Krsna Prasadam

Krsna Prasadam

The following excerpt from a letter written by Srila Prabhupada was circulated on Facebook last week, and my wife read it aloud to me. It was very informative in that it explained our position on vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian, and the benefits of eating Krsna prasadam (food offered first to the Lord).

…Regarding propaganda against animal slaughter in BTG. Please do not print any picture showing how a cow is being murdered in our BTG. This will pollute the whole atmosphere. We are not meant for moving anyone’s sentiment against animal slaughter, we are neither Buddhists or Jains, whose main propaganda is against animal slaughter. Even the so-called vegetarians who do not take Krishna prasadam are as much sinful as the non-vegetarians. Our propaganda is different, to make people Krishna Conscious, which automatically makes them sympathetic against any kind of animal slaughter. According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, one living entity subsists on the life of other living entities, either vegetarian or non-vegetarian. But we are neither of them. We are not vegetarian nor non-vegetarian. We are transcendental. We are concerned with Krishna Prasadam. Try to popularize Krishna Prasadam as you have already done. People will naturally become vegetarian without any ghastly propaganda.

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Vegetarian Ethics

loving-mother-cow-and-calf1

I ran across the following article on the Sampradaya Sun the other day on Vegetarian Ethics. It is a very nice collection of quotes on the importance of a vegetarian diet, and a case against animal slaughter.

“Many people consider the ethical reasons the most important of all for becoming vegetarian. The beginning of ethical vegetarianism is the knowledge that other creatures have feelings, and that their feelings are similar to ours. This knowledge encourages one to extend personal awareness to encompass the suffering of others.” (The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking)

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”  (St. Francis of Assisi)

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Why Be Vegetarian?

Great Vegetarians

…On the spiritual path, there are several reasons why a person is recommended to be vegetarian. One primary reason is that we need to see the spiritual nature within all living beings, and that includes the animals and other creatures as well. Universal brotherhood means nonviolence to both humans and animals. It consists of understanding that animals also have souls. They are alive, conscious, and feel pain. And these are the indications of the presence of consciousness, which is the symptom of the soul.

…Isaac Bashevis Singer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, asked, “How can we pray to God for mercy if we ourselves have no mercy? How can we speak of rights and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood?” He went on to say, “I personally believe that as long as human beings will go shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace.”

…The Buddhist scripture (Sutta-Nipata 393) also advises: “Let him not destroy or cause to be destroyed any life at all, or sanction the acts of those who do so. Let him refrain from even hurting any creature, both those that are strong and those that tremble in the world.” It is also said in the Buddhist scripture, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, “The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.”

Why Be Vegetarian?
By Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa)

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Sustainable Cow Protection

SUSTAINABLE COW PROTECTION
By Kurma Rupa Prabhu

If a family keeps a cow and calf and has a few acres of land, a vegetarian diet is easily sustainable. I know a family in Colorado whose cow gives nine gallons of milk a day and she lactates for four to five years. They have enough land for the cow and her offspring to graze on and even with several months of winter they can easily maintain their cow. (see CFC News July 2010).

If you mean to ask will protecting a family cow produce enough income to maintain herself and provide for a family of five people with urban habits, then no, it won’t.
In an agrarian setting cows actually give more than they take.

However, when one tries to produce milk for commercial purposes and requires expensive farming equipment (tractors, bailers, combines, silos etc.) has to pay outrageous prices for veterinary aid, purchase homogenization and pasteurization equipment, conveyances to transport the milk to urban areas and so on, sustainability becomes a problem. In short, what makes cow protection unsustainable today is urbanization and consumerism.

Remove these two from the picture and you have the formula for a peaceful existence.
A large herd is sustainable in an agrarian community with common pasturing grounds and bordering forests, not otherwise.

I have visited village communities in India which still resemble the ancient Vedic model where every household hosts a few cows and a few cowherd men or women take the collective herd out to pasture daily leaving the calves behind. At the end of each day there is a celebration when the cows return with their stomachs full and many with udders full as well. The only investment is the time it takes for a few people to accompany the cows in their daily wanderings.

The cows are milked; the calves are fed; the milk boiled on a cow dung fire; hot milk is served; the remainder left overnight to become yoghurt; which is later churned to make butter; and the nourishing buttermilk is offered to unexpected guests and whoever else. I have never witnessed a more joyous existence. But the villagers I have examined pay their bills by farming, not selling dairy products.

“Excess males and unproductive females” are terms used by commercial dairy farmers that have nothing to do with cow protection but everything to do with cow exploitation. Urbanization and mechanization have rendered bulls unemployed whereas in the Vedic model the bull calves are valued more than the females as there is always ploughing and draught work to be done.

Since their dung and urine have numerous practical uses in agrarian life, and since Vedantists consider tending cows and pleasing them to be an activity which pleases God, real cow protectors always consider cows and bulls productive even when dry, retired or diseased.

We do not encourage commercial dairy farming or any type of attempt to make living from selling cow products. A profit orientation invariably leads to decisions which sell the cow short.

The term “humane culling” is an oxymoron at best or a euphemism at worst. If you are humane, how can you take the life of a creature who has not agreed to give it up?
Why not call it what it is?- – killing to increase profit. People who coin such terms do so to minimize the guilt resulting from acting against their conscience.

Other examples are “terminating the pregnancy” instead of saying “killing the child in the womb”; or “pacifying the enemy” instead of bombing the hell out of them; and so on. When the sinister want to manipulate others to perform horrible and unbeneficial acts which may disturb their conscience, they employ such devices to facilitate the phenomenon of self-deception.

Creation and employment of such devices indicates malignant narcissism.
In an agrarian society cows have a wonderful effect on the ecology. Their dung is known to be the best fertilizer and their hooves and horns have a nourishing effect on the earth.
You may find Rudolf Steiner’s (the founder of biodynamics) work interesting. A Google search will yield much on his work. Since in the Vedic formula, ahimsa is the first principle, I think a vegan diet is better than one including commercial dairy products obtained by violence. But the best and most wholesome diet is one which includes milk obtained from a loving cow who is treated like one’s own mother.

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Vegetarianism

Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for the survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.

-Albert Einstein

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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