Vegetarian Food and Jain Conduct - Eating at Night
EATING AT NIGHT
Question: These days even vegetarian animals have started eating in the night.
We have seen many cows eating in the night.
Answer: Yes, they have started eating, definitely have started eating because
of the company of men only. Human beings have deformed even these animals. When you
do not offer food to a domestic animal in the day, and give it only in the night,
then what can the poor creature do ? Show me if you have seen any independent
vegetarian animal found eating in the night.
In fact, men and vegetarian animals are by nature, day-eaters only. Therefore, the
preaching of renunciation of eating in the night by Jain religion is agreeable to
the nature and is fully scientific.
One of the arguments raised against renunciation of eating in the night is that
the interval necessary between two meals is not available in eating in daytime.
One takes food in the morning at 9 or 10 a.m. and then again the evening meal is
at 4 or 5 p.m. In this way from morning till evening only seven hours interval is
possible; whereas from evening till the morning meals the interval period is
In reply to this argument we ask you, "How much petrol is consumed by your motor-car
in the night?"
"Not the least."
"Because in the night it is not on the road, remains in the garage. The motor-car
resting in the garage does not consume petrol."
"Brother, this is what we wish to tell you; when a person walks or engages in
work, then he needs food. When he takes rest, then he does not need as much food
as he requires while working. You need rest, your body also needs rest, your eyes
also need rest; similarly your intestines also need rest. If you will not provide
them sufficient rest, then how long will these work? Even machines too need rest.
Therefore, taking meals in the night is against nature itself."
Doctors advise that we should take food four hours before sleeping. When you will
take meals at ten in the night then when shall you sleep?
Like renunciation of night-meals, drinking filtered water is also scientific.
The degree of attention which is being paid on the purity of water these days was
never paid earlier. Therefore, the present era is fully agreeable with this our
fundamental principle. For healthy life, pure water is quite essential.
In this way, we see that Jain-conduct and Jain thought are agreeable with nature,
are fully scientific; the only need is to present them rightly and powerfully.