Is it dharma to refuse if my parents compel to take meat?
A devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Prabhu ji….. I am in a serious difficulty…. I m 14 years old…. I have a great love for Dharma…. I want to be a vegetarian but my parents and relatives say that i should not leave eating non-veg as it would stop providing the essential nutrients for the body…. I made them understand but they don’t listen…. Later I came to a conclusion that i would eat only fish but I am against it also…. I am in a Dharm Sankat…. Following elders and eating veg both r Dharm….. Please help me…..Hare Krishna….”
But, the actual dharma is different.
When there is a conflict between “duties for family” and “duties for the Varna, ie, society (Varnashrama dharma)”, only the duties for the society is superior.
Lord Rama deserted Sita Devi telling that for a king who is a kshatriya, his country is the priority when he has to choose between his family and country.
(My family compels me to eat meat for strength violating regulative principle. What to do? READ HERE!)
Arjuna had to decide between relatives and country. Krishna advised him to follow kshatriya dharma and kill the enemies who were his relatives.
A boy may think that having multiple sex partners is not bad if the girls agree to that. But, the superior social dharma will brand him as a sinner. Because, social dharma is superior to individual dharma.
Thus, we can give many examples to show that social or Varnashrama dharma is superior to individual’s dharma.
Similarly , eating meat is your choice, may be your right also. No doubt. But, if you like to focus on the real purpose of life, ie, going back to Godhead, you have to follow the general advice (social dharma for devotees) and instructions given for achieving the same.
Eating meat increases rajo and thamo gunas. These gunas are the barriers for the improvement in God realization because you will be induced to involve more in sense gratifying activities. You can not properly and fully concentrate and improve in devotional practices. So, we are advised to avoid meat.
In the material perspective too, eating meat is eating the flesh of animals for developing our own flesh. It is also against non violence. Violent activities are not recommended for common people like us. Only kshatriyas have to follow war and physical means to achieve their kshatriya dharma like Arjuna did in the war field.
(Is taking meat rarely also offensive? What can I do in compelling situations? READ HERE!)
So, you should try to follow the instructions given for devotional improvement. Do not care if parents compel to take meat. Not following the advice of the parents is not wrong if you are sure that they are advising against the dharma for devotees. So, to get Krishna fast, violating the ignorant advice of elders is not wrong. Your elders may not have realized the seriousness behind eating meat. So, they will follow that till they too get realizations. You need not sacrifice Krishna for satisfying the elders. This does not mean that you can leave the elders and settle in the temples. Their wrong advice can be neglected. That’s all..
As a good son, do all the duties for your parents and protect them. Do not leave them in old age homes. Study well, earn and manage your family life well. Follow discipline in life and be a good son. This is enough for you as a responsible son.
Eating the meat may be their habit, but avoiding the meat is your habit and vaishnava dharma. This is an individual’s right either to choose or avoid.
If you just neglect their compulsion to eat meat, you will not violate your dharma for parents. This is sure.
(Can an initiated devotee attend family functions and cook meat for others? READ HERE!)
And, we should not eat a food stuff that can not be offered to Krishna. So, meat can not be offered to Krishna. So, it is not for devotees who like to love Krishna from their heart and with respect. Meat eating is for wild animals and some other living beings. Not for men. His teeth have been given to chew and digest vegetables. But, the teeth for wild animals are sharp and long to cut and chew flesh.
So, when they cook meat, do not eat it. Eat only the vegetarian foods. If possible, offer the vegetarian food to the Lord and then honour it. If impossible offer fruits to Lord right now. When you have your own family, prepare pure vegetarian foods and offer to the Lord and then honour it.
This is my advice for u.
Stop worrying hereafter if parents compel to take meat. All the best.
(5 Conditions for a Krishna devotee to marry a Non devotee Meat eater! READ HERE!)