I ended 26 years of a being a vegetarian because I was finding that my health was suffering – I was getting more tired – no matter how many great Ayurvedic herbs I was taking. I had tried everything, but I finally had to admit that I needed to eat meat. As a spiritual person and an Ayurvedic practitioner, I looked to the ancient texts of Ayurveda to look for a solution. Plus, what I needed most of all was a meditation that could process the negative karma of eating meat and honor the whole process of taking the animal’s Life Force and physical body so that meat became a medicine and a meditation.
Ayurvedic view of eating Meat
The medical text Charaka Samhita is 3,000 years old and it shows that in ancient India, eating meat was an acceptable Ayurvedic medicine. But before I could take this medicine I had to come to terms with the enormous ethical considerations of eating meat today, because I had been practicing Ahimsa – non-violence as a vegetarian for all of my adult life.
I guess you could say that, as an Ayurvedic Practitioner, I was not looking for “protein” – I was looking for “Prana”.
On average, a person who eats three meals a day – each one having some meat in it. I did the math and figured that’s a minimum of a thousand animals a year are killed for each meat eater. So in 26 years of being a vegetarian, I had spared at east 26,000 animals.
I had practiced Ahimsa, and I had made a difference in the world. And now I needed Mother Nature to take care of me.
Until now I had lived Dharmically. Alleviating the global negative karma of animal slaughter by being a vegetarian. I had prided myself on being more compassionate – and I used to judge others as being ignorant for eating meat when clearly there are other options for most of Earth’s human population.
But my spiritual pride was being destroyed – I was becoming humbled by the needs of my body – and I had to surrender my spiritual ego in order to survive.
Karma and eating Meat
Fortunately, I remembered the words of my Rimpoche, who taught me that “meat represents the aggression of the world”. Being an Awakened being, my Rimpoche had once taught me how to eat meat – knowing in advance that I would someday have to make this choice. Rimpoche taught me to take all the bad karma from the animal consciously, and pledge all my good karma to that the animal. So I pray, “May all my merit ripen on your Mind Stream, and may all your demerit ripen on my Mind Stream.” Rimpoche also said to me, “Not only for the animal you’re eating, but also for every being that had anything to do with the killing of that animal, give them your good karma and take all their bad karma into your Mind Stream.”
So I pray, “And not only for this animal but for any being and all beings who participated in the sacrifice, may all their negative karma ripen on my Mind Stream and may all my good karma ripen on their Mind Streams.
Rimpoche also instructed me to vow to spiritually liberate that animal in a future birth, as part of my Bodhisattva Vow.
Now, this is a serious spiritual practice! Because you actually do experience states of aggression and mental states of anger and fear that come up from the “tonglen” or the exchanging of karma that you do with the animal and all the beings that you included in the practice. But by the strength and virtue of your spiritual practice, your sadhana, your internalization of prayer – you transform those karmas in your own mind – as “mental karmas” before they even have a chance to roll out into the fabric of your reality.
What you purify in your own mind is the very substance of your spiritual practice.
There is a lot to say about this practice and about eating meat in general. Each yogi has to make a decision based on their real needs and their practice. If your practice is strong enough and your body is strong you can stay vegetarian forever. But if you need to eat meat as medicine, then it’s best to account for the karmic transaction consciously and promise to return to liberate that being who offered you its Life Force.
The thing about this also is that since that animal had no idea of when it would give up its life, you should also be prepared to give up your Life Force in exchange whenever that animals soul requires it of you, in whatever lifetime that is, unconditionally. This is a big subject, and I apologize for the shortcomings of this blog post.
Kailas is reachable at www.ayurvedabykailas.com
Rationalization!! Just admit your weakness, instead of twisting to suit your conscience. Read the book" The Ethics Of What We Eat" Disgusted!!
What? you were short of energy because of being veggie? I guess you must've been influenced and affected by your surroundings where people eat meats and finally gave up. Ayurveda doesn't recommend eating meats and stop writing your own version of Ayurveda.
According to Ayurveda, being veggie boosts your immune system and makes you healthy.
@PratikLal thank you for your comment. To know what Ayurveda says, one must read Charaka Samhita and other classics, and then compare that with what you understand from your own Guru, and then compare again with what you understand of other systems of healing. Then each patient can be helped accordingly.
To comprehend the teachings we all go go through phases in the evolution of our understanding.
But in each case, we need to take responsibility for our own health, including refining our natural mental prejudices to ensure our minds are truly informed and our conscience is clear.
I just read a book this morning with multiple studies showing the link between meat and heart disease. If you eat meat, it should definitely be in moderation and most of your calories and micronutrient should come from fruits and vegetables. Sometimes deficiencies in iron, B12, and Vitamin D can cause health issues in a vegetarian diet, but you there many healthful plant based choices to ensure you are getting the proper nutrients. I eat meat occasionally but definitely wouldn't promote it as beneficial to your health. It's like processed foods and saturated fats, use sparingly or not at all!
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this is bullshit. I cant believe people are even considering this. He says he was lacking energy from a vegetarian diet? Only because he wasnt eating the right foods in the right way at the right times. Such crap.
there is a more strict ceremony used long before the modern description of just saying grace and too complex to follow than the casual exchange of karma as an idea.. the invocations say," I take your life and dine on your flesh , thus in my next life I shall die by the same fate" if this ceremony is not performed , as we also witnessed in today`s slaughterhouse civilization , then according to the injunctions of the Vedas, from which Ayurvedic knowledge is found, those who kill animals only for the pallete and who are inadvertant to the cyclic consequences suffer hair raising punishment before their life force is thus placed in a body of lower species, demotion of progress.. .what the curejoy article avoids is the health issues involves, the real causal anf effect implications and the modality of nature where meat eating is consumed...bottom line there`s protein in many foods...avoid the flesh...
@Kasyapa Dasa Prabhu, I appreciate your comments, because even though you don't agree with my position or experience, at least you are pointing out some of the most important issues that have to be dealt with; such as the absolute magnitude of the karma, the point about eating only for satisfying the palate, and the health issues that come from eating meat.
The article has it's limitations, and I am aware that a deeper treatment of these issues is important. I don't say anywhere in the article that I recommend eating meat. I am only presenting the experience that I have had because if one is not able to satisfy all the Vedic regulations, there is a stepping-stone provided according to one's karma, that gradually purifies each individual.
Knowing where one is on the stepping stone, and remaining as sincere as possible in all aspects of sadhana is the graduated path, upon which I find myself.
demoniac the consumption of red meat, not authorized... makes a mockery of the practice of yoga, or the process of linking oneself with the Absolute Truth, and therefore stopping the cycle of cosequencial suffering in the material world...one cannot say they are a yogi and eat meat...nor an eviornmentalist and engage in animal tested and animal deivative products marketing or consuming , or be a domestic animal lover and take part in the conspiracy to industrialize the manufacturing of animal, bird and aquatic as food for humans...
@Udayan Dalal, thank you for your comment. You can find out more about the Charaka Saṃhitā here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charaka_Samhita