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Why Hindus Don't Eat Meat on Particular Days?

Why Hindus Don't Eat Meat on Particular Days?

Hinduism, one of the world's oldest religions, is known for its rich tapestry of traditions and beliefs. Among the many customs and practices, one that often piques curiosity is the dietary restriction concerning meat consumption on specific days. Hindus believe that they should not eat non-vegetarian food on particular days like Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays of every week. They avoid non-vegetarian food even during auspicious days like Yekadashi, Sankranthi, Dussehra, Sankashti, Chaturthi, Angarki Chaturthi, Ekadashi, Gudhipadwa, Akshayatruthiya, and Diwali.

In this blog, we will explore the intricate reasons behind this practice, exploring the religious and scientific aspects. Are these restrictions purely based on myth, or is there a hidden science behind them? Let's unravel why Hindus don't eat meat on particular days.

Science Behind Hindus Avoiding Meat on Certain Days

Religious Belief on Avoiding Meat on Certain Days

Within the multifaceted realm of Hinduism, adherents observe a multitude of traditions, many of which center around the concept of purity, both spiritual and physical. One of the practices that has intrigued and sometimes confounded outsiders is the dietary restriction regarding meat consumption on specific days. To gain a deeper understanding of this custom, it is essential to explore the religious beliefs that underpin it.

The Sanctity of Sacred Days

At the heart of the Hindu dietary restrictions on meat consumption is the profound belief in the sanctity of specific days. These days are considered spiritually significant, and consuming non-vegetarian food on them is viewed as an infringement upon their holiness.

Hindus observe particular days of the week as sacred. These days are dedicated to specific deities, and consuming meat is prohibited as a sign of reverence and respect for these divine beings. For example, Monday is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Tuesday to Lord Hanuman, Thursday to Lord Dattatreya and Lord Sai Baba, and Saturday to Lord Shani and Lord Venkateshwara. Hindus believe that they should not eat non-vegetarian food on specific days, such as Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, as well as during significant festivals like Yekadashi, Sankranthi, Dussehra, Sankashti, Chaturthi, Angarki Chaturthi, Ekadashi, Gudhipadwa, Akshayatruthiya, and Diwali.

The rationale behind these dedications is to create a sense of structure and discipline within the religious practices of Hinduism. By assigning specific days to specific deities, followers are encouraged to uphold these dedications by adhering to dietary restrictions. This not only strengthens their faith but also fosters a sense of unity within the Hindu community as adherents collectively partake in these practices.

Dedicating Days to Deities

Hinduism is a rich tapestry of diverse beliefs, and it is not uncommon to find variations in religious practices from one region to another. In some parts of India, the dedication of days to deities goes even further, with Wednesdays and Fridays being devoted to other gods and goddesses. This practice reflects the vast array of deities in Hinduism, each with its unique significance.

The choice of dedicating particular days to specific deities is motivated by the followers' desire to demonstrate the supremacy of their chosen god or goddess. They advocate for the prominence of their deity by designating specific days for exclusive worship, emphasizing their deity's divine qualities and importance.

This practice can be seen as an assertion of religious identity, a way to highlight the significance of their chosen deity within the intricate tapestry of Hinduism. In doing so, it creates a sense of unity among followers of the same deity and fosters a deep devotion manifesting in their dietary choices.

Declarations of Meat-Free Days

The concept of meat-free days, based on dedications to particular deities, can be traced back to a historical backdrop of religious diversity within India. As the influence of vegetarianism began to spread, various sects and religious groups sought to establish their gods as the supreme deities. This led to declaring certain days as meat-free, aligning with the practices associated with their chosen deities.

Over time, these declarations became institutionalized and were incorporated into the broader tapestry of Hindu religious observance. This practice serves not only to establish religious identity but also to provide a sense of continuity and stability in a dynamic religious landscape.

It is essential to recognize that these restrictions on meat consumption are not merely superficial practices. They are deeply rooted in the spiritual fabric of Hinduism, serving as a means to demonstrate devotion and commitment to one's chosen deity.

Avoiding meat on specific days is far from a mere myth or superstition. It manifests profound religious beliefs, a dedication to spiritual purity, and a way to honor and respect the deities that hold a central place in the hearts of millions of followers. While the practice may vary among regions and communities, its significance remains constant as a powerful expression of devotion and reverence within the rich and diverse tapestry of Hindu culture and tradition.

The Science Behind Avoiding Meat on Certain Days

While religious beliefs play a pivotal role in guiding the dietary practices of Hindus, there is also a scientific underpinning to the practice of abstaining from meat on specific days. The intricate interplay of spirituality and science within Hinduism is nowhere more evident than the reasons behind avoiding meat consumption on particular days.

Balanced Diet Requirements

The human body is a complex biological system with various nutritional needs. To maintain optimal health, it requires a well-rounded and balanced diet. This balance includes a modest intake of meat, which provides essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin B-12, and proteins. This is the primary reason behind avoiding meat on weekdays like Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Excessive meat consumption can have detrimental effects on the body. This overindulgence can lead to a range of health issues, including piles, kidney stones, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and heart problems. The restriction on meat consumption on certain days is, therefore, a preventive measure aimed at safeguarding the health of individuals.

Addiction and Health Consequences

One of the fundamental principles underlying the science of avoiding meat on specific days in Hinduism is the recognition of human nature. Human beings are prone to developing addictions, and one of the most common addictive behaviors is related to food, particularly the consumption of meat. The rich flavors and textures of meat can easily lead to overindulgence, and this overconsumption can result in a range of health problems.

Excessive meat consumption can lead to the accumulation of toxins in the body, causing issues like indigestion, acidity, and constipation. It can also lead to obesity and related health concerns. By observing meat-free days, individuals are encouraged to break the cycle of addiction and maintain a more balanced diet. In essence, these dietary restrictions serve as a means of self-discipline, fostering better physical health.

Lunar Influence on Digestion

In the holistic worldview of Hinduism, the cosmic order is intricately connected to the microcosm of the individual. The moon, which has a profound influence on various natural processes, is believed to affect the human digestive system as well. It is said that one should avoid meat on "amaavash" or the new moon and on Saturdays, when the digestive system may be somewhat weakened due to the moon's influence on the earth.

This concept is based on the idea that the moon's gravitational pull impacts water, and as the human body is primarily composed of water, it is also influenced by the moon's phases. During the new moon and on Saturdays, the digestive system is considered less efficient, making it prudent to avoid foods that are more challenging to digest, such as meat.

Spiritual and Cleansing Aspects

Beyond the scientific reasons associated with nutrition and digestion, there are spiritual and cleansing dimensions to avoiding meat on certain days. Hindus consider some days, like Sashtti, Ekadashi, and the new moon, auspicious for fasting and spiritual activities. This practice of fasting is seen as an indirect method of cleansing the body.

When people refrain from consuming non-vegetarian food, they essentially detoxify their bodies. Fasting on these days allows the digestive system to rest and rejuvenate, facilitating the removal of toxins and waste products from the body. This process is akin to a reset button for the system, aiding in the purification of both the physical and spiritual aspects of the self.

Furthermore, fasting and consuming only vegetarian food these days is believed to have a profound impact on the individual's mental state. Non-vegetarian food is thought to dull the mind and cloud one's mental faculties, whereas vegetarian fare is considered purifying and energizing. This purification process redirects the energy that would have been used for digesting meat toward religious activities and cleansing the aura.

Fasting and consuming a vegetarian diet on these sacred days is viewed as a means to elevate one's consciousness and align oneself with the divine. It helps individuals channel their energies towards spiritual pursuits, fostering a sense of inner peace, clarity, and a positive frame of mind.

The Rituals and Symbolism of Meat-Free Days

The dietary practice of avoiding meat on specific days in Hinduism is not merely a mundane restriction; it is imbued with rituals and profound symbolism that elevate it to a sacred and spiritual level. Understanding the rituals and symbolism associated with these meat-free days provides a deeper insight into the cultural and spiritual dimensions of this practice.

Rituals and Significance of Abstinence

On days when Hindus choose to abstain from consuming meat, some specific rituals and customs underscore the importance of this dietary restriction. These rituals serve as a means of reinforcing the significance of the practice and creating a sense of discipline and mindfulness.


Fasting is a common ritual associated with meat-free days. Devotees abstain not only from meat but also from consuming any food or drink for a specific period. This act of fasting is seen as a form of self-purification and self-discipline. It allows individuals to transcend physical desires and focus on their spiritual well-being.

Temple Visits and Worship:

On meat-free days, many Hindus visit temples to offer their prayers and seek the blessings of the deities associated with those days. The act of worship is a fundamental aspect of these rituals, and it is believed to cleanse the mind and soul. It is also a means of expressing gratitude and devotion to the divine.

Offerings and Puja:

In addition to visiting temples, devotees often make special offerings to the gods on meat-free days. These offerings, known as "prasad" or "puja," can include fruits, sweets, and other vegetarian items. This act symbolizes the purity of offerings and the intention to align one's actions with the divine will.

Meditation and Reflection:

Fasting and abstaining from meat provide an opportunity for introspection and meditation. Many devotees use this time to reflect on their lives, set spiritual goals, and seek inner peace. Meditation is a means to cleanse the mind and connect with the higher self.

Community and Charity:

On meat-free days, it is common for communities to come together for charitable activities. Sharing food with those in need is a way of practicing selflessness and compassion. This reinforces the idea that these days are not just about personal purification but also about serving the greater good.

Symbolism in Vegetarianism

The symbolism associated with vegetarianism these days is profound and speaks to the core values of Hinduism. It goes beyond the act of refraining from meat consumption and conveys a deeper message.

Purity and Non-Violence:

At the heart of Hinduism lies the principle of "ahimsa," which translates to non-violence. Abstaining from meat is a symbolic act of non-violence, as it signifies avoiding harming animals. By choosing a vegetarian diet on meat-free days, individuals align themselves with this principle and express their commitment to living harmoniously with all living beings.

Detoxification and Purification:

Fasting and consuming vegetarian food these days are believed to purify the body and mind. It is seen as a means of detoxification, both physically and spiritually. Cleansing the body through vegetarianism reinforces the idea that one should strive for purity in thought and action.

Sacrifice and Devotion:

The act of giving up something, even temporarily, carries profound symbolism. Sacrificing the consumption of meat is seen as an offering to the divine. It symbolizes the devotee's willingness to surrender personal desires and adhere to the divine will. This practice of sacrifice fosters a sense of devotion and submission to a higher power.

Cultural and Environmental Harmony:

Vegetarianism is not just a religious practice; it also carries cultural and environmental significance. Many traditional Indian dishes are vegetarian, reflecting a cultural commitment to plant-based diets. Moreover, a vegetarian lifestyle is viewed as more sustainable and environmentally friendly. By choosing to abstain from meat on specific days, individuals align themselves with these cultural and environmental values.

End Thought:

The science behind avoiding meat on certain days in Hinduism is a testament to the holistic and intricate nature of this ancient religion. It encompasses not only the physical aspects of health but also the spiritual and emotional dimensions of well-being. While dietary restrictions on these specific days are rooted in a desire to maintain good health by avoiding overindulgence in meat, they also reflect the profound interplay between the individual, the cosmos, and spirituality.

In adhering to these dietary practices, Hindus seek to create harmony within themselves and with the world around them. The scientific reasoning, combined with spiritual devotion, highlights the depth and richness of Hinduism, as well as the delicate balance it maintains between ancient traditions and modern understanding. Ultimately, abstaining from meat on certain days reflects the belief that a balanced and harmonious existence encompasses not only the physical but also the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of our lives.

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