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Did lord Ram eat meat

Dr Zakir naik and his colleagues at the IRF believe so. Dr. Shuaib Sayyed, Research Manager, Islam and Comparative Religion, (IRF) says, "It is mentioned in Ayodhya Khandam chapter 20, 26 and 94 that when Rama was sent for Banavas he told his mother that he would have to sacrifice his tasty meat dishes. If Rama had to sacrifice his tasty meat dishes, it means that Rama had meat. If Rama can have meat, why can't the Hindus have meat? ... Sita asked Rama to kill the buck (deer)...What will Sita do with a dead pet? The only logical answer is that she wanted to have the meat of the buck. If Rama and Sita can have meat then why can't the other Hindus have meat?" Let us examine if these allegations have any truth.

Valmiki Ramayana, the original narration of Ramayana, has a total of 537 chapters, and over 24,000 verses, arranged into six kandas, or books. There are only two references to meat, and over a hundred references to vegetarian diet.

The Ayodhya Kanda has 119 chapters. Chapter 20 describes Mother Kaushalya's grievous lamentation on hearing from her son Rama, that He has been banished to the forest. Rama tells her in verse 29,"I shall live in a solitary forest like a sage for fourteen years, avoiding meat and living with roots, fruits and honey". Can we validly infer from this that Lord Rama ate meat while in Ayodhya, and now He promises to avoid it in the forest? The exact words used are 'hitva aamishham'. 'aamisham' refers to meat and 'hitva' refers to 'disregarding' or 'with the exception of' (Monnier Williams dictionary). Traditionally, in Vedic culture, when a son leaves home to go to distant lands, he reassures his parents, that he would abide by strict moral codes and never deviate from the religious principles. Say a student promises his parents when going to stay in the hostel, "I won't drink alcohol while in the hostel." Does this mean that he is drinking it while at home? Obviously not. Similarly it's in this mood that Lord Rama assures His mother that he wouldn't stoop low. In Chapter 26 Lord Rama tells Mother Sita of His decision to go to forest and instructs her to stay at Ayodhya. There is no reference to any eating- meat or otherwise-in any verse of this chapter. Moreover in almost all the verses of chapter 94, (which also Dr. Sayyed quotes), Lord Rama glorifies the various fruits, trees, and flowers at the forest of Chitrakuta, with absolutely no reference to any meat- eating whatsoever.

Did Mother Sita ask Lord Rama to kill the deer? In the third book, Aranya kanda(forest trek),chapter 43, Mother Sita spots the golden deer and asks Lord Rama to fetch it. She asks, "Oh, nobleman's son, that delightful deer is stealing my heart, oh, dextrous one, bring it round, it will be our plaything." [3-43-10]. In the next eight verses she rejoices at the prospect of taking the deer back to Ayodhya where the animal will delight all the palace residents. She clarifies that if the deer is to be killed at all (Laksman had earlier warned it to be a demon), then they could use the deerskin as a seat. (3-43-19, 20). The forest dwelling sages used kusa grass and deer skin as seats during the earlier ages when flora and fauna was in abundance. Here again there is not even a hint that Lord Rama or Sita wanted to eat the flesh of the golden deer. In the 36th chapter of sundara kanda (Book of Beauty), Hanuman assures Mother Sita that Lord Rama would cross over the ocean and defeat Ravana. He reveals that although Lord Rama is in great sorrow of separation from Mother Sita, he hasn't fallen down to intoxicants or meat eating. (verse 41) 'Mamsa' has another meaning; the flesh of a fruit. In the South Indian temple town of Srirangam, when priests offer mango to Lord Ranganath, they chant the prayer, "iti aamra mamsa khanda samarpayami" ("I offer mango'mamsa' -mango flesh- for the Lord to eat). Thus even if there are occasional references to 'mamsa', we should know it refers to a mango.

Contributed By:Swami Abayananda Tirtha
Reference : Valmiki Ramayana


Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna

Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama

Hare Hare

and be happy.

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Comment by Siveshni Maharaj on May 4, 2011 at 7:56pm
I am a bit late with my comment as i am new to the desire tree.  I agree with Vishal this Naik character should look very carefully into his own scripture and follow correctly.  Quite frankly no religion would consent to meat eating as animal slaughter supports violence, it's just people who interpret/ twist it to suite their convenience.  People like him should be stopped from making incorrect statments like this thereby confusing our youths.  
Comment by Bhaktin Shobana on September 18, 2010 at 11:32pm
Dr. Zakir Naik finds every reason possible to bring Varnasrama down below his feet. Boldly declaring that Bhoj Raja mentioned in hindu puranas refer to his prophet mohamad as the last mesenger of God, hence alot of hindus are awe struck with his debate and converts to islam. Let alone 150,000 Americans becoming muslims annually, has our Iskcon leaders called him for a friendly discussion?? Im just asking...
Comment by Abhishek Soni on September 18, 2010 at 10:44pm
Only a real or Ekantik bhakt of the lord can truly clarify these vimukh or atheist people
such people are there within the sanatan hindu dharm also tey need saints and bhaktjans for clear and religious explanations, without any manupulations
and similarly Lord Swaminarayan instructs within his 11 spiritual rules
"Vimukh jiva ke vadan se vachan suni nahi jaat"
means: one should never listen dictation or interpretions or discourses of Sanatan scriptures from a athiest, a new devotee or one who hates Supreme Lord

Comment by NitaiGaur Premanande on September 18, 2010 at 10:58am
indulging in meat eating a person cannot even start with being spiritual or realizing God. We appreciate every relegion. But if they want to clarify something, they cant act whimsically and interpret something with their imperfect senses and make it public. They need to discuss this with authority. He is knowing about the Holy Quran which is sacred, but he never must have read Gita submissively. He shoud never make such statements. He should clarify with a pure vaishnava.Such statements give rise to so much misconception in youngsters. "Tasty meat dishes", what rubbish is that. Like gaur gadadhar prabu said, just as a parent is afraid that her son may fall in for some bad habits, a child convinces his parents by telling the things he wont do, staying away. And how can we understand on this material platform. Lord Rama is infinite intelligence. How can we even doubt him with our imperfect senses and make conclusion. Just like Darwin, he may gain some opulence in the material world, but truth remains unaffected.
Comment by lalit singh on September 16, 2010 at 12:56pm
Completely aggre with Radha rah prabhuji, they dont know the depth of sanatana dharma religion and just twist the meaning to satisfy their own thought procees. I wish prabhupada would have been here, He alone can give guide this misguided dr. naik.
Comment by nimmi on September 16, 2010 at 10:30am
hare krishna prabhu g.....
very nice clarification
hari bol
Comment by Radha Raja on September 16, 2010 at 10:05am
Hare Krishna,
All Glories to Shri Guru and Gauranga
All Glories to Srila Prabhupad

There are many people who try to mislead people giving references to our holy books. They twist the meaning of the verses to suit their thought and beliefs and present them in a manner that innocent people are swayed. We have to be strong in our beliefs and our practices. We have to only act on the instructions of our Gurudev and follow what he tells us.
In islam itself people say that satan will try to make us deviate from the path of goodness and lead us to do evil. It is the same thing what these people are trying to do here. Otherwise what problem does Zakir Naik and his friends have if we are vegetarians.
Comment by lalit singh on September 16, 2010 at 7:04am
This man Dr Zakir naik is a typical example of one who beleives in Speculation and nothing more than that. By Krishna and Allah mercy he has got good memeory and great oratory skills but nothing moer than that. ITs better MR Naik used his memory and intelleigence in getting the crux of religion that is too love God. I have heard his previous lectures too, he is nothing more than a parrot reciting sanskrit slokhas. Hare krishna
Comment by Vishal Sharma on September 15, 2010 at 11:35pm
Yes its true How can Lord Rama eat meat he can't even think off . And these IRF people dont know about there religion what they will know about others. Its better if they look into there religion only and try to improve themselve instead of poking nose in others.
Comment by Sushil H Mishra on September 15, 2010 at 9:41pm
good one & very logical & practical explanation, Dr.zakir should stop defamation to glory of lord Sri Ram

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