Habits Series-1: Several failed attempts in curbing Meat Eating Tendency
Time line till September 15, 2019
Chennai, Trichy, Mumbai, India to Houston, Michigan, Winston-Salem, NC
In this birth, I have taken a body in meat eating clan. Of all the clans in India, this is a particular clan which has very vulgar meat eating habits. They happened to work as bureaucrats under Muslim rulers for 2-3 centuries and picked up very extreme meat eating habits, even though they avoid beef and pork, yet they compensated with the Chicken, Goat and other boards.
I have enjoyed eating meat during my early years
- Mutton (Goat)
- Other small birds like Quail
- All fishes
Every Sunday, it is ritual to walk to a nearby butcher shop and get meat. I have to get early and be at the shop around 7-8 am to avoid the crowd, if not I have to stand in queue for hours. Still my mom and family will be cursing if the butcher puts too many bones instead of meat. They prefer getting thigh or neck meat of goat, if they don't find the thigh meat, they go crazy and keep yelling on me on how big a failure I would be in future if I don't know even how to get a good meat. (see pictures below). I am doing this from the age of 3-4 with my uncle and as I grew I did it myself.
Almost 3-4 times a week, we cook meat in house with exorbitant spices.
Meat eating is a generic part of culture in non-priest clans in India. Even in Valmiki Ramayana, one can find instances where Rama would eat peacock, deer, etc in the forest because that is what was available in forest for food and it is allowed for non-priest classes even in ancient days.
By the way, I enjoyed meat eating all thru my childhood till recently. Even though, I wanted to leave meat eating and I did for few years, but my body has that tendency and if I slip little bit to again meat eating, the habit will take over again in full swing.
My first guru in this life was a Madhva Brahmin lady who was running a weekly once 1 hour class for kids. It was a part of Sathya Sai Baba social program for kids to teach basic religion and puranic stories. It was good, I enjoyed. She influenced me to leave meat eating, I did try.
1999 - 2007 (Age 7-15): Several attempts but lasted only few months or weeks. My family overpowered me to consume meat again.
- Giving away meat is not an easy task in my clan. Once when I left meat eating, my uncle threatened me to kick me out of the house and non-stop verbal abuse to resume meat eating habit again.
- If I don't eat, plates will fly and women will cry and they beat the shit out of me.
- Every 3-6 month in 4 years, this pattern keeps happening.
- The news of leaving the meat eating will flood my relatives and that's it. They look at me at as an outcast in the family for abandoning meat eating.
- It is not easy to control me either but I gave in to the pressure for 2 reasons because I was in their house and school exams were coming like wave after wave.
- This non-stop nuisance will destroy the peace of mind to write exams and my family is full of strong willed people who are capable of acting without thinking of consequences.
- My family's attitude in battle will be I don't care losing my 2 eyes but I want you to lose at least 1 eye. But if they like someone, the attitude will be even if I die, you should live. Not cowards, but emotional & brave idiots. Any battle with them always ends in lose-lose situation. Losing is not in their dictionary but they have lost several times in their lives and turn a blind eye towards it. They don't have psyche to acknowledge failures, sad!
2007 - 2009 (Age 15-17): High pressure time, I was going to fly outside my house.
- I started behaving very very hyper erratically at this time.
- I was preparing for national competitive exams, I was not interested in acing those exams. I was just hanging out with my best buddies but the inner & outer pressure made me to ace the exams. I aced the exams pretty easily.
Summer of 2009: I was in some random zone at the moment. I did not speak to any one in that time and I was roaming naked or bare minimum in the room. Imagine doing this in my family, I am surprised they let me live!
- My subtle body was separating in dead man's pose and I used to roam in my house in day time. I did it out of curiosity. All sort of non-sense and crap, I was doing at that time.
- Resentment of my family members were sky high, they can't say anything because I aced every exams and I was gonna fly out soon.
- I was lecturing them on them importance of Sense Control and ending the samsaric loop.
- My uncle started yelling at my mom and dad, berated them to live like a family and go out on family tours, etc, if not, this is how a child would speak. My dad was far during all of my childhood days.
- I became vegetarian again but lasted only for 2-3 months. A typhoid came and destroyed it.
- I regret my behavior and the havoc, I created. My resentment for the life, why I took in this birth was running sky high. I did not target anyone, but I managed to create an havoc to my nearby people.
- Fate made sure I went to a good college but far way from home with no moral policing and full freedom to do what I want.
- I planned to do yoga or mediation and go high once I enter this college! Only disappointment was awaiting me. I became an atheist a this point
2009-2013: I entered the college with full atheist energy. It came like an atheism energy to cut off all religious ties put into my head by the family and cultural setting but lasted only for 2-3 months until typhoid struck me and quickly I was pulled back to theist fold by grace of Vishnu deities
- My room had 4 roommates including me.
- No privacy but lots of fun. All plans of yoga are destroyed and I was happily jumping and playing around with them.
- Typhoid strikes and got bedridden for 2 months
- Ending my vegetarianism
- My mom prepared a mutton soup with lots of black pepper and force fed me.
- She and all my family members celebrated my home coming on meat eating. It was a sight to watch.
- In the typhoid confusion, my name was removed from College list, they thought I left their college to some other college.
- Again, my uncle and dad came to college and begged these officials to put my name back on the list. They were nice to me even after all the havoc I created for them.
- Then, cosmic consciousness hit me after the typhoid. I did not what it was but became erratic again without creating any havoc this time.
- Became vegetarian again but 2nd & 3rd Typhoid struck me back to back laving me little serious. The environment and fate was not supporting my wish for vegetarianism.
- In 4 years, 1.5 years - I was vegetarian and 2.5 years of meat eating. Every time, typhoid or a disease would strike me to end my vegetarianism
2014 - 2017: Full fledged meat eating and I was leading all materialistic life.
- Lot of cultural and family obligations like university studies and finding a job and holding on to a job.
- Lot of downs than ups in life,
- first death in family, uncle's death (acted as a father to me), hard to digest.
- Financial strain-all money evaporated in medical expenses
- no earning family member
- job difficulties, lost job and tough time
- my homelessness, loss of self-respect
- So, replacing the down side of life with material pleasures but nothing was working to reduce the pain in the heart. That was the only trick, I had in my product.
2017-2019: Yogic calling came at this time (Lahiri baba). Piled up burden was lifted off the chest. The same night of calling, I was doing breath infusion from Madhva's video.
But still I was eating meat, I could not stop. I was addicted to meat eating. My will power is not strong enough to fight the force. I have accepted this fact by now after all failed attempts.
15 September, 2019: I was reading the Vallalar's book Thiru-Arutpa (written in Tamil (my mother tongue) but I was reading it in English) while I was eating chicken in a Mexican restaurant nearby. I did not expect or even dream that in a week, I would eat completely give off meat after an incident. Vallalar gave me that energy to cut off the meat eating tendency under my tongue. Some hand of Lahiri baba was also there.
I will write in the next post on how meat eating was lost on this day.
This shows my several failures and how
- Environment factors
- family pressures
- society pressure
- cultural hierarchy
plays an important roles in one's spiritual life.
My repeated failures are not only due to outer circumstance and also this atma (myself) could not resist meat eating, I needed an helping hand.
I enjoyed meat eating and I am one of the finest cook of meat back in the day. I know which spice to put for which flesh texture. In fact, the first dish I learnt cook from my friend was a meat dish (a chicken biriyani).
I am not going to pretend that I disgusted meat all the time, now it is not in my psyche but back in the day, I used to await for meat and I used to fight with my mom for not cooking meat even on holy days. Meat eating tendency was alternating in my psyche, and this atma needed helping hand to escape from this bad habit.
Vallalar help me in this regard, he was a big proponent for avoiding animal killing for sacrifice and eating. I will elaborate in next post. This post will show how important and stuck I was to get that help. If Vallalar would have help me at the age of 5, I would have under-appreciated or under-estimated his help. After several failures, I realized the magnitude of this help and grace energy, he balanced my deficiency in this regard. My body itself has this strong meat eating tendency, he offset it.
Vallalar's picture (a Siva Siddha (Gnana Siddha category), he was a worshiper of Shiva, Skanda and later on he became Advaiti, his deliverance method was reaching Brahman effulgence as the ultimate destination. His practices are asanas, alternate nostril breathing and long mediation and focused on Atma yoga)