I've recently come across a text that suggest that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura may have eaten meat at some point in his life.
The "evidence" comes from 'Svalikitha Jivani,' an autobiographical text written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in the form of a letter to his seventh son, Srila Lalita Prasada Thakura.
I suspected that it may be a spurious and/or invented text, but it seems that this text is rather authentic and has been used for consultation by Rupa-vilas das, who wrote the 'Seventh Goswami' bioraphy of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
Below are the relavant verses:
"225. Everyone in Chapra became my friends. The lawyer, Kesab Babu, always supported my point of view. The Judge Saheb also was favourable towards me. The people of Chapra made many kinds of pickle. A certain type of vinegar pickle was the best. I began to make it. [Their] mustard oil pickle had a pleasant taste and I began to make that also. At that time I ate a lot of fish and meat. I had known that killing animals was bad for a long time, but I had a strong desire to enjoy fish and meat."
"226. I ate a lot of fish in Chapra, but it was not very good. Therefore, I ate more goat meat. After the prolonged eating of food of this kind combined with red chillies and mustard seed pickle, I developed a bleeding ulcer. The first [attack] occurred on a full moon day. Gradually I got pains every new moon and full moon day. It took 5 to 7 days from the day the pain started for it to go away. So much suffering! When the pain [started] I automatically suffered from vomiting and diarrhea for 10 to 17 hours. At first I
went to the doctor, and a close friend, Manohar Babu, gave me medical treatment. Thereafter, I tried Moslem natural medicine. Finally, Mahendra Mama brought some Ayur Vedic herbs from the jungle and a local Vaidya made a little medicine."
I looked long and hard, and was finally able to find
an online copy of this text at:
So if it is true that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura ate meat, how does this fit in with the perception of a liberated soul as being nitya-siddha according to A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada's teachings?