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Just in the same way that one finds it difficult to give up the eating of The ancient Vedic literature

re of India declares that in this teachers and Vedic literatures, it now becomes prasadam
meat because of habit and conditioning, so, also, the common man finds world we generally find that one living being serves as and has great spiritual potency. Such spiritualized food
it difficult to give up materialistic life due to habit and conditioning. food for another. To eat, we will generally kill in some increases ones duration of life, purifies ones existence,
Heart disease is a concomitant factor to both meat eating and way. Even a vegetarian must kill to eat his vegetables, and give strength, health, happiness, and satisfaction.
materialistic life one is a material disease, while the other grains and things of that sort. Because animals are less Moreover, it nourishes ones transcendental realization.
is spiritual. In the International Society for Krishna intelligent, the laws of nature do not hold them Therefore you will find that devotees of Krishna distribute
Consciousness (ISKCON) both forms of heart disease are responsible for the killing they natural perform. However, such prasadam to anyone and everyone, as often as
wonderfully resolved in one word: prasadam. when a human being kills, he becomes involved in a possible.
complex network of action and reaction. For the suffering
Prasadam is a Sanskrit word which literally means the he inflicts, he himself will have to suffer sometime in the While vegetarianism affords mankind a greater chance
Lords mercy; prasadam is vegetarian foodstuffs which future. For every action there is an equal and opposite for survival, Krishna-prasadam guarantees a survival of
are offered to the Supreme Lord with love and devotion. reaction; this is Newtons Third Law of Motion a greater merit. While vegetarianism may promise us a
Bhakti yoga, the process employed by ISKCON, aims at physical law. future, Krishna-prasadam opens up to us a future of not
reawakening our lost sense of God consciousness. The only health and happiness but of spiritual awakening.
method and goal are the same: loving devotion toward Still, if one prepares vegetarian food as an offering unto By taking to the process of Krishna Consciousness, one
the Supreme. Every facet of a Krishna conscious the Supreme Lord, one becomes exempt from the can easily overcome the two kinds of heart disease.
devotees being, from eating to dressing, becomes a reaction imposed by material nature. For example, if one
loving exchange with the Supreme Lord. The rules were to go out and kill somebody on the street, he would For further information:
governing the preparation of prasadam, therefore, are be immediately put in jail as a mad man. However, in one ISKCON
very strict: the cook must bathe and put on fresh clothes were to join the army and kill someone on behalf of the Amerikalei 184
before entering the kitchen; the kitchen itself must be government he is then considered a hero. If ones 2000 Antwerpen Phone/fax: 03-216 29 69
spotless; the cook should never touch his mouth and, activities are sanctioned by the government, then that
most importantly, he must never taste the preparation same government becomes responsible for that persons
before making the formal offering, with love and actions. Similarly, Bhagavad-Gita asserts: the devotees
devotion, to Krishna (God). Deep respect and proper of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because
etiquette dictate that God should be the first to relish the they eat food which is offered first in sacrifice. Others,
offering. Thus, prasadam, which can be obtained at any who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily
ISKCON Center or offered at home under the direction of eats only sin. (B.G. 3.13) Thus, even a vegetarian (who
the devotees, is a sumptuous cuisine that is prepared doesnt offer to Krishna) is guilty of sin, although his sin

Two kinds of
under the strictest rules of cleanliness. And because only is not as severe as that of a meat-eater.
fresh vegetarian products are used in such an offering,
one may freely eat to his hearts content without Neophytes on the path of Bhakti-yoga offer their food to
worrying about material or spiritual heart disease. Krishna according to the instructions of advanced

Prasadam maybe a sweetball (a cooling, pleasant

confection that explodes with flavour), or prasadam can
devotes whose only interest is to please Krishna. If one
wishes to be purified by rendering transcendental service
to God, he should find out what the Lord wants of him;
heart disease
be a popper (a light, crisp bean wafer); prasadam can this is done by consulting the pure devotes who
be kheer (a cold, thick milk sweet), or it can be apple dedicated their lives to God, and by studying the
chutney (a delicately seasoned fruit relish); and in revealed Scriptures.
whatever form prasadam appears, it is always Krishnas
mercy. The food is materially wholesome because it is
offered with love and devotion to God.
In Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna makes clear what kind of
offering He will accept: If one offers with love and
devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.
The Case For
Actually, God doesnt need to eat; He doesnt need our (B.G. 9.26) In Srimad Bhagavatam (the ripened fruit of
meager offering. By definition God is perfectly complete the Vedic literature), and in Vedic supplementary text, we
in Himself. However, just as a father who has already find that the Supreme Lords diet is wonderfully
eaten will appreciate any offering his son will make with elucidated upon-there are hundreds of thousands of
love, God similarly appreciates the devotion with which
we prepare food for Him. The more we fix our
consciousness on pleasing God, the more successful our
things to be offered. However, the Lord never asks for
meat, fish, or eggs, and to offer Him these things is
considered an offense.
offering is. It is not so much the He wants its our love.
Once the delicious vegetarian foods have been offered to
God, according to the rules and regulations of the great
salads? But just compare. There are basically five different kinds of
By Satyaraja Dasa It has long been said that the way to a mans heart is through his meat and poultry, but 40-50 different kinds of commonly eaten
stomach This way-worn clich has taken on a double meaning as a vegetables, 24 kinds of beans, peas and lentils, 20 different fruits, 12
result of the extensive research in the field of heart disease. It has different nuts, and 9 grains. There are hundreds of thousands of different
become a well-known fact that heart disease and general blood vessels recipes one can make using vegetarian food with spices and dairy
disorders are strongly related to the types of food we eat. products. Most important, by adopting the vegetarian diet, one will
definitely be lessening ones chances of getting any kind of heart
Surprisingly, world health statistics consistently show that the nations disease.
which consume the most animal products (meat, fish, and eggs) have
the highest incidence of disease (heart, cancer, etc.) and groups of If one were to taste the sumptuous vegetarian dishes which can easily be
vegetarians in different countries have the lowest incidence of disease. prepared with healthy ingredients and economical practicality, one
In fact, vegetarians in England have to pay much less for life insurance could immediately shrug off the eating of meat, with its risk of heart
than meat-eaters because they are less likely to get heart disease; they disease and corollary disadvantages. There are not only health reasons
are considered less of a risk by the insurance companies. Further, The for the omitting of meat from the diet, but also ecological, economical,
Journal of the American Medical Association reported in 1961 that a biological, ethical, and spiritual reasons. Anyone can freely research the
Based on the teachings of His Divine Grace vegetarian diet can prevent 90-97 % of various kinds of heart disease subject and find overwhelming evidences in favour of the vegetarian
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (thrombo-embolic disease and coronary occlusions). Such facts are way of life.
augmented by the statements of such stalwart authorities on the subject
Founder-Acharya of from the late nutritionist Dr. Paavo Airola, who openly taught that a Despite the well-documented research done in regard to vegetarianism
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness lacto-vegetarian diet (a non-meat diet which includes dairy products) is and proper health, however, relatively few are turning to a vegetarian
the most suitable diet for modern man, to E.F. Schumacher, the noted diet, and heart disease runs amok. Further, the heart disease that is
economist who espoused vegetarianism as a most practical diet for primarily caused by the eating of meat seems to be indicative of another
living in harmony with nature in an extremely pragmatic and simple type of heart disease: the lack of God consciousness prevalent in the
way. Thus we find an unbelievably compelling argument for a non-meat world today. Interestingly, the root cause of both forms of heart disease
In the United States of America one person out of every two will die of diet: undeniable and well-documented evidence that there is correlation can be cured by the same thing: experiencing a higher taste.
heart or related blood vessel disease. An extraordinary statistic, to be between meat eating and heart disease.
sure. While this short article is certainly not intended to be morbid, it is When someone is very young a child one naturally tends to play
mea nt to present the attentive reader with several facts on the What is it that makes meat eating so harmful to the circulatory system? with childish toys. When one gets somewhat older, he just as naturally
subject of heart disease and its prevention. The fats of animal flesh, such as cholesterol, do not break down well in forsakes his toys and becomes involved in frivolous sports, the opposite
the human body. These fats begin to line the walls of the meat-eaters sex, and perhaps even a good education depending on his foresight.
Dr. Harriet P. Dustan, President of the American Heart Association and blood vessels. With the process of continual accumulation, the opening However his youthful toy has become distasteful to him because he has
director of cardiovascular research at the University of Alabama inside the vessel gets progressively smaller as the years go by, allowing experienced something higher. He has experienced both, and has
Medical Center, has disclosed that weakness, fatigue, shortness of less and less blood to flow through. This dangerous condition is called decided to pursue that which gives him more pleasure. It becomes
breath and swelling of legs may be signs of advanced heart disease. She arteriosclerosis; it places a tremendous burden on the heart, which has entirely natural for a young man to shrug off the very thing he once
also explains the type of pain one experiences during a heart attack as a to pump blood to an unnaturally hard degree through clogged and thought was unsurpassable in his younger days. Similarly, when one
crushing, oppressive kind of pain. Usually its in the middle of the constricted vessels. As a result high blood pressure, stroke, and heart relishes the nectar which naturally comes from a life of spiritual activity,
chest or maybe in the neck or even the inside or the arm. It can be attacks occur. Recently, a group of scientists at Harvard found that the the inherent superiority of such life becomes evident. Because
associated with sweating, breathlessness and general weakness. average blood pressure of vegetarians studied was significantly lower spirituality awards such a natural and pristine happiness, the unnatural
Sometimes its in the pit of the stomach. than that of a comparable group of non-vegetarians. and temporal nature of this material sphere becomes apparent.

Heart disease may develop gradually, but is fatal for those who will not It is now recognized that the nations number one killer, heart disease, Five thousand years ago, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri
take preventive measures. While heart disease is a serious subject, it is has reached epidemic proportions. More and more physicians (and the Krishna, said in His Bhagavad-gita:
truly uncanny that the general mass of people remain in a state of total American Heart Association) are deeply concerned about the amount of
unawareness as to the actual causes and means of diagnosis, treatment meat that the American people are consuming and are trying to sharply viay vinivartante
and rehabilitation of this No. 1 killer. Says Dr. Dustan, the most restrict it. Many scientists now recognize that the roughage and fibre of nirhrasya dehina
important advances in reducing heart disease will come in the area of the average vegetarian diet lowers the level of cholesterol. Dr. U.D. rasa-varja raso 'py asya
prevention. This requires people to take responsibility for maintaining Register, Chairman of the department of Nutrition at Loma University para dv nivartate
their own health. Until recently, people werent used to this concept. in California, describes experiments in which a diet rich in beans,
Neither were doctors. The Senate Select Committee on Nutrition grains, etc., actually reduced cholesterol, even while the subjects were One may artificially repress the desire of the senses, although the tastes
recommended an overall decrease in calories for Americans. This eating large amounts of diary products. for sensual enjoyment remains; but by ceasing such enjoyment,
includes a decrease in saturated or animal fats, since the amount of fat in experiencing a higher taste, one is fixed in consciousness. (B.G. 2.59)
the diet is believed to effect blood cholesterol level. This can lead to Despite the good reasons for a meatless diet, there are those who will
heart disease. protest: Vegetarian diets are boring; who can live on big, green
So it is this higher taste that is needed to change ones diet as well as
ones consciousness.
One may argue that interest in God and spiritual matters is not
necessarily higher than materialistic life only different. However, if
we carefully analyze the nature of man, we can see clearly that spiritual
life and inquiry into the nature of God should be the focal point of
human existence.

For example, why is man given superior intelligence over the vast
numbers of lower species? He is obviously given higher intelligence for
a higher purpose. Since eating, sleeping, mating, and defending make up
the entire gamut of animalistic activities, human life, used for those
same ends, simply qualifies as a sort of polished animal life. Mans
intelligence is thus logically intended for a higher purpose. Why is a
highly posted government officer given better facilities for a
comfortable life than an ordinary office clerk? The reason is because he
has to discharge duties of a more responsible nature. If ma n simply
uses his higher intelligence for a sophisticated form of bestial activity,
where is the real difference between man and animal? A dog may sleep
in the street very comfortably, and a man may have a nightmare on his
luxurious Posturepedic mattress. What is the real difference between
animal life and human life? It is the higher taste for that which is
peculiar to the human form. It is the taste for God.