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Some Brahmins are known to be lovers and avid eaters of fish.

Are Brahmins allowed to eat fish?

  • It's funny cause I've met Brahmins who claim fish as vegetable and hence, according to them, not breaking any rules. – Macindows Dec 10 '18 at 17:57
  • @Macindows Many people claim fish is not 'meat'. I don't know on what basis they claim that. – Ikshvaku Dec 10 '18 at 20:50
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Yes, eating fish is against the regulations for Dvijas. Manusmriti verse 5.15 reads:

yo yasya māṃsamaśnāti sa tanmāṃsāda ucyate | matsyādaḥ sarvamāṃsādastasmān matsyān vivarjayet || 15 ||

He who eats the flesh of an animal, is called the ‘eater of its flesh’; he who eats fish is the ‘eater of all kinds of flesh’; hence one shall avoid fish.—(15).

So, eating Fish is equivalent to eating all kinds of meat; hence, one shall avoid fish.

Eating forbidden food is equivalent to drinking alcohol, which is a Mahapataka for a Dvija. Manusmriti 11.56 reads:

brahmojjhatā vedanindā kauṭasākṣyaṃ suhṛdvadhaḥ | garhitānādyayorjagdhiḥ surāpānasamāni ṣaṭ || 56 ||

Neglecting the Veda, reviling the Veda, bearing false witness, slaying a friend, and eating of forbidden and unfit food,—these six are equal to ‘wine [alcohol made of grains] -drinking.’—(56)

However, certain fish can be eaten without having offered them in a sacrifice. Manusmriti verse 5.16:

The ‘Pāṭhīna’ and the ‘Rohita’ are fit to be eaten when used as offerings to gods or Pitṛs; the ‘Rājīva’, the ‘Siṃhatuṇḍa’ and the ‘Saśalka,’ (one may eaṭ) on all occasions.—(16)

Yājñavalkya verses 1.177-178:

Among fish the following may be eaten by the twice-born,—Siṃhatuṇḍa, Rohita, Pāṭhīna and those with scales.

However, many commentaries state that even these fish should be eaten only after offering them in a yajna (sacrifice).

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    You were too quick to post the answer.... – TheLittleNaruto Dec 9 '18 at 14:14
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    I'm dvija/vratya belong to the clan which your username holds. In fact, we are Raghuvanshi. I have been eating fishes. There has been irreparable damage if we start looking at these things. Also, prAyashchits described in these Smritis can't be performed. So technically there are no remedies. – Mr. Sigma. Dec 9 '18 at 14:15
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    @Turiyanāth It's an unfortunate symptom of kali yuga. No one is free from the effects of Kali. What we can do is follow Dharma to the best of our ability, or as much as we can. – Ikshvaku Dec 9 '18 at 14:17
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    The foundation is varNAshram dharma. Without varNAshram dharma everything collapses. – Mr. Sigma. Dec 9 '18 at 14:20
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    Btw @Ikshvaku the verse 5.15 is used in this answer. Another verse, which gives the names of certain fishes that are fit to be consumed, is also given... Since u are initially targeting the Bengalis then FYI they mostly consume the Rohita fish which is allowed as per Manu. – Rickross Dec 9 '18 at 15:25

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