Meat Consumption

Meat eating and animal killing in Valmiki Ramayan


By Khurshid Imam

A. Introduction

Valmiki Ramayan happens to be the “Original Ramayan” in Indian tradition. This is the book that introduced people to the story of Shri Ram chandr ji. This great epic was written by Shri Valmiki ji. Owing to the popularity of this book; several versions of Ramayana were written afterwards. Several centuries later Ramcharitmanas written by Tulsidas came into existence. Now days it is Ramcharitmanas that is read widely. Valmiki Ramayan is not read as much, but thankfully it is accessible and available to people.

To know about some differences between Original Ramayana and the Ramayana that you know – click here.

Our Hindu brethren accuse muslims of meat eating and declare this act as inhumane and barbaric. This issue of “meat eating” has even become a political tool for some mischievous elements of society. However when we go through Sacred Books of Sanatan dharma or Hinduism then we find several references that not only permit or justify meat eating but also encourage in some case. When killing of animal for sacrifice or eating is done by revered personality or those who are worshipped then it poses a very big question mark over the issue of meat eating. In this article we will look at very few such references (7-8) wherein sacred personalities of Hinduism kill animal for sacrifice and for eating purpose.

Kindly note: I am not presenting research work on all references related to meat eating in Hindu Scriptures but only showing very few references from one book only!!

Another important point is that I would like to draw attention of dear readers of gross mistranslation done by some publishers. It is not difficult to understand that there are deliberate mistranslations done for some verses which speak about meat eating or animal killing. Why this literal fraud? Of course; to conceal truth from the common mass and let them not understand the reality of the issue.

For the ease of user we are presenting at least 2-3 different translations for each shlok (Verse).

B. Glorification of roasted meat for eating by Shri Ram chandr ji and others

1. Sanskrit text

तां तदा दर्शयित्वा तु मैथिली गिरिनिम्नगाम् ।निषसाद गिरिप्रस्थे सीतां मांसेन छन्दयन् ।।

इदं मध्यमिदं स्वादु निष्टप्तमिद मग्निना ।एवमास्ते स धर्मात्मा सीतया सह राघवः ।।

(वाल्मीकि रामायण, अयोध्या काण्ड, 96, 1 व 2)

Hindi Translation

अर्थात इस प्रकार सीता जी को (नदी के) दर्शन कराकर उस समय श्री रामचन्द्र जी उनके पास बैठ गए और तपस्वी जनों के उपभोग में आने योग्यमांस से उनका इस प्रकार लालन करने लगे, ‘‘इधर देखो प्रिये, यह कितना मुलायम है, स्वादिष्ट है और इसको आग पर अच्छी तरह सेका गयाहै।‘‘


Word by word Sanskrit to english translation:

मैथिलीम् princess of Mithila, तां सीताम् that Sita, तथा in that way, गिरिनिम्नगाम् mountain-river, दर्शयित्वा having shown, मांसेन with meat,छन्दयन् gratifying, गिरिप्रस्थे on the mountain-slope, निषसाद sat.

धर्मात्मा righteous, स राघवः that Rama, इदम् this, मेध्यम् sacred meat, इदम् this, स्वादु is savoury, इदम् this one, अग्निना with fire,निष्टप्तम् roasted, एवम् uttering this way, सीतया सह in the company of Sita, आस्ते was seated.

Having shown to Sita the mountain-river Mandakini and gratifying her with meat, Rama sat on the mountain slope. Righteous Rama was seated in Sita’s company and remarked saying “This meat is sacred. This is savoury roasted in fire“. (Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 96:1-2)



The intentional mistranslation by Geeta Press, Gorakhpur:

See the mistranslation done by Geeta press, Gorakhpur. Word “meat” is mistranslated as fruit and plants parts!!Though Original Sanskrit text is talking about meat that is meant for eating; meat that is roasted well on fire but in hindi translation readers are told that fruits and plant parts were meant for eating and cooked well on fire 

C. Shri Ram chandr ji and Shri Lakshman killing animals for meat

2. Sanskrit text

तौ तत्र हत्वा चतुरो महामृगान्      वराहमृश्यं पृषतं महारुरुम् ।

आदाय मेध्यं त्वरितं बुभुक्षितौ      वासाय काले ययतुर्वनस्पतिम्

(Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 52:102)

Word by word Sanskrit to english translation

बुभुक्षितौ being very hungry, तौ they, तत्र there, वराहम् a boarऋश्यम् a white footed male antelopeपृषतम् spotted deerमहागुरुम् a great deer with black stripes, चतुरः four, मृगान् animals, हत्वा killedमेध्यम् pure meat, त्वरितम् quickly, आदाय partaking as food,काले in the evening time, वासाय for rest, वनस्पतिम् under a tree, ययतुः reached.

Being famished, Rama, Lakshmana hunted and killed a boar, a Rishya animal (a white footed male antelope), a spotted deer and a great deer with black stripes and quickly partaking the pure meat reached a tree by the evening to spend the night. (Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 52:102)



See the intentional gross mistranslation

In the below photo taken from the site  one can see how readers are made to understand things wrongly.

The Sanskrit word HATWA (हत्वा) = after KILLING. But it’s wrongly translated as “shikaar kheli” i.e. (they enjoyed hunting???)

Similarly word  Medhyam (मेध्यम्) = pure meat here. But it is wrongly translated as “kand mul, phal” i.e. Plants, fruits etc 

Can you see this open forgery?

The intentional mistranslation by Geeta Press, Gorakhpur:

Yet again we can see entirely different translation. Text says that Shri Ram chandr ji and Lakshman ji killed various animals and took meat from it but translation says that they merely threw at animals and took plant food for eating Is not this literal scam? People are being fooled.

D. Shri Ram chandr ji and lakshman ji killing animals for sacrifice

3. Sanskrit text

ऐणेयं मांसमाहृत्य शालां यक्ष्यामहे वयम्।

कर्तव्यं वास्तुशमनं सौमित्रे! चिरजीविभि:।       ।Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 56.22।।

Word by word Sanskrit to english translation

सौमित्रे! O Lakshmana, ऐणेयं मांसम् flesh of black antelope, आहृत्य having brought, वयम् we, शालाम् this leafy hut, यक्ष्यामहे will worship,चिरजीविभि: those who intend to live for long time, वास्तुशमनम् pacification by house-hold deity, कर्तव्यम् should to be done.

O Lakshmana! Those who intend to live for long should pacify the deity residing over here.Therefore, we shall bring the flesh of black antelope and offer sacrifice at the leaf hut. (Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 56.22)



The intentional mistranslation by Geeta Press, Gorakhpur:

The mistranslation is clear. Meat is again replaced with some plant part; Nothing more to say.

4. Sanskrit text

मृगं हत्वाऽऽनय क्षिप्रं लक्ष्मणेह शुभेक्षण!।

कर्तव्य श्शास्त्रदृष्टो हि विधिर्धर्ममनुस्मर।       ।Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 56.23।।

Word by word Sanskrit to english translation

शुभेक्षण one who has auspicious looking eyes, लक्ष्मण Lakshmana, मृगम् the antelopeहत्वा having killed, क्षिप्रम् quickly, इह here, आनयbring, शास्त्रदृष्ट: as prescribed by the scriptures, विधि: rites, कर्तव्यः हि will have to be carried out, धर्मम् the tradition, अनुस्मर recollect.

O Lakshmana!, Kill an antelope and bring it here quickly. The rites as prescribed by the scriptures will have to be carried out. You know and recollect that tradition also.


=============================================================================== says:

The intentional mistranslation by Geeta Press, Gorakhpur:

One can see the same trend here. Word “meat” being replaced as plant’s part. Word “After killing” omitted.

5. Sanskrit text

भ्रातुर्वचनमाज्ञाय लक्ष्मण: परवीरहा।

चकार स यथोक्तं च तं राम पुनरब्रवीत्।       ।Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 56.24।।

Word by word Sanskrit to english translation

परवीरहा slayer of enemy heroes, स लक्ष्मण: that Lakshmana, भ्रातु: brother’ s, वचनम् words, आज्ञाय having understood, यथोक्तम् as told,चकार carried out, राम: Rama, तम् him, पुन: again, अब्रवीत् said.

Lakshmana who is slayer of enemy heroes having understood his brother’s words carried out accordingly. Again Rama said to him.


=============================================================================== says:

6. Sanskrit text

ऐणेयं श्रपयस्वैतच्छालां यक्ष्यामहे वयम्।

त्वर सौम्य! मुहूर्तोऽयं ध्रुवश्च दिवसोऽप्ययम्।       ।Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 56.25।।

Word by word Sanskrit to english translation

सौम्य! O gentle Lakshmana, एतत् this, ऐणेयम् flesh of antelopeश्रपयस्व cook, वयम् we, शालाम् hut, यक्ष्यामहे will offer sacrifice, अयम्this, दिवस: day, अयम् this, मुहूर्त:अपि auspicious moment also, ध्रुवश्च is firm, त्वर hasten up.

O gentle Lakshmana!, dress this meat. We will offer sacrifice to the presiding deity of this hut. This moment indicates stability. Hasten up.


=============================================================================== says:

7. Sanskrit text

स लक्ष्मण: कृष्णमृगं मेध्यं हत्वा प्रतापवान्।

अथ चिक्षेप सौमित्रिस्समिद्धे जातवेदसि।         ।Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 56.26।।

Word by word Sanskrit to english translation

अथ then, सौमित्रि: son of Sumitra, प्रतापवान् valorous, स: लक्ष्मण: that Lakshmana, मेथ्यम् fit for sacrifice pure, कृष्णमृगम् black antelope,हत्वा having killed, समिद्धे in a well-kindled, जातवेदसि fire, चिक्षेप offered.

Then, Lakshmana, the valorous son of Sumitra, having killed a black antelope pure enough for a sacrificecast it in a well-kindled fire.


=============================================================================== says:

The intentional mistranslation by Geeta Press, Gorakhpur:

Though Sanskrit text spoke about Lakshmana killing animal and getting sacred meat but hindi translation is done in such a way that reader will not have even glimpse of this fact!!!

8. Sanskrit text

तन्तु पक्वं परिज्ञाय निष्टप्तं छिन्नशोणितम्।

लक्ष्मण: पुरुषव्याघ्रमथ राघवमब्रवीत्।             ।Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 56.27।।

Word by word Sanskrit to english translation

लक्ष्मण: Lakshmana, निष्टप्तम् roasted wellछिन्नशोणितम् drained the blood, तम् that, पक्वम् cooked, परिज्ञाय having found, अथ then,पुरुषव्याघ्रम् tiger among men, राघवम् Rama, अब्रवीत् said.

Having observed that it is well-boiled, drained off the blood and cooked well, thus said Lakshmana to Rama, the best of men.


=============================================================================== says:

The intentional mistranslation by Geeta Press, Gorakhpur:

Once again this publication – Geeta press, Gorakhpur – has made mockery of Sanskrit to hindi translation. Revered personality lakshaman follows order of his elder brother Shri Ram chandr and got the meat drained off blood; roasted it well and cooked it. But hindi translation is telling different story about some plant / vegetable.

9. Sanskrit text

अयं कृष्ण स्समाप्ताङ्ग श्शृतो कृष्णमृगो यथा ।

देवतां देवसङ्काश! यजस्व कुशलो ह्यसि।          ।Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 56.28।।

Word by word Sanskrit to english translation

समस्ताङ्ग: with all the limbs, अयम् this, कृष्णमृग: black antelope, सर्व: completely, मया by me, श्रुत: is well-cooked, देवसङ्काश equal to devatas, देवता: devatas, यजस्व offer with sacrifice, कुशल: असि हि you are proficient.

This black antelope with all the limbs is completely and well-cooked. As such O! devine sir, you may offer sacrifice to Vastu devata. You are proficient in doing such acts.


=============================================================================== says:

The intentional mistranslation by Geeta Press, Gorakhpur:

Same story of literal fraud is repeated here. Sanskrit text is openly abused and wrong translation is being presented to the innocent mass. People are made to believe that Non-veg food is against their culture while sacred books talk about “god” eating animal meat after killing them.

E. Shri Ram chandr ji killing animals and bring meat

10. Sanskrit text

समाश्वस मुहूर्तं तु शक्यं वस्तुमिह त्वया।        ।Valmiki Ramayan, Aranya Kand 47.22।।

आगमिष्यति मे भर्ता वन्यमादाय पुष्कलम्।

रुरून्गोधा न्वराहांश्च हत्वाऽदायाऽमिषान्बहून्।    ।Valmiki Ramayan, Aranya Kand 47.23।।

Word by word Sanskrit to english translation

मुहूर्तम् for a while, समाश्वस take rest, त्वया you, इह here, वस्तुम् staying, शक्यम् it is possible, मे भर्ता my husband, रुरून् deer, गोधाःalligators, वराहांश्च hogs, हत्वा after killing, बहून् many of them, आमिषान् varieties of meat, आदाय after fetching, पुष्कलम् in plenty,वन्यम् from the forest, आदाय getting, आगमिष्यति will come.

Take rest for a while staying here. It is hoped that my husband will come and be getting from the forest plenty of meat of many kinds on killing deer, alligators and hogs.



Source: says:

The intentional mistranslation by Geeta Press, Gorakhpur:

Geeta press, Gorakhpur – again misleads the common mass. The Sanskrit text is talking about Shri ram chandr ji bringing meat of animals after killing deer, alligators, hogs/pigs for purpose of eating; but the hindi translation speaks about “fruit” for eating . Fooling the common mass!!!

F. Conclusion

1.      Majority of our Hindu brethren are made to believe that Non-veg food is against their culture and tradition. They are told that Hinduism is against killing of animals for food. However a careful study of  their sacred scripture gives entirely different picture.

2.      Valmiki Ramayan not only speaks about shri Ram chandr ji – who is worshipped by millions of Indians as ideal person – eating meat but gives the picture that he was very fond of it.

3.      Shri Ram chandr ji would kill animals, get meat to eat. He would order his brother Shri lakshmana ji to do the same. They would offer animals for sacrifice also.

4.      Unfortunately some Ramayana publications grossly mistranslate such sholkas of Valmiki Ramayan that speaks about meat eating and animal killing. They not only mislead common mass but also disrespect scripture by not giving its due.

5.      It’s heartening to note that some translators DO have translated such sholkas correctly and accepted meat eating and animal killing in Ramayana.

6.      When Ramayana speaks about permissibility of meat eating then one should not lead common mass into believing wrong thing.

7.      Intention is not at all to hurt any of our brethren but to draw attention towards the literary fraud done by some publications and wrong principles preached by some people.

8.      We have not speculated, assumed or guessed but presented correct translation of such references done by learned Hindu Scholars.

9.      Also its time for our Indian brethren to wake up and understand the tactics of some elements of our society who use meat eating as a political tool to divide people. Due to the sensitive nature of the topic some of our innocent’s brethren get carried away in emotion and don’t look at facts. Let’s not be divided and don’t let people polarize the society.

10.  Let us not allow anti-social elements to spread hatred, create division and polarize hearts of fellow countrymen in the name of meat and animals.

Note:  Lets look at another source which proves our point. Please find below translation of above mentioned verses from Scholars of Hindu scriptures available at other site:

Reference 1.  Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 96:1-2

तां तथा दर्शयित्वा तु मैथिलीं गिरिनिम्नगाम् |निषसाद गिरिप्रस्थे सीतां मांसेन चन्दयन् || २-९६-१

tathaa = thus; darshayitvaa = having shown; girinimnagaam = the mountaneous river Mandakini; taam siitaam = to that Seetha; maithiliim = the daughter of the king of Mithila; niSasaada = sat; giriprashthe = on the hill side; chhandayan = in order to gratify her appetite; maamsena = with flesh.

Having shown Mandakini River in that manner to Seetha, the daughter of Mithila, Rama set on the hill-side in order to gratify her appetite with a piece of flesh.

इदं मेध्यमिदं स्वादु निष्टप्तमिदमग्निना |एवमास्ते स धर्मात्मा सीतया सह राघवः || २-९६-२

2. saH raaghavaH = that Rama; dharmaatmaa = of righteousness; aaste = stayed; siitayaa sha = with Seetha; evam = thus speaking; idam = this meat; madhyam = is fresh; idam = this; niSTaptam = was roasted; agninaa = in the fire.

Rama, whose mind was devoted to righteousness stayed there with Seetha, saying; “This meat is fresh, this is savoury and roasted in the fire.”


Reference 2.  Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 52:102

तौ तत्र हत्वा चतुरः महा मृगान् |वराहम् ऋश्यम् पृषतम् महा रुरुम् |आदाय मेध्यम त्वरितम् बुभुक्षितौ|वासायकाले ययतुर् वनः पतिम् || २-५२-१०२

102. hatvaa = having killed; tatra = there; chaturaH = four; mR^igaan = deer (namely); varaaham = Varaaha;R^ishyam = Risya; pR^ishhatam = PR^isata; mahaaruru = (and) Mahaaruru; (the four principal species of deer); aadayaa = and taking; tvaritam = quickly; medhyam = the portions that were pure; tou = Rama and Lakshmana; bubhukshhitou = being hungry as they were; yayatuH = reached; vanaspatim = a tree; vaasayaa = to take rest; kaale = in the evening.

Having hunted there four deer, namely Varaaha, Rishya, Prisata; and Mahaaruru (the four principal species of deer) and taking quickly the portions that were pure, being hungry as they were, Rama and Lakshmana reached a tree to take rest in the evening.


Reference 3-9. Valmiki Ramayan, Ayodha Kand 56.22-28

ऐणेयम् मांसम् आहृत्य शालाम् यक्ष्यामहे वयम् |कर्त्व्यम् वास्तुशमनम् सौमित्रे चिरजीवभिः || २-५६-२२

22. saumitre = Oh; Lakshmana!; aahR^itya = being; aiNeyam maamsam = bring meat of the antelope; vayam = we;yakshyaamahe = shall worship; shaalaam = (this) leaf-hut; vaastushamanam = purifactory ceremony on entering the house;kartavyam = on entering the; chirajiivibhiH = by those who wish to live long.

“Oh, Lakshmana! Bring the meat of an antelope. We shall perform a purifactory ceremony while entering the house. Which is to be done by those who wish to live long.”

मृगम् हत्वाऽऽनय क्षिप्रम् लक्ष्मणेह शुभेक्षण
कर्तव्यः शास्त्रदृष्टो हि विधिर्दर्ममनुस्मर || २-५६-२३

23. shubhekshaNa = Oh; large-eyed; lakshmaNa = Lakshmana!; hatvaa = killing; mR^igam = the antelope; kshhipram = quickly; anaya = bring; iha = here; vidhiH = the prescribed rite; shaastra dR^iSTaH = according to scriptural point of view;kartavyaH hi = indeed is to be done; anusmara = keep in mind; dharmam = the sacred obligation.”

“Oh, large-eyed Lakshmana! Killing the antelope quickly, bring it here. The prescribed rite according to scriptural point of view indeed is to be performed. Keep in mind the sacred obligation.”

भ्रातुर्वचन माज्ञाय लक्ष्मणः परवीरहा |चकार स यथोक्तम् च तम् रामः पुनरब्रवीत् || २-५६-२४

24. saH lakshmaNaH = that Lakshmana; paraviirahaa = the slayer of enemies; aaJNaaya = understanding; bhraatruH = his brother’s; vachanam = words; chakaara = acted; yathoktamcha = as instructed; raamaH = Rama; abraviit = spoke; punaH = again; tam = to him (as follows).

Lakshmana the slayer of enemies, understanding his brother’s words, acted as instructed. Rama spoke again to Lakshmana as follows.

इणेयम् श्रपयस्वैतच्च्चालाम् यक्ष्यमहे वयम् |त्वरसौम्य मुहूर्तोऽयम् ध्रुवश्च दिवसोऽप्ययम् || २-५६-२५

25. saumya = Oh; great brother!; shrapayasva = boil; etat = this; aiNeyam = antelope’s meat; vayam = we; yakshyaamahe = shall worship; shaalaam = the leaf-hut; ayam = this; divasaH = day; ayam = (and) this; muhuurtaH api = instant also; dhruvaH= are of a distinctive character; tvara = be quick.

“Oh, gentle brother! Boil this antelope’s meat. We shall worship the leaf-hut. This day and this instant also are of a distinctive character. Be quick.”

स लक्ष्मणः कृष्ण मृगम् हत्वा मेध्यम् पतापवान् |अथ चिक्षेप सौमित्रिः समिद्धे जात वेदसि || २-५६-२६

atha = then; saH lakshmaNaH = that Lakshmana; prataapavaan = the strong man; saumitriH = and son of Sumitra; hatvaa = killing; medhyam = the holy; kR^iSNa mR^igam = black antelope; chikSepa = tossed; jaata vedasi = in a fire; samiddhe = ignited.

Then, Lakshmana the strong man and son of Sumitra, killing a holy back antelope, tossed it in an ignited fire.

तम् तु पक्वम् समाज्ञाय निष्टप्तम् चिन्न शोणितम् |लक्ष्मणः पुरुष व्याघ्रम् अथ राघवम् अब्रवीत् || २-५६-२७

27. parijJNaaya = feeling certain; pakvam = it is cooked; niSTaptam = and heated thoroughly; chinna shoNitam = with no blood remaining; lakshmaNaH = Lakshmana; atha = thereafter; abraviit = spoke; raaghavam = to Rama; puruSa vyaaghram= the lion among men (as follows).

Feeling certain that it is cooked and heated thoroughly with no blood remaining, Lakshmana spoke to Rama the lion among man as follows:

अयम् कृष्णः समाप्त अन्गः शृतः कृष्ण मृगो यथा |देवता देव सम्काश यजस्व कुशलो हि असि || २-५६-२८

28. ayam = this; kR^iSNaH mR^igo = black antelope; samaapta angaH = with its complete limbs; shR^itaH = has been cooked; sarvaH = completely; mayaa = by me; deva damkaasha = Oh Rama; remsembling god!; yajasva = worship;devataaH = the deities; asi ahi = you are indeed; kushalaH = skilled (in such act)

“This black antelope, with its complete limbs, has been cooked completely by me. Oh, Rama resembling God! Worship the concerned deity, as you are skilled in that act.”


Reference 10.  Valmiki Ramayan, Aranya Kand 47.22-23

समाश्वस मुहूर्तम् तु शक्यम् वस्तुम् इह त्वया || ३-४७-२२
आगमिष्यति मे भर्ता वन्यम् आदाय पुष्कलम् |रुरून् गोधान् वराहान् च हत्वा आदाय अमिषान् बहु || ३-४७-२३

22b, 23. muhuurtam samaashvasa = for a moment, be comfortable; tvayaa iha vastum shakyam = by you, here, to take rest, possible; me bhartaa = my, husband; ruruun = stag with black stripes; godhaan = mongooses like [civet-like mammals of the family Viverridae, esp. of the genus Herpestes, Marathi manguus]; varaahaan ca = wild-boars, also; hatvaa= on killing; bahu amiSaan aadaaya = aplenty, meat, on taking; puSkalam vanyam aadaaya = plentiful, forest produce, on taking; aagamiSyati = will be coming [soon.]

“Be comfortable for a moment, here it is possible for you to make a sojourn, and soon my husband will be coming on taking plentiful forest produce, and on killing stags, mongooses, wild boars he fetches meat, aplenty. [3-47-22b, 23]


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