The Heavy Karma Reactions on Hindus and Jains in the Meat Trade
Shri Nitin Mehta
The concept of companion towards all living beings has deep roots in the Hindu and Jain Traditions. This strong emphasis meant that up till very recently these communities were strict vegetarians and even meticulously avoided going into any form of trade in which animal flesh was involved. The reverence for the mother cow and a strong anathema towards harming any animals, had such a strong influence on the psyche of the two communities, that any action to the contrary seemed extremely abhorent.
That the consumption of meat and meat associated trades should be avoided has been laid down in the scriptures of both the Hindu and Jain faiths many times. The following are some examples :-
1 . The purchaser of flesh performs Himsa (Violence) by his wealth, he who cats flesh does so by enjoying its taste, the killer does Himsa by actually tying and killing the Animal. Thus there are three forms of killing. He who brings flesh or sends for it, he who cuts off the limbs of an animal and he who purchases, sells or cooks flesh and eats it-all of these are considered meat eaters.
2 . All creatures desire self-preservation, hence no creature should be slaughtered.
Acharanga Sutra, Jainism
It is thus a matter of great regret that at present many Hindu and Jain families are entering the meat trade. significantly, from many examples that I have seen, those families that enter such trades, seem to suffer immediate Karma reactions, resulting in loss of wealth, family quarrels, sudden illness and many other setbacks. The law of karma, it seems works on the same basis as the modern courts of law-i.e. the punishment is more severe to the individual who know- ingly commits a crime, than to one who commits a crime unknowningly. Hindus and Jains know that trading in meat is wrong, and hence, when they do, the punishment is immediate and severe.
While it is recognised that it is difficult to give up a trade by which one is earning a living, if one keeps faith in God, and takes the trouble to avoid a meal associated trade, the almighty will more than compensate in the long run.
Thus the following trades should be avoided :-
1. Shops where any meat, including meat in tins, fish and eggs are sold. In the shops already owned, other lines of sale should be introduced.
2. Guest houses, Retired homes, Hotels and Restaurants where meat, fish and eggs would be served.
3.Letting one’s property where meat, fish or eggs are sold.
4. Businesses dealing in leather goods.
5 .Working for the meat or meat associated industry.
6. Buying shares or investing in any meat associated business.
At the time when there is high unemployment and increasingly difficult to run it make ends meet, the above suggestions may sound like a cruel joke. But Laxmi, the goddess of wealth stays only where there is Narayan, and Lord Narayan only stays with his devotees. In the short run it may look very difficult, but in the long will be good for our children. Our ancient Indian culture rests on the pillar of Ahimsa. Take away that pillar of Ahimsa and our culture is in danger. Preserving and propagating the ideal of Ahimsa laid down by Lord Krishna and Lord Mahavira is the biggest challenge of our times.