In recent days, Ayurveda is more and more being associated with spirituality, hence a notion is there among people that, if you are on Ayurvedic medicines, then you should follow a vegetarian diet. If one is a firm follower of practical spirituality, and if one considers Ayurveda as a serious medical system, then here is the answer with detailed explanation to the question – Is Ayurveda vegetarian? can be explored.
The concept of vegetarian diet: In ancient Indian period, the concept of total vegetarianism was non existent. In Vedas, and Puranas, there is mentioning of non vegetarian diet and its qualities etc. The famous “Vatapi Jeerno bhava” incident in Agastya Maharishi is a classical example for prevalence of non vegetarian diet in those times.
The Hindus adopted the total vegetarian system after Buddhism spread across India. It is the classical nature of the Hindus to be flexible and to adopt any good thing from any other religion.
Is Ayurveda vegetarian ?
Ayurveda is not totally vegetarian by any stretch of imagination. Mamsarasa – the meat soup is explained in all the classical texts as the best medicine for extreme emaciation. It reduces tiredness due to Pitta imbalance (for example working under Sun for long hours), ideal for those who do daily exercise, improves voice strength, skin quality, immunity etc. (Reference: Charaka samhita Sutra sthana 27/312-325).
Aswagandhadi leham, also known as Ajaswagandhadi lehyam conains meat as an ingredient, along with other herbs. [Some companies manufacture it without meat as an ingredient]
Varients of meat soup are explained as Vesavara in Bhavaprakasha, another classical Ayurvedic text.
Meat soup and other non veg diet has been prescribed along with certain medications. Eg: Meat soup is a co -drink for the medicine Punarnvadyarishta.
Ayurveda does not say that one should follow total vegetarianism.
The non vegetarian diet has its own medicinal significance in Ayurveda.
It does not mean that everybody should have non vegetarian diet. One who is accustomed to it, can have it and one who is not, may not have it.
One of the reasons why total vegetarian diet is encouraged is because non veg is claimed to increase Tamas. Which, according to spirituality, is true.
Following non vegetarian diet will not have any bad effects on herbal Ayurvedic pills that one might be taking. One can have non veg, during his Ayurvedic medication period. There is no rule that non veg should not be taken while one is on Ayurvedic medicines.
P.S: I am a total vegetarian and am not trying to advertise / promote non vegetarianism.
The above article made an interesting reading but spiritually it is wrong. When Bernard Shaw was asked to take mutton soup to recover from illness, he replied,i will not make my stomach graveyard of birds and animals. Swamy Vivekananda said, football takes you closer to God than Bhagwad Gita. By this he meant to do spiritual practices one should be physically strong e.g. to sit for meditation for 3 hours is no joke in Kali Yuga without changing leg position and hand position. So physical health is important but not at the cost of some helpless animals life. Have you seen how fish struggles when it is taken out of water or how painful it is when a hook is stuck to its mouth while fishing. And all these activities keep us pinned down to this earth with no chance of moksha which is the true aim of this life.When Buddha was asked the way to Nirvana he said HEALTH is the pre-requisite for doing spiritual practices. He further said, concentration on the breath from the nose to diaphragm, while walking, standing, sitting and lying down. He told his students that if they practiced like this they would become very healthy. FRANKLY AND PERSONALLY I SEE NO JUSTIFICATION IN EATING BUFFALO OR ANY OTHER ANIMAL/BIRD FOR MY SURVIVAL. This is the opinion of the true masters. Lastly astrologer Linda Goodman had said, that if you are eating non-vegetarian food from birth and now when you are an adult you can still wean yourself from this by staying on only mutton for five years than give it up and live only on fish. After this become a vegetarian and stay for five years and then become a vegan for five years and lastly become a fruitarian throughout your live and see the difference.
As far as my knowledge goes, In the book – Talks With Swamy Vivekananda, Swamiji tells that, – have non veg, no problem, exercise and build a better body first, and then go for spiritual practices.
I am a vegetarian. But I do not have problem with people having non veg.
Do you know that when the vegetables and plants are plucked from the farms and gardens, they also do feel pain?
It is how the world works.