Brihadeeswaran Temple, Tanjavore, Tamil Nadu

Vegetarianism:

Ahimsa, one of the core principles of Hinduism, strongly discourages killing animals or any living being for fun, recreation or even for food. The practice of animal sacrifice to appease the Gods is very much extinct now. A great number of Hindus eat meat and other animal products, but many of the great Hindu religious texts like Thirukkural strongly condemn meat consumption.

Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs:

Smoking is a fairly recent phenomenon and there is no reference to it in the texts. It is injurious to health and hence discouraged.

The consumption of alcohol is known to man since the dawn of history. Soma drink was consumed after sacrificial rituals. However, it is not a part of any mainstream Hinduism nowadays.

Any mind altering, mind abusing substance or activity is not a part of mainstream Hinduism. Clarity of mind and thought is stressed in the Upanishads and Yogasutra. Intoxication through God realization is strongly encouraged in many Bakthi (devotional) literatures.

Epilogue:

Tamil poet Avvaiyar states that what we now know is like a handful of sand against the whole world, when compared to what we still have to learn. Thus, there is a whole lot to be learned about Hinduism. Truth is the only true knowledge and it transcends time.

As it is said in the Thirukkural, we must strive to know the ultimate truth in whatever that is heard, read and said and by whoever. It applies to this article also. If you do not accept or agree with anything that is said in this article, go find what is really true.