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I have always believed that Lord Rama was a vegetarian, but after reading certain blogs I found out that there might be certain verses in Ramayana (like the one below) which indicate quite the opposite.

idaM medhyamidaM svaadu niSTaptamidamagninaa |
evamaaste sa dharmaatmaa siitayaa saha raaghavaH || 2-96-2

Rama, whose mind was devoted to righteousness stayed there with Seetha, saying; "This meat is fresh, this is savoury and roasted in the fire."

Now, since I haven't read the entire Ramayana, I cannot attest to the fact that whether Rama was a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian.

Which is why I need to ask, is there some concrete proof that Rama was a meat eater?

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you have valmiki-ramayana as a concrete proof, what more do you want? – Vineet Menon Jul 11 '14 at 6:03
The thing is, anyone can add a verse on a website. As there might be an interpretation error I wanted to ask was, if there is a scholar who studies the Ramayana quite intricately, then they could throw some light on this topic. – anon456 Jul 11 '14 at 6:09
@anon456, fair enough.. – Vineet Menon Jul 11 '14 at 7:15
Poor Ramayana has been subject to racist and castist interpretation by the western indology and marxist gangs. Remember that Ramayana was poetry and hence there would be many metaphoric words which cannot be taken literally. – Bharat Jul 11 '14 at 15:11
Rama wore 'janaiu' which prohibate tamsic food eg meat & wine. – user963 Oct 22 '14 at 16:12

6 Answers 6

Aamisham means meat and it also means enjoyable sense object like kingdom; it also means immense sense gratification and very pleasant and dear sense objects. Why translate this word only to mean meat? Isn't it biased translation?

Maamsa means meat and it also means pulp of a fruit or root. Roots are quite commonly roasted in fire and eaten.

Sloka 5-36-41 can also mean that Raghuvamsi never eat meat nor do they drink liquor.

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Verse 5:36:41 says "Rama is not eating meat, nor indulging even in spirituous liquor. Everyday, in the evening, he is eating the food existing in the forest, well arranged for him.." That just means that he's abstaining from the pleasures of life while he is apart from Sita. – Keshav Srinivasan Jul 11 '14 at 6:32
"wrong translation" point I want to make – atom217 Jul 11 '14 at 6:34

Yes. Rama is a kshatriya and kshatriyas are sanctioned to eat meat. For, meat increases rajas and tamas in the body which are required in warfare. Ramayana (Aranya KAnda) clearly states that he hunted for a deer and they offered it as naivEdyam (offering to God made during ritual worship) when they first set up their hermitage. In Sundara KAnDa also, Hanuman tells Sita that Rama has taken no pleasure in meat or madhu since being separated from her.

Caution for sanctioned meat-eaters is that meat should be consumed only on some days. For e.g., they should eschew eating meat on Sundays.

Rama did not violate scriptural injunctions or dharma by consuming meat.

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You should give specific citations and/or quotes from the Aranya Kanda and the Sundara Kanda. You can read the Valmiki Ramayana at – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 24 '14 at 5:40

I have no good evidence in the subject "Is Ram a Vegetarian ?" but I am sure he was a vegetarian. Because he was also known as MARIYADAPURSHOTTAM and many of saints(sadhus) who I met, always tell me one thing: if you want to follow a person then follow Ram ; But if you want to listen, the listen to krishna. So I think Ram is the man who tells us how to live, and that is way how I say he never ate meat because he knew that people would follow him.

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being vegetarian and being saint is no where co related. Swami Vivekananda was a fish eater Bengali Brahmin. There is no point of mixing two things – atom217 Oct 15 '14 at 9:13
@atom217 Swami Vivekananda was not a brahmin. – moonstar2001 Dec 26 '14 at 0:20

Most of these blogs and website are run by anti-Hindu people who want to malign Hinduism. And no Lord Rama was not non-vegetarian. He was pure vegetarian. He was the embodiment of Dharma itself then how can Lord engage in adharma?

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While it may be true that there are elements attempting to malign Hinduism, it is incorrect to believe non-vegetarianism is adharma. It is dharma for kshatriyas and sudras. However, there are rules to consuming meat such as eschewing it on specific days, tithis etc. – moonstar2001 Dec 26 '14 at 0:22
Please cite sources to He was pure vegetarian to backup your answer, else, clearly state that it's your personal opinion. – sv. Nov 3 at 20:25

I am a practicing Hindu and Brahmin with a reasonable knowledge of Ramayana and some of its different versions.

As far as I know meat eating is not restricted to any Hindu Caste, while in general South Indian Brahmins practice vegetarianism. Bengali Brahmins eat fish, Kashmiri Brahmins eat meat.

Further Rama is a Kshatriya(Warrior Class) son of King Dasaratha. Hence I do not see any reason why he should be a vegetarian. Hence in my opinion, there is no issue whether he is vegetarian or not.

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Valid point. But while it supports the question, it doesn't answer it. – LVS Jul 29 '14 at 15:56
Just because North Indian brahmins eat it, does not make it okay or acceptable janAcAra. A brahmin must not partake of meat. – moonstar2001 Dec 26 '14 at 0:23

Here is the verse from Ramayana that Rama left eating meat for 14 years.

चतुर्दश हि वर्षाणि वत्स्यामि विजने वने |
मधु मूल फलैः जीवन् हित्वा मुनिवद् आमिषम् || २-२०-२९

I shall live in a solitary forest like a sage for fourteen years, leaving off meat and living with roots, fruits and honey.

Lord Rama Chandra, even being a king, stood on his oath and left eating non-veg for 14 years. So I think, today's Hindus should learn from it to avoid eating non-veg as there is no more a system of king ruling a kingdom. Exception should be only for a few like soldiers, sports persons and labors etc.

In Sundarakanda, Hanuma is telling Sita and she is listening with a lot of happiness filled in her eyes. I am writing here with utmost respect towards Rama Chandra prabhu. Hanuma is telling about the current the then condition of Rama as:

न मांसं राघवो भुङ्क्ते न चापि मधुसेवते |
वन्यं सुविहितं नित्यं भक्तमश्नाति पञ्चमम् || ५-३६-४१

Meaning: He is not eating meat anymore, nor indulging in liquor (not even spiritual liquor) and he is just eating the fruits available from forest which are well arranged for him.

Isopanishad says:

īśāvāsyam idam sarvaṁ
yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam

Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.

Kings are allowed to eat meat. Lord Rama ate Deer meat. Sita cooked it as per Ramayana. Sage Agasthya ate meat during a ritual where Pitru Karma is performed. During Pitru Karma or performing rituals of the dead, eating meat was allowed in olden days but not in kaliyuga. That's why when sage Agasthya ate meat he digested Vatapi with his saying "Jeernam Jeernam Vatapi Jeernam". Likewise Dharma varies based on the time and period. It has to be taken wisely to eat meat or not. So it depends on time and period and based on one's conscience. Nowadays it is very tough for people to give proper Dharma on eating non-veg in this Kaliyuga. But it is very much advisable to avoid it.

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