You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : September 1998

Re: insecticide?

From: Mohan Sagar (
Date: Mon Sep 21 1998 - 18:45:08 PDT

I can certainly relate to Sri Mani's dilemma.  I face the same ethical
questions every time I have to shake off insects from the roses I am
picking for Perumal from our small garden in the backyard.  In fact, even
having to clip the plants bothers me somewhat.  

My own thought on the matter is: while we must most certainly strive
towards ethical ideals and respect for all life, should not our main focus
be on kainkaryam to Perumal?  By this I do not mean that we should become
callous to the world and lose our compassion for our fellow creatures. 
Indeed, perhaps it is somewhat healthy to feel a little of this dilemma. 
But, in a far from perfect existence in this world, where we are always
facing trade-offs and ethical dilemmas, I feel that we should focus on our
desire to serve the Lord, leaving the lives of the plants and insects whose
lives we disrupt to His Kindness.

On a practical level, and perhaps to ease our conscience a bit, my wife and
I prefer not to use insecticides of any kind.  We simply sprinkle manjal
water on the leaves of our plants in the hopes that the bitter taste of the
manjal will be a deterrent to the insects.  So far, we have been relatively
successful in keeping the bugs away from the tulasi and other plants.  But,
personally, it still leaves me questioning....