“So you don’t eat meat?”

Today, I bought a packet of noodles that was on offer. It was ‘Spicy Tomato Flavor’. Since it was packed, I asked the shopkeepers if it was vegetarian. They said yes. So I bought it and when I got home, I checked the ingredients. It had artificial chicken flavouring. So I went back to the store to exchange them. I told the lady at the counter that I was a vegetarian so I couldn’t eat it.

“So you don’t eat meat?” she asked.

“That’s right,” I said.

“Why?”

“Well, I don’t like it.”

“You just don’t like it?”

“Yeah, I don’t like it. Moreover, I like animals. So I don’t like to eat meat.”

“It’s very hard to not eat meat,” she said with a smile.

“It wasn’t too hard to give it up. It was very easy for me to give it up, in fact!”

Then the other shopkeeper had refunded me and I left the store. I was mentally kicking myself for not telling her that I am vegetarian also because of my religious beliefs. Then I called my dad and told him to pick up a packet of curry noodles. He said he had already left the shop he was in. So I was like, okay, another opportunity to back into the store? Maybe Krishna wants me to talk to her about vegetarianism.

So I went back in and picked up my curry noodles and I went to her counter. The other clerk had come while I was in the line and he asked me to come to his counter. I just smiled and stayed put. I wanted to tell this lady why I was vegetarian. He called me again. And luckily, another lady came behind me with a full trolley and went to his counter. By then, my turn had come. I was hesitant. How can I just randomly bring up a conversation that ended once again? So I just blurted it out, like I normally do, when I’m contemplating over whether I should say something or not.

“I’m also vegetarian because of my religion.”

She just smiled and said, “Yeah?”

“Yes. Because God created the animals too and we should be kind to them!”

“That’s nice,” she replied.

I said bye to her and I left. That was it. I don’t know why I felt so prompted to tell her that. I felt like I was missing the chance to tell someone about vegetarianism and Krishna Consciousness. I felt like I had missed such a great opportunity to tell someone about vegetarianism. But Krishna gave me another chance. It was a very abrupt and short conversation, but nevertheless, the point got across.

Who knows, maybe the next time she sits down to eat a meal of meat, she might consider what I told her?

Who knows?

13 Comments

Filed under Krishna Consciousness, Testimonies + Miracles + Mercy Stories, Vegetarianism

13 responses to ““So you don’t eat meat?”

  1. i really liked this post.
    There are times when we feel a little apprehensive, hesitant, talking about our relegious beliefs, when we barely know people. it’s happened to me, like, loads of times.
    But, i guess that is the basis of spreading the name of Krishna, to let them connect with Him.
    Ofcourse, we’ll be just instruments in His hands, who send across His message.

    • DrainPiper

      That’s very true. I really felt this very strong urgency to tell the storekeeper one of the major reasons I was vegetarian since she asked why. I just felt so compelled to tell her that I was also doing it because God instructs us to. I wonder if maybe it was Krishna who was urging me to tell her!

      What has happened when you have told people about your religious beliefs? Have you had any interesting experiences you would like to share?

      Oh, and by the way, did you see my comment on your blog? On “The Aftermath”? I’m so fascinated with the verse and your experience!

  2. i have never gone forthright about my relegious beliefs many times, sadly.
    But, i have seen Krishna influence people around me.
    One of my best friends has started falling in love with Him, madly. i guess it has got something with me talking about Him so many times.
    i have talked to a few people in earnes, about Krishna.
    There was this girl who told me about how lonely she was, as she was not so good with finding friends.
    i sat her down, once, and told her how she must talk to Him. She sent me a message a few days later that she felt a lot better.
    There was another girl i know, who said God just wouldn’t listen to her. i don’t even remember what exactly i spoke to her, but she started visiting the temple regularly.
    And this girl told me about bad dreams, and i asked her to chant before she went to bed…

    These things, just happen to me…i am so hesitant to talk about Krishna, for i fear getting misinterpreted as preaching, or if i am talking to a devotee, afraid they may think am putting forth what i am not…
    But, yet He makes me talk, and uses me as an instrument a few times, and am grateful…
    Sometimes, i can’t believe i say a few things i do,and that is when i know He is using me, am but an instrument to get to His devotees…Those times, am extremely grateful He lets me talk about Him…

    But, the most standing memory regarding religion goes back to when i was a six-year old kid:
    A few eleven year old Muslim girls were bullying me

    “You know you are wrong about God…”
    “No, i understand God very well…”
    “Really?”
    “Yes, he takes care of me!”
    “OK, God creates and maintains and destroys…does YOUR GOD DO THAT?”
    “MY GOD?! of course, He does. He made everything.”
    “What is everything?”
    “Hmm…everything is everything. i mean, people, animals, birds…”
    “Ha! That’s all?”
    “What else is there?”
    “You know what, OUR GOD, the real God, He made everything…sun, moon, planets, the universe”
    (i didn’t even know the names of the nine planets properly at that time)
    “That’s what i said na..everything…God made evrything. You just see God in a different way.”
    “No, we see God the only right way. You will go to hell if you keep believing like this.”
    (i was half-crying)
    “No, i know what is right. You don’t need to teach me, please. To you, yours, and to me, mine. God is one, in the end. I wanna go now.”
    ” No, wait! You are doing a big sin. So many people i know said (some verse) and converted to being like us. You must also.”
    “no…no…no…this is just not right…i wanna go home…please…”
    “When YOUR GOD didn’t make anything, how can You worship Him?”
    “That is wrong…”
    “You think God is in a statue? You think statue is God?”
    “No, statue is just a form of God, it’s not a statue”
    “So, our God makes everything, and you worship this nobody?”
    “He is not a nobody, He is God.Please i need to go…”
    i ran away.
    i couldn’t talk like them, not at that time…
    i have the greatest respect for Muslims, and their single-minded devotion, praying 5 times a day, fasting without water, etc. But these 2 girls, were, well, nightmarish…
    i ran straight to my mother, who was doing Pooja when i got in…
    i hugged her and cried uncontrollably.
    She said, it’s okay, that’s all they know…
    And then, i cried to Krishna…
    am sorry i couldn’t talk like them…

    But, later i realized, He had been with me throughout that.
    i never, for one moment, doubted Krishna, in spite of their repeated attempts.
    By His grace, my mom had made me believe in Him in a “nothing beyond Him” way.
    i kept saying Perumale! save me!! Please!!
    And, He never let me out of sight!

    Sometimes, i wish i were a kid again, i was more innocent in bhakti…

    • DrainPiper

      Goodness, you have so many wonderful and profound stories to tell, of your experiences in life! Thanks so much for sharing this! Yes, your strong faith in Krishna did shine through! It’s so nice to hear that you did not doubt Him at all! It’s amazing. I am very very shaky in my faith. Like you said, I wish I was a child again, so I could have unwavering faith and I wouldn’t care about all these different religions that say that their way is the right way. You know what’s so ironic… JUST now I was thinking about this! I often wonder about why so many people claim that their religion is the right one and other religions, especially non-Abrahamic ones, are pathways to an eternal hell. So I was praying, saying, “God, if I am wrong in the way I worship You, show me the right way. Show me who You really are and how I should worship You. Show me which religion is the truest one, the one that clearly explains how to reach to You.”

      And here was your post. Just waiting like a timebomb to go off! You spoke about this exactly! I believe that you have been an instrument again, in Krishna’s hands, to remind me not to doubt and to have unwavering faith in Krishna, and to dispel this unsteadiness! Thank you so much 🙂 I am finding it so incredible that you ended up posting about this just when a while ago, I prayed for truth. Hari Hari bol! Krishna works in His own wonderful ways to take care of His devotees 🙂

      There is a verse in the Bhagavad Gita which often helps me when I am in doubt. I use it as a prayer:

      “This is my doubt, O Kṛṣṇa, and I ask You to dispel it completely. But for You, no one is to be found who can destroy this doubt.” – BG, 6:39.

    • Anonymous

      Hi This is an amazing story I think we should respect all the religions but I also feel like what you go through sometimes people just make fun of you they don’t understand you and your beliefs. I have a sister in law she is very devoted Krishna bhakt as what I can see but she talks very bad about other relisions which I dont like I think we should respect everyone and their belief system.

      • DrainPiper

        True. A lot of people sometimes tell me to give up vegetarianism. I have several food intolerances/allergies and I am on a very restricted diet but despite all that, I can never get myself to eat another animal again. I just simply cannot do it anymore. If other people wish to, that is their personal choice. As for me, I simply choose to live without meat.

        Oh, it’s not nice to talk badly about the beliefs of others. I wish your sister in law would understand. If someone spoke to her badly about Krishna, she would get offended. It only makes sense then to try and avoid offending others! The Bhagavad Gita has this nice verse on equality:

        “The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” – BG 5.18

        In Sanskrit, the translation of a part of this verse is “panditah sama darshina” meaning the wise see with equal vision. I love this short, simple quote and often remind myself of it when I feel like I am being biased or unequal in my perception of things. Perhaps maybe in passing, you could enlighten your sister in law about this verse 🙂

      • DrainPiper

        By the way, guess what? Just after I posted my previous reply to you with the verse from the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna lovingly made his presence felt. I am sitting here with tingles at the back of my beck. I stumbled upon an article about when Radhanath Swami spoke at the Google office. In that article, the exact same verse is quoted! What a strange co-incidence! We all know who the mastermind is behind all this! Read about it here: https://bloggingupthedrainpipe.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/panditah-sama-darshina/

  3. Oh God, it’s incredible, and….oh!!!
    You don’t need to worry about the way you worship…our Vaishnavite way is the best way: to love, and to cherish.
    And, i think, it is perhaps only Vaishnavas who can see devotion in other forms of relegion too, perhaps because we are so obsessed with Him.

    • DrainPiper

      Yes, the first principle of ANY religion ought to be Love. That’s how Srila Prabhupada said we can identify bona-fide religions – any religion that teaches us to love God is bona-fide.
      Yeah, it’s so nice to have such a wonderful, positive and healthy obsession with Krishna!

  4. hmmm…even iam die hard veggie ….but one cannot eat 100% veggie these days …or maintain or boast ourself as 100% veggie …in todays inorganic life …we keep kiling life someway or the other ///all foods we take r contamnated somewhere or the other by non veg.
    Thoigh all packets show green circle symblosing veg., unknown to many ,it does have a trace of non vegge ….ice cream,s…milk…so many veggie stuff does have “unknown bit” of non veggoe …thats the reaosn why we 1st offer to God before we consume

    • DrainPiper

      Ah I see. I’ve been taught that we offer because even when eating veg food, we still kill plants. So God is so merciful He says if we offer to Him first, we will not incur karma. You are right – it is very hard to find veg food. But we must always try our best. That’s one reason why devotees usually insist on making food from scratch!

  5. Pingback: “Panditah Sama Darshina” | Blogging Up The Drainpipe

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