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From: balance808 (
Subject: Garlic, Onions and the Liberated Women
Date: February 2, 2003 at 9:34 am PST

In Reply to: Harmonics posted by Leo on February 1, 2003 at 2:43 pm:

i alredy explained what i know... i never put the effort into understanding the subtlties of the ayur vedic diet. you may want to visit the Hare Krishna temple, there are some in germany, and most major cities in the world. and on sunday night is a free vegetarian feast... open to the public. i have a list of all the temples and restaruants if you want it.

so i read your post and didnt feel like typing anything so i did a search on i found a pretty cool discussion on this topic, plus a little bit on vedic wombmen... i thought it was well written....
Garlic, Onions and the Liberated Women


Subject: Garlic, Onions and the Liberated Women
From: Darlyn R
Date: Sat Jul 15 10:40:53 1995
Message-Id: id589


Dear Darlyn

Hello. Hare Krishna!

>Wel, first let us start with the things I wonder
>about. What is the story with mushrooms? Oninos? Garlic? Someone told me
>once that devotees don't eat onions or garlic because it makes their breath
>offensive to Krishna-I can't believe this is true, and if it is, modern
>technology today has come up with great things such as toothpaste,
>mouthwash, and several sugarless chewing gums. Even if this did make sence
>when the Gita was written, it makes no sense today. Why is this practice
>still being followed?

I've never heart that one before! It's not the real reason. There are three modes
of material nature, goodness, passion and ignorance. There are also foods in these
three modes. If we want to come to the spiritual platform we have to come to the
mode of goodness first, so we only eat food in the mode of goodness. Actually we
only eat prasadam, the remnants of food offered to Krishna. Because we don't do
anything for ourselves, we do everything for Krishna. So we cook for Krishna, then
offer Him the food, then we eat the prasadam [Krishna's mercy]. So we cook what
Krishna likes and He only eats food in the mode of goodness.

"The purpose of food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and aid
bodily strength. This is its only purpose. In the past, great authorities selected
those foods that best aid health and increase life's duration, such as milk
products, sugar, rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables. These foods are very dear to
those in the mode of goodness.

"Some other foods, such as baked corn and molasses, while not very
palatable in themselves, can be made pleasant when mixed with milk or
other foods. They are then in the mode of goodness. All these foods are pure by
nature. They are quite distinct from untouchable things like meat and liquor.
Fatty foods, as mentioned in the eighth verse, have no connection with animal fat
obtained by slaughter. Animal fat is available in the form of milk, which is the
most wonderful of all foods. Milk, butter, cheese and similar products give animal
fat in a form which rules out any need for the killing of innocent creatures. It
is only through brute mentality that this killing goes on. The civilized method of
obtaining needed fat is by milk. Slaughter is the way of subhumans. Protein is
amply available through split peas, dal, whole wheat, etc.

"Foods in the mode of passion, which are bitter, too salty, or too hot or overly
mixed with red pepper, cause misery by reducing the mucus in the stomach, leading
to disease. Foods in the mode of ignorance or darkness are essentially those that
are not fresh. Any food cooked more than three hours before it is eaten (except
prasadam, food offered to the Lord) is considered to be in the mode of darkness.
Because they are decomposing, such foods give a bad odor, which often attracts
people in this mode but repulses those in the mode of goodness." (from Bhagavad-
gita 17.10)

So garlic and onions are in the mode of passion and they smell. Mushrooms are in
the mode of ignorance [they grow from rotting things in the dark..] so we don't
eat them. But the real reason is Krishna doesn't eat them so we don't cook them
for Him. It's a different way of doing things.

>It also bothered me that at temple, the women always sat in the back. Why
>is it that the women cover their hair too? Is it just traditional, or is
>there a reason for it?

There's a reason for everything. This is rather unpopular in the west but it is a
lack of understanding that's all. If one wants to make spiritual advancement the
most difficult thing to over come is identification with the body. Thinking "I am

an American man," or "I am an Australian man" and "She is a woman". But we are not
these bodies. We are spirit souls within the covering of the bodies. I could take
a woman's body in my next birth... it's the body only that is male or female. But
the body covers the consciousness of the soul and the covering of a woman's body
is different to the covering of a man's body. Woman and men think in a different
way. They are meant to take different roles in society.

The thing that most strongly reinforces the bodily concept of life is the
attraction between man and woman, sex life. This puts us on the bodily platform
very quickly. So to make spiritual advancement some separation between the men and
the women is required. It is described in the Srimad Bhagavatam that a man is like
butter and a woman like fire. So what happens when they come together? The butter
[man] melts in the association of the fire [woman]. So the Vedic system is women
should be chaste. Not walking around half-naked trying to attract the attention of
men... But an interesting thing happens. A chaste woman is extremely attractive to
a man! So what happens in reality in the Vedic system is a man becomes very
attached to his wife because she serves him very nicely. So she controls him by
her chastity and service... So the husbands treat their wives very well, not like
the exploitave mentality of men in the west. In the western culture women are
exploited, in the Vedic culture women are protected, that's the difference.

> I read in a magazine article once that there were 4
>stages of enlightenment (I have it at home somewhere if you would like
>details) and it said that women could only attain the first three.

Yes. There are four stages of life: student life [brahmacary], married life
[grhastha], retired life [varnaprastha] and totally renounced life [sannyasa].
Women are not given sannyasa.

As I said before generally a man becomes very attached to his wife but he should
actually become very attached to Krishna. So married life is not forever in Vedic
culture. At some point the man leaves his wife in the care of his grown-up sons
and dedicates the rest of his life to becoming attached to Krishna so at the time
of death he is thinking of Krishna, not his wife. It is our thoughts at the time
of death that determine our next body. If he thinks of his wife at the time of
death he will get a woman's body in the next life... But that is not good. We
don't want to come back to this material world again. If we think of Krishna at
the time of death we will not have to come back here again but we can instead go
back home, back to Godhead.

>If we
>all reincarnate (by the way I already believe in reincarnation, although it
>is slightly different than the krishna belief), and we are not these
>bodies, why should it make a difference if we are women or men?

There's no difference spiritually but the bodies are different. For society to run
smoothly women and men have to take different roles. This western system has not
been very successful. Women should always be protected, first by their father,
then by their husband and if her husband takes sannyasa, then she is protected by
her grown up sons.

>Reincarnation: you won't have to preach much about this because I figure it
>is the only logical path after death (if you want my logic on this, just
>ask). I only have a problem in the belief that if you do something wrong
>in this lifetime you will be demoted into a lower organism. I have always
>looked at life somewhat like school. If you fail the third grade, you
>don't go back to second, you just have to repeat it. No one can lose
>knowledge that they have already attained. Please give me youe thoughts on

My thoughts are not really too important. It is my responsibility to give you
Krishna's thoughts on this -- that is much better! So Krishna says:

"When one dies in the mode of passion, he takes birth among those engaged in
fruitive activities; and when one dies in the mode of
ignorance, he takes birth in the animal kingdom." (Bhagavad-gita 14.16)


Some people have the impression that when the soul reaches the platform of human
life it never goes down again. This is incorrect.
According to this verse, if one develops the mode of ignorance, after his death he
is degraded to an animal form of life. From there one has to again elevate
himself, by an evolutionary process, to come again to the human form of life.
Therefore, those who are actually serious about human life should take to the mode
of goodness and in good association transcend the modes and become situated in
Krsna consciousness. This is the aim ofhuman life. Otherwise, there is no
guarantee that the human being will again attain to the human status.

Do you chant the maha-mantra? I would strongly recommend you do. It is a very
powerful and sublime thing. Krishna is personally present in the form of the sound
vibration of His holy name so when you chant and hear His holy name you are
associating with Him directly...

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

Thanks for the questions! I'm looking forward to your reply.

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