Vegan or Meat
In Tantric philosophy, food is energy that becomes transmuted into emotional, physical and spiritual energy.
Food takes on the quality of the person preparing it, and meditating contemplating or singing while preparing the food makes it more holy and beneficial.
Food is a matter of consciousness and individual karma. In the Charaka Samhita it states “One must eat in measure, and the measure of food is determined by the strength of one’s gastric fire.” And that “from the moment of conception some people are equibalanced as regards the proportions of elemental principles of the body; others have a predominance of one element or another.”
The Panchamakara Tantric Ritual of the 5 M’s directly mentions the consumption of meat, though practitioners of the right hand path (dakshina marga) argue that these are purely symbolic and may be replaced by substitutes.
“We eat meat and drink wine. The true Tantrics come together, but the frauds are kept away by fear. We take the fourfold preparations and use musk and camphor; herbs and special meats we eat with relish. Then, uniting Scepter and Lotus, we establish ruler ship over the whole of existence” it says in the Hevajra Tantra.
“He should eat meat and fish, drink wine or milk, and partake of intoxicants with concentrated mind. When he has satisfied his partner and himself, the yogi and yogini should then make love with passion. Transforming the five poisons into Elixirs, they should reach out into the great beyond” it is again mentioned in the Chandamaharosana Tantra.
So what is the Tantric view in regards to eating meat?
There are different messages within the different texts.
As with most yogic philosophies there are sattvic foods relating to the space and ether element, rajasic foods relating to the fire element and tamasic foods relating to the earth and water elements.
The type of foods one eats influences one’s disposition in life. If one’s goal is to relate more to the spiritual element then they must eat more sattvic foods (fruits and vegetables that grow above ground). If one desires more stimulation and activity then rajasic (root vegetables, spices, salts) and if one desires to be more material bound/earth bound then tamasic (heavier meats and eggs).
So why do we currently see some people who become sick from a diet that others claim has given them great health?
The answer is related to one’s elemental makeup (balance of all 5 elements) as balanced through the 6 tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent) and one’s level of consciousness. Each person has a unique energy signature and will be able to withstand, or thrive on different foods as related to their corresponding elements.
One must also consider that energy is dynamic and evolution plays a necessary role. While technically all energy (plants, sunlight, air, electricity etc) can be synthesized to produce personal fuel, there are limiting factors to the human body and its history of past consumption unless one truly dedicates effort into overcoming the physical limitations of reality - speeding up time and evolution.