As already discussed under the caption of Chastity, diet plays an important and integral part in the life of a Spiritual Aspirant and as such should be given its due importance. All prohibited foods and drinks should be scrupulously eschewed even in the face of medical advice, as none of these can lengthen the scheduled life-span nor are, in fact, conducive to nourishment.
It is certainly, a wrong notion that flesh or eggs give extra vigour or strength; on the contrary, these things flare up the carnal appetites which in the long run result in gross dissipation of energy.
It is gratifying to learn that the people, all the world over, are gradually coming to realise the benefits of the vegetarian diet, and the leaders of this thought have taken upon themselves the duty of propagating its importance among the masses. So far, the world has witnessed no less than fourteen Conferences held in different parts. India, too, had the good fortune to hold one in the year 1957 when representatives from different countries of the world gathered together to exchange their views in the time-honoured and historic capital – Delhi.
An advanced section of public opinion has, of late, begun to lay greater stress on what they call vegetable-ism as distinct from vegetarianism.
If we, for instance, look at goats, horses, bulls and elephants, we find how healthy and strong they are, so much so that in all mechanical terminology, we calculate the load-capacity in terms of horsepower.
St Paul in His Epistles to the Corinthians said
Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats; but God shall destroy both it and them.
1 Corinthians 6:13
It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth.
And God said,
I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree-yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
The Gospel of the Holy Twelve:
Therefore ye shall eat no flesh, nor drink strong drink; for the child shall be consecrated to God from his mother’s womb, and neither flesh nor strong drink shall be taken, nor shall razor touch his head.
Now Mary and Joseph, His parents, went up to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover, and observed the feast after the manner of their brethren, who abstained from bloodshed and the eating of flesh and from strong drink.
… and eat not that which is set before you. That which is gotten by the taking of life, touch not for it is not lawful to you. … The Son of man is not come to destroy but to save; not to take life, but to give Life to body and soul.