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how is it that we eat carrots?

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Can any devotee please reply to this question?


Q. As per the references below how is it that we eat carrots? I know Srila

Prabhupada made Carrot Halavah on ekadasi...How is it different from the

garlic and onions? Is there any specific reference in any of our scriptures

(like Hari-bhakti-vilasa for eg) regarding not to eat carrots, onions or

garlic? Do they eat carrots at all in Gaudiya Math or did Shrila

Bhaktisiddhanta allow eating carrots or red lentils as per his strict





(Sanga Question Via Website)


[Here is a copy of a question asked to a leading disciple of Narayana Maharaja

by email.

What is your opinion of her answer?]



Question: "Is it really sinful to eat carrots? I would think if it was, Srila

Prabhupada WOULD have told us."


Answer: I have faith in Srila Narayana Maharaja's words when he says that

Prabhupada thought it too much for us at the time. He knows Prabhupada a

million times more intimately than I do. I, for example, personally always

had eaten carrots, but never onions and garlic. Prabhupada made that concession

because we were not

ready then. In India, onions and garlic are more popular than carrots. In

India, many people won't accapt initiation

from Srila Maharaja because a prerequisit is to give up those onions and







First of all I should say I respect Srila Narayan Maharaja as well as this

devotees long record of service and spirituality but her answer that she

attributes to Narayana Maharaja makes very little sense to me. What she is

asking us to believe is that we were able to change our entire lives for

Prabhupada, giving up the things we were really addicted to like sex, drugs,

alcohol and meat eating, as well as rise early, chant sixteen rounds, wear

strange clothes, sell books all day, and shave our heads leaving a little pony

tail in the back: BUT we could not give up carrots even if Prabhupada had

ordered us to do so. Again, this makes no sense to me and will be seen as

insulting to Prabhupada by many of his disciples.


Those of us who were there know that there was little we would not have done if

Prabhupada had asked us. If Prabhupada had ordered no carrots served in his

temples we all know that this rule would have been instituted in Iskcon

immediatly! Giving up carrots was nothing compared to what we did actually give



And did Prabhupada give up eating carrots? No! Not according to Yamuna who

served for quite a while as his personal cook.


A more likely scenario is that Prabhupada felt that the Gaudiya Math

restriction against carrots was unnecessary so he chose not to introduce that

restriction nor to even follow it himself. This would go along with

Bhaktivinodes opinion that outdated and unreasonable rules and regulations even

if found in scripture could be left behind. Prabhupada on at least one occasion

even ate onions and garlic. That happened when he went with his new disciples

to an important life members house for dinner. The disciples neglected to tell

the member the restrictions about onions and garlic but Prabhupada said it was

all-right and ate the food prepared for him anyway.


When I say that abstaining from carrots is unreasonable I mean that I have

never heard a reasonable argument why it should be done. At least about onions

and garlic you can say they increase sexual agitation and cause bad breath. But

what can anyone reasonably say against eating carrots?


The real point is that Prabhupada did not feel it important to follow all the

standards of Gaudiya Math. He changed and adjusted the standards for his

institution in the same way that BSST did for his. This is what Rupa goswami

calls adjusting the details to deliver the principal or what Bhaktivinode talks

about when he says there is no need to carry the sects heavy load of

unnecessary scriptural baggage.


What this devotee is really implying is that the standards of her group are

the correct ones and that other groups to be Krishna conscious must conform to

the standards set by her group. This idea would not be accepted even by other

Gaudiya math groups what to speak of Iskcon or our group. Let the acharya of

each institution decide what standards to emphasize and what can be left

behind. I don't object if anyone wants to give up carrots and feel if they are

closely affiliated with a group they should conform to that groups rules as

much as possible. But these types of rules are not absolute. Chanting Hare

Krishna and service to Sri Guru are rules that are absolute in Gaudiya

Vaisnavism. Rules about eating carrots or what songs to sing are details.


Prabhupada writes: "If one is following the instruction of his spiritual master

and that instruction is different from the instructions of another spiritual

master, this is called detailed information. But the basic principle of

acceptance of a spiritual master is good everywhere, although the details may

be different." (Nectar of Devotion, Ch. 6)


There is no reason why acaryas cannot differ on certain points.

(SP Letter to Upendra 72-2-19)


A case can be made for strict adherence to the standards set by BSST in Gaudiya

Math and an equally good case can be made to adjust or even give up certain

rules instituted by BSST and followed by his Gaudiya institution for the sake

of making a reasonable and relevant presentation of Krishna consciousness to

the culture of our times.


Prabhupada writes: "There is no reason why acaryas cannot differ on certain


(SP Letter to Upendra 72-2-19)


Neither position is absolute and which way one will go depends on the

inspiration of the acharya. There is room for both positions in this modern

world of diversity and preaching in the name of one acharya against rules

established by another acharya is useless and unproductive to say the least. In

these types of cases accommodation will serve everyone much better.


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Pranam ,


In Hinduism ie In Vaishnawism , Carrot is certainly allowed to eat .


While onion and garlic are included in Rajasic Foods and Carrot is certainly not one of them .


It's better to avoid garlic and onion. But it is not must at all. Because no any scripture posits complete avoidance of onion or garlic for commom people . Complete avoidance of them is a rule only for progressed yogis.



Narayana Hari

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