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Because we have to eat some other living entity, it does not mean that I shall eat my sons and daughters. "Discrimination is the best part of valor." So far we are concerned, we are eating certainly vegetable, but not directly. We eat krsna-prasadam

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"So far we are concerned, we are eating certainly vegetable, but not directly. We eat krsna-prasadam"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

So far we are concerned, we are eating certainly vegetable, but not directly. We eat kṛṣṇa-prasādam. Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: (BG 9.26) "Anyone who offers Me with love and affection vegetables, grains, milk, I eat." So if there is any sin for eating vegetables, that is Kṛṣṇa's sin, not our sin. We take the prasādam. We are teaching people to eat kṛṣṇa-prasādam. We are not teaching people to become vegetarian or nonvegetarian.
Lecture on BG 4.10 Festival at Maison de Faubourg -- Geneva, May 31, 1974:

Prabhupāda: So we have to cure this disease, material disease, accepting this material body. Our real problem, which is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam... (BG 13.9). Our real problem is that we are accepting a material body, and after some days, we are giving up the present material body, and we are accepting another material body. How we are accepting different bodies? That you have got experience. Just like you, I, both of us, had a small child body. That is now gone. The boy's body is now gone. The youthful body is now gone. Now I have got a different body. But I know that I had such and such body. Similarly, when this body will be useless, I cannot use it, I will have to accept another body. That we have got experience daily, in day and night. When we sleep at night, although we have got this body lying on my bed, I accept another body, subtle body, and I go to another place and dream. Similarly, at night, when I give up that subtle body, which took me far away from my bed, again I come and accept this material body and wake up.

Death means to leave this body and carried by the subtle body to another gross body. That is called death. We are carried by the mind, intelligence and ego, subtle body. Just like we can experience a good scent of rose flower is carried by the air. We cannot see, but we know that the flavor is being carried by the air. Similarly, although we do not see how the spirit soul is being carried by the subtle body, but it is being carried, and it is being put into the womb of another mother to develop another gross body. So this body is offered by nature. This body is given by the material nature. Similarly, we, or I, the spirit soul, being carried by the subtle body, and the nature is giving me another gross body. In this way we are transmigrating from one body to another. This is called evolution. And there are 8,400,000's of bodies, and we are going through one after another.

So this human form of body is the only chance that we can stop this transmigration of transferring ourself from one body to another and come to our spiritual body. This process is described here as pūtā, purification, existentional purification. That is called pūtā. Just like when you are infected by some disease, you have to purify yourself after the infection, and you come to your normal health, similarly, by knowledge and purificatory method, if you come to your spiritual knowledge and spiritual platform, then your life is successful.

So the purificatory process, we are taking the essence of all Vedic literatures, that four principles, namely: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat-eating and no gambling. This is called tapasya. Tapasya means voluntarily accepting some inconvenience. That is called tapasya. Suppose I am accustomed to smoke or to drink. If I give it up, there will be certainly little inconvenience. But for the better cause, I have to suffer voluntarily. That is called tapasya. Nobody will die if he does not get facility for illicit sex or enjoying intoxicants and meat-eating. Nobody will die. All the members of Kṛṣṇa conscious society, they have given up. But for that reason we are not dying. It is not difficult. Simply we have to accept in the beginning there may be little inconvenience, but when you come to the platform, there is no inconvenience. So if we actually want to be cured from this diseased condition of repetition of birth, death, old age and disease, we have to abstain from this sinful life. So it is not difficult. It requires little knowledge. As it is said, jñāna-tapasā, little knowledge and little austerities. Then you become purified, and mad-bhāvam āgatāḥ, you can go to the spiritual nature, the kingdom of God. I think this process is not at all difficult, and all the ladies and gentlemen who have come here will accept this process and make his life perfect.

Thank you very much. Any question?

Translator: (translating questions from French) Jesus Christ..., it is said that he made the miracle of the fish and ate. So why is it that one should not eat meat?

Prabhupāda: Jesus Christ said, "You shall not kill." Why you are killing?

Translator: But then why did he eat fish?

Prabhupāda: He can eat the whole world, but you cannot do that. You must follow his instruction, "Thou shall not kill." You must have discrimination. You are human beings; you are not cats and dogs. You must have discrimination, what to eat, what to not eat. Because we have to eat some other living entity, it does not mean that I shall eat my sons and daughters. "Discrimination is the best part of valor." So far we are concerned, we are eating certainly vegetable, but not directly. We eat kṛṣṇa-prasādam. Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: (BG 9.26) "Anyone who offers Me with love and affection vegetables, grains, milk, I eat." So if there is any sin for eating vegetables, that is Kṛṣṇa's sin, not our sin. We take the prasādam. We are teaching people to eat kṛṣṇa-prasādam. We are not teaching people to become vegetarian or nonvegetarian. That is not our business. After all, we have to eat, so if we eat kṛṣṇa-prasādam... That is stated, yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ: "If you accept prasādam which is offered to God, then you are free from all sinful resultant action."

Translator: How can one serve Kṛṣṇa in daily life?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa says, yat karoṣi yaj juhoṣi yad aśnāsi yat tapasyasi kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam (BG 9.27). Kṛṣṇa says, "Whatever you do," yat karoṣi, "it doesn't matter what you are doing." Kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam: "The result you give Me." Now, suppose you are working, you are getting, say, hundred dollars. You give it to Kṛṣṇa. That is service. The practical example is that these European, American boys, they are all qualified, but they have dedicated their life to Kṛṣṇa. They are working, and we are collecting also thousands and thousand of dollars daily, but we are spending for Kṛṣṇa. This is service. You can see by their practical example. They can earn daily hundreds of dollars, but they are not demanding any very comfortable place to sit down or to lie down or to have some palatable dishes. Whatever is Kṛṣṇa's prasādam, they are accepting, and they are living in any condition of life. So far I am concerned, I am Indian. I am coming from a poor country. But they are not coming from poor country. From their childhood they are accustomed to all comforts of life. How they have sacrificed everything for Kṛṣṇa? That is practical example. So the point is when one learns how to love Kṛṣṇa, how to serve Kṛṣṇa, immediately he becomes detached from all material comforts. That is explained, vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhā man-mayā mām upāśritāḥ (BG 4.10). If you accept Kṛṣṇa... We are serving. We cannot do without serving. But we are serving our senses. So instead of serving our senses, if we serve the senses of Kṛṣṇa, that is perfection of life. So you learn how to serve the senses of Kṛṣṇa, you'll be happy. That's all. All right, any other question? (pause) Then let us chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Oh, there is question. One question, all right.