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You must not kill any living being for the sake of your food or for offering to God (applicable for all religions and all people including atheists) Instead of killing a goat he or she can donate that money to very poor widows, children who cannot work, aged people so that they will utilize the money properly like buying medicine and basic food(not non-veg food) etc. The killing is the greatest sin You must not kill any living being for the sake of your food. God has given enough vegetable food that contains all the ingredients present in the non-vegetarian food. After all, the source of ingredients of any flesh is only vegetable kingdom only. Eating the non-vegetarian food is not a sin because same ingredients exist in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. But, you have to kill a living being for the sake of non-vegetarian food. The killing is the greatest sin. You may argue that you have not killed the living being directly. Such argument cannot stand. Since you are eating the non-vegetarian food, the living being is killed. You are responsible for its killing. Therefore, you are the principle shareholder of the sin. There is nothing wrong if you eat a living being after its natural death. In Hinduism, there is a sect of people called ‘Kapalikas’, who eat the dead living beings. Therefore, they do not acquire sin. The tsunami is always due to anger of God since you are killing the living beings present in water for food. The earthquakes are due to killing of living beings that exist on the earth. God in the form of Buddha and Mahavir preached the non-violence and severely opposed the killing of living beings. God in some other human forms might have followed the practice of non-vegetarian food in order to join with non-vegetarian people so that, certain other higher aspects to be preached might have been taken into consideration. That does not mean that God has encouraged the killing of living beings through non-vegetarian food. He might have kept silent on this issue in order to give importance to other serious issues. God follows the ignorance of the students in order to become friendly with them. To control a running bull, you have to run along with it for some distance before controlling it. All these are the basic concepts of nivrutti, which are the core of pravrutti. By following the ethics of pravrutti, you will avoid God becoming furious with you. Then, through nivrutti, you can please God. On one hand, you are making God furious by not following the ethics of pravrutti and how can you please God through nivrutti simultaneously? NEVER KILL ANIMALS! IT IS A GRAVE SIN My dear disciple! Listen Me. Non-violence is the roof of the justice. The animal nature shall be killed and not the animal! If you succeed in pravrutti, God will drag you in Nivrutti also. [The greatest sin is violence (ahimsaaparamodharmah), which means hurting or killing any good living being. People have misunderstood that animals are to be killed in sacrifice done for God. The Veda says that the animal to be killed is the rigid ignorance and stupidity of the animal-nature and not the actual animal itself (manyuhpashuh - Veda)! The word ‘ajaa’ means goat as well as food grains stored for three years (so that they are not useful for germination) from which the flour is prepared and a paste of it is used to prepare the statue of the animal. Such statue of animal is to be cut as a symbolic act. Without understanding the latter intended sense, people have started killing the goats in sacrifice! Any animal including cow or bird of soft nature should not be killed for the sake of food. Scripture says that a Brahmin should not be killed, but, Ravana (Brahmin) was killed by God. Brahmin means any living being (including human being) that does not harm you even if you harm it (ghaatamnaghaatayetviprah). The deity of justice surrendered to God Datta in the form of a cow. Cow slaughter means slaughter of justice. If justice is slaughtered, the cow is slaughtered and not reverse. Any soft-natured animal including cow or bird or human being should not be slaughtered. Slaughter of justice is the whole and slaughter of Cow is a part of it. This is the essence of the climax of justice. If you are not doing the three sins mentioned in the Gita, God will be very much pleased with you and pushes you in the path of Nivrutti also to make you His nearest and dearest!] Plants only have the mechanical process of respiration but they do not have a nervous system for the generation of awareness. Mechanical respiration itself is called life (prāṇamaya kośa). But it is not the real meaning of life. Real life is found only in animals, which are zoological beings and not in plants, which are botanical beings. The real meaning of life is the awareness generated by the nervous system (manomaya kośa). The awareness is produced in the nervous system as a result of the oxygen supplied by the process of respiration. But the mere supply of oxygen, without a functioning nervous system, cannot be called life. - By Shri Datta Swami www.universal-spirituality.org Universal Spirituality for World Peace