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Can sikhs eat meat

asked 2013-11-12 23:47:26 -0500

M.Singh gravatar image

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

A few days ago me and my friend had a discussion on if sikhs could eat meat. I am not sure about this so can someone please explain.

The first shabad that I found when looking for an answer was as follows:

First Mehl:

The fools argue about flesh and meat, but they know nothing about meditation and spiritual wisdom.

What is called meat, and what is called green vegetables? What leads to sin?

It was the habit of the gods to kill the rhinoceros, and make a feast of the burnt offering.

Those who renounce meat, and hold their noses when sitting near it, devour men at night.

They practice hypocrisy, and make a show before other people, but they do not understand anything about meditation or spiritual wisdom.

O Nanak, what can be said to the blind people? They cannot answer, or even understand what is said.

They alone are blind, who act blindly. They have no eyes in their hearts.

They are produced from the blood of their mothers and fathers, but they do not eat fish or meat.

If anyone could help explain this it would really help.

There is a huge debate on this topic and I am stuck in the middle of it and am completely confused.

Any opinions and advice will be very much appreciated.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

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answered 2013-11-13 16:03:27 -0500

Nihang Gavinpal Singh Khalsa gravatar image

waheguruji ka khalsa waheguruji ki fateh.

eating meat is against sikhism. there are several reasins for this but before i go to that i would like you to also understand that eating meat is allowed in certain circumstances and only for certain things.


In Sikhi, there is an important concept known as bibekta. Bibek literally means from two to one. Bibek is a God given conscience that allows a Sikh to discriminate between right and wrong--knowing what is good and what is bad. Not only is Bibekta applied in a Sikh's everyday life—for example, knowing it is wrong to cut one's hair or that it is right to do nitnem in the morning—it can also be applied to what one eats. Bujjar kuraits and other rehat maryada rules come into play here. Sikhs must abstain from alcohol and tobacco, that is a given. Arguments ignored, most Sikhs also agree that it is against Sikhi to consume fish, meat or eggs and derivative products. All of Guru Hargobind Sahib's hukamnamas state, "Maas Machee De Nere Nehi Avanaa" (Do not go near meat or fish) next to his signature. So the most basic Bibek rehat a Sikh can keep is to abstain from Meat, Fish, Eggs, Alcohol, Tobacco, and non-medicinal drugs.

After this level of Bibek, there are more orthodox levels.


jhatka is the only philosophy in which a sikh can eat meat. when one is in starvation and th eonly form of food is that from an animal then the animal must be jhatkad - (killed from one simple strike of the blade when calm). but a whole process if first followed.

ardass is done telling the guru that an animal is going to be killed for jhatka because the khalsa needs to survive and the animal is not being eaten out of greed or want but as a last resort and to forgive one for the killing of an innocent creatue to follow the way you have commanded jhatka to be preformed.

then japji sahib is read whilst the animal is washed. after japji sahib chandi di vaar is read.

on the last lines of chandi di vaar when the animal has reached a state of trance and peace. the last lines being.

ਦੁਰਗਾ ਪਾਠ ਬਣਾਇਆ ਸਭੇ ਪਉੜੀਆਂ ॥ All the Pauris (stanza) of this DURGA PATH (The text about the exploits of Durga) have been composed;

ਫੇਰਿ ਨ ਜੂਨੀ ਆਇਆ ਜਿਨਿ ਇਹ ਗਾਇਆ ॥੫੫॥ And that person who sings it, will not take birth again.55

the animals head is decapitated in one single clean strike of the sword, and the jaikara (battle cry ) is said. the head of the animal is placed in a sarbloh bata ( iron bowel) where its blood is used to adorn the weapons first this represents the offering first being given to god as god is part of the sword. this is done so by using an arrow almost as a ... (more)

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answered 2015-01-16 19:21:28 -0500

I am an amritdari sikh and I do not agree with the practice of jhatka. I think it is just wrong and cruel and I really hope that God would punish those people that kill poor animals like this.

This jhatka practice goes on these days and these days there is NO NEED for it. Sikhs are not doing war these days, they are not running from jungle to jungle and its not like they have no access to vegetarian food, BUT STILL these poor animals are being killed through this jhatka practice so how in the world is this a sikh practice?! It's wrong and horrible, I am disgusted.

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Okay guys I am totally confused. I would like to have a conversation about our religion with a modern educated Sikh who can help me figure out if I belong in our religious community. I love the sound of Phaat, and I love most of the philosophy but I doubt a lot of things

Jsidhu gravatar imageJsidhu ( 2016-01-16 11:44:31 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2013-11-12 23:47:26 -0500

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Last updated: Jan 16 '15