Can an initiated devotee attend family functions and cook meat for others?
A devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Hare Krsna. If a devotee is practising Krsna Consciousness and has taken initiation, can he/she take part in a family discussion on arranging non veg food for the family function or gathering? Please note that the family members are not Krsna devotees. If you are going to post this Q&A on the wall, kindly hide my name and location. Hare Krsna.”
The initiated devotees may take part in family functions. No need for any hesitations. Taking initiation means, taking Hari nam from a guru and taking oath in front of that guru that he/ she will follow the devotional life and follow a certain rules.
We are not taking sanyasa from guru. Only if you take sanyasa initiation from a guru, you should avoid attending the functions. It is only for sanyasis.
If you take Hari Nam diksha, you are allowed to follow devotion from within the family. When you are allowed to lead a normal life with studies, job, business, etc, attending the functions is also allowed.
However, even while attending the functions, we must follow the rules of initiation. What are they?
If possible, you may avoid taking food there. Or, you may just attend the function and take prasadam at home separately. If it is not possible, you may also take just fruits and milk there. In case, it is the function of a close relative, you may take the stuff that does not contain onion, garlic and other prohibited items. Even in such an unavoidable case, you should pray to Krishna to forgive the karma involved in that food, before eating it. You may also take a tulasi leaf with you and mix the leaf with the food you take in functions and pray to Krishna to purify that food.
In any case, never take foods with onion and garlic or non veg. My suggestion is that you can better avoid taking food if they also cook non veg items. Just attend, bless and come back.
You have asked whether you can cook non veg food to others. This is also sinful. Because, you are helping others to take non veg. Therefore, in any circumstances, do not cook non veg food, if you are initiated. This is the system.
In case, in the life between husband and wife, if the husband insists cooking non veg, the wife may cook ONLY IF SHE IS NOT INITIATED, but, the sin goes to husband. SHE SHOULD NOT TAKE IT. Because, in family life, a wife is in a position to fulfill the needs of husband.
The verdict is: The devotee should postpone initiation if she is unable to avoid cooking non veg. Initiated devotees should never cook non veg.
That is why, I have advised in my old counsellings not to rush for initiation UNTIL THE SITUATION COMES IN YOUR CONTROL AFTER MARRIAGE.
In case you take initiation before marriage, marry only an initiated boy. Otherwise, you will be offending throughout your life.
In case, your family members cook and eat non veg and you like to take initiation, be firm that you cook separately using separate utensils, offer to Krishna and honour it. And, marry only a devotee boy.
Of course these arrangements may be difficult for that devotee. But, if you rush for initiation, you need to follow rules. If not, postpone initiation till the situation becomes better.
Hope you are clear.