an article once that said...

Prabhupāda: No, no, the thing is that one has to eat. And whatever you eat that is coming out of some living entity, even if you eat vegetables. The vegetable has also life, the tree, the plant. So, the real explanation is that you take which is offered to Kṛṣṇa. That is nice philosophy. Killing you have to do, either you kill vegetable or animal, killing you have to do. Therefore our proposition is that you take the prasādam of Kṛṣṇa, so if killing is bad then the responsibility goes to Kṛṣṇa. We take Kṛṣṇa's prasādam. This is the method. And Bhagavad-gītā says, yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ mucyante sarva kilbiṣaiḥ. Suppose you don't kill animal, but you kill vegetables, but still you are responsible. Bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt [Bg. 3.13]. Anyone who is preparing food for his personal eating, he's eating all sinful activities. It may be vegetables or animals, it doesn't matter. Bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā. So this is the best formula. But therefore, for crude people, those who are accustomed to killing, for them this is best advice, "Thou shalt not kill". Next stage-prasādam. First of all let them stop. Generally, what is meant by killing... Actually vegetarians, they do not kill, because if you take fruit from the tree, the tree is not killed. Is it not?

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: You take grains, just like paddy or wheat. These plants, after producing the fruit, the grain, automatically they die. You are not killing. So, those who are taking fruits, vegetable, grains, they are not actually killing. You take the milk... What is milk? Milk is transformation of the blood. So, cow's milk means cow's blood, but still the cow is not killed. Cow's blood is nutritious, accepting this theory. Karnish (?), karnish it is called? Cow's blood? What is the meaning of karnish (?)? But by nature's way she is delivering you the blood which is nutritious—according to your science—but why you should kill her? So any circumstances, the direct killing is not approved by any śāstra, any religion. Jīva hiṁsā. Caitanya Mahāprabhu also says, niṣiddhācāra jīva-hiṁsā. So, jiva hiṁsā, violence upon other animals, that is against Vaiṣṇava principle. You cannot be violent, you cannot kill.

Devotee (2): "Thou shalt not kill" is one of the ten commandments which is much older than Jesus' teachings. Moses delivered the ten commandments to the people of Israel thousands of years before Jesus appeared. So they knew all this before Jesus.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee (2): They lived by the ten commandments, or were expected to, way before Jesus appeared. The ten commandments are Moses, Moses' teachings.

Nara-Nārāyaṇa: They were all very much meat-eaters, though. In the time of Moses all the laws of kashruth, how to sanitary slaughter, which is supposedly given by God, these were all for meat-eating.

Devotee: That came after the Book of Misrad. Misrad recommends vegetarian.

Nara-Nārāyaṇa: Really?

Devotee: And also Lord Jesus says that if there is unnecessary killing of animal that "By my hand you shall be slain.". In Genesis. He is stating, "Yes, one may kill, but if there is unnecessary killing, by my hand you shall be slain." In Genesis.

Devotee (1): Also, in Genesis is says that the fruits and herbs of the land shall be your meat. It's describing how man should live and it says that fruits and herbs of the land shall be your meat.

Prabhupāda: Yes, they were meat-eaters, so Jesus Christ replies that fruit should be your meat.

Devotee: The whole key is that (indistinct) disregard everything that has been taught in the past and listen to me. He speaks so many things and he does not lay out so many basic principles about the eating of flesh, having illicit sex connections and so many things. He speaks just slightly touching the subject. He doesn't really give any basic principles. So they always say, "Well, its okay to do this, its okay to do that, because Jesus said forget everything that was said in the past. That's their basic principle.

Devotee (1): And he also said, "I've not come to change the law." He did not come to change the law.

Devotee: That's just their standpoint. (indistinct) I don't mean to argue.

Śyāmasundara: The knowledge that we have of Jesus was not direct, but it was written down up to a 100 or 200 years later in another language called Aramaic, and scholars recently have discovered that wherever Jesus refers to fish, distributing fish, that that word actually refers to a type of sea plant that grows in the Sea of Galilee which they make a type of bread out of. And it's not really fish but a type of vegetarian bread. This is what I read in an article. So, we don't have... (laughter)

Devotee (7) (lady): Śrīla Prabhupāda, there was a fish on Laksmi's hand yesterday. The Deity in the temple, where Laksmi had her hand up like this, there was a fish here across her hand. What is this?

Prabhupāda: That is a mark, mark.

Devotee (7): Its not a fish.

Prabhupāda: Not actual fish.

Devotee (7): (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Not that Lakṣmījī eats fish. (laughter) There are many other marks also.

Devotee (7): So, it's an auspicious mark. Would it be better if we gave up the eating of vegetables then?

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Devotee (7): Would it be better if we gave up eating vegetables?

Prabhupāda: You cannot eat anything accept Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Even if we eat vegetables, that is also sin. Bhagavad-gītā clearly says, bhuñjate te tv agham pāpā, ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt [Bg. 3.13]. If you prepare very nice pure foodstuff for eating yourself, then still you are eating sins. You have to prepare anything very nicely, offer it to Kṛṣṇa, then you take, then you will be free from all sin. Yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo. Even there is sin... Sin there must be. Just like you are cooking, you are taking water from the jug, there are so many germs you are killing. The killing responsibility is there. In the higher sense, "Thou shalt not kill", means you have to take the prasādam of Kṛṣṇa.

Nara-Nārāyaṇa: Jaya!

Prabhupāda: Otherwise, even you do ordinary killing, vegetable killing, you are killing so many germs. So in higher sense if you take this principle of Bible, "Thou shalt not kill," that means you must eat Kṛṣṇa prasādam, otherwise you will be killing. And whichever you do, it will be killing. So our process is perfect, take Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Hm?

Viśākhā: What happens to the jīva souls who were fruits and vegetables that were offered to Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes, there is jīva also. I say that even vegetable you are killing, but that killing responsibility goes to Kṛṣṇa. We are killing for Kṛṣṇa. Suppose in the vegetable there is life, but we are preparing food for Kṛṣṇa.

Nara-Nārāyaṇa: I think she wants to know what happens to the soul. Supposing that a plant, we are killing the plant and offering in prasādam to Kṛṣṇa. The jīva soul who is living in the plant, what happens to him?

Prabhupāda: Because he is killed for Kṛṣṇa's purpose so he gets immediately liberation.

Devotee (lady): This is a very sinful life they're living unless we offer everything to Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Not anything. Kṛṣṇa, whatever says (indistinct). Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam [Bg. 9.26]. You can offer these things which is asked by Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: Do they just get liberation or do they go directly to Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Devotee: They go to Kṛṣṇa or do they only get liberation? Do they go to Goloka Vṛndāvana?

Devotee: What kind of liberation?

Prabhupāda: Well, liberation not always means that he goes directly. In the lower stage liberation means to come out of the lower stage to the human form of body. Then he gets chance for directly serving Kṛṣṇa, then real liberation takes place. [break] (indistinct) All right.


Room Conversation -- December 12, 1971, Delhi

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