Do animals have soul (athma) as meat eaters say animals have no soul?
ACTUAL QUESTION from a girl devotee:
Hare Krishna Prabhuji dandavat pranam…. Prabhuji I am now a M. Com student, living at hostel, maintaining a spiritual life also by chanting praying presenting bhoga etc trying to do all sort of devotional practices that I could able to do. I have a room mate who is from another religion. She is from ………….. group, is a serious devotee of god and I feel blessed to have such a friend like her. But Prabhuji in many context she differs from me. As in one days talks I asked since you are a good devotee of Lord, why then you eat meat as they too are creation of god too have soul thus they too are brothers and sisters of you. For which she answered that sorry dear but according to our vedic book, the animals don’t have soul so they are allowed to be eaten. I got totally shocked. How far this context differ from our Bhagwat Geeta where we believe everyone is a part and parcel of Lord. And also many more. So Prabhuji why this context is different from other religions since I totally believe that every living entity is a creation of Krishna and they are got born as their karmic reaction of which she denied it by saying we don’t believe in rebirth concept. So why some of the aspect is different which sounds little bit protesting. She is my very good friend, I don’t wanna prove her wrong but I just wanna Know so better you hide my name if you post it in your post for the answer or else you answer it here it self . All praise to srila prabhupad . Nitai gaura premanande Hari bol . HARE KRISHNA
Actually, the presence of soul can be with the presence of the consciousness.
This means that whoever has consciousness or life should have soul/ athma in them.
Soul/ athma resides in every living being right from microorganisms upto humans.
(Can you explain whether we are body or soul or both? READ HERE!)
When the soul leaves a body, the person loses the consciousness.
Now, take animals. These animals have soul (athma).
For example, a dog.
Dogs move here and there. When a dog crosses a road, it changes its path if it finds a vehicle crossing the road.
When the dog sees another dog, it identifies that it is of same category and hence mates with it. A dog never mates with a goat.
When two dogs mate, they too feel the enjoyments and they behave like men. Who taught it about those things?
If a person takes care of a dog in his home with love, that dog does not bark when it sees his master. Instead, it licks him with love.
(8 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ON SOUL (ATHMA) ENTERING THE BODIES! READ HERE!)
In Police departments, only the dogs are trained and used to identify the criminals.
Thus, even a dog has been given sufficient knowledge to manage its living and show its unique talents.
That means, even a dog has consciousness and hence some knowledge because the dog and other animals have soul (athma).
I have an incident to tell at this place.
I have already said that my father could not own any motor vehicle. He was using a bullock cart to go to his work and come back. During those periods, using bullock carts is a usual practice.
Since he was taking care of that bull with love, the bull also was very loyal to him.
One day, he was returning from his work in the afternoon in his bullock cart. He was so tired and hence slept even while driving the cart.
(Nature Of Athma (Soul): Can the athma (Soul) feel, see, speak and work? READ HERE!)
That bull was pulling the cart in the right direction since it was familiar with the route.
At a point of time, the cart reached an unmanned Railway level crossing. The passengers have to stop their vehicles when they find any train coming nearby. There will be no gate keepers.
Since my father was sleeping, he could not know that a train is coming fast nearby.
If the cart puts just a single further step, it will touch the railway line, the train will definitely collide with the cart and everything will be finished.
What that bull did?
Seeing the train coming, the bull understood that a train is coming nearby and wisely decided to stop moving even without the direction of its master, ie, my father who was sleeping.
(It is said that a man taking an animal birth is not possible. Is it right or wrong? READ HERE!)
When the train crossed that level crossing, my father woke up from sleep because of the noise of the fast moving train.
He found that his cart was just less than a feet away from the moving train.
He cried with tears and rubbed the body of that bull with the gratitude.
When the train crossed, the bull automatically started to pull the cart.
Thus, the bull had sufficient intelligence to identify the train coming and save its master.
That day, my father gave special foods for the bull and he never sold it till it died of old age.
When that bull died because of old age, all of us could not control the tears thinking the level of dedication that bull showed for its master.
Now tell me, who gave that knowledge to the bull?
(WHY KRISHNA SUPPORTED ANIMAL SACRIFICE IN YAGAS AND YAJNAS? READ HERE!)
Krishna resides as athma (soul) even in the body of a bull. So, animals have soul (athma).
When that bull died, all its activities and movements came to an end. It became just a material.
Should we kill the animals that have the consciousness and the knowledge sufficient for managing their life that ensures they have souls?
One day, I saw a video news report that in a village temple, hundreds of sheep are sacrificed for that god and the Pujari drank the drops of blood from every sheep when it was cut.
Till the time the sheep is killed, they gave it plenty of fresh grass to eat. When the sheep was eating the grass happily, they take that and kill. It did not expect that it is going to be killed and hence it was happily eating the grass.
(WHAT ARE THE FOUR DEFECTS OF CONDITIONED SOULS (MAN)? READ HERE!)
Tell me, is it justified to kill the animals that are innocent and that never disturb us?
If there is no electricity, how can the instruments function? If there is no soul, how can these living beings function and think?
If there is no soul in the animals, how could they show their knowledge and emotions such as gratitude to their masters who feed them as explained above in the case of the grateful bull?
How could they move? How could they eat? How could they survive?
Why do they become just a material after something from inside the body leaves?
Isn’t there something that operates those animals?
That operating element is called the soul or athma.
(HOW THE SOUL LEAVES AND ENTERS INTO BODIES? – STEP BY STEP EXPLANATION! READ HERE!)
Therefore, all the animals have soul (athma) in them. Even the plants.
Have you seen the plant Mimosa pudica (also called sensitive plant, sleepy plant, action plant, touch-me-not, shameplant) that shrinksin size when we touch the leaf?
Do you know that Tulasi plant that is ‘used in worship’ dies when we touch her with unclean body or when some animals eat some of the leaves?
How this happens?
That means, even the plants have some level of consciousness required for their life management.
Therefore, if there is a living being, ie, plants and animals have soul (athma). Otherwise, it is just a material like a stone.
Request your room-mate to read this reply. She will understand it if she is wise that the animals have soul (athma)!
Hope this helps.
(10 SCIENTIFIC REASONS TO AVOID MEAT EATING AS A REGULATIVE PRINCIPLE!READ HERE!)