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QuestionHello Kurma,

I have heard in my talks with devotees of Krishna that there are scriptural references pertaining to the abstinence of meat, specifically in the Laws of Manu. I have read excerpts from that on your VEGETARIANISM section, but I can't find the one that talks about the six people that all take the karma in animal slaughter. Can you point me in the right direction?

Anu Gupta, Stockholm, Sweden

AnswerHello Anu,

The section of the classic Vedic Law Book called Laws of Manu dealing with this (chapter 5) recommends that members of the higher caste (Brahmanas) should avoid meat-eating.

Here are six verses from that chapter concluding with the one you are looking for:

46. He who does not seek to cause the sufferings of bonds and death to living creatures, (but) desires the good of all (beings), obtains endless bliss.

47. He who does not injure any (creature), attains without an effort what he thinks of, what he undertakes, and what he fixes his mind on.

48. Meat can never be obtained without injury to living creatures, and injury to sentient beings is detrimental to (the attainment of) heavenly bliss; let him therefore shun (the use of) meat.

49. Having well considered the (disgusting) origin of flesh and the (cruelty of) fettering and slaying corporeal beings, let him entirely abstain from eating flesh.

50. He who, disregarding the rule (given above), does not eat meat like a pisaca, becomes dear to man, and will not be tormented by diseases.

51. He who permits (the slaughter of an animal), he who cuts it up, he who kills it, he who buys or sells (meat), he who cooks it, he who serves it up, and he who eats it, (must all be considered) the slayers (of the animal).

There it all is. Hope this helps.

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