Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 25 Jan 2019

     

Why is Islam associated with violence, meat-eating and other defects?

Shri Anil asked: Padanamaskaram Swami! Suraj Advaita asked the following doubts in a forum and is seeking their clarification from You. Kindly give Your reply. At Your divine feet, Anil.

Why is Islam causing problems everywhere? Why is the Quran so negatively written? Why does Islam allow meat-eating, when Sanatana Dharma does not allow it? If meat eating is sin, why are Muslims allowed to eat meat? Is Islam the Devil’s religion? Also, please let me know what things on your channel I should propagate? I have read most of your articles and I have liked them. Where can I find all your articles?

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Swami replied: Sin is sin irrespective of the religion a person follows. No divine scripture allows any human being to follow sin. But when a certain sin is inevitable and when no single person can change it among the people belonging to a certain religion or region, the divine scripture neglects for the time being. The scripture, in its preaching, concentrates on the control of other sins at least. Even in Hinduism, non-vegetarian food is consumed by people belonging to several sects. You cannot blame Muslims alone for consuming non-vegetarian food since non-vegetarians are present in almost all religions. There are several good and bad qualities in every religion. You should not blame any specific religion for non-vegetarianism since it is found in almost all religions. Even in Buddhism, which is famous for non-violence, people consumed non-vegetarian food right from the time of Buddha. Except for Jainism, non-vegetarianism has always existed in every religion of the world.

Eating non-vegetarian food is a sin because it involves the killing of animals and birds to obtain their meat. There is no sin in merely eating non-vegetarian food if it does not involve the killing of harmless creatures. Eating non-vegetarian food obtained from naturally dead animals is not considered to be sin. Kaapaalikas in Hinduism eat the meat of naturally dead living beings and it is not counted as a sin. Hence, eating either vegetarian or non-vegetarian food is not a sin directly. Eating non-vegetarian food becomes an indirect sin due to the killing of animals for their meat.

We should not provoke quarrels among the followers of religions by finding faults with other people’s religions. Faults are present in all the religions in one form or another. Such fanatic behavior must be avoided to bring peace to this world. An atom of goodness in us appears to us as a mountain while the mountain of badness in us appears to us as an atom! In the case of others, we reverse the policy: an atom of badness in others appears to us as a mountain and the mountain of goodness in others appears to us as an atom! Such biased behavior results in quarrels among religions. Actually, we must look at things in exactly the opposite manner. We must see an atom of badness in us as a mountain and a mountain of goodness in us as an atom. Similarly, we must see an atom of goodness in others as a mountain and a mountain of badness in others as an atom. By looking at things in this manner, we can avoid quarrels, not only with other religions but also with all our fellow-human beings. Such behavior is the basis of bringing peace in our family, in our city, in our state, in our country and finally in this entire world. If there is any human being who is trying hard to bring peace in this world, God likes that person to the greatest extent because God wants this world, created and maintained by Him, to run peacefully. Anybody violating this main aim of God becomes the object of His terrible anger.

In Hinduism, people kill animals in a ritual called yajna, which means sacrifice. But the Veda clearly says “Manyuh pashuh”, which means that the ‘animal’ to be killed is the rigid, animal-like foolishness, which makes a human being follow blind traditions without analysis. As a symbolic representation of this concept, it is suggested that the flour of useless non-germinating grains be shaped into the form of an animal and that form be cut with a knife. The form of the animal made out of flour is called a Pistapashuh. This practice of cutting the flour-animal exists in the sacrifice or yajna which is performed with knowledge. Such a yajna is called ishti. But people who were fond of non-vegetarian food exploited this concept by replacing the flour-animal with an actual animal in order to justify the killing of animals for meat. Such people will not stop killing animals for food even if the Veda orders them to stop.

For the sake of such people, the Veda introduced the concept of offering the meat to God after killing the animal. That way, the killer is at least introduced to the concept of the existence of God. He is reminded of the concept that all his sins, including this one, will inevitably be punished by the unimaginable God. The punishment is delivered to him in an unimaginable way so he can never escape from it. In the procedures of such yajnas, the Veda describes the killing of the animal only as an inevitable incidental step. It does not mean that the Veda is ordering you to kill the animal. The description of killing the animal is being included in the procedure since, due to your taste for meat, you will kill the animal anyway and you will not stop even if the Veda orders you to stop killing. We should be clear that the Veda is not encouraging people to kill animals.

When the sin is inevitable due to people’s hard-to-change habit, the Veda is temporarily allowing it, with the hope of changing the habit in the future. After killing the animal, at the very least, people can offer the meat to God before consuming it themselves. It will strengthen the concept of God in people’s minds. Once the concepts of God, His unimaginable omnipotence and His punishment of sins are firmly established in their minds, changing their habit of meat-eating will be easier. So, the Veda contains descriptions of even the inevitable killing of animals, which is incidental to offering the meat to God. The blind ritualists (Puurvamiimaamsakaas) take these incidental descriptions of the killing of animals in the procedures of the Vedic sacrifices as orders given by the Veda to kill! In this context, Shankara clarified that the Veda is only stating the incidental step of killing, which you will do anyway and that it is not ordering or encouraging you to kill (Jnaapakam na tu kaarakam). So, one can never put the blame of this sin on the Veda!

Similarly, the Quran also states the incidental step of killing the animal, while describing the procedure of offering the meat of the animal to Allah (Bismillah). These people who are in the habit of eating meat will not stop killing animals for their meat even if the Quran orders them to stop. So, you cannot blame the Quran for supporting the killing of animals. If you blame the Quran, you will have to equally blame the Veda too! The intention of the scripture is only to temporarily follow the rigid ignorance of people who kill animals so that the crucial concept of God as the Punisher of sins can be established. Once this concept is established, controlling these people becomes a lot easier. The same God revealed both the Veda and the Quran and hence, the concepts of the two divine scriptures cannot be different. Using this analysis, every human being in this world must develop Universal Spirituality, which is based on one God as the single Source of all divine scriptures and religions. Spirituality means the theoretical knowledge or philosophy. Religion is the practical path of worship of God and maintaining justice in the world. Upon understanding Universal Spirituality, each one must join the Universal Religion, while staying in one’s own religion.