Onion

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 3

Bad odors are perceived in filthy places, good smells are perceived from camphor, menthol and similar other products, pungent smells are perceived from garlic and onions, and acidic smells are perceived from turmeric and similar sour substances.
SB 3.26.45, Translation and Purport:

Odor, although one, becomes many—as mixed, offensive, fragrant, mild, strong, acidic and so on—according to the proportions of associated substances.

Mixed smell is sometimes perceived in foodstuffs prepared from various ingredients, such as vegetables mixed with different kinds of spices and asafoetida. Bad odors are perceived in filthy places, good smells are perceived from camphor, menthol and similar other products, pungent smells are perceived from garlic and onions, and acidic smells are perceived from turmeric and similar sour substances. The original aroma is the odor emanating from the earth, and when it is mixed with different substances, this odor appears in different ways.

Too much salt, chili, onion and similar food is forbidden for the pregnant mother because the child's body is too delicate and new for him to tolerate such pungent food.
SB 3.31.5, Purport:

Since the child depends completely on the assimilated foodstuff of the mother, during pregnancy there are restrictions on the food taken by the mother. Too much salt, chili, onion and similar food is forbidden for the pregnant mother because the child's body is too delicate and new for him to tolerate such pungent food. Restrictions and precautions to be taken by the pregnant mother, as enunciated in the smṛti scriptures of Vedic literature, are very useful.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Instruction

By bhajana-kriyā one attains freedom from the contamination of materialistic life. He no longer goes to a restaurant or hotel to taste so-called palatable dishes made with meat and onions, nor does he care to smoke or drink tea or coffee.
Nectar of Instruction 7, Purport:

By bhajana-kriyā one attains freedom from the contamination of materialistic life. He no longer goes to a restaurant or hotel to taste so-called palatable dishes made with meat and onions, nor does he care to smoke or drink tea or coffee. He not only refrains from illicit sex, but avoids sex life entirely. Nor is he interested in wasting his time in speculating or gambling.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Just like sometimes our students are perplexed when we say that onion is not to be taken, but onion is a vegetable.
Lecture on BG 2.8-12 -- Los Angeles, November 27, 1968:

Just like sometimes our students are perplexed when we say that onion is not to be taken, but onion is a vegetable. So śabda-pramāṇa means the Vedic evidence should be taken in such a way that no argument. There is meaning; there is no contradiction. There is meaning. Just like several times I have told you that cow dung. Cow dung is, according to Vedic injunction, is pure. In India it is actually used as antiseptic. In villages especially, there is large quantity of cow dung, and they're, all over the house they have smeared to make the house antiseptic. And actually after smearing cow dung in your room, when it is dried, you'll find refreshed, everything antiseptic. It is practical experience. And one Dr. Ghosh, a great chemist, he examined cow dung, that why cow dung is so much important in the Vedic literature? He found that cow dung contains all the antiseptic properties. In Āyur-veda, cow dung dried and burned into ashes is used as toothpowder. It is very antiseptic toothpowder. Similarly, there are many things, many injunctions in the Vedas, which may apparently appear as contradiction, but they are not contradiction.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

" Because in the flesh, there is no taste. So it has to be added with garlic, it has to be added with onion, and somehow or other...
Lecture on SB 5.5.3 -- Stockholm, September 9, 1973:

The hogs and dogs, they are also busy in sense gratification. Then why, why you are calling yourself civilized than these cats and dogs? They are also eating meat, just like tiger. And because you can cook it very nicely with spices, you become civilized? But they have taken, "No, we can cook very nicely." Because in the flesh, there is no taste. So it has to be added with garlic, it has to be added with onion, and somehow or other... Then it becomes little palatable. Otherwise, what is the taste of this dead flesh? Suppose if you... But those who are after this blood, they find taste. So that is tigers' and dogs' and cats' civilization; that is not human civilization; that is not human civilization.

Initiation Lectures

So you cannot offer Kṛṣṇa anything beyond this scope. So there is no question of nonvegetarian diet, including fish, eggs, even onions, and lentils, what is called? Lentils? That dahl, pulses? So you have got from your Godbrother, you will know.
Initiation of Jayapataka Dasa -- Montreal, July 24, 1968:

So initiation means this is the beginning. Now you have to follow the rules and regulations. What are the rules and regulations? Only four principles. Don't have any illicit sex life. Don't have any food besides prasādam or foodstuff offered to Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa does not eat anything beyond the vegetarian group. Because in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). So you cannot offer Kṛṣṇa anything beyond this scope. So there is no question of nonvegetarian diet, including fish, eggs, even onions, and lentils, what is called? Lentils? That dahl, pulses? So you have got from your Godbrother, you will know. And you are eating here Kṛṣṇa prasādam. And no gambling and no intoxication, including smoking, tea taking, coffee taking. No gambling, no intoxication. These four principles. No illicit sex life, no nonvegetarian diet, no gambling, and no intoxication.

Illicit sex.
Initiation Lecture -- Hyderabad, August 22, 1976:

Prabhupāda: What are the rules and regulations?

Devotee (5): Pardon?

Prabhupāda: What are the rules and regulations?

Devotee (5): (Hindi) No meat, onions, tea, wine, and all these four principles.

Prabhupāda: Illicit sex.

Devotee (5): Illicit.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1968 Conversations and Morning Walks

No. No meat, no onion, no garlic, no intoxication, no liquor, we don't smoke even, we don't take tea, coffee.
Radio Interview -- March 12, 1968, San Francisco:

Prabhupāda: We don't eat anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa. We first of all prepare foodstuff as recommended in the scripture. They are mostly from vegetable, grains, fruits, milk. So we have got enough food.

Interviewer: No meat of any kind.

Prabhupāda: No. No meat, no onion, no garlic, no intoxication, no liquor, we don't smoke even, we don't take tea, coffee. We simply take what is absolutely necessary for keeping the body fit to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We don't indulge in luxury..., or for the satisfaction of the tongue.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Anyway, when they boil this onion, up to ten miles the good smell is (indistinct). (laughter) And the whole atmosphere is (indistinct) Similarly, they are trying to refine oil and the refuse will be thrown in the Yamunā and the River Yamunā will be spoiled, nobody will go there.
Room Conversation -- June 20, 1974, Germany:

Prabhupāda: In Vṛndāvana still there is little glimpse of spiritual idea, but the government is trying to spoil this place also, starting oil refinery.

Guest: In Vṛndāvana? And that in the name of progress. (laughs)

Prabhupāda: They have already opened some factories. One factory is near (indistinct)

Devotee: Cannery.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee: Cannery.

Prabhupāda: Cannery? Anyway, when they boil this onion, up to ten miles the good smell is (indistinct). (laughter) And the whole atmosphere is (indistinct) Similarly, they are trying to refine oil and the refuse will be thrown in the Yamunā and the River Yamunā will be spoiled, nobody will go there. (indistinct) They think that these so-called spiritual fanaticism of India is the cause of India's material deficiencies.

Guest: I know.

Prabhupāda: This must be killed. (indistinct)

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Onions is also very agitating.
Conversation with News Reporters -- March 25, 1976, Delhi:

Reporter (1): Swamiji, why do you prohibit this tea or coffee also?

Prabhupāda: Because it is sinful.

Reporter (1): It is sinful?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Why should you eat meat?

Reporter (6): What about onions...?

Prabhupāda: Yes, onions is also very agitating.

Garlic, onions, prohibited.
Room Conversation -- October 9, 1976, Aligarh:

Indian man: Relieving high blood pressure, best is garlic.

Prabhupāda: Garlic.

Indian man: Garlic, you don't want it. (laughter)

Prabhupāda: Garlic, onions, prohibited.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Except in few provinces, everyone eats onion, all over the world. And garlic. In Western countries I think onion and garlic, cent percent they eat.
Letter to Russian -- January 5, 1977, Bombay:

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: So I'll arrange for your idlis, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Idlis and if dosa... Dosa?

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. There's two types of dosas. One is masalā; one is sada. Masalā has got potatoes inside.

Prabhupāda: Potatoes?

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, inside. What they do is... Inside it's like...

Prabhupāda: Which one is better?

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Sada is without.

Prabhupāda: That's all right.

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: Sada? Or I'll get masalā if there are no onions in it. Sometimes they put onions.

Prabhupāda: No, no, no.

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: If there's no onions, I'll get one masalā also. Okay.

Prabhupāda: (japa) Except in few provinces, everyone eats onion, all over the world. And garlic. In Western countries I think onion and garlic, cent percent they eat.

Hari-śauri: Not so much garlic but onion anyway. Onions they love, big ones.

So these boys, they are advised to follow the regulative principle: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no fish, no egg, no onion. So many "no's."
Room Conversation with Film Producer about Krsna Lila -- January 22, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Prabhupāda: No, our... Just like we are making Kṛṣṇa consciousness propaganda all over...

Guest (2): That, education, not for... Education.

Prabhupāda: That is wanted. What is Kṛṣṇa you should understand.

Guest (2): That is education, not propaganda.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So these boys, they are advised to follow the regulative principle: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no fish, no egg, no onion. So many "no's."

For a meat-eater, onion is very sweet.
Room Conversation about Harijanas -- April 10, 1977, Bombay:

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The thing..., there is always some smell of onion or garlic here. This place, very often there is smell from cooking of garlic or onions. It is coming from those houses.

Prabhupāda: Tenant.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: They eat.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They eat meat.

Prabhupāda: It is not meat. They are eating garlic. Those Christian tenant, they are eating. And onion everyone eats.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Except for us. Americans are very fond of onions. Yeah. They can eat a whole onion sometimes in one meal. They eat raw. Especially in the salad they will put onions.

Prabhupāda: For a meat-eater, onion is very sweet.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: For fish eater.

Prabhupāda: And fish eater.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Fish, meats.

Prabhupāda: Actually, meat has no taste. The onion creates taste.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Dead flesh.

Prabhupāda: Onion is used. Onions. In India both Hindus and Muslims eat. More than potato, it is said.

Correspondence

1947 to 1965 Correspondence

He must be satisfied with "Prasadam" which will be served to him & must be strictly vegetarian. No inner member shall be allowed to eat fish, meat, eggs, onions, etc.
Letter to Brothers -- Allahabad 1 January, 1955:

I am very much glad that you are willing to live with us. As already informed we have no restriction for admitting inner members, so far nationality, caste and creed are concerned. But the inner members will have to abide by the following rules, which are necessary as basic principles for spiritual upliftment. The inner members will not have

(1) illegitimate connection with women.

(2) He shall not be addicted to intoxicating habit. No member shall be allowed to smoke, chewing betel, drink tea etc. inside the house.

(3) He must be satisfied with "Prasadam" which will be served to him & must be strictly vegetarian. No inner member shall be allowed to eat fish, meat, eggs, onions, etc.

1972 Correspondence

Whatever is available and also very nice, that is offerable, as long as no meat, fish, eggs, garlic, onions, or other very objectionable foodstuffs are there.
Letter to Upendra -- Calcutta 19 February, 1972:

So far foodstuffs offered do the needful. Whatever is available and also very nice, that is offerable, as long as no meat, fish, eggs, garlic, onions, or other very objectionable foodstuffs are there. Salads are all right, and there is no condition on which type of rice, the best available under the circumstances, that's all. What matters is that everything is very nicely prepared and offered with great loving devotion, that is wanted.

There is no harm if devotees have invented recipes, so long they are strictly vegetarian, no garlic, no onions, like that.
Letter to Kirtanananda -- Vrindaban 27 October, 1972:

Regarding the cook-book, that is a nice proposal to divide into two parts. There is no harm if devotees have invented recipes, so long they are strictly vegetarian, no garlic, no onions, like that.

Facts about "Onion"
Compiled byRadha Giridhari +, Tripti-Madhavi +, Douglas t + and Visnu Murti +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryJune 17, 0010 JL +
Date of last entryJuly 27, 0010 JL +
Total quotes17 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 2 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 1 +, Lec: 4 +, Conv: 7 + and Let: 3 +