A human being is not to eat anything which is not offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead
SB Canto 3
Another significant phrase in this verse is nātihiṁsreṇa ("with minimum violence or sacrifice of life"). Even if a devotee has to commit violence, it should not be done beyond what is necessary. Sometimes the question is put before us: "You ask us not to eat meat, but you are eating vegetables. Do you think that is not violence?" The answer is that eating vegetables is violence, and vegetarians are also committing violence against other living entities because vegetables also have life. Nondevotees are killing cows, goats and so many other animals for eating purposes, and a devotee, who is vegetarian, is also killing. But here, significantly, it is stated that every living entity has to live by killing another entity; that is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: one living entity is the life for another living entity. But for a human being, that violence should be committed only as much as necessary.
A human being is not to eat anything which is not offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santaḥ: one becomes freed from all sinful reactions by eating foodstuffs which are offered to Yajña, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A devotee therefore eats only prasāda, or foodstuffs offered to the Supreme Lord, and Kṛṣṇa says that when a devotee offers Him foodstuffs from the vegetable kingdom, with devotion, He eats that. A devotee is to offer to Kṛṣṇa foodstuffs prepared from vegetables. If the Supreme Lord wanted foodstuffs prepared from animal food, the devotee could offer this, but He does not order to do that.
We have to commit violence; that is a natural law. We should not, however, commit violence extravagantly, but only as much as ordered by the Lord. Arjuna engaged in the art of killing, and although killing is, of course, violence, he killed the enemy simply on Kṛṣṇa's order. In the same way, if we commit violence as it is necessary, by the order of the Lord, that is called nātihiṁsā. We cannot avoid violence, for we are put into a conditional life in which we have to commit violence, but we should not commit more violence than necessary or than ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
|Compiled by||Labangalatika + and Mayapur +|
|Completed sections||ALL +|
|Date of first entry||August 16, 0011 JL +|
|Date of last entry||September 4, 0011 JL +|
|Total quotes||1 +|
|Total quotes by section||BG: 0 +, SB: 1 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 0 +|