Vegetarianism other views rebuttal

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This page is a rebuttal of the views expressed at Vegetarianism Other Views

1. Page 1337: Those who consume marijuana, flesh and wine

SGGS Page 1377 Full Shabad
kabeer bhaaNg maachhulee suraa paan jo jo paraanee khaaNhi.

tirath barat naym kee-ay tay sabhai rasaatal jaaNhi. 233

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


1. It is clear that the literal translation of "maachlee" is not flesh, but "fish" and this is how it appears in most English translations but one needs to consider the deeper meaning of the lines.

  • It is plain to all that in this Shabad, the Guru tells the faithful that it is wrong to consume bhang (marijuana), fish and wine. One needs to understand why Maharaj has mentioned just these three specific items. Now logic dictates that other items in these food groups need also to be considered and these would also be forbidden for the Sikh. So, if the meaning of this Shabad is a taken in a broader more deeper sense, one can argue that the items belonging to these "food groups" should also not be consumed – therefore as:
    • "Bhang" is a drug, so all drugs should not be taken by a Sikh including heroin; cannabis, etc
    • "Fish" as this belongs to the animal group, then all animals are banned from the menu of a Sikh diet and should not be consumed and finally,
    • "Wine" is an alcoholic drink and so all intoxicating liquor are not allowed to be taken by a Sikh.

It would be narrow minded to just focus on these three basic items - marijuana, fish and wine. What the Guru is saying applies to all the items in these food groups. If one just accepts this Shabad with a narrow and literal view-point then it would be fine for Sikhs to take Heroin; Cannabis, Cocaine, Ecstasy, Amphetamines, L.S.D., Benzodiazepines, etc. But all Sikhs accept that they are forbidden from taking any type of such drug.

The same argument applies for wine and is accepted by most Sikhs. If we stick to the narrow view, then one would say that apart from wine, a Sikh is allowed to take all other alcoholic beverages like whisky, brandy, beers, lager, gin, etc. But this is not true and it is widely agreed that Sikhs are forbidden from taking any alcoholic drink.

The same logic applies to fish. This is item of food belongs to the animal kingdom and we accept it as such so if need to view this item in a wider sense and so it is acceptable to replace the word "maachlee" with flesh, the word "bhang" with drugs and the word "wine" with alcoholic drink.

2. Page 332: You kill living beings

...and worship lifeless things at your very last moment, You will suffer terrible pain. Read the full Shabad here


The line in the above Shabad say: "You murder living beings and worship lifeless things; at your very last moment, you shall suffer in terrible pain" – The message is very clear – If you murder living beings, then you shall suffer terrible pain as outlined by Bhagat Kabir. The fact that you may murder beings for some ritualistic purpose is immaterial – the fact of killing has a karamic reaction where one has to go through the same pain as the animal that was killed. "Dadda: Do not blame anyone else; blame instead your own actions. Whatever I did, for that I have suffered; I do not blame anyone else. ||21||" (page 433) In this Tuk Maharaj tells us that we suffer for our past actions – So be very careful about the action you undertake! Causing suffering to another being will result in the same pain on yourself.

3. Page 1350: Do not say that the Vedas are false,...

.... false are those who do not reflect. If in all is one god, then why does one kill the hen ? Read the Full Shabad here


For the correct meaning of the words see SGGS page 1350. The fact remains that Maharaj with all the wisdom in the world has clearly asked: "You say that the One Lord is in all, so why do you kill chickens?" - No ifs and no buts!! We as Sikhs need to answer this question not Abraham or a Muslim Mullah. The SGGS is written for the Sikhs to read and follow and Maharaj was well aware of that.