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Why Can’t we Offer Meat to Krishna? — Letters

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While I was reading BACK TO GODHEAD , I came across the Krsna’s cuisine article on a karma-free diet. There it says that although both plants and animals have souls, there is no sinful reaction for eating plants provided we offer them to Lord Krsna first with love and devotion. But if both plants and animals have souls, then why is it that we cannot offer meat to Krsna? Why is one sinful and the other not?

Poonam Bhatia
Schaumburg, Illinois

Our reply: As the Supreme Lord, Krsna can eat anything without any question of sin on His part. But in the Bhagavad-gita (9.26), Krsna says that He accepts offerings of food from the vegetable kingdom when those offerings are made with devotion for Him. “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.”

In his commentary on this verse, Srila Prabhupada writes, “One who loves Krsna will give Him whatever He wants, and he avoids offering that which is undesirable and unasked for. Thus meat, fish, and eggs should not be offered to Krsna. If He desired such things as offerings, He would have said so. Instead He clearly requests that a leaf, fruit, flower, and water be given to Him, and He says of this offering, ‘I will accept it.’ Therefore, we should understand that He will not accept meat, fish, and eggs. Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk, and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Krsna Himself. Whatever else we eat cannot be offered to Him, since He will not accept it. Thus we cannot be acting on the platform of loving devotion if we offer such foods to Him.”

We offer to Krsna whatever He requests and in that way we not only remain free from karma, but become pure devotees of the Lord. Sinlessness means to abide by the requests and orders of Krsna, and sin means to disobey Him.

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Regarding the article “For the Young at Heart” (19/5), I was very delighted to know some good uses of weeds.

The second part of the article was very educational for me and for anyone who wants to know how to explain the truths of Krsna consciousness to children. The article sparkled. I want to congratulate Suresvara and ask him to write more articles related to children that will make it easy for parents to explain Krsna consciousness to their children who do not have the opportunity to join a gurukula [a school for acquiring a Krsna conscious education].

Padma Saini
Kingsfield, Oklahoma

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