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Summary of Question:Questioning on the issue of hunting/eating animals.
Date Posted:Monday, 8/02/1999 6:24 AM MDT

Sat Sri Akaal Ji.

I am writing with regards to some issues that were raised to me and I had no
answers to them. I hope you can help me find some reasoning.
1) Is hunting animals for sport an acceptable thing in the eyes of a sikh? The reason I ask is because I myself did not thing it was right to hunt animals for sport nor for food. But someone asked me "Did not Guru Gobind Singh Ji hunt animals in the forest?" I am not sure if this is true? I am sure there is some reasoning behind it if it is true, somehow maybe the Guru was saving the animal?
Please can you explain this to me.

2) Is it written anywhere in Sikhism that we should lead the live of a vegetarian? I think that everyone can live without eating animals, and the fact that meat/fish is not eaten in Gurdwara's shows that Sikhism does not accept that eating meat is right. Yet I have never heard of a story or incident where the Guru's have mentioned this. Please give me more information about this.

I thankyou so much for your help advice and time in answering my questions.
My most humble and kindest regards to you.


Dear J. Singh

Some of the Guru's did hunt. There is a perfectly good reason for this as well. During the time of the Guru's, we know from History that it was the Sport of Royalty. It would be the modern day equivalent to golfing for business men. Politics were discussed and deals were made while on the hunt. The Guru's walked a very delicate line during those times. They were considered Holy Men by themselves and their followers, as a Guru higher than a King. The Mughals were threatened by this. The Guru's had to walk this fine line and keep the interests of the Sikhs at heart, which meant Politics. Therefore they acted the part. There is not much to say that can prove whether or not they were on these hunts as the killers of animals. There is one story where Guru Hargobind Killed a tiger defending the emporer. But aside from that I have neither read nor heard that many stories as to their hunting.
As to your second question regarding the eating of meat. Once when Guru Nanak Dev Ji and his companion Mardana were travelling on their way to Arabia, they stopped in a village to rest. They stayed in the house of a poor man who provided them with deer meat as their meal. The guru began to eat his meal as Mardana stared at him in shock. "Oh Guru Ji " he said " why are you eating meat, you have always told me that we are to respect all life and therefore not eat the flesh of animals" The Guru replied by saying this " The meat comes from the animal but it really comes from God. When we are born we also come from god, when we die we go to God. It all comes from the same place". What he was saying is that all things come from God and all things go to God. The man who had fed them fed them in good faith and prepared what was available. As they were hungry they considered it a gift from God. I myself dont eat meat because the Guru said we should respect all of life. I also dont eat meat because it is not neccesary for me to kill another animal in order to live. It then stands to reason that if it is not neccesary why do it. Why take life that God gave when you dont have to. I hope that this has answered your questions and given a little more clarity to the meat non meat isssue.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh

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