Śva-paco means caṇḍāla, who was eating dog. That is considered the lowest. There are different kinds of meat-eaters. But in India, the cow-flesh-eaters, they were none. Some of them were eating hogs, even dogs. No government will not allow to eat the cow flesh. No, that is not allowed. If you want to eat flesh, you can eat hogs and dogs, and other, goats also. But you cannot touch a cow. This is restriction. First of all, they should not be meat-eater. But if you are staunch meat-eaters, then you cannot touch cow. You can eat some other animal.
Meat-eaters, according to their different positions and the directions of the sastra, are allowed to eat flesh, but never the flesh of cows
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 3 Lectures
- 4 Conversations and Morning Walks
SB Canto 1
The meat-eaters are generally called mlecchas. But all meat-eaters are not mlecchas. Those who accept meat in terms of scriptural injunctions are not mlecchas, but those who accept meat without restriction are called mlecchas. Beef is forbidden in the scriptures, and the bulls and cows are offered special protection by followers of the Vedas. But in this age of Kali, people will exploit the body of the bull and the cow as they like, and thus they will invite sufferings of various types.
SB Canto 6
By nature's law, or the arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one kind of living entity is eatable by other living entities. As mentioned herein, dvi-padāṁ ca catuṣ-padaḥ: the four-legged animals (catuṣ-padaḥ), as well as food grains, are eatables for human beings (dvi-padām). These four-legged animals are those such as deer and goats, not cows, which are meant to be protected. Generally the men of the higher classes of society—the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas—do not eat meat. Sometimes kṣatriyas go to the forest to kill animals like deer because they have to learn the art of killing, and sometimes they eat the animals also. Śūdras, too, eat animals such as goats. Cows, however, are never meant to be killed or eaten by human beings. In every śāstra, cow killing is vehemently condemned. Indeed, one who kills a cow must suffer for as many years as there are hairs on the body of a cow. Manu-saṁhitā says, pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ nivṛttis tu mahā-phalā: we have many tendencies in this material world, but in human life one is meant to learn how to curb those tendencies. Those who desire to eat meat may satisfy the demands of their tongues by eating lower animals, but they should never kill cows, who are actually accepted as the mothers of human society because they supply milk. The śāstra especially recommends, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya: the vaiśya section of humanity should arrange for the food of the entire society through agricultural activities and should give full protection to the cows, which are the most useful animals because they supply milk to human society.
SB Canto 9
Thereafter, Ikṣvāku's son Vikukṣi went to the forest and killed many animals suitable for being offered as oblations. But when fatigued and hungry he became forgetful and ate a rabbit he had killed.
It is evident that kṣatriyas killed animals in the forest because the flesh of the animals was suitable to be offered at a particular type of yajña. Offering oblations to the forefathers in the ceremony known as śrāddha is also a kind of yajña. In this yajña, flesh obtained from the forest by hunting could be offered. However, in the present age, Kali-yuga, this kind of offering is forbidden. Quoting from the Brahma-vaivarta Purāṇa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said:
- aśvamedhaṁ gavālambhaṁ
- sannyāsaṁ pala-paitṛkam
- devareṇa sutotpattiṁ
- kalau pañca vivarjayet
- (CC Adi 17.164)
"In this age of Kali, five acts are forbidden: the offering of a horse in sacrifice, the offering of a cow in sacrifice, the acceptance of the order of sannyāsa, the offering of oblations of flesh to the forefathers, and a man's begetting children in his brother's wife." The word pala-paitṛkam refers to an offering of flesh in oblations to forefathers. Formerly, such an offering was allowed, but in this age it is forbidden. In this age, Kali-yuga, everyone is expert in hunting animals, but most of the people are śūdras, not kṣatriyas. According to Vedic injunctions, however, only kṣatriyas are allowed to hunt, whereas śūdras are allowed to eat flesh after offering goats or other insignificant animals before the deity of goddess Kālī or similar demigods. On the whole, meat-eating is not completely forbidden; a particular class of men is allowed to eat meat according to various circumstances and injunctions. As far as eating beef is concerned, however, it is strictly prohibited to everyone. Thus in Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa personally speaks of go-rakṣyam, cow protection. Meat-eaters, according to their different positions and the directions of the śāstra, are allowed to eat flesh, but never the flesh of cows. Cows must be given all protection.
Those who belong to the third level of human society, namely the mercantile people, must keep land for producing food grains and giving protection to cows. This is the injunction of Bhagavad-gītā. In the matter of protecting the cows, the meat-eaters will protest, but in answer to them we may say that since Kṛṣṇa gives stress to cow protection, those who are inclined to eat meat may eat the flesh of unimportant animals like hogs, dogs, goats and sheep, but they should not touch the life of the cows, for this is destructive to the spiritual advancement of human society.
Refuting the Kazi's statement, the Lord immediately replied, “The Vedas clearly enjoin that cows should not be killed. Therefore every Hindu, whoever he may be, avoids indulging in cow-killing.
In the Vedic scriptures there are concessions for meat-eaters. It is said that if one wants to eat meat, he should kill a goat before the goddess Kālī and then eat its meat. Meat-eaters are not allowed to purchase meat or flesh from a market or slaughterhouse. There are no sanctions for maintaining regular slaughterhouses to satisfy the tongues of meat-eaters. As far as cow-killing is concerned, it is completely forbidden. Since the cow is considered a mother, how could the Vedas allow cow-killing? Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu pointed out that the Kazi's statement was faulty. In the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 18.44) there is a clear injunction that cows should be protected: kṛṣi-gorakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam. "The duty of vaiśyas is to produce agricultural products, trade and give protection to cows." Therefore it is a false statement that the Vedic scriptures contain injunctions permitting cow-killing.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
According to Hindu system, of course, cow killing is not allowed. But there are meat-eaters. So according to Hindu system, if anyone wants to eat meat, he should take a goat. According to Hindu system, only goats and lambs can be killed for meat-eating, no other animals, no other animals. Cow is not... forbidden. Just like, in, in, the Hindus, they do not eat cow's flesh. And the Muslims, they do not eat, I mean to say, hogs. Hog's flesh they do not eat. They have got some sentiment. But meat-eating is also there in the Hindu society, but that is only by goat's meat or lamb's meat, generally goat. Generally goat. Now, these goats are sacrificed before a goddess Kālī, Goddess Kālī.
Go-rakṣya means protection to the cows. Instead of protection to the cows, they are killing the cows. How you can have perfect society? Cows must be protected. It is so important animal. It is giving the you nectarean food milk, and from milk, you can save your children, you can save your diseased persons. And how it is that you take the cow's milk and send it for slaughterhouse. Oh, this is not, not at all human civilization. Here it is said go-rakṣya. You should give all protection to this important animal. Kṛṣṇa does not say that you should protect the pigs and hogs or other animals. He especially meant the cows because cow is very important animal to the human society. If there are meat-eaters, they can kill other animals, but they should not kill the cow. This is, if you want actually perfect society. Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyam (BG 18.44).
offering sacrifice before goddess Kālī, that is also a restriction of meat-eating. You cannot eat meat by purchasing from the slaughterhouse. Oh, that is not recommended. If you want to eat meat, then you just sacrifice one goat. Not, I mean to say, cows. No. Goat. Any useless animal. "All right. You take." Goat is recommended to be sacrificed. So you can take. And in India the meat-eating or flesh eating is not restricted. But not the useful animal, cow, the most useful animal, the cow.
For meat-eating, there is also sanction in the śāstras, tāmasika-śāstra, not sāttvika. There are three divisions of śāstra-sāttvika, rājasika and tāmasika. Those who are meat-eaters, cannot give up meat-eating, for them, the prescription is, "All right, you can eat meat, but you have to sacrifice one goat, but not cow." The... For sacrifice the animal is recommended: goat. So you can, I mean to say, cut throat of a goat in the presence of goddess Kālī and you can eat.
Anywhere, any part of the world, you live, you just have some land, and some animals. Animals means cow. Other animals also, you can keep. There is no harm. But cows must be there, animals. And you cannot destroy the cows. If you want to eat meat... That is the Indian system. Indian system, for meat-eaters, there is concession. Just like for sex life there is concession, similarly, for meat-eater also, there is concession. And for drunkards there is concession. Not impractical.
So Govinda..., so what is the business of Govinda? Now, go-dvija-surārti-harāvatāra (SB 1.8.43). Surārti, go. This demonic world is the greatest enemy of cows. Just see how they are maintaining hundreds and thousands of slaughterhouse. Hundreds and thousands of slaughterhouse. Innocent animals, giving you milk, the most important foodstuff. Even after death, it is giving you its skin for your shoes, and you are so rascal that you are killing. And you want to be happy in this world. You see? How sinful they are! They have no consideration that this animal... Why cow protection is so much advocated? Because it is very, very important. Therefore... There is no such injunction that "You don't eat the flesh of the tiger." You can eat. Because those who are meat eaters, those who are meat eaters, they have been recommended to eat the flesh of goats or other lower animals—sometimes dogs also, they eat, or the hogs—you can eat. But never the flesh of cows. So, innocent animal, the most important animal, giving service even after death... While living, giving service, so important service, giving you milk, even after death she is giving service by supplying the skin, the hoof, the horn. You utilize in so many ways. But still, the present human society is so ungrateful and rascal that they are killing cows. So Kṛṣṇa comes to punish them, these rascals. Therefore it is said that go-dvija-surārti-hara. Kṛṣṇa comes to... Therefore we worship Kṛṣṇa, namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca.
Knowledge has to be given to everyone, but according to his capacity. If one is in tamo-guṇa, you cannot say..., you cannot raise him immediately to the sattva-guṇa. Tamo-guṇa is meat-eating, drinking. These are tamo-guṇa, in the darkness. So the Vedas has given chance to them, "All right, you want to eat meat? All right, you eat meat. But offering to the goddess Kālī." Means restriction. It is not required, but the rascal will not hear immediately. Therefore give him some concession, "All right, you can eat meat by offering sacrifice..., not the cow, but one lower animal which is useless, like goats." Generally, goat and the chicken.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Four. Ātma-mātā guroḥ patnī brāhmaṇī rāja-patnikā, dhenur. Dhenu means cow. Dhenur dhātrī. Dhātrī means nurse. Tathā pṛthvī. Pṛthvī means earth. These are seven mothers. So cow is mother because we drink milk, cow's milk.
Cardinal Danielou: Yes.
Prabhupāda: How can I deny that she's not mother? So how we can support killing of mother?
Cardinal Danielou: Yes, yes, it is a motive. But we think that...
Prabhupāda: Therefore, in India, those who are meat-eaters, they are advised... That is also under restriction. Advised to kill some lower animals like goats, even up to buffaloes. But cow killing is the greatest sin.
Hṛdayānanda: And not to kill the cow?
Prabhupāda: Especially not to kill cow. That animal is very, very important to the human society. According to the Vedic system, those who are meat-eaters, they are recommended to kill some goat or some other animal. Not cow.
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Hṛdayānanda: But never the cow.
Prabhupāda: No. Cow... The śūdras, they can take a goat and sacrifice before the deity, goddess Kālī, and then eat. Nobody should be given unrestricted freedom to eat meat.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Any sane man will admit it. Cow is giving milk-mother. And bull is producing food—he is father. And they are being killed? Is that human society? How they can be happy? There is no possibility. Regularly they are maintaining slaughterhouse especially for the cows and bulls. Why don't you slaughter the dogs and hogs and eat if you are meat-eater? There are many meat-eaters who eat dogs. Dog is useless. You can eat.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Oh. So cow is very important animal. So from religious point of view, or from economic point of view, cows are not allowed, in the Vedic civilization, to be killed. The meat-eaters, they are everywhere, all over the world, but in India meat-eating is allowed—the fifth class, fifth grade community, they eat these cows when it is dead. And the śūdra class, they also eat meat restrictively, goats. That is only under certain restriction, means sacrifice. The goat is sacrificed in the Goddess Kali's temple, and they eat. This is very dangerous, this sacrifice. It is very dangerous. It creates all sinful men. In the Christian religion also, it is said, "Thou shall not kill," and they are killing. So what kind of Christians they are?
Bernard Manischewitz: Do they kill them in a slaughterhouse?
Bernard Manischewitz: Do they kill them in a slaughterhouse? The goats?
Bernard Manischewitz: Like a sacrifice.
Bernard Manischewitz: I see.
Prabhupāda: Sacrifice means restriction. One meaning of sacrifice is: if you believe in the śāstra, the animal is going to get next life as a human being. Because he is being sacrificed under Vedic rituals, so he is given promotion immediately, to human life. So he is not loser. His body being sacrificed before the deity, he gets the opportunity of getting a human life immediately, for which he had to wait perhaps thousands and thousands of years, because the evolution will go. Of course, after animal life the next life is human life. So anyway, he is given the concession to get a human form of body immediately after this body is destroyed, and with the right that he has the right to kill the man who has killed him. That mantra is cited, that "He was sacrificing your life, so you get immediately human form of body, and you can kill this man." So this is the Vedic rituals.
Brahmānanda: Kali eats meat.
Prabhupāda: Kali does not eat meat, but it is the śāstra's injunction that those who are unable to give up meat-eating, they may sacrifice one goat, not cow, one small animal before the goddess Kali, on amāvāsya (new moon) day, night, not day, and they can eat it.
Pañcadraviḍa: If it's offered, though, who accepts it? Whose prasādam is it? Who takes it?
Prabhupāda: The prasādam is not... That meat is not taken by Kali, but it is taken by the witches and others, associates of Kali.
Prabhupāda: No. Animals, you can eat if you like. But there was no slaughterhouse, neither the public used to take cow's flesh
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: ...animals of any kind? Would a Vedic king try to prohibit the fifth-class men from eating the animals?
Prabhupāda: No. Animals, you can eat if you like. But there was no slaughterhouse. If you like, you can kill your own animal and eat. That was open. But the state did not maintain any slaughterhouse. And the third-class, fourth-class men, they would eat. So simply by saying that "You don't eat," they will not accept that. They're free, but the state would not maintain the slaughterhouse. At the present moment also, if the slaughterhouse are closed, then immediately seventy-five-percent meat-eating will be stopped. They maintain slaughterhouse. That is the most sinful activity.
Pañcadraviḍa: That was Nehru's contribution?
Pañcadraviḍa: Nehru started that slaughterhouse?
Prabhupāda: No, it is British contribution, the mlecchas. Before British period, even in Mohammedan period, there was no slaughterhouse, neither the public used to take cow's flesh. Still in Mohammedan country, Afghanistan, these places, they do not take cow's flesh. Lamb, goats. In the Vedic culture, the cow is recommended to be protected, not other animals. Other animals, the meat-eaters can eat.