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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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    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
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    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
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    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, then 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. – Kiran Jul 16 '14 at 5:07
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    Rama wore 'janaiu' which prohibate tamsic food eg meat & wine. – user963 Oct 22 '14 at 16:12
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    Sita ji wanted the deer because that was all part of lord rama's and sitaji's leela. Due to the deer, ravana was able to kidnap SITA JI, which eventually led to his downfall. Lord krishna mentions in gita that it is dharma to be a vegetarian. So , god can't advocate vegetarianism in one yuga and be non veg in one yug. Now, if people want to believe lord rama was a non vegetarian even after reading this, then god help them. – user2603 Mar 10 '15 at 15:44
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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

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

na māṃsaṃ rāghavo bhuṅkte na cāpi madhusevate |
vanyaṃ suvihitaṃ nityaṃ bhaktamaśnāti pañcamam ||

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
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    "wrong translation" point I want to make – atom217 Jul 11 '14 at 6:34
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    totally agree about multiple meanings. people use same twisting logic to say brahmins ate beef in olden days. the word 'pashu' means animal, not only cow. when we say 'man' it means humans, not only males. in yagas, pashu vadha was done, very rarely, and the pashu attained better birth due to it, and certain parts of it's body meat was eaten very sparingly as yagna-sesha (as duty, not for pleasure). – ram Mar 22 '17 at 6:30
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    @atom217 You are forgetting context of verse. Rama stopped taking Mamsa and Madhu. It doesn't matter what that Mamsa [pulpy substance]: Meat or Pulp of fruit. Similarly, Madhu could be honey and Liquor. But context of verse is very clear, that Rama stopped taking them only after his separation from Sita. – The Destroyer Mar 22 '17 at 6:30
  • @KeshavSrinivasan look at this verse "well arranged for him" here hanuman is saying that rama ram has not fallen down to intoxicants. – Anubhav Jha Feb 10 '18 at 15:45
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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-vegetarian food for 14 years. So I think, today's Hindus should learn from it to avoid eating meat as there is no more a system of a king ruling a kingdom. Exception should be only for a few like soldiers, sports persons and laborers 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, then current 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 meat in this Kaliyuga. But it is very much advisable to avoid it.

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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.

  • can you tell about Sri Krishna? – Rakesh Joshi Jun 16 '17 at 5:50
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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. – Vid L Jul 29 '14 at 15:56
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    Just because North Indian brahmins eat it, does not make it okay or acceptable janAcAra. A brahmin must not partake of meat. – user1195 Dec 26 '14 at 0:23
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There are many references of Sri Rama having meat in the Valmiki Ramayana. It was a common practice in the Kshatriya clan then. Even not many Kshatriyas have non-vegetarian diet.

suraaghaTasahasreNa maamsabhuutodanena cha |
yakshye tvaam prayataa devi puriim punarupaagataa || 2-52-89

devii= “Oh, goddess! Upaagata= After reaching; puriim= the city (Ayodhya); punaH= again; yakshhye= I shall worship (you); suraaghata sahasreNa= with thousand pots of spirituous liquor; maamsa bhuutodanena cha = and jellied meat with cooked rice; prayataa= well-prepared for the solemn rite.”

“Oh, goddess! After reaching back the city of Ayodhya, I shall worship you with thousand pots of spirituous liquor and jellied meat with cooked rice well prepared for the solemn rite.”


tau tatra hatvaa caturaH mahaa mR^igaan | varaaham R^ishyam pR^iSatam mahaa rurum | aadaaya medhyam tvaritam bubhukSitau| vaasaaya kaale yayatur vanaH patim || 2-52-102

102. hatvaa= having killed; tatra= there; chaturaH= four; mR^igaan= deer (namely); varaaham= Varaaha; R^ishyam= Risya; pR^ishhatam= PR^isata; mahaaruru= (and) Mahaaruru; (the four principal species of deer); aadayaa= and taking; tvaritam= quickly; medhyam= the portions that were pure; tou= Rama and Lakshmana; bubhukshhitou= being hungry as they were; yayatuH= reached; vanaspatim= a tree; vaasayaa= to take rest; kaale= in the evening.

Having hunted there four deer, namely Varaaha, Rishya, Prisata; and Mahaaruru (the four principal species of deer) and taking quickly the portions that were pure, being hungry as they were, Rama and Lakshmana reached a tree to take rest in the evening.


samaashvasa muhuurtam tu shakyam vastum iha tvayaa || 3-47-22 aagamiSyati me bhartaa vanyam aadaaya puSkalam | ruruun godhaan varaahaan ca hatvaa aadaaya amiSaan bahu || 3-47-23

22b, 23. muhuurtam samaashvasa= for a moment, be comfortable; tvayaa iha vastum shakyam= by you, here, to take rest, possible; me bhartaa= my, husband; ruruun= stag with black stripes; godhaan= mongooses like [civet-like mammals of the family Viverridae, esp. of the genus Herpestes, Marathi manguus]; varaahaan ca= wild-boars, also; hatvaa= on killing; bahu amiSaan aadaaya= aplenty, meat, on taking; puSkalam vanyam aadaaya= plentiful, forest produce, on taking; aagamiSyati= will be coming [soon.]

“Be comfortable for a moment, here it is possible for you to make a sojourn, and soon my husband will be coming on taking plentiful forest produce, and on killing stags, mongooses, wild boars he fetches meat, aplenty. [3-47-22b, 23]


तां तदा दर्शयित्वा तु मैथिली गिरिनिम्नगाम् ।निषसाद गिरिप्रस्थे सीतां मांसेन छन्दयन् ।। इदं मध्यमिदं स्वादु निष्टप्तमिद मग्निना ।एवमास्ते स धर्मात्मा सीतया सह राघवः ।। (वाल्मीकि रामायण, अयोध्या काण्ड, 96, 1 व 2)

Having shown to Sita the mountain-river Mandakini and gratifying her with meat, Rama sat on the mountain slope. Righteous Rama was seated in Sita's company and remarked saying "This meat is sacred. This is savoury roasted in fire". (Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 96:1-2)


मृगं हत्वाऽऽनय क्षिप्रं लक्ष्मणेह शुभेक्षण!। कर्तव्य श्शास्त्रदृष्टो हि विधिर्धर्ममनुस्मर। ।Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 56.23।।

O Lakshmana!, Kill an antelope and bring it here quickly. The rites as prescribed by the scriptures will have to be carried out. You know and recollect that tradition also.

अयं कृष्ण स्समाप्ताङ्ग श्शृतो कृष्णमृगो यथा । देवतां देवसङ्काश! यजस्व कुशलो ह्यसि। ।Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 56.28।।

This black antelope with all the limbs is completely and well-cooked. As such O! devine sir, you may offer sacrifice to Vastu devata. You are proficient in doing such acts.

  • Maybe you could add a line somewhere in the beginning or end to say: "Yes, Lord Rama was a non-vegetarian." Also, better to use blockquotes for translation of verses as well unless it's your original translation. – sv. Feb 15 '17 at 19:51
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    Taking meat which were first offered in Deva or Pitri Yajnas is legal..But all meat that ur answer talks about is not sacrificial meat it seems.. – Rickross Feb 16 '17 at 7:24
  • Read the references carefully and hopefully you will get the answers. As such there is not a ban on non vegetarian diet in hinduism. – Rakesh Joshi Feb 16 '17 at 14:19
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    @RakeshJoshi After carefully going thru ur answer i came to the conclusion that not all the meats that they are consuming is sacrificial meat..For ex-96 1-2, – Rickross Feb 16 '17 at 14:50
  • The problem is not that he took meat but why would he take meat after promising his mother to live on fruits like a sage in the 14 years of exile – Surya Kanta Bose Chowdhury Jun 7 '17 at 7:59

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