Question: Guru Jee please tell me can Sikhs eat meat?
ਕਬੀਰ ਜੋਰੀ ਕੀਏ ਜੁਲਮੁ ਹੈ ਕਹਤਾ ਨਾਉ ਹਲਾਲੁ ॥
ਦਫਤਰਿ ਲੇਖਾ ਮਾਂਗੀਐ ਤਬ ਹੋਇਗੋ ਕਉਨੁ ਹਵਾਲੁ ॥੧੮੭॥
“O Kabeer! Those that use force and kill and call it lawful, after going to the Court of God, what will be their state? ||187||”
(SGGS – Ang 1374)
Question: But my friends told me that I should eat meat because it is good for me and will make me strong. Is it that bad if I have meat now and again?
ਕਬੀਰ ਖੂਬੁ ਖਾਨਾ ਖੀਚਰੀ ਜਾ ਮਹਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਲੋਨੁ ॥
ਹੇਰਾ ਰੋਟੀ ਕਾਰਨੇ ਗਲਾ ਕਟਾਵੈ ਕਉਨੁ ॥੧੮੮॥
“O Kabeer! The dinner of beans and rice is excellent, if it is (just) flavoured with salt. I am not ready to have my own throat cut to have meat with my bread? ||188||”
(SGGS – Ang 1374)
Question: But Guru Jee, why can’t Sikhs eat meat?
ਦੂਖੁ ਨ ਦੇਈ ਕਿਸੈ ਜੀਅ ਪਤਿ ਸਿਉ ਘਰਿ ਜਾਵਉ ॥
“Do not cause any being to suffer, and you shall go to your true home with honor.”
(SGGS – Ang 322)
Question: That’s all good, but I have seen Nihang Singhs do Jhatka and they say that its on going tradition to slaughter goats and eat its meat. So is it okay for the Nihang Singhs to do Jhatka?
ਜੀਅ ਬਧਹੁ ਸੁ ਧਰਮੁ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਅਧਰਮੁ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਤ ਭਾਈ ॥
ਆਪਸ ਕਉ ਮੁਨਿਵਰ ਕਰਿ ਥਾਪਹੁ ਕਾ ਕਉ ਕਹਹੁ ਕਸਾਈ ॥2॥
“You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? If you religious people are doing “religious” killing for meat, then what is A-dharam (atheism)? If you are a religious person then whom will we call a butcher? ||2||”
(SGGS – Ang 1103)
Question: Okay. What about eating fish? I suppose that isn’t really meat?
ਕਬੀਰ ਭਾਂਗ ਮਾਛੁਲੀ ਸੁਰਾ ਪਾਨਿ ਜੋ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਾਨੀ ਖਾਂਹਿ ॥
ਤੀਰਥ ਬਰਤ ਨੇਮ ਕੀਏ ਤੇ ਸਭੈ ਰਸਾਤਲਿ ਜਾਂਹਿ ॥੨੩੩॥
“O Kabeer! Those mortals who consume marijuana, fish and wine – no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all go to hell. ||233||”
(SGGS – Ang 1377)
Question: Guru Jee, can you eat meat and still do Bhagti (devotional worship)?
ਜਉ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੁ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਹਤ ਹਉ ਤਉ ਕਿਉ ਮੁਰਗੀ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥
“If in all is the one God, then why kill a chicken?”
(SGGS – Ang 1350)
Question: Does it affect our spirituality if we eat meat?
ਜੇ ਰਤੁ ਲਗੈ ਕਪੜੈ ਜਾਮਾ ਹੋਇ ਪਲੀਤੁ ॥
ਜੋ ਰਤੁ ਪੀਵਹਿ ਮਾਣਸਾ ਤਿਨ ਕਿਉ ਨਿਰਮਲੁ ਚੀਤੁ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਨਾਉ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਕਾ ਦਿਲਿ ਹਛੈ ਮੁਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ॥
ਅਵਰਿ ਦਿਵਾਜੇ ਦੁਨੀ ਕੇ ਝੂਠੇ ਅਮਲ ਕਰੇਹੁ ॥੧॥
“If one’s clothes are stained with blood, the garment becomes polluted. Those who drink the blood of others – how can those people’s consciousness be pure?”
(SGGS – Ang 140)
Question: Guru Jee does becoming a vegetarian make me religious? If I just give eating meat, does that please you?
ਮਾਸੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਰਿ ਮੂਰਖੁ ਝਗੜੇ ਗਿਆਨੁ ਧਿਆਨੁ ਨਹੀ ਜਾਣੈ ॥
ਕਉਣੁ ਮਾਸੁ ਕਉਣੁ ਸਾਗੁ ਕਹਾਵੈ ਕਿਸੁ ਮਹਿ ਪਾਪ ਸਮਾਣੇ ॥
“Only the fool quarrels over the question of eating or not eating of the meat; that person does not have the True Wisdom. (Without True Wisdom or Meditation), the person harps on which is flesh and which is not flesh and which food is sinful and which is not.”
(SGGS – Ang 1289-1290)
Question: So a Sikh doesn’t eat meat because a Sikh should have compassion and kindness for living life, but what thing makes a person religious if just becoming a vegetarian doesn’t make a person religious?
ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਤ ਮਿਟੇ ਸਭਿ ਭਰਮਾ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈ ਊਤਮ ਧਰਮਾ ॥
“Chanting the Name of the Lord all doubts are dispelled. Naam, the Name of the Lord is the highest religion.”
(SGGS – Ang 874)
Question: Guru Jee thanks for clearing up things. But why is the Panth in doubt over what “Kuttha” means and whether it means Halal meat or all meat?
ਕਬੀਰ ਸਾਚਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਕਿਆ ਕਰੈ ਜਉ ਸਿਖਾ ਮਹਿ ਚੂਕ ॥
ਅੰਧੇ ਏਕ ਨ ਲਾਗਈ ਜਿਉ ਬਾਂਸੁ ਬਜਾਈਐ ਫੂਕ ॥੧੫੮॥
“O Kabeer! What can the True Guru do, when His Sikhs are at fault? The blind do not take in any of His Teachings; it is as useless as blowing into bamboo. ||158||”
(SGGS – Ang 1372)
Compiled by Bhai Manvir Singh ji (UK)