Many look upon Thakar Singh of Delhi, India, as a spiritual adept, a holy
man, or a master. He was asked by one of his students in an interview on June
29, 1994, in Kinderhook, New York, USA, about the vegetarian diet. He talks
about karmic reasons for eating vegetarian food.
Question: Master, we all know that it's very crucial to abstain from the eating of meat because this increases our karmas, but can you explain in more detail the reasons for becoming vegetarian?
Thakar Singh: We are not to increase our burden of karmas, as you have already said. There is value in every kind of thing we use in this world. The air we use, we have to pay for. The water we use, we have to pay for. The light of sun or moon is also not free for us, and this green grass is also to be paid for--nothing is free.
If you are to make a house, you don't make it of gold or silver or jewels. That will still be just a house, nothing very special. If you can make the house of stone--it is very easy and very inexpensive--then why don't you make the house of stone and brick instead of gold? In the same way, if we can maintain our life very simply, with the lower cost of this greenery, then why should we attract so much burden and payment of karma? Life goes on in the creeping worms but there is great difference of payment of life. We are not allowed to use anything that creeps on the earth. We are only allowed to have the fruit of the trees and whatever is grown on the table of this earth, that God had been wise enough to guide us and tell us what is most useful so that we can maintain our life with the least burden.
God did not really say that it is burden-less or is all free. He has never explained it like this, but He has allowed us to have these lower forms because with our meditations we can release ourselves very quickly and easily and therefore we will not burden ourselves.
Some other complications are also there, as now scientists have come to know that all the living beings have some kind of minds and feelings and when they are a little disturbed, their whole nervous system is disturbed and so many poisons are coming up and growing in them. If you die in that state you will also suffer very much. As with those people who commit suicide, the condition of the mind at that time is really very hard, very horrible. If a person has committed suicide in that condition of the heart then that condition will continue for a very long time and that person will have to suffer.
This is also the case with people who eat animals. Their nervous systems have been disturbed very much. Even if you look at an animal that has been killed you will be affected; your nervous system will be disturbed and you will lose so much peace; you will not feel good and your heart will be affected by it. Look at a dying fish. It is out of water and if you look at it, for one or two hours or even some days your heart will not feel good. It will think of the condition of that fish and it will feel horrible and will be in some kind of hard state. For months even this state of mind will continue. Maybe after a long time you will forget this scene and its effect will be gone from your heart and you cannot remember it--still it has its effect. If just looking at a dead fish causes this then what will be the case when we eat it and all these vibrations enter into our system. So many diseases will come up and our mental systems will be disturbed.
But when we eat some greenery or fruit everything is wonderful. If you look at fruit that is ripe the colors tell you so wonderfully that it is ripe. A fragrance is also available and when you smell it you enjoy it and even when you remember the smell you can enjoy. Your heart is also enjoying and your mind and body are at peace.
So my dear, God has all sympathy for us and if He has recommended some things for us then we should accept them and we should not impose our minds and intellects into His wisdom. That is why in the Bible and all other scriptures man has been very clearly told, "don't do this--do only this." Everything is clearly explained to us. Why don't we accept these commandments? If we do not accept them there will be some difficulty. So let us accept them and then after some time when you are lifted up you will see how horrible it was.
Question: You have very clearly explained the need for the vegetarian diet, but one thing many people have asked about is eggs, and unfertilized eggs. Why not these?
Thakar Singh: An egg is a child in the womb of the mother. You understand? If the womb of the mother or an egg is used, it is the same thing. An egg needs 20 or 28 days and the womb needs nine months, but both are a process in which the child is completed. When we break the egg or hurt it, the inner life of the being who was to find life is killed. Abortion is also not allowed. It may be that so many governments have allowed that it is legal, but it is not legal in the Kingdom of God. Those laws are still there.
Previously the laws in this world were made in consultation with the Saints and Masters, that those people who live in this world should only act in accordance with the rules in the Kingdom of God. The same ruler of the Kingdom of God should be supported here. Anything opposite should not be done here--some cooperation should exist. As long as the Saints and Masters were consulted the things went on normally, properly. But afterwards the people had their own minds and they could not understand and now they have allowed abortion also. So this will remain illegal. So if we break the egg and use it, it is also a crime.
Question: Is it also then a sin to eat a carrot? Some claim there is a payment to be made in eating vegetables.
Thakar Singh: There is a karma in everything, but very little karma is there in eating vegetables or fruit. This is very small and can be paid off. It has to be paid off, you can't be free of that either.
Contributed by: Dr. Kevin Kells tel/fax: +41 1 632-5746/252-0994
Integrated Systems Laboratory, ETH-Zentrum, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland