The purport of sloka 213 of chapter 18 of the Madhya-khanda of Sri Chaitanya-Charitamrita reads

The word yavana means "meat-eater." Anyone from a meat-eating community is called a yavana. One who does not strictly observe the Vedic regulative principles is called a mleccha. These words do not refer to any particular man. Even if a person is born in a brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya or śūdra family, he is a mleccha or yavana if he does not strictly follow the regulative principles or if he eats meat.(Ref: https://prabhupadabooks.com/cc/madhya/18?page=3&d=1)

The sanskritdictionary.com gives the meaning of the word 'yavana' as

यवनः [यु-युच्] 1 A Greek, an Ionian. -2 Any foreigner, or barbarian; Ms.1.44; (the word is applied at present to a Mahomedan or a European also). -3 A carrot. -4 Olibanum. -5 A courser or swift horse. -6 Speed. -7 Wheat. -8 A kind of grass. -नाः (m. pl.) 1 The Ionians or Greeks. -2 The Greek astrologers. -नम् Mixing, mingling (esp. with water). -Comp. -अरिः N. of Kṛiṣṇa. -आचार्यः the reputed author of astronomical book called Tājak. -इष्टः 1 a kind of garlic. -2 a kind of onion. -3 the Nimba tree. (-ष्टा) the wild date-tree. (-ष्टम्) 1 lead. -2 an onion or garlic. -3 pepper. -देशजम् benzoin. -द्विष्टः bdellium. -प्रियम् pepper.

Does any of the scriptures say that meat-eaters are 'yavana-s'?

  • Rama was also a meat eater. So now Rama is a yavana?
    – user16581
    Apr 5, 2019 at 4:00
  • @LazyLubber I want to know
    – user17294
    Apr 5, 2019 at 4:01
  • 1
    @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury you are correct 100%
    – user17294
    Apr 5, 2019 at 6:55
  • 1
    And the Q is definitely on the scriptures/Smritis because u asked "Do scriptures have such a definition?" ... @Pratimaputra So ur initial tagging was perfect ..
    – Rickross
    Apr 5, 2019 at 7:46
  • 1
    Is this question about yavanas and meat eaters or smritis or meat itself? Which smritis are you asking about? Don't tag based on answer you get. Because Yavanas are mentioned in many puranas and itihasas too. Meat is created as an unnecessary tag by a user. There are already tags present. New tags should not be created for every question. Apr 5, 2019 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


Manu Smriti simply mentions Yavana as a particular race which was originally a Kshatriya race. But due to omission of religious Samskaras, they degraded themselves to the status of Vratya.

10.43. But in consequence of the omission of the sacred rites, and of their not consulting Brahmanas, the following tribes of Kshatriyas have gradually sunk in this world to the condition of Sudras;

10.44. (Viz.) the Paundrakas, the Kodas, the Dravidas, the Kambogas, the Yavanas, the Sakas, the Paradas, the Pahlavas, the Kinas, the Kiratas, and the Daradas.

I don't think the definition "anyone who eats meat is a Yavana" is to be found in Hindu scriptures. Because eating sacrificial meat is clearly allowed in scriptures.

And, in general, we have the following verse too:

5.56. There is no sin in eating meat, in (drinking) spirituous liquor, and in carnal intercourse, for that is the natural way of created beings, but abstention brings great rewards.

And, to know the definition of a Vratya, see the following:

10.20. Those (sons) whom the twice-born beget on wives of equal caste, but who, not fulfilling their sacred duties, are excluded from the Savitri, one must designate by the appellation Vratyas.

As an interesting side note, the Atri Smriti defines a Vipra, (i.e. a Brahmin) who is addicted to meat etc, as a Nishada but not Yavana.

A Vipra, who is a thief or a robber, or who is ever prone to give bad advice or give vent to harsh words, and who is always fond of fish and flesh, is called a Nishada.


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