Sujatha : AD, Although I have read many authors and listened to many spiritual guides on the topic of vegetarianism I would like to hear it from you. The only reason to ask this to you is – I love it when you call a spade a spade in your unique way. Please do the favour. Thanks
Beloved Sujatha, Had you not been trained you would have continued to feed only on milk. Right? Psychologists say a child’s education is its halfway mark by the time he/she is 7 years old. Funny it sounds and it definitely does not match our logical system of Nursery, Kindergarten and I, II, III nonetheless due to sharp and clear intellect or even extrasensory perception abilities of a child all the events, actions and behaviours a child observes in these initial years are itched in his mind and thus become guiding forces for life.
It is simply a rare possibility that you in your lifetime do not try (even if not stick to) those things which you experienced or sensed during that stage of life. Be it wine, egg, meat, violence, pooja, namaaz, tobacco, bhaang, sexual disorientation, meditation, masterbation, exercise, honesty, bravery, corruption…. it is almost impossible to put all the things here as it virtually involves every aspect of your personality. You can see that food and diet is very well included in this extra long list. Needless to say it is important.
Apparently there are two questions – the first is why do you behave in a particular way or why certain manners, principles, eating habits, behavioural pattern becomes your way? second is – do you need to change your ways and why? I understand your question belongs to second category nonetheless I would answer it though briefly but completely.
If this all is in genes then why some people should become rapist, murderer, corrupt, criminal or a politician ( laughs). Scientists need to find out answer for this too. My opinion is that even if some day in future scientists are able to decode all the strands in the genetic material they would still be clueless on why a person reacts in his unique way in a given life situation. Although such a research would definitely prove beneficial in eradicating physical deficiencies yet it can not put a bar on choices a man can make in his life-time. It will not put a fullstop to the potentiality of human development. I can say with full conviction that even after the genetically modified human harvesting becomes possible it would still not be able to stop someone from getting up and follow the path to Buddhahood. Because genes don’t give you power to decide – its hidden in all your accumulated experiences (knowledge & karma) on your journey (rational people may like to read births here) so far and clearity of consciousness (chitta).
And what are accumulated experiences? As a child you have picked up even unsaid thoughts and feelings of your mother, father, siblings and other close relatives and neighbours (remember your favourite Aunt?) who have held you in your lap. Don’t be surprised by this statement because even plants react to such hidden subconscious thoughts. Scientists who took J.C. Bose’s work seriously did show this phenomenon through experiments that when a wood-cutter is sent to a forest (even without his axe) just to select the trees he would like to chop down, these trees showed subtle but definite vibrations of fear. A child has this capacity of reading your thoughts and feelings. All these thoughts and vibrations in which a child comes in contact with are directly read by child and thus form deep impressions in his psyche. This way people around a child start shaping her personality and her unique ways of action and thinking. Science and psychology is yet to arrive and at this finding. So if you are born in a vegan family you don’t have much of point in taking joy in feeling spiritually inclined in your attitude due to your habit of being a vegetarianism rather than to just thank your parents, relatives and neighbours (smiles).
Now to second question. All I said so far being valid; yet at some point in life when your discretion is developed, you are awakened to the calling of a master or your inner conscience and you exercise the power and will to choose, knowledge comes handy. At this juncture or for that matter on every occasion in your life when you are hungry and decide what to eat and what not – you not only shown your wisdom but also have real good reason to feel great about it.
The spirituality is a conscious choice of disillusioned state of mind. Mind does get affected by the food we eat. Read it carefully – It is said it Chhandogya Upanishad –
“Mind consists of food. That which is the subtle part of milk moves upward when the milk is churned and becomes butter. In the same manner, the subtle part of the food that is eaten moves upward and becomes the mind. Thus, mind consists of food.”
Vegetarian diet does aid you in keeping your intellect (chitta) clear (shuddha) but it can not take away the need and presence of a master, devotion, service and daily practice (Sadhna). In the presence of a master with your Sadhna you take steps towards spirituality – no matter even when you are eating meat. Gradually with the practices you do, your conscience becomes unfoggy and starts guiding you and then you become vegetarian by choice. You don’t have to struggle for it separately. Tattva Shakti Vigyaan does exactly the same for you.
Follow what master says!
– Acharya Agyaatadarshan