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Why is Masoor dal (red lentils) prohibited in Vaishnava diet?

Hare Krishna,

I have found conclusive answers for not eating onion , garlic and mushrooms but this one floors me.I end up giving the only reason which  I heard-'eating masoor dal is considered equivalent to eating meat'. Is this true? can someone plz provide a valid reason for this.

Thanks in advance

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Hare Krishna,

It is understood that it is because of the very high content of protein in Masoor Dal that strict vaishnavas avoid it from their bhoga offerings. In fact Masoor Dal (red lentils) contains more protein that equal weight of Meat.

Hunting the Vedabase you get the following....

Soya beans and (red) lentils are unofferable. [personal instruction by Srila Prabhupada to Hridayanand Dasa Goswami]

>>> Ref. VedaBase => PP 1.13: Gathering Items for Worship (upädäna)

There is also the old history, either in the padma purana or rig veda or so .., about a sage and his wife.

The sage was about to perform a gomedha yajna, and in the morning, a cow was slain, which was to be rejuvenated in the evening time. However, the wife of the sage, weak as she was, since the couple lived in the forest on fruits and roots, cut a piece from the cow and cooked it.

However, she was unable to eat it, and threw the flesh away.

In the evening, as the cow was given a new life, different parts of the flesh also turned back to life. A part of the flesh that landed on the ground became garlic, the second part that landed in the water became fish, the blood that fell on the ground became red lentils (masur dal), the skin became onions and the bone became carrots. Therefore all of them are considered unfit for eating. (there is another version of this incidence where the bone is expected to have become garlic and the meat to have become onion etc).

So, the best reason you can give for avoiding Masoor Dal would be its protein content, i presume.

Hope this is helpful

HK! WoW, I didnt know that!! So you cant eat carrots either??
Hare krishana
Because this is not written in Bhagwat Gita. So I think that is a false Story. Which says in hindi MANGHDANT KTHA. We have to not eat the onion or garlic because after eating it smells from out mouth that was not liked by other persons who are listning to us. So carrots is vegatable and mansoor dal is also a vegetables. We must no eat only meat. But onion and garlic are also vegitable. These are very good for out health Aurveda Science says this.
Hare krishan to every one.
Onions and garlic are medicine and should be used in that capacity only. If Ayurveda Science says that, then you must eat only when you have the disease for which onion or garlic is a cure. Not otherwise.

Hare Krishna, Dipti ji. Pranam.

In the purport to Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 4.169, it is written: "Masura dhal and urad dhal are also considered nonvegetarian. These two dhals contain a great amount of protein, and food rich in protein is considered nonvegetarian."

During caturmasya there is a one-month fast from urad dhal but can be taken other eleven months of the years. Masura dhal is mainly for Muslims and is not eaten by devotees at all.

Hare Krishna.

Masoor dal for Muslims? Where does it say that? In the Vedas or Kuran?

Sorry, noticed I am replying to an old post

One can eat carrots.

No mention of not eating carrots mentioned by Prabhupada.

Its the Alium family of veges to be avoided like onions, scalllions, garlic, shallots...

Can any one tell in which book or lecture Srila Prabhupad told all these things?
Please be specific, dont answer arbitrary that in many lecture he told, or he told to someone personally.

Protein is not the reason why red dal is forbidden. If that was the case, why are we allowed to eat other dals and nuts high in protein? Many higher than red dal.

Red dal, is not the highest in protein content. 

Quinoa (the name is derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa) is. This the #1, perhaps, the most used Ekadasi food in the USA, in place of rice. I dont know if it is available in India.

Also, I would like to know exactly where Prabhupad forbade offering/eating soy bean. Doesnt seem accurate.

Hk mataji, agtso:pamho;
the reason is it has more protein content
values are per 100 g of edible portions:
protein (gm)
masoor daal 25.1
beef 22.6
also we can remove soyabean from diet because it has Highest Protein content 43.2
information taken from
Haribol Prabhuji's - thankyou so much for the more question - how is it categorised as -tamasic or rajasic ? sorry for my ignorance but what is the reason behind avoiding high protein food?


Respected Mataji,

It is always safer to understand what Prabhupada says about these things because our Krishna conscious lives should be led, the Prabhupada way. Since yesterday I was compiling a document for you based on SP quotes about the doubts you have.

Let us understand the answer to your questions from Srila Prabhupad himself:

1. Which food is in mode of ignorance and why?

There is no need for men to eat animals, because there is an ample supply of grains, vegetables, fruits and milk. Such simple foodstuff is considered to be in the mode of goodness according to the Bhagavad-gita. Animal food is for those in the mode of ignorance. Therefore, those who indulge in animal food, drinking, smoking and eating food which is not first offered to Krsna will suffer sinful reactions because of eating only polluted things. >>> Ref. VedaBase => Bg 6.16

2. Which is food is in mode of passion and why?

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.>>> Ref. VedaBase => Bg 17.10

3. Why we should not eat food in passion and ignorance mood?

One who is always eating meat or drinking liquor, which is eating and drinking in passion and ignorance, must give these things up so that his real consciousness may be awakened. >>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 4.26.11
Furthermore Krishna Himself classifies different foods in three modes.

Foods dear to those in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one's existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart. >>> Ref. VedaBase => Bg 17.8

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. >>> Ref. VedaBase => Bg 17.9

Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness. >>> Ref. VedaBase => Bg 17.10

Regarding Egg Plant:

Prabhupada: Yes. The same.
Syama dasi: Eggplant or string beans?
Prabhupada: Whatever you like. You give me four capatis, little rice, and little vegetable. That's all. Don't put much butter, ghee. Yes. >>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation with Allen Ginsberg -- May 14, 1969, Columbus, Ohio

Even during SP's time it was being consumed by the devotees.

Krishna is offered foodstuff in goodness. The foodstuffs in the modes of goodness are wheat, rice, pulse (beans, peas), sugar, honey, butter and all milk preparations, vegetables, flowers, fruits, grains. So these foods can be offered in any shape, but prepared in various ways by the intelligence of the devotees. The ingredients are always the same as above, whether you fry them, boil them, bake them, powder them, or whatever way they are combined or cooked, the idea is that they must come from this group of foodstuffs. >>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Kris -- Los Angeles 13 November, 1968

I understand you are now expecting a nice child for raising in Krishna Consciousness. In this connection, you should avoid any spicy foods so long the child is within the womb. So far this soy sauce, I have no personal experience with it. I understand soy beans are nice, but I do not know about this soy sauce. >>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Satyabhama -- Hawaii 24 March, 1969

So absolutely there is no harm in consuming soya beans.

Regarding the carrots,

Kirtanananda: Some vandals. There's no one living here, he just left it. (in car:) This farm is for sale now.
Prabhupada: There is no limit of purchasing?
Kirtanananda: Only limit is money.
Prabhupada: No, I mean to say as in India there is limit, that you...
Kirtanananda: No, government puts no limit.
Prabhupada: There is no land, therefore there is limit. [break]
Kirtanananda: Cauliflower, peas, beets, carrots, lettuce, spinach...
Prabhupada: Potato?
Kirtanananda: Potato, broccoli,
Prabhupada: Broccoli? What is that?
Kirtanananda: It is something like cauliflower.
Pusta Krsna: It's that green vegetable, Srila Prabhupada, that's like cauliflower.
Prabhupada: Cabbage?
Kirtanananda: Cabbage, peppers.
Prabhupada: That is nice, so many. Tomato.
Kirtanananda: But most things are not yet fructified. This is early in our season. Peas will be ready just shortly. Lettuce is ready.
Prabhupada: Vegetables, ghee, milk, wheat, then what do you want more?
Kirtanananda: The wheat is just about ready for harvest.
Prabhupada: No, I mean to say we can grow all these things and eat very nicely. Where is economic problem? Yajnad bhavati parjanyo parjanyad anna-sambhavah. [break]
Kirtanananda: It's full of cow stool and urine.
Prabhupada: Accha, for fertilizer?
Kirtanananda: Yes, fertilizer. Nothing is wasted.
Prabhupada: You can make gas also.
Kirtanananda: Yes. That was originally an oil tank.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk -- June 22, 1976, New Vrindaban

If there was no necessity for us to eat the carrots, Prabhupada would have mentioned here it self not grow any carrot.

Regarding Brinjals:

Prabhupada: Oh. All right. This brinjal and this jhinga will make very nice vegetable. Simply I'll show you how to do it. You'll like it.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk and Room Conversation -- December 7, 1976, Hyderabad

And certain vegetables like brinjal, chilli, tomato or potato are not taken by Sri Vaishnavas considering the origin of the vegetable and not the protein content. Nonetheless they fall under
the category of fruits and vegetables and thus be honored as delicious Krishna-prasadam.

Hope your doubts are cleared.

Aishwarya Kumar


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