Monday, June 6, 2011

Is Vegetarian Diet a Must on Spiritual Path

This is one of the questions that pop up in the mind of one who is new to the spiritual practices. Many of the masters gave a lot of stress on a vegetarian diet.

There are even some famous masters who had given a green signal for non-vegetarian diet. Even the Buddha allowed his monks to eat meat if it is not heard, seen or learnt that the animal is not killed especially for that monk.

What we eat has a direct impact on our mind and body. But, the same food may not have the same impact on different persons. It greatly depends on the make-up of that individual.

Osho was not against the non-vegetarian diet for common people. But, he was very clear that the non-vegetarian diet is not suitable for spiritual aspirants as it makes the body gross and makes it gravitate more. But, Osho considers egg as a vegetarian diet and considers it acceptable.

S.N.Goenka who teaches Vipassana, a meditation practice given by Buddha is greatly against killing animals for the sake of eating as it breaks the sila.

If you do a research, you may find some who support a non-vegetarian diet and some who greatly condemn the non-vegetarian diet for some specific reasons. But, if you want to get to a conclusion that would satisfy you, it is best that you experiment with yourself and find out what is good for you.

If you are a vipassana meditator and sensitive enough, you could find a lot of gross sensations coming up and the body becoming very hot after a non-vegetarian meal. It may even continue like this for a few days. You may be able to find this sudden arising of gross sensations on the body if you are on a vegetarian diet for at least a few months and practicing vipassana regularly and sensitive to the feelings. This proves that a non-vegetarian diet is not suitable for meditation. But, it may not be the same at all stages of spiritual development.

In meditation, one has to move from gross to subtle and do a deep purification of mind and body. For this a vegetarian meal may support. But still, it is better that you experiment for yourself and find out the best that suits you. At the early stages, at least till subtler bodies are sensed, it is better to be on a vegetarian diet.

Even great realized masters have consumed non vegetarian diet. So, we cannot come to a conclusion that this is good and this is bad. At a higher level, any food consumed without any craving or aversion is the same, with the attitude to cultivate the physical and subtler bodies.
Update:  Recently I have been going through a lot of channelled information. Their view is, eating flesh is not unethical.

Personally I feel that non-vegetarian diet activates the lower chakras. So, there may be more production of sexual fluids and stronger sexual instincts. If you know how to transmute the sexual fluids through meditation or when making love, you can get benefit out of that. If the energy does not move up and feeds continuously the lower chakras, it will not help in the spiritual progress. In that case, it is better to be on a vegetarian diet, until the energy channels are purified.

When you are sensitive, you know what a specific type of food does in your body. According to your lifestyle and the meditative practice, you have to select the food you need, intuitively.


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  2. Hi Alessandra ! Thanks for the comment. I liked your site. You have taken up one of the important aspects of diet. Many diseases like Ashthma can easily be cured by just paying attention to the diet, avoiding mucus-producing foods... A good health is vital for spiritual development.

  3. Really great article which was lacking in the internet. No proper clarity or conclusion given by anyone regarding this concept. I hope for many more explorations from you and sharing your admirable views with us in future. Thank you jay prakash.

    1. Wish you good luck on your path Nagarjuna. Thanks for the comment.

  4. I used to think the similar way. I even believed that the future would be vegan. For me, it is a temporary process for enlightenment and I do not mean it is good or bad either, it is what it is and I fully agree with frequencies and energy of food we consume. It is so important to eat with intention and eat the way it feels right for the person rather than forcing oneself into a particular diet. Whatever one feels is right is right for them, it may change in the future or it may not. either way, trusting your own guidance is the best way in my opinion as the self love grows within along side the choices we make with what we consume and WHY we consume it and HOW we consume... Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Jeyaprakash. <3

    1. Very true, Grace.. we have to just go with what feels right for us at the moment.. each food is a medicine and we just need to know how to use it. Thanks for your comment.. <3