Recently, my good vegetarian friends asked me to write a comment on a discussion in regards to the idea of buying organic meat instead of regular meat. It got kind of bulky so I’m putting it here. Hari bol! Your servant purujit dasa
becuz this is a relative world, the fact that we see so many fragments is a proof that there must be the supreme whole. in other words, we are all parts of the supreme whole. god, gaya, universe, allah -doesn't matter how you call it, it is a fact that the supreme whole exists and the supreme whole connects us all. the very discussion we are having is an endeavor to understand our different points of views in the context of some kind of whole and thus come to agreement. ignorance of or unwillingness to submit oneself to the whole therefore is the evidence that such a person did not come to discuss and thus connect with others, but quite the opposite he came to dictate and falsely divide in order to dominate that which cannot be divided -the supreme whole of which we are all parts and parcels.
the supreme whole or shortly god is everything that is within our experience and everything beyond our experience. this is the true definition of god. becuz god is everything, anything outside of god must be maya (that which is not), or illusion. and because god is everything, illusion also must be coming from him. as soon as we understand this, then it is not difficult to accept that accidents do not exist. to be precise that which to us seem like an accident is not an accident from the perspective of god as for god there is nothing beyond god. therefore our idea of accident is an illusion. for example someone might trip and fall on the ground all of a sudden and we might be thinking: an accident! but if we look closer there are so many causes which influenced the whole fall -he was looking somewhere else and lost balance, he was looking because it was a nice girl and he was looking for a nice girl because he just broke up with his ex, etc. our perception of accident is therefore simply ignorance of the causes of his fall.
because there's god or krsna as the more intimately related call him and becuz nothing can exist beyond krsna, everything that is happening in our life has a cause and is not accidental. as opposed to belief in accidents, to know the causes of things is called knowledge and one who knows causes behind different apparent accidents is called a learned man. Just like in the middle ages people might have thought a disease to be an accident, a learned medical man now knows that the cause of a disease are germs.
there are various types of learned men depending on how deep their knowledge of the causes of things is. for example i might know that the guy who fell down and broke his face apart was distracted when it happened, but someone might even know the reason why he was distracted and that's like a superior knowledge as he automatically knows why the guy fell down. the top most learned man is therefore the one who knows the cause of all causes. now, what you might find interesting is that the cause of all causes is everything that is within our experience and everything that is beyond our experience, which is neat, cuz that's again –krsna or god. Check out what a personality called lord brahma, who is according to the Vedas considered to be the first living entity in this universe says about Krsna in a scripture which he himself wrote some millions and millions of years ago:
īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.
now, wouldn't it be kind of wise to perhaps listen a bit what Krsna(or duh –everything that is within and beyond our exp.) is trying to tell us instead of trying to figure things out through our pealike brains and argue about whose pealike brain is better? wouldn't that be like totally awesome at the same time, because then we could like know exactly why a particular suffering is going on and even better we could avoid future suffering? Huh? krsna is having a hard time, cuz we are fanatically believing in accidents and therefore it is very hard to get to us. We’re like cult members who refuse to get out of their thick bubble of brainwash. anyway, since you're already reading this, check here:
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.
…Or in other words, are you REAAALLY reading this? I mean what made you read this? c’mon, tell the truth, you’re not reading this just like that out of blue. there have been certain circumstances which made you to read this. Your buddy might have called you: hey come here check this out this guy is totally crazy, or you might have been googleing something and bumped into this article by “accident”. Whatever the case is, you are just in a chain of causes and consequences and just as Krsna says you are actually not the doer of the activities you are performing.
Now, someone might object that, hey waitaminute I made the choice to read this article, cuz I could have just read something about Britney Spears, but I didn’t! so that means I’m doing this consciously. To this we could say: oh yeah? so how come you cannot control your mind even? Think of Krsna for 1 minute without deviating to any other thought. Now. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.. HA! Gotcha! You just thought of a bicycle you used to ride when you were a kid ! You can’t hold the image of Krsna within your mind for 9 seconds! anyway, try to understand that our very mind is controlled by the external influences, so what to speak of our actions? The power of material nature is so powerful that sometimes we are forced to do things which we don’t even want to do. So our free will is really limited.
atha kena prayukto 'yaṁ
pāpaṁ carati pūruṣaḥ
anicchann api vārṣṇeya
balād iva niyojitaḥ
Arjuna said: O descendant of Vṛṣṇi, by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force?
kāma eṣa krodha eṣa
viddhy enam iha vairiṇam
The Blessed Lord said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material modes of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring, sinful enemy of this world.
indriyāṇi mano buddhir
etair vimohayaty eṣa
jñānam āvṛtya dehinam
The senses, the mind and the intelligence are the sitting places of this lust, which veils the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him.
just like so many people are sympathetic to vegetarianism and saw the PETA videos, know about how much the animals suffer, know how much the environment gets screwed up, everything they know, but still they cannot give that naughty meat up. This is because they are under the control of lust. Greed and lust are those two buddies which influence our mind and are able to change our decision from moment to moment. Although you know that you should leave some cookies for your sister, still you eat them all before she comes. Although you know that if you smoke, you’re gonna end up with cancer, still you light up the ever-new last one. A state when one becomes a puppet in the hands of these two buddies people usually call freedom or “I have my own way” which is not just ironic, but also scary as it gives you a little hint of how much deluded our consciousness at the present moment really is. Boo!
Why we should be concerned about this and why it is a big deal is that any unnecessary enjoyment (sensual slavery) is unfortunately our unconscious future body design. Because the soul is eternal, the body is unnecessary. In fact, it is just a dead matter we carry around like zombies being unaware of our beautiful spiritual nakedness. Krsna explains this scientifically in this verse:
dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.
The fact that our body changes and we can perceive it means that our perception is different from the body. And although all the material elements from our childhood body are gone, we still perceive. Only a fool can claim that perception is created by the body if the body is already gone and perception still stays. This is because perception is of the soul.
The soul is therefore in unnatural position being entrapped in this bad trip of temporary bodily consciousness. Our bodies are prison cells we carry around and the heavy prisoner chained balls are the four miseries of material existence: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (birth, death, old age and disease). Someone has a prison cell made of gold, someone has it made of rusty iron. Someone is thinking to be a puffed American body and sees another soul not as soul but as a looser African, who is so hungry that he can play xylophone on his rib bones. The point is however, that whether it’s made of gold, silver or iron, it’s a freaking prison cell we carry around!
Now, why the heck are we in this crazy situation? when I was young I always thought sin to be something really good and enjoyable which was made to be forbidden just because some hypocrite wants to have a hallucination of being a goody boy. Only when I read the Bhagavadgita As It Is, I understood that sin or karma means unnecessary activity which is building an unnecessary prison cell around our soul for the next lifetime. in order to further understand the mysteries of body design, Krsna elaborately explains about the three gunas (or modes) of which material nature consists of. These are like three basic colors of consciousness and by association with their particular mixtures we create a corresponding mentality. Just like a painter is making innumerable shades from red, blue and yellow, similarly by associating with the mixtures of mode of goodness, passion and ignorance we create different bodies life after life. Just imagine! In other words, what we can do is to create our mentality and thus desires by associating with a particular mode. If you hang out with pot smokers, you’ll develop a mentality of a pot smoker, if you hang out with nerds, you’ll be a nerd, etc. we associate with particular modes, then develop that mentality and then we are so to speak forced to desire and consequently act based upon those modes(or circumstances) we’re situated in. so in this way, if we go on thinking, we can more and more understand how non-free we really are and that is the beginning of our freedom.
Karma is like a long argument. you start it and then you just can't stop. you have to go on and on and on. you say something to smash your opponent and then he answers back and that totally agitates you so you have to answer back and then he goes again and again. it's like scratching an itch. the more you scratch the more it itches. so this is samsara (cycle of birth and death). sometimes you enjoy, sometimes you suffer like hell -but over all it's all because you are getting responses for your previous actions. then those reactions influence you to perform more actions and this is how you end up in a vicious cycle called material life.
should we stop acting then? I mean yeah that’s like a logical thing to suggest. Just shut down the engines and go nirvana. Logical true but impossible cuz action is our nature. It is the soul which makes the body active not vice versa. So what to do? What to do? Krsna? I think you want to say something. There He goes:
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
Try to understand, because Krsna is all that is, there cannot be any reaction to his action, cuz nothing beyond Krsna exists. So if you simply do as Krsna tells you, you are not getting implicated in your actions. You simply become an instrument in Krsna’s hands and if anything bad happens, you’re not gonna get it, cuz it was Krsna’s idea, so you can blame it on Him. I know it probably sounds stupid and dogmatic: just do whatever god says, but that’s only because we don’t really know who god is and how he is everything and anything and how he cannot be subjected to any karma. I mean just think if Krsna is everything, then he’s the action we perform, he is us, he is the reaction, everything, everything, so there is no loss and this purport by Srila Prabhupada very nicely explains the whole thing and it will give you a very good idea of what Hare Krsna movement really is:
A conditioned soul, entangled in material contamination, is sure to act in the material atmosphere, and yet he has to get out of such an environment. The process by which the conditioned soul can get out of the material atmosphere is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. For example, a patient who is suffering from a disorder of the bowels due to overindulgence in milk products is cured by another milk product, namely curds. The materially absorbed conditioned soul can be cured by Kṛṣṇa consciousness as set forth here in the Gītā. This process is generally known as yajña, or activities (sacrifices) simply meant for the satisfaction of Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa. The more the activities of the material world are performed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or for Viṣṇu only, the more the atmosphere becomes spiritualized by complete absorption. Brahman means spiritual. The Lord is spiritual, and the rays of His transcendental body are called brahmajyoti, His spiritual effulgence. Everything that exists is situated in that brahmajyoti, but when the jyoti is covered by illusion (māyā) or sense gratification, it is called material. This material veil can be removed at once by Kṛṣṇa consciousness; thus the offering for the sake of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the consuming agent of such an offering or contribution; the process of consumption, the contributor, and the result are-all combined together-Brahman, or the Absolute Truth. The Absolute Truth covered by māyā is called matter. Matter dovetailed for the cause of the Absolute Truth regains its spiritual quality. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the process of converting the illusory consciousness into Brahman, or the Supreme. When the mind is fully absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is said to be in samādhi, or trance. Anything done in such transcendental consciousness is called yajña, or sacrifice for the Absolute. In that condition of spiritual consciousness, the contributor, the contribution, the consumption, the performer or leader of the performance, and the result or ultimate gain-everything-becomes one in the Absolute, the Supreme Brahman. That is the method of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
What is the point of having a good feeling of being a goody boy if you’re still going to take another body in this world of suffering? You get it? it’s not really about vegetarian, or organic or whatever, it’s about what Krsna wants us to eat. If you simply eat what Krsna tells you, then you’re not gonna get it and that’s the whole point. Here’s how you go about it:
The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.
Offering stuff you eat in sacrifice, that’s it. sacrifice means to make food for Krsna, offer it to him and in this way you’re not gonna suffer reaction for what you eat, cuz then what you eat becomes the super blissful prasadam. Yeah PRA-SA-DAM. It means mercy. It’s like mercy of Krsna cuz if you simply eat prasadam and nothing else, you’re becoming liberated from whatever karma you have accumulated in your 10000000000 previous lives and are heading to the unlimited spiritual dimension called sanatana-dhama where everything is made of eternity, blissfulness and knowledge. It’s like so cool!! I mean is it gonna kill you to offer your foods to Krsna before you munch them up or what? of course, it’s not gonna killy you and + you’re gonna be free from karma. So why not?
What is neat is that becuz Krsna is everything within and beyond our experience, he doesn’t need to eat your stuff(he’s not like a hobo or something), so he just takes the love you put into it and leave you everything you offered to him for your(and your hungry wolves friends’) enjoyment, so you’re not a looser. And becuz Krsna is everything, he must have his taste. Just like anyone of your friends likes a particular type of food(unless you are friends with a pig, cuz pigs eat everything), Krsna also asks for a specific menu:
patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit a water, I will accept it.
Leaf means vegetables, flower means grains, fruit means fruits and water means water, milk, juice or anything of this category. Krsna never asks for meat whether organic or inorganic, neither eggs, nor other pukey things like that, so we don’t offer him that. Come on over to the Krsna center and I’ll cook you a blasting fireworks of delicacies, which are all prasadam and karma free and you’ll forget about all the nightmarish hallucinations of eating dead corpses no pro. I swear!
And for those who still wanna take meat heaven or hell, here’s a perfect solution how vegetarians, meatmunchers and even animals can live together, in peace and happy from the transcendental genius and greatest guru of all times Srila Prabhupada:
Prabhupāda: Those who are meat-eaters, why don't you inform them, when a cow dies, that "You can take it."
Kīrtanānanda: That would be illegal.
Prabhupāda: Why? Legal, illegal, that is their whim.
Kīrtanānanda: But that will get us in trouble.
Prabhupāda: No, no. That is, they can give us, they are in power, they can do that, but legally...
Kīrtanānanda: Yes, you are right. If they want to eat, let them take the dead cow.
Prabhupāda: They take it. Free, they get without any price. They get the skin, they get flesh, let them eat. We are not going to charge for the... You take it. Why maintain slaughterhouse? Take this.
Kīrtanānanda: They even object if you let the animals, wild animals eat the dead cow.
Kīrtanānanda: They even object if you let the wild animals eat. They want it buried.
Prabhupāda: Oh, jackals or fox, if they come, they don't like it.
Kīrtanānanda: The jackals like it.
Prabhupāda: No, jackals like it, (laughter) but government...
Kīrtanānanda: Government doesn't like it.
Prabhupāda: Government will like when the jackal takes your animal. They will eat it, they will not attack somebody else, because if they are not hungry, they don't attack. Even tiger or any ferocious animal, if they are satisfied in hunger, they don't attack. In the jungle, tiger and other animals, they live together. When they are hungry, they attack. So at least you can advertise that here is a cow, available free. Take it, those who are meat-eaters. Take free without any price.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Most meat-eaters would consider it disgusting.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Most meat-eaters would consider it disgusting to have to cut cow open.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. If they had to do it themselves they would consider it abominable.
Prabhupāda: No, some of them can do it, make business. As there are butchers, as they are selling meat, they can take it, they'll make more profit. From slaughterhouse, if they purchase, they have to pay, but here they get free. The hotel man, they can get free. The tannary expert, he'll get this skin free. I have seen they are eating the lobster, it is so decomposed it has become exactly like puss and they are eating. That argument is not valid.
Room Conversation -- June 24, 1976, New Vrindaban
Isn’t that like a super great idea??? JAYA PRABHUPADA!!!!