My journey with vegetarianism began at a fairly early age. I toyed with being a vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian throughout most of my life from my early teens into adulthood. It wasn’t until meeting and studying with my guru, Sri Dharma Mittra, that I became vegan with no turning back. I have been vegan for 7 or 8 years now.
Before meeting and studying with Dharma my yoga practice was mainly for health and well being both physically and mentally. Once I began getting serious about my practice, I became very thirsty for spiritual knowledge. I became focused more on the goal rather than just the techniques.
My guru has taught me that yoga is vegan. He is a living master, a true yogi and saint. In my experience, it is best to learn from those who have already achieved what you are seeking. Those who have done the work and have the knowledge. He teaches the classical form of yoga as it was intended to be learned from guru to disciple in its entirety. Yoga is so much more than just the postures. It is Divine Union. The goal is Self Realization. In order for us to achieve the goal, we must go beyond name and form. We must have the ability to discern between what is real and unreal or permanent and temporary.
To become one with everyone and everything, we must recognize that we are not separate. If we cause harm to others in anyway, we are creating separateness. We are going against the golden rule of ahimsa, the foundation of our practice. How then can there be union? How can we achieve yoga? Without ahimsa in our practice, there is no yoga. Only asana, pranayama, and other techniques, but the goal will never be reached. If you look at the animals and see your mother, son, or sister in them could you hurt them? We should treat all living beings as we would our loved ones. If you could not create pain and suffering to your own child, how can you inflict it on someone else’s? That is the work of a yogi. To see yourself in all others, all others in yourself despite name and form. See beyond what is impermanent and see what is real. We are all embodied souls, one and the same, just with different forms according to our karma.
Being vegan has not only allowed me to develop a deep level of compassion for all living beings, it has allowed me to feel light and free in the body and calm and at peace in the mind. Everything is vibration including what you eat. Those vibrations effect your mind and emotions tremendously. As Dharma says, “eat living foods, you feel alive; eat dead food, you feel dead”.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story and experience. We are all on our own path needing to find our own way according to our conditions and karmas. I hope by sharing some of the knowledge Sri Dharma has shared with me will help you in ways that it has helped me in discovering the truth and who we truly are beyond body, mind and emotions. I am you, you are me. We are all Divine. Om Shanti.