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Ramakrishna Mission and meat-eating

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Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Our Ramakrishna Mission, they say, "What is there in food? Whatever you like, you can eat. It has nothing to do with spiritual life." Nonsense.
Lecture on SB 2.3.19 -- Los Angeles, June 14, 1972:

They cannot understand what is kṛṣṇa-kathā, what is spiritual life. We see actually. They are not at all interested. They feel disturbance: "What these people are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa?" They cannot make any solution of the problems. Just like Atreya Ṛṣi was speaking that government is embarrassed how to solve the question of intoxication, LSD taking. They could not. Huge amount they are spending. But here is the remedy. They will not take. Why? Paśughnāt, killing, animal killers. So animal cannot take it. Vinā paśughnāt (SB 10.1.4). Vinā means without. Unless one is animal killer, he cannot give up this opportunity of hearing about Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we forbid, "No meat-eating." This is the qualification. Unless you stop meat-eating, you cannot understand. Blunt head. So the hog has been especially mentioned because he has no discrimination of food. Our Ramakrishna Mission, they say, "What is there in food? Whatever you like, you can eat . It has nothing to do with spiritual life." Nonsense. You see? Āhāra, śuddha āhāra.

Philosophy Discussions

Ramakrishna, he wanted to realize God from any way. And later on he wanted to realize God by the Mohammedans' way and he asked the proprietor of the temple to allow him to take meat, cow's flesh.
Philosophy Discussion on Hegel:

Prabhupāda: Anything nonsense idea, that is not God. God has created you. You cannot create God. And they are creating God. Just like Vivekananda mission, yata mata tata patha. As many opinion you have got, you can have your religious way. Yata mata, this is their mission, yata mata tata patha, "Whatever you are thinking, all right." Ramakrishna, he wanted to realize God from any way. And later on he wanted to realize God by the Mohammedans' way and he asked the proprietor of the temple to allow him to take meat, cow's flesh. So when he asked, the proprietor said, "Please go out. Get out." Now don't real..., I don't want the (indistinct). This philosophy also you can realize God in any way, yata mata. Now he wanted to realize in the Mohammedan's way, therefore he thought it wise that he must eat cow's flesh. These things are there.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Oh yes. Ramakrishna Mission, they eat meat.
Conversation with Bajaj and Bhusan -- September 11, 1972, Arlington, Texas, At Their Home:

Prabhupāda: Why shall I eat meat? Where is the necessity? Human being must discriminate what he shall eat. If you say, "Everything is food," then stool is also food for the hog. But the food for the human being must be different from the hog.

Guest (2): Is it our duty to convince everybody and to argue with people and say, "Now..." Because most of the people would argue for, "Where is your protein?" "Needs his protein," and you know, when they talk in terms of body consciousness rather than Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It's very hard to argue with that.

Prabhupāda: Yes, I have argued. All these European boys, I had to argue with them. (laughter)

Lucille: (indistinct) in Bombay and the first thing he did was argue with me.

Prabhupāda: Big, big swamis, they are advocating, "Eat meat."

Guest (2): Is that right?

Prabhupāda: Oh yes. Ramakrishna Mission, they eat meat.

Guest (2): I don't think so.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Lucille: I don't know about the swamis, but I know a lot of the Vedāntists do.

Guest (2): That's news to me.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Vivekananda says, "What is that, meat-eating?" Kṛṣṇa says, makes division...

Guest (2): Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was the incarnation of Lord Rāma and Kṛṣṇa...

Prabhupāda: That is to Vivekananda, not to others.

Guest (2): Was he not realized?

Prabhupāda: That is another question. Don't bring controversial. If you have got Kṛṣṇa, what is the use of Ramakrishna? When you have got Kṛṣṇa original, why should you go to Ramakrishna? A shopkeeper says, "This is the same medicine, sir, but it is very cheap." But a real customer says, "No, I want the original. I don't want this imitation. Give me the original." Accepting Ramakrishna as incarnation, so why shall I go to incarnation when I have got Kṛṣṇa?

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Ramakrishna mission has done this, that they have learned to drink wine and eat meat, that's all, from the Western countries. That's all.
Room Conversation with Sanskrit Professor -- August 13, 1973, Paris:

Professor: Yes, because other... So, for instance, you have the Ramakrishna Mission...

Prabhupāda: What the Ramakrishna mission has done?

Professor: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Ramakrishna mission has done this, that they have learned to drink wine and eat meat, that's all, from the Western countries. That's all.

Professor: Yes. This is so.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is their contribution. And they have spoiled the Hindu culture.

Professor: Oh. Yes?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Because Vivekananda said, "Oh, what is the harm there, in eating? You can eat whatever you like. It doesn't matter in religion." It was the first. And he himself was eating anything. So all the Ramakrishna mission sannyāsīs still, they are eating meat, egg and everything, especially in America. Yes. Fish is no consideration. That is daily affair. And the turkey,... Yes. Instead of preaching here, they have taken the Western method. And Vivekananda's preaching is like Western missionaries-open hospitals, school...

Professor: You are right, yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. He had no spiritual knowledge. So therefore it has not been successful. They are preaching in the Western countries... As far I know, in America they have got ten or twelve branches. I am working for the last six years only. I have got already fifty branches. And each branch, there are devotees like them, not less than twenty-five, up to two hundred, three hundred, all dedicated souls.

Professor: And what about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi?

Prabhupāda: I don't take account of these because they are not standard.

Professor: Oh, I see.

Prabhupāda: They are not standard. We are following Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, standard, and they have got their own manufactured way. So we don't recognize them. Our process is evaṁ paramparā prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Paramparā. What Kṛṣṇa said, the disciplic succession will say the same thing. But they are speaking differently. So therefore we don't take them as bona fide. They are not bona fide. And from external point of view, we have got so many literatures, so many branches, so many devotees, within six years. But they haven't got such thing. Even Ramakrishna Mission. They are working for the last eighty years. And I have worked only for six years. And my result is eighty times more than them. They also acknowledge.

Yogeśvara: Phalena paricīyate.

Professor: Yes.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

In the name of religion you do all nonsense rascaldom, and the leader approves, "Yes, you can do." Vivekananda did it. "Yes, there is no difference between eating meat and not eating eat in terms of religion system." He preached this, and all the sannyāsīs of the Ramakrishna Mission they eat meat, they drink, they have woman secretary, everything. This Chinmayananda is also like that. I know his whole mischief. Unless one is purely Kṛṣṇa conscious, one cannot give up all these bad habits.
Morning Walk -- April 24, 1974, Hyderabad:

Prabhupāda: Vishva Hindu Parishad. What is this nonsense Vishva Hindu...? (chuckles) He does not know what is the meaning of Hindu. And his jñāna-yajña. Gītā jñāna yajña. He does not understand even a word of Gītā, and this rascal is preaching Bhagavad-gītā. This is going on. And he has made some name, people after him. People means if you flatter him, that "Whatever you are doing, it is all right."

Mahāṁśa: They will...

Prabhupāda: Then they will be very much pleased. And as soon as you criticize, that "You are doing this wrong, you will suffer." "Oh, yes, this Swamiji is not (indistinct)." That is going on everywhere. In the name of religion you do all nonsense rascaldom, and the leader approves, "Yes, you can do." Vivekananda did it. "Yes, there is no difference between eating meat and not eating eat in terms of religion system." He preached this, and all the sannyāsīs of the Ramakrishna Mission they eat meat, they drink, they have woman secretary, everything. This Chinmayananda is also like that. I know his whole mischief. Unless one is purely Kṛṣṇa conscious, one cannot give up all these bad habits. This is the test. Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra caiṣa (SB 11.2.42). One... Unless one is substantially advanced in kṛṣṇa-bhakti, they cannot give up this material attachment—illicit sex, meat eating—they cannot. It is impossible. So even in the name of swami or big, big yogis... They are doing all these things. Especially those who go in foreign countries... In USA illicit sex is very cheap. Everything is very cheap. Yes. Intoxication very cheap, meat-eating very cheap, gambling, very cheap, so when they get this cheap amenities, they forget their so-called spiritual life.

That was the support by Vivekananda. He was eating everything. All the Ramakrishna Mission, they say like that, "Oh, without meat-eating, without drinking, you cannot stay." All rascals.
Room Conversation with devotees about Twelfth Canto Kali-yuga, and Conversation with Guest -- June 15, 1974, Paris:

Yogeśvara: When you were here last year, there was a meeting at the Indian Tourist Bureau, a press meeting, and there was a man who came to meet you at that time who is president of the court of Paris. And he was supposed to be a Buddhist. Do you remember this gentleman? He said to you that "Meat-eating... We must eat meat in the West. Maybe in India, because of the climate, you can get away with that."

Prabhupāda: That is rascaldom, another rascaldom. He's a first-class rascal. That was the support by Vivekananda. He was eating everything. All the Ramakrishna Mission, they say like that, "Oh, without meat-eating, without drinking, you cannot stay." All rascals. Therefore, the conclusion is, all rascals, the religious, social, all rascal. If they want to be saved from their rascal position, this is the only, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If they don't want to be saved, if they want to go to hell, who can check? Ātma-han. Ātma-han means "self-suicide." Suicide, yes. If you cut your throat yourself, who can save you? So they are all these like, all, all these Buddhists, Christian. We may not speak very strongly. They will be our enemies.

Bhagavān: There's other guests here.

Prabhupāda: Shortly. But this is the position. They're all rascals. But we don't hate anyone. We want to raise them. Actually they're all rascals. Do you accept this philosophy...

Yogeśvara: Yes.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

They give this example, "In such and such yajña, ṛṣis were eating meat; therefore we shall eat meat." In the Rāmakrishna Mission, sannyāsīs, they say like that.
Morning Walk -- December 4, 1975, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: ...God, they do like that. They give this example, "In such and such yajña, ṛṣis were eating meat; therefore we shall eat meat." In the Rāmakrishna Mission, sannyāsīs, they say like that.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Yes, that is known to everyone.
Morning Walk -- January 2, 1976, Madras:

Acyutānanda: In Calcutta we have a life member, Veni Śaṅkara Sharma? You stayed at his house?

Prabhupāda: Hm, yes.

Acyutānanda: So he wrote a book called An Unknown Chapter of the Life of Swami Vivekananda. And in there he openly says that he smoked a hookah and ate meat.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is known to everyone.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Was he praising that?

Acyutānanda: It was.... You know...

Yaśodānandana: In Hyderabad there is a cook who used to cook for the Rāmakrishna Mission, and he said they used to cook any kind of meat.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Acyutānanda: I said, "Did you ever cook human meat?" He said, "If they told me, I would have done that also." There was nothing beyond their diet. "Anything they told me to cook..."

Prabhupāda: This building belongs to Vivekananda's society, no? Vivekananda house.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: What is that?

Acyutānanda: That's Bengali. "The house of Vivekananda."

Prabhupāda: (Bengali)

Acyutānanda: They say Swami Vivekananda walked barefoot all over India at some stage of his...

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Acyutānanda: That.... This statue here is his life as a wandering sādhu.

Prabhupāda: Who is a sādhu? Then question is, who is a sādhu? Who is a sādhu? You cannot say?

Acyutānanda: One who is Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Prabhupāda: Api cet sudarācaro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk, sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ (BG 9.30). Unless one is cent percent Kṛṣṇa conscious, he is not a sādhu. Sādhu-bhūṣaṇa.

titiksavaḥ karuṇikaḥ
suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām
ajāta-śatravaḥ santaḥ
sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇaḥ
(SB 3.25.21)

This is sādhu.

Who cares for Rāmakrishna Mission? Hindu monk, but who cares for the Rāmakrishna Mission? For the last eighty-five years they are working. How many Hindus they have made? Simply bogus propaganda. They advertise that "We have made all Americans..." But where the Americans? They picked up two American ladies, that's all. Where is the Hindu sādhus eating meat?
Morning Walk -- January 8, 1976, Nellore:

Harikeśa: So many others have preached Hinduism but have no result.

Prabhupāda: No result. Why they should become Hindu?

Acyutānanda: That sign is there, "Swami Vivekananda, the Hindu monk."

Prabhupāda: But who cares for Rāmakrishna Mission? Hindu monk, but who cares for the Rāmakrishna Mission? For the last eighty-five years they are working. How many Hindus they have made? Simply bogus propaganda. They advertise that "We have made all Americans..." But where the Americans? They picked up two American ladies, that's all. Where is the Hindu sādhus eating meat?

Acyutānanda: Here it says, "Hare Kṛṣṇa Babu nagar."

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Acyutānanda: Who is Hare Kṛṣṇa Babu?

Gopāla Kṛṣṇa: It says "Hare Kṛṣṇa nagar atar(?)" in the front also.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Who is that? (break)

Indian man (1): That is Hare Kṛṣṇa land. This is Hare Kṛṣṇa Babu.

Prabhupāda: Babu? Babu means?

Indian man (1): It's a name of the...

Prabhupāda: Foreign devotees, they are joining this movement not because it is a Hindu culture. They take it as a real spiritual culture. Otherwise why, for the last hundred, two hundred years, the Hindu sannyāsīs, yogis, were going there? Who did accept it? Did anybody? The Rāmakrishna Mission, Hindu monk, within the eighty-five years, how many Hindus they have made? You can count maybe a dozen only. Huh? Did they make any Hindus, European, American young boys? And it is the Hindu custom that sannyāsīs eat meat?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Drink wine.

Prabhupāda: Drink wine.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And have women.

Prabhupāda: (break) ...drinking wine and eating meat, the next stage is illicit sex. Is that the business of the Hindu monk? There are sampradāyas, Rāmānuja sampradāya, Śaṅkara sampradāya. But where the Hindu monk drinks and eats meat? They have introduced it. Is that Hinduism?

Ramakrishna was a big worshiper of Kali. And he was meat-eater also, Ma Kali's prasāda, that unless one eats that prasādam he cannot become a devotee. So this was his position, that he worshiped Kali, and later on by worshiping Kali... His picture is there, mother Kali's embracing. And he also preached yata mata tata pat: "Whatever path you take, accept, that is all right." Is it not? So do you think it is all right? He worshiped Kali and he said yata mata tata pat. You agree to this?
Conversation with Prof. Saligram and Dr. Sukla -- July 5, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Prabhupāda: Now what is the philosophy of Ramakrishna?

Indian woman: He does not say that Kṛṣṇa is God. (indistinct) and I was very young at that time.

Prabhupāda: If you want to discuss, there is points of discussion. (laughs) Yes. He worshiped Kali, is it not? Everyone knows it. Do you know that? And by worshiping he became God. Do you agree to that?

Dr. Sukla: No. He said, "I'm Rāma and Kṛṣṇa both."

Prabhupāda: But he realized by worshiping Kali. (laughter)

Devotee: ...he dressed up as Rādhārāṇī too.

Prabhupāda: So do you agree to that? Then how you appreciate it? Indian woman: No, I don't appreciate it.

Prabhupāda: No, no, no. It is a common sense. He, later on, he became God, by worshiping Kali, is it not?

Dr. Sukla: He was cursed by Kali.

Prabhupāda: No, he was a big worshiper of Kali. And he was meat-eater also, Ma Kali's prasāda, that unless one eats that prasādam he cannot become a devotee. So this was his position, that he worshiped Kali, and later on by worshiping Kali... His picture is there, mother Kali's embracing. And he also preached yata mata tata pat: "Whatever path you take, accept, that is all right." Is it not? So do you think it is all right? He worshiped Kali and he said yata mata tata pat. You agree to this? Now, Ramakrishna says yata mata tata pat. And Kṛṣṇa says... He became Ramakrishna, identifying himself with Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa said mam ekam, and now he's becoming Kṛṣṇa, he says yata mata tata pat. Just see. When he's actual Kṛṣṇa, he says mām ekam, and when he became imitation Kṛṣṇa, he says yata mata tata pat. Kṛṣṇa has changed his views. (laughter) Just see, this foolishness is going on.

Dr. Sukla: Well, it's documented that he was kind of deranged, of a deranged mind. (laughter)

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the proof.

Dr. Sukla: Yes, because he was, when he was thirteen or seventeen he was walking, he was going from one village to another village through the paddy fields, and the clouds were very thick and thunder and lightning, and he writes that he saw Kali, and I have a friend in England, Carl Wilson, who has done some work on Ramakrishna, he believes that at that very moment...

Prabhupāda: These are miracles, that's all. It has no value. People are after miracles.

I'm talking of this Ramakrishna particularly. There is no śāstra siddha. Whimsical, sentiment, that's all. So far his yata mata tata pat is concerned, at last he proposed, "Now I shall worship according to the Muhammadan process. So I have to eat cow's flesh."
Conversation with Prof. Saligram and Dr. Sukla -- July 5, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Prabhupāda: Those who are worshipers of other demigods, they are hṛta-jñānāḥ. Hṛta-jñānāḥ. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura gives his comment, hṛta-jñānāḥ naṣṭa buddhayaḥ, one who has lost his intelligence. So by worshiping the demigod Kali he is to be considered as hṛta-jñānāḥ, one who has lost his intelligence—and he becomes God. Is it possible? One who has lost his intelligence, he becomes God. With that lost intelligence. And this is the proof that on account of lost intelligence, he says yata mata tata pat. Kṛṣṇa says mām ekam. Sarva dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). And when he became Ramakrishna, same Kṛṣṇa is speaking, yata mata tata pat. So he has changed his view. We have to accept this? And how he gave up his wife, that's a long history, I don't wish to discuss. We know everything. So we cannot accept something which is beyond the instruction of śāstra.

yaḥ śāstra vidhim utsṛjya
vartate kāma kārataḥ
na sa siddhim avāpnoti
na sukhaṁ na parāṁ gatim
(BG 16.23)

If you have no knowledge of the śāstra, then you'll never be successful in your spiritual life, what to speak of happiness and liberation. It is not possible.

Indian woman: Is Mirabai Lord Caitanya's disciple?

Prabhupāda: I'm talking of this Ramakrishna particularly. There is no śāstra siddha. Whimsical, sentiment, that's all. So far his yata mata tata pat is concerned, at last he proposed, "Now I shall worship according to the Muhammadan process. So I have to eat cow's flesh." So he was living in that temple... What is that temple in Calcutta? Daksinesvari. So the temple was owned by one big zamindar. So because it is temple, he cannot take... Of course, in that temple Kali was there. So they are taking fish and flesh. That was not objectionable. But he, when he wanted to take cow's flesh, so he wanted permission from proprietor, "Sir, I shall now practice according to Muhammadan system. So I take cow's flesh. So I want your permission." So he said, "Sir, I've given you so much licenses, but if you ask this, then I'll ask you to go out. I cannot give you this permission." Then he stopped Muhammadan way of worship. This is whimsical.

Correspondence

1972 Correspondence

The Bengalis are generally fish-eaters and some are flesh-eaters, so the Ramakrishna Mission gave this concession that there is nothing harmful in eating flesh.
Letter to Bhavananda -- Honolulu 9 May, 1972:

So far your observation that the Bengalis have been degraded by bogus so-called sadhus, yes, the Bengali's are generally fish-eaters and some are flesh-eaters, so the Ramakrishna Mission gave this concession that there is nothing harmful in eating flesh. The Bengalis got this appetite for eating flesh and fish and at the same time becoming one with God. This foolish theory and fanaticism has killed the Bengali culture. Not all, but a few percentage.