Meher Baba

To eat meat is detrimental to some extent in controlling one's sexual nature. The main disadvantage is that eating meat increases sexual desires.

Consciousness exists in stones, but there is so very little consciousness in stones, almost nothing. It is in vegetation that the evolution of consciousness begins. And consciousness increases as an animal form evolves into another animal form. In man it is complete.

With the advance in consciousness, sexuality also increases. The more the consciousness, the more the sexual longing, and the less the consciousness, the less the sexual longing. So if we eat meat, the degree of sexuality increases in us. But if we remain on vegetarian food, then it neither increases nor decreases.

26 April 1924,
LM2 p626

Another version of the same explanation:

There are many disadvantages of flesh-eating. The chief one is that it increases passion.

There is very little chaitanya* in the stone, so little as to be nil. The manifestation of chaitanya has its beginning from vegetable life. It increases in animals, and reaches its climax in the human form. Now, passion increases with chaitanya. The more chaitanya, the more passion, and likewise, the less chaitanya, the less passion.

Therefore if we take animal food, the element of passion increases in us, while it neither increases nor decreases when we take vegetable food.

RD p319 and SW p202-203
*chaitanya = consciousness, intelligence?

The word 'passion' seems to be used here to mean sexual desire, rather than intense interest or excitement.

Strong tea provides a very good stimulant to tired nerves. But it causes no real improvement in health. On the contrary, the general health is usually undermined with strong stimulants.

26 November 1927,
LM3 p982

There are three things that are good for increasing and purifying the blood: pomegranates, grapes and tomatoes. But grapes have one defect: they create bile.

Okra is good for people with backaches.

Potatoes give strength, but create gas.

Lentils are good.

Beans, pumpkins, cabbages and cauliflower are not nourishing, but are tasty.

Eggplant is the worst possible thing for you. To eat eggplant is to commit suicide, because it spoils the blood and turns it into water.

Radishes create gas, but they are good for the intestines.

Spinach is also very good...

We are not talking of sanskaras, but of the quality of things. Among non-vegetarian food, fish is the best for the brain because it contains phosphorus.

Eggs are good but are hard to digest.

Among all foods, milk is the best, because nothing is killed in obtaining it. The next best are vegetables, because life in them is not fully developed. The worst impressions lie in non-vegetarian food. By eating meat, a person at once contacts animal sanskaras, which stimulate anger and lust.

10 October 1928,
LM3 p1107

Another version of the same explanation:

Out of all foods consumed, milk is the best, because there is no loss of life in it. Then comes vegetable kingdom, because in it life is not complete. And worst is animal food. By eating flesh, we at once catch the sanskaras of the animal, and our anger and lust are provoked.

Gl August 1973, p2

I must ask all aspirants to remember once and for all, that if they are desirous of rapid progress and quick enlightenment, they should live up to the following four laws:

1. If possible, observe celibacy. If already married, keep as little sexual intercourse with your partner as possible. Consider, if you are a man, all other women as your sisters; if you are a woman, all other men as your brothers.

2. Avoid all animal food, except milk and the products of milk. Don't partake of even eggs.

3. Avoid all intoxicating drugs and drinks. Tea is not an intoxicant, provided it is weak. But be moderate in your habit of tea drinking.

4. Curb yourself, and never give way to anger. Whenever you fly into a passion, you contract red sanskaras, which are the worst of all.

February 1930, Ms 2:2 p8

For years I have been a vegetarian...

My Mandali have also been eating only vegetarian food for years now. I would rarely make any of them fast on milk. However, once... I kept over twenty of my Mandali fasting on just milk for two or three months, but none of them felt any discomfort. A Parsi named Pleader has been living only on milk for the last two and a half years. He is quite healthy and happy...

There is another devotee of mine named Dixit in Kolhapur, at a school there. He has also been on milk for the last twelve years, although he takes bananas with it. He is quite fit and works all day...

Milk is the best food. It sustains the body and purifies the mind. And the more the mind becomes pure, the more it can be controlled. Desires become less, which is necessary for spiritual aspirants, as there is no progress on the Path without the mind being under control. So long as desires and longings persist, the mind cannot be controlled. From that standpoint, therefore, milk is the best food.

... The Parsis defame me and call me shaitan - devil - simply because I do not eat meat and fish. I don't drink liquor, and have never been to a brothel. Their definition of a Parsi is that he should be a non-vegetarian, drink wine, and lead an immoral life, while at the same time wearing the religious symbols of the sadra and kusti, visiting the fire temple, and paying heed to the priests. Thus by their behavior, they themselves have become devils, in fact.

to Mahatma Gandhi,
8 September 1931,
on board the Rajputana
en route to Marseilles,
LM4 p1394-1396

Vegetarian food and milk assist the development of the divine nature in man, whereas eggs, meat, alcoholic drinks and fish tend to excite the animal nature in man.

Sa (1933) p8

Tea or coffee, though injurious, is not so injurious as tobacco, alcohol, bhang-ganja, and other strong intoxicants. Rather these - tea or coffee - are in some cases beneficial, particularly when medically advised and taken in mild form. Excessive use of these, and in stronger forms, is as injurious as tobacco, alcohol, etc.

before March1934,
MG 3:1 p22

Q. When did you openly become vegetarian?

Baba: After Realisation.

1930s, A p54

What is the use of a body which resists the dictates of the mind? It is no use clinging to the comforts of the body, which one day must be given up. It is only an instrument, and one should take maximum work from it.

Impressions are contagious. Eating meat is prohibited in many spiritual disciplines, because therein the person catches the impressions of the animal, thus rendering himself more susceptible to lust and anger.

ST p26

I have abstained from fish, eggs and meat, not for my benefit, but to create and impress upon humanity an example, which, later, when I speak, will become an established law.

31 October 1937,
Cannes, France,
LM6 p2232
Also Gl August 1970 p16, and LA p216

No one can eat meat or fish in my ashram.

1939, Jabalpur, LM7 p2406

Elderly people should not eat eggplant.

1939, Bangalore, LM7 p2490

Food is a direct necessity of life, and its continued denial is bound to be disastrous to health. Therefore, external fasting should be periodical, and only for a short time.

Di v1 p51

Abdul Ghani: Flesh-eaters, similar to lions and tigers, are very powerful and energetic creatures. Their stomachs are never bloated. But the grass-eating bullock has a big stomach without the strength, power and courage of the carnivores. So if the Mandali become non-vegetarians, we will be strong like lions.

Baba: The elephant is also a vegetarian, and just see how strong he is. Why don't you be like an elephant instead?

Ghani: But the elephant carries a big stomach.

Baba: Then let your stomach grow. Your stomach should be as big as your head. Then you will look fine. So take plenty of vegetarian food while you're here.

10 February 1940,
LM7 p2514

The body can make up for its deficiencies by the assimilation of the right sort of food...

It is necessary to attend to the balancing of the diet, even when we have satisfied ourselves about the nutritive value of the different components of the diet...

A faulty diet can upset physical health...

The wrong type of food can ruin health instead of nourishing it...

Good health requires constant elimination of the waste products and poisonous substances...

c. 1941, Di v4 p46-47

The body will survive for 95 days if one remains only on water. Just as the body feeds on food, so the mind feeds on desires, and indulgence in these desires feeds the mind and the ego. So by starving the mind of these desires, the ego becomes very thin and weak.

In a physical fast, taking only water, as you did yesterday, lust is lessened, but anger and hope are increased. During the first three days of a fast, hunger is marked, depression is strong, anger is strengthened, and lust is diminished. From the third to the seventh day, there is a fluctuation in feelings: hunger, depression, anger and lust are all lessened, while hope - for everything - is still strong.

On the tenth day, the feelings again swing back, and there is increased hunger and anger. This lasts until the fourteenth day, when the feelings again become calm and remain calm. Thus, after the fourteenth day, a fast has no spiritual value.

13 January 1942,
LM8 p2757

I want 25 men who can, under proper circumstances, fast on water for seven days, from the 25th to the 31st of July. By proper circumstances, I mean the person should be free of any responsibility. Otherwise, as Ghani would say, 'It would make his wife weep,' and that would hinder my work. In short, I want those who can fast freely and undisturbed. Either fast or keep silence.

Even if you were to fast for 40 years, you would never be able to realise God. Otherwise, every dumbbell in the world would be God-realised. Adi Sr. has remained on water for 28 days. Pilamai of Karachi has lived on water for 31 days, and throughout the time was active in performing her household duties. Only when I sent an order from here did she begin taking food. Kitty and a boy Ernest lived on water in London for 40 days, and similarly others.

But all this fasting and silence has nothing to do with God or even the Path. The reason for this is, as you will know tomorrow, that good and bad both are binding. Not eating binds just as well as eating. In short, fasting and not fasting are both binding. God is beyond both. He is even beyond hope.

Why do you fast? With some hope, of course, whether it is material or spiritual. The fact is that the very thought of fasting or beginning a fast is binding. One fasts either because one is ill or has no appetite. None could be prepared to fast without a motive. Even if you think of fasting to death, that thought of fasting itself is a binding. 'I will fast to death to see God.' That thought is always there. But only a very few rare souls can see God by such a threat. It is heroic, but very rare.

15 May 1943, Meherabad,
to 125 men devotees Baba
had invited for a special work,
LM8 p2872

By walking one stimulates good appetite, and returning on foot after eating is good for the digestion.

August 1948, Ahmednagar,
to Elizabeth Patterson
LM9 p3298

I allow vegetarians to follow their diet, and non-vegetarians to eat meat, fish, etc.

1 March 1953,
LC p20

In the morning in India we have one cup of tea. For lunch we have curry, rice and gravy. In the evening we have four chapatis (Indian bread) and one vegetable. On Friday, I ask them to eat only once, and keep a fast the rest of the day...

Most of the people of the world, all they have is one square meal a day. In India, many don't even have that.

August 1956,
San Francisco,
AL p43

The days of every incarnate soul in the Gross world, and what they bring, are both definitely determined by the accumulated impressions of past lives. But this impressional determinism does not work itself out independently of, or in defiance of, ordinary causal laws. On the contrary, it works through established causal laws. For example, wrong diet or gluttony, or any other disregard for natural physiological laws, will definitely affect the duration of the life-term in the Gross body. In the same way, intelligent use of known laws will affect happenings during this term of life.

But whether or not there is going to be a disregard of such laws on the part of some particular soul, is itself impressionally determined, i.e. it is dependent upon his gathered dispositions. Thus physiological and other causal laws are subsumed by higher karmic laws, and lend themselves as pliant fabric-work for them. The law of karma supersedes and uses the other laws of nature without violating them.

1958? Beams p34-35

Baba: Do you eat meat? Are you a non-vegetarian?

Bal Natu: Baba, mine is a buffer state. Personally, I do not relish meat. I prefer a vegetarian diet.

Baba (smiling): Some make much about diet. Everything has its merits and demerits.

Guruprasad, Poona,
GG1 p318

Here are some who dislike meat, and here are others who like it the most. Dislikes bind as much as likes. My concern is to free you from both. Love alone frees. But where self is, love is not, and where you are not, love is.

GG1 p319

It's not what goes into your mouth that counts, but what comes out.

to Ed Luck

"Always eat well and dress well."

"Eat well means not too much, and not too little. Dress well means don't be a dandy, and don't be shabby."

1960s, India,
to George McCuen
(Two separate quotes, advice sent to
George McCuen in letters to Adele Wolkin)

Diet Book Two

Index - Book One

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