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GUIDLINES OF JAINISM

Bhadrabahu Vijay

The Jain Dharma prohibits the eating of the following things

The Jain Dharma has adopted for Itself the method of releasing the soul from all the bondages of Karma as the ultimate and supreme aim of life. Only human beings are capable of cutting off the hard and deceptive bondage of Karma. Other beings cannot achieve this aim completely. In the endeavor to achieve deliverance, the cooperation of the body is very important. Therefore, it is necessary to take care of the body. But we should not forget one vital point in this connection. Just as we should not cause the body to wither away with hunger, thirst and hardships, so also we should not make it bulky and florid by enjoying ( eating and drinking ) various things. If the senses and the mind should remain healthy and wholesome we should exercise control over our instincts and passions; and in this manner, we should exercise discipline in respect of food. Moreover, with a peaceful and elevated mind we should contemplate on the soul, achieve firmness and cheerfulness and should achieve self- realization.

Here is a list of things that should not be taken (eaten).

Meat-eating

One should not eat any kind of meat.

Alcoholic drinks

People should not take any alcoholic drinks including beer.

Eggs

Eggs and the so called vegetarian eggs also should not be eaten.

Roots

Potatoes, onions, garlic, carrot, radish, ginger, sweet potato, white yam. the elephant's foot ( a root ) and other such roots should not be eaten.

Some other foods

Brinjal, cheese, cream. honey, butter etc., should not be consumed.

Eating ( Dwidal ) pulses

Preparing food by mixing raw dwidal with raw milk and curds (The grains like wheat, Bengal gram, Green gram, black gram, lentil etc. ). This is Viruddha food or prohibited food for body and soul.

Stale food

Eating of stale food ( which has remained in the night) in the next morning is prohibited.

If we think of all these items from the religious point of view, they are not fit to be eaten because eating such food involves the killing of various kinds of microscopic creatures and germs; and so people should abstain from eating them. If we think of them from the point of view of health and physical wellbeing we find that they provoke the darker aspects of human nature. They provoke the senses, the instincts and the passions. They provide fuel to the fire of latent and dormant instincts and passions. The virtues like tenderness, softness, kindness, equanimity and peace wither away by the consumption of such foods. The choice of food should depend more on considerations relating to the natural freshness. health and wellbeing of the mind than on considerations relating to the wellbeing and nourishment of the body.