Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 24 Jun 2019

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Is it a sin to eat eggs?

Shri Durgaprasad asked: My son was asking why eating eggs is a sin, when there is no life in it. Awareness or life develops in it only if the egg is kept in an incubator for hatching.

Swami replied: Let us say that you have gone outside of your house to play. So, you are not seen in your house. Even though you are not seen in the house, your mother is preparing food for you because you will come home shortly. So, your absence from the house is only temporary. It also means that you exist elsewhere, even though you cannot be seen by the people in the house. When you return home after sometime and are seen by your people, do they say that you have just come into existence since they could not see you before? Existence is different from visibility. An existent item can be visible or invisible. Being invisible for sometime does not mean an item is non-existent. Awareness exists in the fertilized egg, even though it is not seen by you. You only see the chick after it hatches and you think that awareness appeared only when the chick emerged from the egg. The soul, which is present in an energetic body, enters the egg as soon as it is fertilized.

There is another type of egg which is called a vegetarian egg. It is unfertilized and so, it does not have a soul or awareness. Eating such an egg is like eating the meat of an already-dead animal, which does not involve any killing. There is no sin in eating such meat, since meat also has the same basic components as vegetarian food such as proteins, vitamins, minerals and so on. These components are just inert materials. The whole sin lies in killing the living animal for its meat. Even if you say that the awareness in an egg is in a dormant state, it does not justify killing. You are taking away the future life granted by God to that animal for the sake of your food even though you have plenty of nutritious vegetarian food provided by God. Plants only have the mechanical process of respiration but they do not have a nervous system for the generation of awareness. Mechanical respiration itself is called life (Praanamaya kosha). But it is not the real meaning of life. Real life is found only in animals, which are zoological beings and not in plants, which are botanical beings. The real meaning of life is the awareness generated by the nervous system (Manomaya kosha). The awareness is produced in the nervous system as a result of the oxygen supplied by the process of respiration. But the mere supply of oxygen, without a functioning nervous system, cannot be called life.

 
   

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