Hare Krishna fellow devotees and seekers!

A little less than 2 months ago I gave up meat entirely. In 1997 I stopped eating red meat. In 1998 I stopped eating chicken. Earlier this year I gave up turkey. In May of this year, fish phased it's way out of my diet. In June eggs were the last meat product to go. Now I'm considering garlic and onions since devotees have explained to me that it's considered a stimulant and goes against the regulation of no intoxication. I'm having a difficult time understanding that. One sweet devotee told me that it throws off the hormones and it's too strong for the senses in taste and smell. I have been a strong advocate for garlic in the past and I've used it excessively in cooking. I've also believed that it has many benefits to the health and works as a natural antioxidant. 

I humbly request for some clarity on this subject.

I thank you in advance for your precious time.


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  • Hare Krishna Mataji,

    It was very enlivening to see how your were showered by Krsna's causeless mercy. Since Krsna Consciousness is'nt the mode of ignorance, passion and even goodness, but transcendental to all these modes, this means that without Krsna's sweet sidelong glance, it wouldn't have been possible to come in contact with Him,so, don't feel discouraged. The gradual vegeterianism you adopted is just a symptom of you wanting something higher, because
    "Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot,pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress misery and disease." BG 17.9. Have you ever wondered why someone likes salt and vinegar potato chips alot, or has this special "thing" for chilli? while somone just likes fruits, milk sweets,a sweet tooth,? Its becuase the modes of material nature are working. If you find your self liking those before, but now scorn at it, it shows that you are having a shift in conciousness, because of Krsna's mercy. Similarly, once that higher taste will develop, you will literally scorn at the thought of onion and garlic, as said in gitadaily article somwhere once that mundane things will fall pale once you see the diamond.

    Garlic and onion are repulsive foods even according to today's standards. They have a terrible smell that is so long lasting, that even makes you cry when you cut it. It releases Sulfurdioxide that mixes with the moisture in your eyes to form sulfuric acid, that burns your eyes and the eyes cry to remove the harmful acid. This shows that onion causes gastric imbalances and acidity in your stomach, also produces a putrid smell in your bowel movements , sweat and of course the mouth. http://totalveg.com/origin-of-onion-garlic/12311

    About the health effects of garlic, these articles just say otherwise like how Krsna says," such foods cause distress misery and disease....", they indeed do,- do that;
    *****http://kurma.net/essays/e19.html******-very important

    hope this helped,
    jai prabhupada
    • Hare Krishna Yashvini!

      Thank you so sincerely for your time in responding to this discussion. The articles you sent me have fully convinced me to avoid garlic! Haribol! Now I have a better idea as to why I also suffer from many of the health conditions caused by onions and garlic. I humbly admit, out of ignorance, I have fallen victim to over indulgence to this misinterpreted plant and have suffered the ways described in these articles.

      However I still have some garlic in my kitchen such as a few cloves and a pesto sauce with it. What do I do with these items? I don't want to give it to non-devotees or people ignorant about garlic. It would be like giving them poison, right? Since I've heard that it's a natural pesticide, would it be safe to give to my local urban farm?

      • Hare Krishna mataji,

           Wonderful! :)

           Coming to your question, albeit I am not fully capable of answering , personally, yes indeed, it would be giving them poison, so it would just be best to use them in your farm. Actually, I also read somewhere that farmers used to plant onion and garlic and similar allium members around their garden, and nothing could harm their crops come what may, and since it isn't going into your stomach, and unnatural pesticides have adverse effects to health, it would be okay.

           Whatever Krsnacreated has a purpose, and I even read somewhere in IDT in an article that appeared recently that snakes,though full of envy and seemingly a burden to this earth, play and important role in detoxifying the air, and keeping it within themselves. I can't really remember the exact w's, but it can be linked to the usage of onions and garlic for replacing the anyday harmful pesticides that cannot be offered to Krsna. Though they are a poison, they are definitely milderthan the modern pesticides.

        your servant,


  • There are different types of people.

    1For some people knowing that Krsna doesn't like onions is good enough for them.

    2 For others they want to know "what is the scientific reason, why is it good for me to do this" in other words they don't really care if Krsna likes it they want to know what benefit they will get from it.

    3 And the third type will only do something if there is a punishment involved for not doing it.

    So it seems that you fall in category 2 -- what is in it for me.

    Krsna will not accept food with onions or garlic in it. And since devotees only eat yajna sishta - prasadam -- food offered to Krsna -- that means they don't eat onions or garlic -- it is pretty simple. Krsna doesn't like it so we don't eat it.

    • Hare Krsna Somayaji
      Please be considerate.
      Giving up meat eating is commendable.
      • And your point is?

        She wasn't asking about meat, but about onion and garlic. I answered her. What was inconsiderate about it?

        What everyone should walk on eggshells is that it?

        Aside from previous comment in the Manu Samhita it also points out that onion and garlic are foods to be avoided and that those who eat them are in same category as those who eat chicken or pork.

        "Garlic, leeks and onions, mushrooms and (all plants), springing from impure (substances), are unfit to be eaten by twice-born men. Manu Samhita 5.5

        "A twice-born man who knowingly eats mushrooms, a village-pig, garlic, a village-cock, onions, or leeks, will become an outcast. Manu Samhita 5.19

    • Oh. Ok. This is the first time I've ever heard that Krishna doesn't like onions and garlic. That definitely simplifies things. Thank you. As a new devotee I have many questions. If something does not make sense to me, I typically won't do it until it becomes clear. I'm not really looking for any kind of personal gain from my service to Krishna.

  • Volunteer

    There is Hing or Asofetida which can replace garlic and onion.

    Please read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asafoetida

  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Mataji,


    I am not aware of intoxicating aspect of onion and garlic. What I know is that these two ignite passion and excite the person who eats them. Food has different qualities, apart from the vitamins etc that they have. We can see in the material world also - recommended foods for Valentine's Day, mood enhancer foods etc. While in the material world, we only get to know the vitaminal quality or how the food affects the physical body, at best emotionally, in our scriptures, we also get to know how the same foods affect the concsiousness of the individual - the physical, emotional, spiritual benefits of eating particular foods.

    There are food in the mode of goodness, which increase the lifespan, provide nourishment and help in spiritual progress. There are foods which ignite passion and there are foods which promote ignorance. You can get details by reading Bhagawad Gita As It Is.

    In our scriptures, it is mentioned that onion and garlic is to be avoided for spiritual progress, thats why we avoid them considering them to be authorities.

    Since you use a alot of onion in your cooking, you can sustitute onion with the following. Shred cabbage, soak in cold water and add a pinch of salt. After 15 min, you can saute in high flame with cooking oil. This will give the feel of onion and you will not miss it in your diet. For garlic, I do not know yet how to substitute. Will request someone else to say if they have figured out.

    I hope I have been able to help you somewhat.


    YOur servant,


    • Thank you Rashmi! That was very helpful. I'm mid-way through chapter 12 in the Gita. Have I passed that section you're referring to?

      It's been recommended I substitute Hing for garlic. I'm just wondering how hard it is to find here in the U.S. 

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