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[sv-rituals] Fwd: Re: on the usage of honey

From: Raghu Mudumbai (
Date: Mon Jun 03 2002 - 12:50:52 PDT

I think there is a more philosophical aspect
that is involved in this, as this shows the
Narayana thatvam and reminds one of the supreme
most logical thatvam as expounded by the Vedas
when it is used in day to day life. It also
depicts the stages that one goes through during
the spiritual journey.

If one pours honey on God without understanding
the philosophical meaning (or anything for that
matter) it is equivalent to praying a dead body
and trying to feed a dead dog or on it.

Honey was chosen,may be, because of the process
and the supreme qualities and He loves it
according to our acharyas.

It can also be argued that using milk is bad as
we are doing himsa to the body of cow, drinking
water is bad as we are killing so many bacteria,
breathing is bad as we are eating so many insects,
eating food is bad as we use fertilizers which
kills so many insects, eating plants, potatoes,
carrots is bad as they are killed before eating
and some eat them raw and so on....

I think there is a limit for consideration of
himsa whether it is directly or indirectly.

adiyen Ramanuja Dasaha

----Original Message Follows----
From: "Mani Varadarajan" <>
To: <>
CC: <>, <>
Subject: Re: on the usage of honey
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 08:03:06 -0700 (PDT)

On another email list the question of using honey
as part of an ahimsa-filled lifestyle arose. The
answer given by Sri Sri Tridandi Jeeyar Swami was
effectively that since bees are not harmed in the
process there is no problem with honey.

While I do not wish to come to a firm conclusion
on whether or not to include honey in one's diet,
there is no doubt that bees are harmed as a product
of the honey industry. To quote a vegan website:

Honey is made from sucrose-rich flower nectar that is collected by
honeybees and then regurgitated back and forth among them until it is
partially digested. After the final regurgitation, the bees fan the
substance with their wings until it is cool and thick. This mixture, which
we call honey (which is essentially bee vomit), is then stored in the
cells of the bees' hive and used as their sole source of nutrition in cold
weather and other times when alternative food sources are not available.
During the collection of flower nectar, the bees also pollinate plants.
This is part of the natural process of life and is necessary and
unavoidable. Even though humans inadvertently benefit, the bees do not
pollinate plants in order to serve human needs; it is simply a secondary
aspect of their nectar collecting. The honey that bees produce is stored
in their hives for their own purposes. When humans remove honey from the
hive, they take something that is not rightfully theirs.
To collect honey, beekeepers must temporarily remove a number of the bees
from their home. During the course of bee management and honey collection,
even the most careful beekeeper cannot avoid inadvertently injuring,
squashing, or otherwise killing some of the bees. Other commodities may be
taken from the hive as well, including beeswax, honeycomb, pollen,
propolis, and royal jelly.END >>>

My intention here is not to disagree with the learned and respected
Jeeyar Swami, who is a beacon of light to so many followers throughout
the world, but to point out that the issue is not simple and that
there is definite indirect 'himsa' in the consumption of honey.

With regards and praNAmams,
aDiyEn rAmAnuja dAsan,

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