Why did Swami Vivekananda consume meat
Did Swami Vivekananda eat fish and meat before he became a sannyasi? Did he continue to eat fish and meat afterwards?
Before Swamiji turns into a sannyasin, there is a greater likelihood that he has at least consumed the fish as it is a staple food in Bengal.
After becoming a sannyasin; When Swamiji was in America, some Orthodox Hindus accused him of consuming prohibited diets. Here is an excerpt:
In response to the allegation by some Orthodox Hindus that the Swami was eating forbidden food at the table of the unbelievers, he replied: Are you saying that I was born to live and die as one of those caste-ridden, superstitious, merciless, sanctimonious, atheistic people ? Cowards you only find among the educated Hindus?
In response to other similar accusations by Christian missionaries of bringing shame to him, he wrote the following:
I'm surprised you take the missionaries' nonsense so seriously ... If the people of India want me to adhere strictly to my Hindu diet, please tell them to send me a cook and money enough to keep it ... Next On the other hand, if the missionaries tell you that I have ever broken the two great vows of sannyasin - chastity and poverty - tell them that they are great liars.
From this extract it appears that Swamiji followed the non-vegetarian diet in the West. But as Swamiji wrote, chastity and poverty are the ideals from which a sannyasin should never deviate (and he literally upheld these ideals). Eating habits are secondary.
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