Vaisnavas: We are not vegetarians

Prabhupada eating Krsna Prasadam

We are Kṛṣṇa-ites

Nectar of Devotion 14: A Kṛṣṇa conscious person, being naturally purified, has no need of developing any other purificatory process of thought or action. On account of his being highly elevated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he has already acquired all the good qualities and is following the rules and regulations prescribed for the mystic yogic process. Such rules are automatically practiced by the devotees. A concrete example is the quality of nonviolence, which is considered a good qualification. A devotee is naturally nonviolent and therefore doesn’t have to practice nonviolence separately. Some people seek purification by joining a vegetarian movement, but a devotee is automatically a vegetarian. He doesn’t need to practice separately in this matter or to join any society for vegetarians. He is automatically a vegetarian. There are many other instances showing that a devotee needn’t practice anything but Kṛṣṇa consciousness; all the good qualities of the demigods automatically develop within him. Those who are intentionally practicing to be vegetarians or to become nonviolent may have good qualifications by a material estimation, but these qualifications are not sufficient to make them devotees. A vegetarian is not necessarily a devotee, nor is a nonviolent person. But a devotee is automatically both vegetarian and nonviolent. We must conclude, therefore, that vegetarianism or nonviolence is not the cause of devotion.

So our business is, so far we are concerned, Kṛṣṇa conscious people, we are not advocates of vegetarian and nonvegetarian. Of course, vegetarianism is very good, even for health’s sake. But we do not take vegetables even if it is not offered to Kṛṣṇa. That is our principle. If Kṛṣṇa said that “You give Me nonvegetarian diet,” then we can eat also. But Kṛṣṇa does not say. Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. So we are preparing so many nice foodstuffs with this patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam. We can prepare many, many hundreds of preparation of this patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam, and we can offer Kṛṣṇa and then take prasādam. That is all right.
So we are not preaching this vegetarianism.

Lecture on SB 6.1.17 — Honolulu, May 17, 1976: Similarly, our principle is that we are kind, merciful, to everyone. But we have to eat, so we eat Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Because after all, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord. So if He eats something, the responsibility is His. But we are not advocate of vegetarianism or nonvegetarianism. No. That is not our business. We are Kṛṣṇa-ites. What Kṛṣṇa said, we have to do. Therefore sādhu, suhṛt. Suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām. Sādhu is not enemy. Ajāta-śatrava. He does not create enemy, but the world is such that if you become devotee, even your father will be enemy.

So this vegetarianism is not a good position.

Morning Walk — April 15, 1976, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: So then our Vaiṣṇava’s philosophy is perfect, because we take Kṛṣṇa prasādam. We don’t say vegetables. We are not advocating vegetarianism. We are advocating that “You take Kṛṣṇa prasādam.” How perfect it is. We are not so nonsense that “Because we have become vegetarian, we are perfect.” The goats are vegetarian.

Dr. Patel: (laughter) And we are indirectly vegetarians if we eat goats.

Prabhupāda: No, no, no. Even if we vegetarian are, then how you become big? The goats are vegetarian. Huh? Apadāni catuṣ-padām. This vegetable is meant for the catuṣ-padām, for the animals, four-legged animals. If somebody says that “Why shall I take this vegetable? It is meant for the animals. I shall take the animal.” That is a good argument. Yes. So to become vegetarian is not ahiṁsā at all. It is a bogus theory. To become a devotee and take Kṛṣṇa prasādam, that is perfect. Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. So automatically…

Dr. Patel: He does not say, “Give me a, I mean, a (Hindi).”

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Patel: Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam.

Prabhupāda: That. Then there is perfection, if you take Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Prasāde sarva-duḥkhānāṁ hānir asyopajāyate. So this vegetarianism is no good position.

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