Humans and Animals Consume Another Life

Sikhs seems to lost in factionalism at many levels (political, religious, social etc.). Similarly, many Sikhs are confused about food what should Sikhs eat and not eat? Let’s try to get inspiration from Gurbani in Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) on this:

  • ਸਭਿ ਰਸ ਮਿਠੇ ਮੰਨਿਐ ਸੁਣਿਐ ਸਾਲੋਣੇ ॥ ਖਟ ਤੁਰਸੀ ਮੁਖਿ ਬੋਲਣਾ ਮਾਰਣ ਨਾਦ ਕੀਏ ॥ ਛਤੀਹ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਭਾਉ ਏਕੁ ਜਾ ਕਉ ਨਦਰਿ ਕਰੇਇ ॥੧॥ ਬਾਬਾ ਹੋਰੁ ਖਾਣਾ ਖੁਸੀ ਖੁਆਰੁ ॥ ਜਿਤੁ ਖਾਧੈ ਤਨੁ ਪੀੜੀਐ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਚਲਹਿ ਵਿਕਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : Accepting the Divine Naam (i. e. Giyan-Wisdom / Vitues) is to enjoy all kinds of sweets (Rasas, tastes…) seem sweet and listening to Naam is to enjoy salty dishes. Contemplating the Divine Naam is like savoring sour delicacies and living the Naam in life is like enjoying spicy food. ||1|| O brother, consuming such food which leads to vices/Bikaar in the mind and causes pain in the body should be avoided so that one’s life is not spiritually ruined or wasted. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 16).
  • ਬਿਖੁ ਖਾਣਾ ਬਿਖੁ ਬੋਲਣਾ ਬਿਖੁ ਕੀ ਕਾਰ ਕਮਾਇ ॥ ਜਮ ਦਰਿ ਬਾਧੇ ਮਾਰੀਅਹਿ ਛੂਟਸਿ ਸਾਚੈ ਨਾਇ ॥੨॥ : Being caught in the trap of greed, what a living being eats is equal to poison, what he speaks is equal to poison and what he does bad deeds is no less than poison. Such mortals remain bound in vices/Bikaar and worldly sufferings till the end, but that person attains liberation, who remains attached to the Divine Naam. ॥2॥ (sggs 1331).

It is worth noting Guru Shabad (SGGS) has emphasized here as a principle that such foods should not be eaten, the use of which causes disorders in the mind (bad thoughts…), because consuming such substances leads to ruin of the body and does not create ‘Sahaj’ (Natural State of Being, Enlightened state…).

The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) takes us out of the confusion/illusion/ignorance of what should Sikhs eat and not eat.

We often come across arguments, debates, opinions, wrangling, articles regarding should one eat meat (i.e. another Jeeva – life) or should one not eat it.

In a nutshell, the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS forbids eating the things that are harmful to one’s Conscious (Surat-ਸੁਰਤ), overall health, and so on — Psychic intoxicants (vices/Bikaar : lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride), worldly temptations and their corrupting influences (attachment of Maya), alcoholic intoxicants or abuse of and controlled substances etc.

First let’s try to find out exactly what does the Gurmat Giyan-Wisdom of the SGGS considers a Jeev (life).

Four sources of creation

Mentioned in the SGGS are four sources of creation or life: (1) Andaj (ਅੰਡਜ: the egg-born), (2) Jeraj (ਜੇਰਜ: fetes-born or born from the womb), (3) Setaj (ਸੇਤਜ: the sweat-born), and (4) Outabhuj (ਉਤਭੁਜ: the earth-born).

The Gurbani in SGGS calls all these four sources of creation as ‘Janntaa‘ (‘ਜੰਤਾ’) — beings or Jeev.

  • ਅੰਡਜ ਜੇਰਜ ਉਤਭੁਜ ਸੇਤਜ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀਤੇ ਜੰਤਾ ॥ : The Jeev born of eggs, born of the womb, born of the earth and born of sweat, all are created by You (i.e. Hukam: System-Rule-Law of Nature…). (sggs 596).

In other words, the ONE universal ‘Jot‘ (Universal Energy, light, Hukam…) is all-Pervasive.

  • ਅੰਡਜ ਜੇਰਜ ਸੇਤਜ ਉਤਭੁਜ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮਾਣੀ ॥ : The Light (Universal Energy) fills all those born of eggs, born from the womb, born of sweat and born of the earth, each and every heart. (sggs 1109).

Every grain is a life

The SGGS further affirms that each and every grain is a Jeev as well (i.e. living being).

For example, if you sow a grain (seed) in the ground, it will grow into a plant or a tree (ਉਤਭੁਜ-born from the earth). Hence, it is asserted in the Gurbani that all vegetation/vegetables are also Jeev (life).

  • ਜੇਤੇ ਦਾਣੇ ਅੰਨ ਕੇ ਜੀਆ ਬਾਝੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥ : As many are the grains of food, none is without life. (sggs 472).
  • ਕਉਣੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਉਣੁ ਸਾਗੁ ਕਹਾਵੈ ਕਿਸੁ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਪ ਸਮਾਣੇ ॥ : (Due to lack of Wisdom, a fool does not no the real difference in) what is called meat and what is called a green vegetable, (and eating) which leads to sin. (sggs 1289).

That being said, according to the Gurbani, all sources of creation on this earth are in fact Jeev (life…).

Not only that, the Gurbani teaches us that water is also Jeev!

In fact, water is said to be responsible for the existence of this world. Water sustains life, keeps vegetables, grain, crops, trees, etc., alive or green. Similarly, it also keeps the livestock alive. In addition, water has countless micro Jeev in it. In addition, there are also countless micro Jeev in air we breathe, and the earth we walk on.

  • ਪਹਿਲਾ ਪਾਣੀ ਜੀਉ ਹੈ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿਆ ਸਭੁ ਕੋਇ ॥ : First, the water is Jeev itself (there is life in it), by which everything else is made green (i.e. alive). (sggs 472).
  • ਪਾਂਡੇ ਤੂ ਜਾਣੈ ਹੀ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਿਥਹੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਉਪੰਨਾ ॥ ਤੋਇਅਹੁ ਅੰਨੁ ਕਮਾਦੁ ਕਪਾਹਾਂ ਤੋਇਅਹੁ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਗੰਨਾ ॥ ਤੋਆ ਆਖੈ ਹਉ ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਹਛਾ ਤੋਐ ਬਹੁਤੁ ਬਿਕਾਰਾ ॥ : O Pandit! You do not know where meat originated. From water are produced corn (that other Jeev eat), sugarcane (that other Jeev eat) and cotton (that other Jeev wear its clothes) and (thus) from water the whole universe springs forth. Water says that I do good in many ways (i.e. it produces may foods, clothing etc. to keep the organism alive), all these forms (i.e. infinite variety of substances) are in the water itself. (sggs 1290).
  • ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਮਾਸਹੁ ਨਿੰਮਿਆ ਮਾਸੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਵਾਸੁ ॥ ਜੀਉ ਪਾਇ ਮਾਸੁ ਮੁਹਿ ਮਿਲਿਆ ਹਡੁ ਚੰਮੁ ਤਨੁ ਮਾਸੁ ॥ ਮਾਸਹੁ ਬਾਹਰਿ ਕਢਿਆ ਮੰਮਾ ਮਾਸੁ ਗਿਰਾਸੁ ॥ ਮੁਹੁ ਮਾਸੈ ਕਾ ਜੀਭ ਮਾਸੈ ਕੀ ਮਾਸੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸਾਸੁ ॥ ਵਡਾ ਹੋਆ ਵੀਆਹਿਆ ਘਰਿ ਲੈ ਆਇਆ ਮਾਸੁ ॥ ਮਾਸਹੁ ਹੀ ਮਾਸੁ ਊਪਜੈ ਮਾਸਹੁ ਸਭੋ ਸਾਕੁ ॥ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਬੁਝੀਐ ਤਾਂ ਕੋ ਆਵੈ ਰਾਸਿ ॥ ਆਪਿ ਛੁਟੇ ਨਹ ਛੂਟੀਐ ਨਾਨਕ ਬਚਨਿ ਬਿਣਾਸੁ ॥ ੧॥ : First of all, mortal is conceived in flesh (i.e. the semen of the father; the union of mother and father). Then he resides in the flesh (i.e. mother’s womb). When the mortal comes alive, it has a tongue made of flesh in its mouth; then the whole body including bones, skin body are found to be made of flesh. Even when the mortal comes out of the flesh (i.e. mother’s womb), he takes a mouthful of flesh at the mother’s breast. His mouth is of flesh, his tongue is of flesh, and he breathes in flesh. When he grows up, he gets married an brings the flesh (i.e. spouse) into his house. (Then) from the flesh (child-form) flesh is born; (So, the whole world) is related to the flesh. (Instead of wrangling about eating meat or not to eat), if we meet Satgur (true Wisdom-ਸਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) and understand the Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature), then the creature (coming into the world) comes to pass, then the solution to this fleshly argument will be found automatically, meaning the understanding of the subject will also come. (The mortal has such an intimate connection with the flesh from birth to death that) mortal cannot escape from the flesh even with full force; O Nanak! such baseless wrangling do the opposite (i.e. ਨੁਕਸਾਨ-damage, wastage, detriment, ruin etc.). ||1|| (sggs 1289).

Now, summing up all this, the implication is that if all sources of creation (‘ਅੰਡਜ ਜੇਰਜ ਉਤਭੁਜ ਸੇਤਜ’) on this earth in fact are Jeev (life), then, regardless of what we eat in this world throughout a day or throughout a lifetime, we would be just eating another Jeev (life) only! In short, no human being in the world can escape from eating other life (Jeev Hatiya – ਜੀਵ ਹੱਤਿਆ).


  • ਜੀਆ ਕਾ ਆਹਾਰੁ ਜੀਅ ਖਾਣਾ ਏਹੁ ਕਰੇਇ ॥ : Jeev are the food (diet) of Jeev, this is what they eat (dine, live on…). (sggs 955).

That said, all humans and animals are naturally non-vegetarian from birth to death!

In other words, to be a strictly vegetarian, one has to completely stop breathing air, drinking water, eating any grain or plant food!

Let alone water and food, no humans and other creatures can live without breathing air! Furthermore, we all use milk or milk-products in one or other form. In fact, milk is nothing but liquid meat!

Clearly, first, strictly based on what one eats, one is no less worthy and one is no more worthy of Mool-Abidance. The same One Universal Energy dwells in all.

Second, for transforming a Mayaic or conditioned mind into an Unconditioned Mind (Jot Saroop – Original Nature), the Gurbani does not require adherence to any religion, dogmas, special diet, rituals, traditions (ਪਰੰਮਪਰਾ) etc.

Aptly, Baabaa Nanak says to argue about eating or not eating meat is the subject of ‘fools‘!

  • ਮਾਸੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਰਿ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਝਗੜੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਣੈ ॥ : Only a foolish person squabbles and engages in arguments regarding meat, (but that fool) neither knows what is spiritual Wisdom nor contemplation. (sggs 1289).
  • ਅੰਧਾ ਸੋਇ ਜਿ ਅੰਧੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਰਿਦੈ ਸਿ ਲੋਚਨ ਨਾਹੀ ॥ ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਕੀ ਰਕਤੁ ਨਿਪੰਨੇ ਮਛੀ ਮਾਸੁ ਨ ਖਾਂਹੀ ॥ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਪੁਰਖੈ ਜਾਂ ਨਿਸਿ ਮੇਲਾ ਓਥੈ ਮੰਧੁ ਕਮਾਹੀ ॥ ਮਾਸਹੁ ਨਿੰਮੇ ਮਾਸਹੁ ਜੰਮੇ ਹਮ ਮਾਸੈ ਕੇ ਭਾਂਡੇ ॥ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਕਛੁ ਸੂਝੈ ਨਾਹੀ ਚਤੁਰੁ ਕਹਾਵੈ ਪਾਂਡੇ ॥ ਬਾਹਰ ਕਾ ਮਾਸੁ ਮੰਦਾ ਸੁਆਮੀ ਘਰ ਕਾ ਮਾਸੁ ਚੰਗੇਰਾ ॥ ਜੀਅ ਜੰਤ ਸਭਿ ਮਾਸਹੁ ਹੋਏ ਜੀਇ ਲਇਆ ਵਾਸੇਰਾ ॥ ਅਭਖੁ ਭਖਹਿ ਭਖੁ ਤਜਿ ਛੋਡਹਿ ਅੰਧੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਜਿਨ ਕੇਰਾ ॥ : Blind are those who acquire ignorance; (as a result) there minds are unable to Realize. (Otherwise, think about it -) they are produced from the blood of their mothers and fathers, but they do not eat fish / meat (i.e. even before, the body has grown from the flesh of mother and father but they abstain from eating fish or meat! What’s the logic in this). (Again), when men and women meet in night, they come together in the flesh. We are all vessels of flesh, our origin is from flesh, we are born from flesh. (By starting debate about meat) the religious scholar calls himself clever or wise, (but actually) he knows nothing of Wisdom and meditation. (Please tell, O religious scholar! What is it that) meat brought from outside is bad but the meat of those in your own home is good? All living beings are born of the flesh, the soul has encamped (in the flesh itself). So those who are (foolish or mentally) blind themselves, eat the uneatable (i.e. the other’s right or what belongs to other), but reject that which is eatable (meaning you abandon eating meat from which the life itself has come forth!). (sggs 1290).

In fact, according to the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS, if you practice greed, lying, falsehood, cheating, slandering or badmouthing etc. (i.e. Bikaar) then know you are eating dead animals. So, the SGGS asks such not to preach who is Dhaarmic or religious and who is not!

  • ਕੂੜੁ ਬੋਲਿ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਅਵਰੀ ਨੋ ਸਮਝਾਵਣਿ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਮੁਠਾ ਆਪਿ ਮੁਹਾਏ ਸਾਥੈ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਐਸਾ ਆਗੂ ਜਾਪੈ ॥੧॥ : The person who lies (makes money illegally by making false agreements) as if is eating (rotten) corpse. But he goes on to teach others (not to lie). The man who has strayed himself will drown his companions too. How can such a person be accepted as your leader? ||1|| (sggs 139-140).
  • ਹਕੁ ਪਰਾਇਆ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਉਸੁ ਸੂਅਰ ਉਸੁ ਗਾਇ ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਪੀਰੁ ਹਾਮਾ ਤਾ ਭਰੇ ਜਾ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ਨ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਗਲੀ ਭਿਸਤਿ ਨ ਜਾਈਐ ਛੁਟੈ ਸਚੁ ਕਮਾਇ ॥ ਮਾਰਣ ਪਾਹਿ ਹਰਾਮ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਇ ਹਲਾਲੁ ਨ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਗਲੀ ਕੂੜੀਈ ਕੂੜੋ ਪਲੈ ਪਾਇ ॥੨॥ : To violate or usurp someone’s right or taking away something that rightfully belongs to others is like eating pork for a Muslim and beef for a Hindu. The ‘Guru Pir‘ (Spiritual Guide) would standby only if the follower does not make unlawful living. Mere talk does not lead to heaven; liberation (from vices/Bikaar) lies in God realization. If you add spice to unlawfully earned food, it does not become Halal (lawful). Nanak, false talking begets only falsehood. ||2|| (sggs 141).

SGGS rejects sense-slavery

However, as time and again asserted in the SGGS, we humans should not not go on a rampant sense-gratificationDon’t make it ‘ਰਸ-Ras‘.

What is ‘ਰਸ-Ras‘? In nutshell, ‘ਰਸ-Ras‘ is sense-slavery or something you become slave of, or you get addicted to and would do anything or stoop to any level to obtain it!

  • ਲਬੁ ਕੁਤਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਚੂਹੜਾ ਠਗਿ ਖਾਧਾ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ॥ ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਪਰ ਮਲੁ ਮੁਖ ਸੁਧੀ ਅਗਨਿ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਚੰਡਾਲੁ ॥ ਰਸ ਕਸ ਆਪੁ ਸਲਾਹਣਾ ਏ ਕਰਮ ਮੇਰੇ ਕਰਤਾਰ ॥੧॥ ਬਾਬਾ ਬੋਲੀਐ ਪਤਿ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਊਤਮ ਸੇ ਦਰਿ ਊਤਮ ਕਹੀਅਹਿ ਨੀਚ ਕਰਮ ਬਹਿ ਰੋਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਰਸੁ ਸੁਇਨਾ ਰਸੁ ਰੁਪਾ ਕਾਮਣਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਰਮਲ ਕੀ ਵਾਸੁ ॥ ਰਸੁ ਘੋੜੇ ਰਸੁ ਸੇਜਾ ਮੰਦਰ ਰਸੁ ਮੀਠਾ ਰਸੁ ਮਾਸੁ ॥ ਏਤੇ ਰਸ ਸਰੀਰ ਕੇ ਕੈ ਘਟਿ ਨਾਮ ਨਿਵਾਸੁ ॥੨॥ : Constant howling like a dog in Greed, desire to grab by deceit the rightful possessions of others; and the absence of Godliness (Koorh) have resulted in my mindset being relegated to the lowest rung of humanity. The demon of anger within fans the ever burning desire of condemning and speaking derogatively of others. O Creator, these then are the indulgences and self‐acclaimed deeds of mine (sense slavery). ||1|| O mind, the discourse of spirituality is one of Godly deeds. The Journey of realization entails elevation to Godly Heights (Virtues); but I suffer shame on account of my actions. ||1||Pause|| My desires, indulgences and cravings for gold, silver and fragrances have made me imbued in desire. I possess desires and cravings for dwellings and comforts of travel; and indulge in penchants of the palate. So abundant are my physical desires, indulgence and cravings; how then will Divine Naam (Wisdom / Virtues) come to reside within my mind. ||2|| (sggs 15).

In other words, the Gurbani does not want us to succumb to the ceaseless demands of the defiled senses.

  • ਆਸ ਅਨਿਤ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਮਿਟੈ ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਮ ਅਰੋਗ ॥੧॥ : Desires for transitory things (ਨਾਸ-ਵੰਤ ਪਦਾਰਥਾਂ ਦੀ ਆਸ) are effaced for (the person) who has become the Gurmukh; O Nanak; Naam alone keeps (that person) free of the disease (of desires etc.) ||1|| (sggs 254).

At the same time, the SGGS does not want us to starve either, or stop drinking water, or stop breathing air!

  • ਬਿਨੁ ਖਾਏ ਬੂਝੈ ਨਹੀ ਭੂਖ ॥ : Without eating, hunger is not satisfied. (sggs 1149).
  • ਜਿਉ ਸਾਸ ਬਿਨਾ ਮਿਰਤਕ ਕੀ ਲੋਥਾ ॥ : Like a corpse of a dead man without breath. (sggs 280).
  • ਸਾਚੇ ਤੇ ਪਵਨਾ ਭਇਆ ਪਵਨੈ ਤੇ ਜਲੁ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਜਲ ਤੇ ਤ੍ਰਿਭਵਣੁ ਸਾਜਿਆ ਘਟਿ ਘਟਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਮੋਇ ॥ : From Hukam (System-Rule-Law of Nature…) came (the subtle element of) air, and from air came water. The whole world was created from water, and the Universal Energy or ‘Jot‘ is contained in all beings (of this world). (sggs 19).

In other words, the Gurbani challenges us to be engaged in this world, but with a detached attitude and with Wisdom (ਅਕਲ, ਬਿਬੇਕ-ਬੁੱਧ, discerning intelligence) — be in the word, but not of the world!

  • ਨਾਨਕ ਸਤਿਗੁਰਿ ਭੇਟਿਐ ਪੂਰੀ ਹੋਵੈ ਜੁਗਤਿ ॥ ਹਸੰਦਿਆ ਖੇਲੰਦਿਆ ਪੈਨੰਦਿਆ ਖਾਵੰਦਿਆ ਵਿਚੇ ਹੋਵੈ ਮੁਕਤਿ ॥ : O Nanak! Meeting the Satigur (ਸੱਚਾ ਗਿਆਨ) then one learns the perfect Way to live life. (Thus following that) he is liberated while laughing, playing, dressing and eating (i.e. one remains free from worldly temptations and their corrupting influence while living in the world). (sggs 522).

However, the self-serving Pujaaree clergy sell people a fake or counterfeit god and counterfeit Dharma (ਨਕਲੀ ਧਰਮ, ਨਕਲੀ ਰੱਬ).

The self serving Pujaaree thus have been keeping people ignorant of the real Message or Wisdom of the SGGS; and keeping them fearful and greedy, utterly confused, entangled in Karamkaand or rituals, doubt-ridden (ਵਹਮ-ਭਰਮ), mentally slave, superstitious, entangled in Pakhand, uselessly wandering at the so called Teerath etc.

In the following verses, Babba Nanak is questing the Pujaaree if eating meat is a sin, then where is the virtue of taking charity from those who eat meat?

  • ਮਾਸੁ ਪੁਰਾਣੀ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਤੇਬੀਂ ਚਹੁ ਜੁਗਿ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਮਾਣਾ ॥ ਜਜਿ ਕਾਜਿ ਵੀਆਹਿ ਸੁਹਾਵੈ ਓਥੈ ਮਾਸੁ ਸਮਾਣਾ ॥ ਇਸਤ੍ਰੀ ਪੁਰਖ ਨਿਪਜਹਿ ਮਾਸਹੁ ਪਾਤਿਸਾਹ ਸੁਲਤਾਨਾਂ ॥ ਜੇ ਓਇ ਦਿਸਹਿ ਨਰਕਿ ਜਾਂਦੇ ਤਾਂ ਉਨ੍‍ ਕਾ ਦਾਨੁ ਨ ਲੈਣਾ ॥ : The eating of meat has been mentioned both in Hindu Puranas as well as in Semitic scriptures; in fact, meat has been used since the beginning of the world. In (holy feasts) or marriage ceremonies, the meat of animals has been served as the main dish. All men, women, kings and emperors are born from flesh. If they seem to be going to hell because of being born out of flesh, then a Pandit should not be accepting any charity from them. (sggs 1290).

SGGS liberates its learners from ignorance

The Wisdom of the SGGS liberates us from all this nonsense.

Last but not least, the Gurbani condemns sacrificing living beings (offering, oblation; sacrifice of living beings in Yagna etc) on the name of upholding Dharma; and offer the killing to please some fake gods, demigods or goddesses etc.

In addition, there was time when humans were also sacrificed (ਬਲੀ)! Even today, people are killed in the name of religion and so on!

  • ਜੀਅ ਬਧਹੁ ਸੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਅਧਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਤ ਭਾਈ ॥ ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਮੁਨਿਵਰ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਕਾ ਕਉ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਸਾਈ ॥੨॥ : (O Pujaaree – paid clergy) you kill living beings, and deem it as an act of Dharma (i.e. mercilessly kill another human being in the name of religion, ਜੱਗ ਕਰਨ ਵੇਲੇ ਕੁਰਬਾਨੀ/ਬਲੀ ਦੇਣਾਂ etc.). Tell me, brother, what would you call an Adharma (i.e. irreligious act…)? (By killing other beings) you call yourself the most excellent sage; then who would you call a butcher (i.e. there is no greater butcher than you)? ||2|| (sggs 1103).
  • ਗੈਂਡਾ ਮਾਰਿ ਹੋਮ ਜਗ ਕੀਏ ਦੇਵਤਿਆ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੇ ॥ ਮਾਸੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਬੈਸਿ ਨਕੁ ਪਕੜਹਿ ਰਾਤੀ ਮਾਣਸ ਖਾਣੇ ॥ ਫੜੁ ਕਰਿ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨੋ ਦਿਖਲਾਵਹਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਸੂਝੈ ॥ : (Even in the old days, people) according to the nature of gods (i.e. to please gods) killed the rhinoceros and perform Yagna (ਜੱਗ). Those human beings who (by themselves) forsake the flesh (but, when they see flesh somewhere), sit down and close their noses (that the smell of flesh has come, however), they eat men at night (i.e. secretly they plan to cheat, exploit fellow human beings etc.). They practice hypocrisy (that they do not eat meat) and make a show before other people, but they have NO understanding of Wisdom or Awareness. There is no point in explaining to a mentally-blind person, (even if someone explains) even then he does not understand what is explained. (sggs 1289).

For those who sacrifice animals reading verses from their religious texts, and then claim they are doing it to propitiate or lease their invented god, are utterly brainwashed or brain-damaged. Owing to their stupidity, they have no idea what they are doing or saying. This is the edict of Bhagat Kabeer Jee:

  • ਮੁਲਾਂ ਕਹਹੁ ਨਿਆਉ ਖੁਦਾਈ ॥ ਤੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ : O Mullah! You tell (other people) about the Khuda’s justice. (But) the doubt of your own mind has not been dispelled yet. ||1||Pause|| (sggs 135).

Bhagat Kabeer Jee further enlightens ignorant people with an example of sacrificing chicken in the name of their god while reading some verses from their religious texts. In other words, Bhagat Kabeer Jee tells them if you think your god pervades all including chicken, then why do you slaughter it to propitiate that god!

  • ਜਉ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਹਤ ਹਉ ਤਉ ਕਿਉ ਮੁਰਗੀ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥ : (O Mullah!) You say that the One Khuda is in all, then (to offer other Jeev to propitiate your Khuda) why do you kill chickens? ||1|| (sggs 1350).

The next verses of this Shabad makes the meaning clear:

  • ਮੁਲਾਂ ਕਹਹੁ ਨਿਆਉ ਖੁਦਾਈ ॥ ਤੇਰੇ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਭਰਮੁ ਨ ਜਾਈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਪਕਰਿ ਜੀਉ ਆਨਿਆ ਦੇਹ ਬਿਨਾਸੀ ਮਾਟੀ ਕਉ ਬਿਸਮਿਲਿ ਕੀਆ ॥ ਜੋਤਿ ਸਰੂਪ ਅਨਾਹਤ ਲਾਗੀ ਕਹੁ ਹਲਾਲੁ ਕਿਆ ਕੀਆ ॥੨॥ : (O Mullah! You tell god’s judgment (to other people). But the doubt of your own mind has not been dispelled. ||1||Pause|| You catch the living creature and kill the body as sacrifice to god. But god’s Light in the creature is indestructible; so what do you sacrifice (i.e. isn’t god himself in that chicken)? (sggs 1350).

It’s worth noting here that the paid clergy or Pujaaree groups ritualistically slaughter goat (after goat is bathed!) at Hajoor Sahib Gurdwara in the name of the Guru and god while reciting some verses.

Although this sort of Karamkaand is logically rejected in the SGGS, it’s still being carried out today, in this 21st century!

In short, what to eat and what not to eat is a PERSONAL CHOICE or your OWN DECISION (ਨਿਜੀ ਮਾਮਲਾ, ਨਿਜੀ ਨਿਰਣਾਂ).

If you want to eat, go ahead and eat. If you don’t want to eat that’s your choice. But don’t do Pakhand by saying you are doing it to propitiate some concocted god, goddess, deity, Guru, Dharma etc.

Because, as per the Gurmat Wisdom of the SGGS, your eating or not eating meat has nothing to do with Dharma, Enlightened or Gurmukh mindset, divine Virtues, Wisdom, Truth (Sach-ਸਚ) etc.

  • ਸਭੋ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਭਰਮੁ ਹੈ ਦੂਜੈ ਲਗੈ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਜੰਮਣੁ ਮਰਣਾ ਹੁਕਮੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਆਵੈ ਜਾਇ ॥ ਖਾਣਾ ਪੀਣਾ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰੁ ਹੈ ਦਿਤੋਨੁ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਸੰਬਾਹਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੁਝਿਆ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਨਾਹਿ ॥੩॥ : Sootak is entirely doubt, and it attaches to those who are duality-ridden (in love with Maya — worldly temptations and their corrupting influences). It is Hukam (i.e. System-Rule-Law of Nature, ਨਿਯਮ), which causes birth and deathbirth and death occur according to Hukam (i.e. according to the biology of birth and death). Whatever food is made available to you, eating and drinking it is pure, because God gives sustenance to all. Nanak, by becoming the Gurmukh (i.e. Enlightened mind), who understood this, for them there is NO Sootak (doubt, impurity, ਭਰਮ, ਅਪਵਿਤ੍ਰਤਾ…). (sggs 472).

As we can see, Mullahs slaughter Jeev reading Kalma (from their texts), Brahins slaughter Jeev reading verses from their texts. Since the SGGS rejects such nonsense, this is nothing but a fraud in the name of Sikhi if Sikhs also do it!

DID Baabaa Nanak equate Sikhi = Mullah’s and Brahmin’s Karamkaand?

NO! NO! NO! The Gurbani is NOT meant to regurgitate all that nonsense. Listen to what SGGS has to say in this context:

  • ਪੰਡਿਤ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਜੋ ਲਿਖਿ ਦੀਆ ॥ ਛਾਡਿ ਚਲੇ ਹਮ ਕਛੂ ਨ ਲੀਆ ॥੩॥: ALL that the Pandit and Mullah Clergy have prescribed or presented to us, I have DISCARDED (while walking on the Path of Spirituality). I DISCARD IT ALL and have ACCEPTED NOTHING at all. ||3|| (sggs 1159).

Any doubt? Read on:

  • ਨਾ ਹਮ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਨ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨ ॥ ਅਲਹ ਰਾਮ ਕੇ ਪਿੰਡੁ ਪਰਾਨ ॥੪॥: We are not Hindus, nor are we Muslims (i.e. for the guidance of spiritual life, we do not depend on them). My body and breath of life belong to (whom Muslims call) Allah and to (whom Hindus call) Raam ||4|| (sggs 1136).
  • ਹਿੰਦੂ ਅੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਤੁਰਕੂ ਕਾਣਾ ॥ ਦੁਹਾਂ ਤੇ ਗਿਆਨੀ ਸਿਆਣਾ ॥: The Hindu is blind (mentally blind, spiritually unintelligent, etc., who has made-up phony stories and claims God is limited only to the temple…) and the Muslim is one-eyed (i.e., who has some intelligence – but claims Allah is limited only to the mosque, etc.). The Giani (the knower of Truth…) is wiser than both of them. (sggs 875).

As cold cannot affect a stone, similarly, the Wisdom or Bibek cannot affect an idiot’s brain bent on stupidity, sense-slavery, and trickery (ਠਗੀ).

The SGGS teaches us Way of life (i.e. ‘Rahat) which very simple, logical and practical!

  • ਗ੍ਰਿਹੁ ਤਜਿ ਬਨ ਖੰਡ ਜਾਈਐ ਚੁਨਿ ਖਾਈਐ ਕੰਦਾ ॥ ਅਜਹੁ ਬਿਕਾਰ ਨ ਛੋਡਈ ਪਾਪੀ ਮਨੁ ਮੰਦਾ ॥੧॥ : Even if we abandon our households and go to forests and jungles, and survive by eating root vegetables; but still this Bikaar-ridden and vices- ridden mind doesn’t forsake its evil pursuits. ||1|| (sggs 855).
  • ਜਿਤੁ ਪੀਤੈ ਮਤਿ ਦੂਰਿ ਹੋਇ ਬਰਲੁ ਪਵੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਇ ॥ ਆਪਣਾ ਪਰਾਇਆ ਨ ਪਛਾਣਈ ਖਸਮਹੁ ਧਕੇ ਖਾਇ ॥: But (alcohol) whose drinking intellect goes away and the confusion (madness, restlessness, delusion, uncertainty, etc.) enters in (mind) and is buffeted by the ‘Khasam(Sach-ਸਚ). (sggs 554).

Similarly, the Gurbani advises us not to avoid wearing clothes etc. that bother the body-frame and the mind!

The edict (ਫੈਸਲਾ) of the Gurbani is NOT to cherish violence within (e.g. killing of human and other beings in the name of religion, scriptures, Guru, prophets etc.); NOT to shelter Bikaar (lust, anger, greed etc.); NOT to harbor hatred, NOT to foster ignorance etc.; otherwise what’s the point of Kirtan, sermons, preaching, reading or listening the Gurbani (or any other scriptures for that matter)!

  • ਬੰਦੇ ਚਸਮ ਦੀਦੰ ਫਨਾਇ ॥ ਦੁਨਂੀਆ ਮੁਰਦਾਰ ਖੁਰਦਨੀ ਗਾਫਲ ਹਵਾਇ ॥ਰਹਾਉ॥
    : O mortal, all that you see is perishable, but the whole world, falling into the greed of Maya, forgets the existence of the Creator and continues to eat Haraam (ਪਰਾਇਆ ਹੱਕ – taking away something that rightfully belongs to others). ||Pause|| (sggs 723).
  • ਕਲਿ ਹੋਈ ਕੁਤੇ ਮੁਹੀ ਖਾਜੁ ਹੋਆ ਮੁਰਦਾਰੁ ॥ : The ‘Kali‘ (mind’s corrupt state, ill-thinking, Bikaar…) has become like a dog. Many people are seen fighting like dogs to take away what belongs to others (i.e. Haraamkhoree). (sggs 1242).
  • ਬਿਨੁ ਨਾਵੈ ਪੈਨਣੁ ਖਾਣੁ ਸਭੁ ਬਾਦਿ ਹੈ ਧਿਗੁ ਸਿਧੀ ਧਿਗੁ ਕਰਮਾਤਿ ॥: Without the Naam, all dress and eating are worthless; (without the Naam) accursed are all ‘Sidhee and Karaamaat (sggs 650).
  • ਤੈ ਨਰ ਕਿਆ ਪੁਰਾਨੁ ਸੁਨਿ ਕੀਨਾ ॥ ਅਨਪਾਵਨੀ ਭਗਤਿ ਨਹੀ ਉਪਜੀ ਭੂਖੈ ਦਾਨੁ ਨ ਦੀਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ ਕਾਮੁ ਨ ਬਿਸਰਿਓ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਨ ਬਿਸਰਿਓ ਲੋਭੁ ਨ ਛੂਟਿਓ ਦੇਵਾ ॥ ਪਰ ਨਿੰਦਾ ਮੁਖ ਤੇ ਨਹੀ ਛੂਟੀ ਨਿਫਲ ਭਈ ਸਭ ਸੇਵਾ ॥੧॥ ਬਾਟ ਪਾਰਿ ਘਰੁ ਮੂਸਿ ਬਿਰਾਨੋ ਪੇਟੁ ਭਰੈ ਅਪ੍ਰਾਧੀ ॥ ਜਿਹਿ ਪਰਲੋਕ ਜਾਇ ਅਪਕੀਰਤਿ ਸੋਈ ਅਬਿਦਿਆ ਸਾਧੀ ॥੨॥ ਹਿੰਸਾ ਤਉ ਮਨ ਤੇ ਨਹੀ ਛੂਟੀ ਜੀਅ ਦਇਆ ਨਹੀ ਪਾਲੀ ॥ ਪਰਮਾਨੰਦ ਸਾਧਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਿਲਿ ਕਥਾ ਪੁਨੀਤ ਨ ਚਾਲੀ ॥੩॥੧॥੬॥ : O man! What have you gained by listening to Puran (i.e. religious or Dhaarmic books)? Within you neither steadfast Bhagti has born nor did you give to any needy. ||1||Pause|| (Even after reading and listening to the scripture) lust is not gone, anger is not gone, greed is not gone. The habit of slander has not gone away, all the hard work (of reading religious texts) is fruitless; but you call yourself a godly person! ||1|| (Even after reading/listening to religious texts) sinful man kept on filling his belly by robbing and looting other people’s house. And (all his life) he continued to do the same foolishness with which he got disgrace in future life. ||2|| (Even after reading/listening to religious texts) violence has not been driven out from your mind, you did not treat Jeev (beings) with love. Says Parmanand: You did not join the holy company to listen to and learn to and act on the purifying discourse. ||3||1||6|| (sggs1253).


  1. I totally agree with the article.

    The animals also eat live beings and by doing so they get big and we eat them, and when people die they are being eaten by worms and all kinds of insects. this is the process of life, those who argue about the ways of the world live in ignorance practicing hypocrisy, they are in spiritual ego. they want to seem more special than other people. how could you be more special if all are made of the same elements? their teacher is blind.

    Now just imagine all those insects and warms be like, mhmm I don’t wanna eat this dead body because I’m going with the wave of Maya and be a vegetarian to detach myself from other worms and insects and live in ignorance and create more diversity hence confusion.

    This vegetarianism bullshit is propaganda taken place in spiritual ego, so one could be proud of their body and purity, etc. purity is not obtained by things we eat and do, but only by praising God’s praises.

    Those who argue about meat-eating cannot be said to be liberated for they are still attached to others eating meat.

    The world is perfect as it is, but the ignorant man finds his faults outside and projecting his faults outside causes all kinds of disease in the world.
    Remember the war is not with the world outside but with the 5 demons withing ourselves that cause the ignorant man to see his problems outside and react, it is easy to see your problems outside, it is hard to realize that you are those problems.

    Keep up the good work! Respect! T. Singh.

  2. Great post T Singh Ji

    This website is about using Gurbani quotations to enhance our understanding and get closer to the beloved.

    Therefore personal opinions are not required and impede our spiritual progress.

  3. Thank you Bhai Sahib Baljinder Singh Ji for taking the time to reply. Welcome to the Gurbani Blog!

    SGGS asserts: ਜੇਤੇ ਦਾਣੇ ਅੰਨ ਕੇ ਜੀਆ ਬਾਝੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Jaetae daanae ann kae jeeaa baajh(u) n koi (sggs 472).

  4. Can we make a distinction between plants or grains and animals or meat by saying that in grains there is life but it has not taken form of body meaning it has not produced any plant, but animals are already ‘living’ and thus have ‘man/aatma/jio? Hence, killing animals and eating them can’t be equivalent to eating grains. Just a thought that came up, please if anyone can further clarify this on the basis of gurbani? Thanks

  5. Thank you Bhai sahib Jee for taking time to share your Vichaar.

    Before I get to your inquiry, let me say this: As I indicated in the post and in my previous rejoinder, the specific PURPSE OF THIS POST was to to find out exactly what does the Gurbani consider a Jeeva (life…).

    First, let’s take the second line of the verse you quoted – ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕੀਏ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਂਹਿ ॥੨੩੩॥

    There are three rituals mentioned in this line. they are: Teerath (ਤੀਰਥ), Barat (ਬਰਤ), and Nem (ਨੇਮ).

    Please note that all such rituals are emphatically repudiated (ਖੰਡਨ) throughout the Gurbani (as “ਫੋਕਟ” – useless…). In other words, the Gurmat (Gur-Shabad, Gur-Giaan…) does not allow us to practice them. What it means is that the one who practices them is a Manmukh (self-willed, Saakat, Mayadhaaree or mammon worshiper, ਮਨਮਤੀਆ…) — not a Sikh (ਗੁਰਮਤੀਆ…).

    So clearly, that verse is addressed to the Manmukhs, NOT Gurmukhs.

    Second, the Gurbani in a way (as an irony, suggestion, or ਵਿਯੰਗ…) is indicating to these Manmukhs (self-willed, Saakat, ਮਨਮਤੀਆ…) that if by performing these rituals you still end up in hell because you partook Bhaang, Maachhulee, Suraa, and Paan, then your rituals — Teerath (ਤੀਰਥ), Barat (ਬਰਤ), and Nem (ਨੇਮ) — are inferior (or less powerful…) than even Bhaang, Maachhulee, Suraa, and Paan (i.e., useless)!!

    Finally, please also consider these verses:

    • ਖਾਣਾ ਪੀਣਾ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰੁ ਹੈ ਦਿਤੋਨੁ ਰਿਜਕੁ ਸੰਬਾਹਿ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਬੁਝਿਆ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਸੂਤਕੁ ਨਾਹਿ ॥੩॥: Khaanaa peenaa pavitru hai… (sggs 472).
    • ਮਾਤ ਪਿਤਾ ਕੀ ਰਕਤੁ ਨਿਪੰਨੇ ਮਛੀ ਮਾਸੁ ਨ ਖਾਂਹੀ ॥: Maat pitaa kee rakatu macchee maas n khanhee (sggs 1290).

    So, the bottom line is becoming a Gurmukh. Until then we will be haunted and tortured by doubts (ਭਰਮ), duality (Doojaa-Bhaav), confusion, Paap-Punn (as defined by the Pujaaree)…

  6. I absolutely agree that metaphors are used to make us understand the Gurbani!! May be I did not phrase words correctly in my previous post.

    I don’t know about too many examples here from Gurbani like you do, Singh ji, :)
    But how about the following verse from kabir ji.

    ਕਬੀਰ ਭਾਂਗ ਮਾਛੁਲੀ ਸੁਰਾ ਪਾਨਿ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਖਾਂਹਿ ॥
    Kabeer, those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine

    58740 ਸਲੋਕ (ਭ. ਕਬੀਰ) ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ : ਅੰਗ ੧੩੭੭ ਪੰ. ੨ Salok Bhagat Kabir
    ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕੀਏ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਂਹਿ ॥੨੩੩॥

  7. Gurbani is full of METAPHORS.

    Yes. Metaphors are used in the Gurbani to help us to understand the Gurbani, NOT to confuse us.

    • ਕਿਆ ਖਾਧੈ ਕਿਆ ਪੈਧੈ ਹੋਇ ॥ ਜਾ ਮਨਿ ਨਾਹੀ ਸਚਾ ਸੋਇ ॥: Kiaa khaadhai kiaa paidhai hoi… (sggs 142).
    • ਮਾਸੁ ਛੋਡਿ ਬੈਸਿ ਨਕੁ ਪਕੜਹਿ ਰਾਤੀ ਮਾਣਸ ਖਾਣੇ ॥ ਫੜੁ ਕਰਿ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨੋ ਦਿਖਲਾਵਹਿ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਸੂਝੈ ॥: Maas chhodi…(sggs 1289).

  8. I hear ya, what you saying! and I don’t disagree.
    BUT, In my brief experience, what I have felt and continue to feel is that Gurbani is full of METAPHORS.
    There is so much to read between the lines.
    So sometimes we just can’t derive the meaning of the word literally.
    Many a times, words in Gurbani have profound and vast meaning than it looks or feels on the surface.

  9. Wow…I can’t believe what I am reading here.
    So you are saying that killing an innoncent animal for your taste buds is OKAY…
    Absolutely Not,, I say.
    Even though I eat meat myself BUT never ever I condone eating meat through religion/Gurbani. Eating meat is bad news, Period.
    One just needs basic common sense to figure out that Meat is not a healthy food for human body, Let alone seeking answer in Gurbani.

    It’s just your interpretation does not necessarily means it is the RIGHT/ULTIMATE interpretation.

  10. The purpose of this post was to find out what’s Jeeva (life…) according to the Gurbani.

    And according to the Gurbani:

    • ਜੇਤੇ ਦਾਣੇ ਅੰਨ ਕੇ ਜੀਆ ਬਾਝੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥: Jaetae daanae ann kae jeeaa baajh(u) n koi (sggs 472).
    • ਅੰਡਜ ਜੇਰਜ ਉਤਭੁਜ ਸੇਤਜ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀਤੇ ਜੰਤਾ ॥: Andaj jeraj outbhuj… (sggs 596).

    Thus, according to the Gurbani, “many as the grains of food, none is without Jeeva”, and “The Jeeva born of eggs, born of the womb, born of the earth and born of sweat, all are created by You”.

    In other words, as indicated by the Gurbani, ALL sources of creation on this earth in fact are Jeeva (beings, life…).

    In that sense, the post says “Jeeva eats Jeeva”.

    The post does not advocates what anybody should or should not eat or drink. That’s for you to decide.

    The post simply explores the truth of the Gurbani as to exactly what does the Gurbani consider a Jeeva.

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