I have seen animals sacrificing for Kali mata. I am not brahmin by birth but had developed interest towards Lord Siva. I read Shiva Purana but there are no references for devotees of Shiva. I have read story of Bhaktha kannappa. Can Shaivaites eat meat?

  • 1
    @AnilKumar If you have read story of Kannappa, you should know that Kannappa's way of offerings was not usual as opposed to others. Although Kannappa offered meat to Lord Shiva out of sheer dedication, the temple priest see the meat offerings with disgust. This shows that originally in that part Lord Shiva was not offered meat but it is devotees who might be unaware and whatever they feel is good are offering.
    – Aby
    Sep 2, 2015 at 15:21
  • Btw, people's beliefs differ according to places. At some places, offering meat is ok and allowed while at other places it is forbidden and taken as an offense. Mostly i see it as whatever people are eating in a particular region and not consider offensive, they use in offering to Gods as well. So, God's diet we don't know but its actually people's diet what they offer to God.
    – Aby
    Sep 2, 2015 at 15:30
  • 4
    Lord Shiva does not eat meat. None of the gods eat meat or other stuff because they do not have bodies made of five elements. They accept oblations made in yagna fire with mantra. You may continue your dietary practices according to the caste you were born into. Just remember not to partake on forbidden days like Sunday(adhi devata being Shiva), ekadasi , etc. Unless you have been initiated into a mantra. Then your mantra guru will guide you regarding the prescribed lifestyle.
    – user1195
    Sep 3, 2015 at 2:10
  • 1
    According to Shiva purana, those who perform rite of listening Shiva purana shouldn't eat meat. Sep 20, 2016 at 18:48

6 Answers 6


Can one eat meat and still be a devotee ? The answer to this question will be Yes.

But, if the question is whether Lord Shiva approves such an act? (which is what a true devotee will be more concerned about) then the answer will be No.

Lord Shiva does not approve meat eating unless it is part of some rituals.

This is what he says to Sri Devi:

Pitridevatayajneshu VaidahimsA Vidhiyate |

AtmArtham PrAninAm HimsA kadAchinnoditA Priye ||


In Pitru Yanjna and Deva Yajnas sacrificial killing is allowed. But other than that the Shastras never allow prani himsa (killing) for one's own pleasure.

KulArnava Tantram, Chapter 5, Verse 45.

So, it is clear that Lord Shiva does not like the idea of his devotees eating non-sacrificial meat.

Eating meat is allowed only if it is part of some ritual.

  • Notice "for one's own pleasure", it might be prohibiting leisure hunting instead of meat eating.
    – Ritwik
    Jan 4 at 19:57

Kashmiri Pandits worship a variation of Shiva known as Batuka Bhairava - with fish and meat.

Vamachara maarg of Tantra is inclined towards the Five M's -

  1. Madya (wine)
  2. Mamsa (meat)
  3. Matsya (fish)
  4. Mudra (cereal)
  5. Maithuna (sexual intercourse)

Here we can understand it is meat.

Also in Ashwamedh and Purushmedh yagna sacrifices are made and deities are offered meats. So we can consider Shiva may eat meat.

Also in Ramayana Later, Sita said to Ravana (disguised as a sage):

"Āgamiṣyati me bharta vanyamādāya puṣkalam z Rurūṇ godhān varāhāñca hatvā ādāyāmiṣaṃ vahu zz Sa tvaṃ nāma ca gotraṃ kulamācakṣava tatvataḥ z Ekaśca daṇḍakāraṇye kimartha carasi dvija zz" (Araṇya/47/23-24)


"My husband Ram will come back soon with many kinds of wild fruits and plentiful of meat by hunting ruru (a kind of deer), varaha (wild boar) and godha (iguana). Now you please be kind and tell me your name, your gotra (clan or lineage) to which you belong and what you are roaming in this lonely forest for?" (tr. Ibid, p-323).

There are several other verses that suggest that Ram was not vegetarian. This is also one proof that GODs eat meat.

God is so simple, He is our Aid /wellwisher, who accepts whatever we offer Him with LOVE.

In most of the stories or myths related to temples it could be seen that when the installation of the idol is completed the related people worship the idol with whatever they have in their home.

So, people staying near sea and depending on the sea for their living, naturally will have dried fish as a stock of food at their home. If this community installs an idol in their village, definitely, this dried fish can be expected as an offering.

  • Thanks for the answer. But some people say Rama never ate meat. It was due to wrong translation. If Rama and Krishna had really eaten meat, then it wouldn't be a sin for people who want Rajo guna .
    – The Destroyer
    Sep 6, 2015 at 13:57
  • But here food was offered first to God and ate by people later, similar to Grama devatas. But my question is can I eat meat without offering to Lord Shiva?
    – The Destroyer
    Sep 6, 2015 at 14:10
  • @AnilKumar That's your personal interest to offer or not.
    – prem30488
    Sep 7, 2015 at 5:19
  • @TheDestroyer - any food we eat must be offered to God first. Not because God is hungry (although he will be hungry if you really want him to be as a bhakta), but to remove the food's doshas. When preparing even vegetarian food, there are many places of ahimsa - grinder, stove, broom, waterpot etc where insects die. When cultivating the land, animals get crushed, when transporting grains via road/train also animals get killed. To pacify these insect's souls, we do neivedyam to God.. otherwise we eat only sin (bhagavad gita).
    – mar
    Apr 26, 2017 at 15:31
  • @TheDestroyer, the story of Vishvamitra - after 12 years of no rain, he was about to die and could only find food from svapaka (chandala or dog eater). Before he was about to eat it, he offered it to devas. Pleased by his devotion even in times of distress, Indra poured rain and revived the earth. Even though you're not Brahmin, it is said a person who shuns meat, all the beings will bow to him. It also leads to rajo/tamo guna which hinders spiritual thoughts and creates animalistic desires.
    – mar
    Apr 26, 2017 at 15:39

According to me, Lord Shiva is a supreme father of the universe, he is the manifestation of love, innocence, truth, humanity, wellbeing, family hood teaching the aspects of how life is to be lead . it is said that whatever we offer to lord shiva with obeisance, with love, with utmost devotion, he accepts it without differentiation. He has created everything for us, whether vegetarian or non vegetarian. The only thing that matters is pure devotion towards him. One must have humanity in his blood, as it is the mere form of our great lord shiva. In fact he himself has given birth to all kinds of variety of people existing on this earth. We must stop treating non vegetarian as inferior , as they too are part of divine creation. We must respect his creation. However just as we choose what's the best for ourselves, let even others select the best for their own living.

  • 2
    Welcome To Hinduism SE! Good explanation. Although you have attempted to answer with your own points ,Answers on this site should be wirh appropriate citing of sources from Authentic Hindu Text's ,like puranas or explanation given by Acharyas or well known spiritual teachers.Pls.add some sources in your answer. Apr 20, 2017 at 12:44
  • Even though you have attempted to answer the question, you should not give your personal opinions in answers. Citations are ideal if they are from scriptures. Cite them if you have any. Apr 21, 2017 at 8:49

Pandavas were voracious meat eaters according to Mahabharata.

Mahabharata Vana Parva Section CCLVI says, "Once on a time, as Yudhisthira lay down at night in the Dwaita woods, some deer, with accents choked in tears, presented themselves before him in his dreams. To them standing with joined hands, their bodies trembling all over, that foremost of monarchs said, 'Tell me what ye wish to say. Who are ye? And what do ye desire?" Thus accosted by Kunti's son - the illustrious Pandava, these deer, the remnant of those that had been slaughtered, replied unto him, saying, 'We are, O Bharata, those deer that are still alive after them that had been slaughtered. We shall be exterminated totally. Therefore, do thou change thy residence. O mighty king, all thy brothers are heroes, conversant with weapons; they have thinned the ranks of the rangers of the forest. We few - the remnants,-O mighty minded one, remain like seed. By thy favour, O king of kings, let us increase.' Seeing these deer, which remained like seed after the rest has been destroyed trembling and afflicted with fear, Yudhisthira the just was greatly affected with grief. And the king, intent on the welfare of all creatures, said unto them, ' So be it. I shall act as ye have said.' Awaking after such a vision, that excellent king, moved by pity towards the deer, thus spake unto his brothers assembled there, 'Those deer that are alive after them that have been slaughtered, accosted me at night, after I had wakened, saying, 'We remain like the cues of our lines. Blest be thou! Do thou have compassion on us. And they have spoken truly. We ought to feel pity for the dwellers of the forest. We have been feeding on them for a year together and eight months. Let us, therefore, again (repair) to the romantic Kamakhyas, the best of forests abounding in wild animals, situated at the head of the desert, near Lake Trinavindu. And there let us pleasantly pass the rest of our time.'

At least Arjuna among the Pandavas worshipped Shiva.


Being a Creator, God Expects nothing from us, I mean offering.

Sacrificing\Killing is one of the custom that are mainly followed to avoid devastation but it is not eat\serve the Meat.

Actually God is not human to have a feel like hungry and we people have created the offering, chiefly it is for our-sake to do good and be good.

The Siththars are also a great worshiper's of the Lord Shiva, they have not even touched the Meat and according to them, eating Meat is a Sin.

But day-by-day the method worshiping of Lord Shiva have changed according to place,thoughts,Blind Belief.

Valmikiis also a siththar (Shaivaites). But he ate meat when he was a hunter but later he has changed and became Siththar.

Even Kannappa Naayanaar offered the meat to Lord Shiva unknowingly and innocently, but Lord Shiva accepted only his true heart of worship not his offer.

Moreover, God is not a Human to have a feeling like Hungry and to expect something.Hence God will not eat Meat.

Note: Still not satisfied, read Thiruvaasagam


Shiva Bhagavan is not a Historical figure, but The Conceptual GOD. Ahimsa is the best quality, a human being need to develop. So someone may ask, for the sake of food we are killing plants (plants are also living things) . Answer is - biological nature of human beings is to remain fruitarian or vegetarian. Our digestive system is like that. But properly cooked non vegetarian food is been digested by human stomach. Its all circumstances and circumstances decide upon ones food. So one has the right to eat as per his/her will and wish. Vegetarian food will facilitate satwik nature while Non vegetarian food will facilitate Rajas nature. Dirty, rotten and contaminated food will facilitate thamas nature. So if you want to be a soldier you need Rajas nature so go for non vegetarian. If you want to become a yogi go for satwik food. If you want to destroy your life go for thamas food. THAT'S ALL. NAMASTE

  • Sorry, a correction : If you want to destroy your life go for thamas food.
    Apr 26, 2017 at 10:10
  • Do not comment to add something your answer. You can edit your own post many number of times. Register and become an active user. For editing help: See this page. Apr 26, 2017 at 14:59

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .