One day the Guru had a meat dinner prepared. Amar Das said, “If the Guru is a searcher of hearts, he must know that I am a Vaishnav and do not touch flesh”.

The Guru (Guru Angad), knowing this, ordered that dal should be served him. Amar Das then reflected, “The Guru knoweth that meat is forbidden me, so he hath ordered that dal be served me instead.” Amar Das then rapidly arrived at the conclusion that any disciple, whose practice differed from that of the Guru, must inevitably fail.


He therefore told the cook that if the Guru were kind enough to give him meat, he would partake of it. The Guru, on hearing this, knew that superstition was departing from Amar Das’s heart, and he handed him his own dish. When Amar Das had partaken of it, he for the first time felt peace of mind, and as he became further absorbed in his attentions and devotion to the Guru, celestial light dawned on his heart.


Thus did he break with the strictest tenet of Vaishnavism and become a follower of the Guru. One day the Guru, in order to further remove Amar Das’s prejudices, thus began to instruct him: “The meats it is proper to abstain from are these – Other’s wealth, other’s wives, slander, envy, covetousness and pride. If any one abstaining from meat is proud on the subject and says, ‘I never touch meat,’ let him consider that the infant sucks nipples of flesh, that the married man takes home with him a vessel of flesh.”


Guru Angad then repeated and expounded Guru Nanak’s sloks on the subject. He also related to Amar Das the story of Duni Chand and his father, giving in the Life of Guru Nanak. “If you think of it,” continued the Guru, “there is life in everything, even in fruits and flowers, so say nothing of flesh; but whatever thou eatest, eat remembering God, and it shall be profitable to thee. Whatever cometh to thee without hurting a fellow creature is nectar, and whatever thou recievest by giving pain is poison. To shatter another’s hopes, to calumniate others, and to misappropriate their property is worse than to eat meat.


This is a truly panthic effort, we would be honoured to add your findings here. Please provide the exact reference and content in either Gurmukhi or English. Puraatan ithihaas, puraatan rehit or Gurbaani is foundational. But if you have any other useful and relevant references we will certainly consider it.

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