The 'Choc Wars' Rage On .....

Some quotes from the Vedabase about chocolate:

Cocoa and chocolate are not to be taken as they are intoxicants.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Surasrestha -- Los Angeles 14 June, 1972

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If chocolate is not an intoxicant, it can be offered to the Deities.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => From: Paramahamsa - SL_750608_A1

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Tea contains caffeine, while chocolate and cocoa contain the stimulant theobromine as well.

And you refused to grant dispensations about what we could eat: "Krishna doesn't take any [chocolate], so we cannot offer it."

Flesh, condiments, eggs, tea, coffee, chocolate, and all other stimulants have a powerful influence directly upon the blood; and through nervous sympathy with the brain, the passions are aroused.

Aside from Vedic standards, even by the standard of Swamiji's New York disciples the devotees in San Francisco were not very strict. Some continued going to the doughnut shop, eating food without offering it to Krsna, and eating forbidden things like chocolate and commercial ice cream.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SPL 22: "Swami Invites the Hippies"

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I was aware of the thing and that it was a pretty heavy one, much more austerities than other groups-like no coffee, chocolate, or tea.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SPL 29: Unlimited Opportunity, Limited Time

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Bhavananda, once a film-maker with Andy Warhol, gave up the "synthetic world" of materialism for a spiritual life of reading the Bhagavad-gita, Bible of the Krsna followers, and abstaining from tobacco, liquor, drugs and even chocolate.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => July, 1970

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"How are you going to cook? Anyone want Kellogg's Corn Flakes or ice cream?
How about chocolate?"
"No, no. You can't offer these things to Krsna," Visnujana explains. "We buy everything fresh, prepare it with love, and offer it with devotion to Krsna."

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Kripamayi devi dasi:

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not taking intoxicants, means eschewing even the milder anodynes such as tea and chocolate.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Dealing with spiritual failure

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ISKCON Law Book (1997) 8.5.1: Prohibition of Chocolate As it contains
various stimulants like caffeine (contained in coffee), theine (contained in black tea) and theobromine (contained in cocoa), chocolate should not be eaten by ISKCON devotees.

Giving credit where it is due

Dear Ekendra ji,

It would be good if you quote the place and acknowledge the subimtter. I can see that they are copy pasted word for word from a pamho discussion group.

dasa, hkd

sure

I'm not really clear how enough credit isn't given here - its a list of quotations with specific references already cited.

If it means much to anyone where exactly I came across this list of quotes, it was in the 'Prabhupada Said' forum on PAMHO as duly noted by 'hkd' above. I believe the devotee who submitted this to that forum was Bhakti Vikasa Swami. A lot of the stuff I copy and paste comes from there and most of the stuff on my site is just copied and pasted. I doubt that will change any time soon as whatever I write these days seems to go to http://news.iskcon.com - and they aren't very exciting topical pieces anyway.

I should point out that my original intention for having a blog when I started blogging in 2004 was simply to have a place to archive snippets and stories that I could search for when putting classes together. I wasn't even sure then that blogs would become as popular as they have in recent years. It was included in the old iskconnews.net site (now planetiskcon.net) and it seems I get the occasional visitor from there.

I guess having a blog really means something these days - like an 'online identity'. Fair enough. I never really approached it that way but perhaps I should have had the foresight?

I have thought to make this thing more personal in the last few months which is why I'm writing now. I figured out how to install CAPTCHA blog spam protection thingy so now I'll try opening up for comments provided they don't steal all of my time away.

So thanks, hkd dasa, for prodding me to source things more thoroughly. I couldn't help but to think how much I'd appreciate if you sourced yourself a little more specifically though. 'dasa, hkd' doesn't give me much scope of figuring out whom I'm conversing with here does it?

:)

considering substance, ignoring dose

Hare Krishna. PAMHO. AGTSP.
A few weeks ago I was listening to a Srila Prabhupada MP3 (from disk 11, I don't remember which file), and heard him say and repeat that "Sugar is an intoxicant."

Does that mean we took a vow to abstain from sugar?

There is also water intoxication, a condition resulting from diluting electrolytes in the blood by drinking too much water too fast. It kills people. So water is also an intoxicant.

But wait... Consider the words "too much." Too much.
(substance) * (too much) = intoxication.

Ekendra prabu, Although your blog is mostly black and white, I'm pretty sure you're more of a 'shades of grey' person. Don't you think there are shades of grey in the question of chocolate and the broader question of intoxication? (I'm not sure how much these blog quotes reveal your view on the issue.)

Hare Krishna.

"Hi. I'm Ekendra and I'm an

"Hi. I'm Ekendra and I'm an addict."

My views on chocolate are inconsistent with my practice. I really think that choc should be avoided by anyone who wants to be careful in following Srila Prabhupada's instructions. If there is some controversy then why take the risk? The only thing there is to gain is some .... well .... very yummy taste sensations.

Now here's the reality. Choc is just so totally tasty and gratifying that its hard to give up. Especially when you're married to a lovely gal who has an obsession with it. I'm not trying to shift the blame completely - but I've gone cold turkey myself several times. I've also pulled rank as the official 'head of the household' and banned chocolate. Still I find wrappers in the glovebox in the car and in the rubbish bin.

So in my weaker moments - I have to admit that yes ..... I can be a backsliding self-indulgent chocoholic. But it was Eve who made me partake - I swear!

Seriously though, I titled this post 'The Choc Wars Rage On' with tongue in cheek. I don't think its such an all-important issue. Yeah, its probably better to avoid choc but there are far worse things to indulge in.

Still - to be chaste to sastra I'll need to end with this warning to myself and whoever else the shoe fits:

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 2.67

indriyanam hi caratam
yan mano 'nuvidhiyate
tad asya harati prajnam
vayur navam ivambhasi

As a strong wind sweeps away a boat on the water, even one of the roaming senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man's intelligence.

PURPORT by His Divine Grace

Unless all of the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, even one of them engaged in sense gratification can deviate the devotee from the path of transcendental advancement. As mentioned in the life of Maharaja Ambarisa, all of the senses must be engaged in Krishna consciousness, for that is the correct technique for controlling the mind.

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Humbling.

Chocolate

At Western Gaudiya Math temples I've seen big chocolate cakes come off the alter. What's the big deal?

please tell me where and

please tell me where and when?

I might need to inspect this for myself.

:)

Ayurveda

Chocolate is considered rajasic and tamasic in ayurveda, and it's properties cannot be changed into neutral or sattwic like potatoes, which is also tamasic, but can be changed via spices and/or milk products.

black in the temple

I just read online that it's considered rude to wear black in the Krishna temple. I'd never heard this before; does anyone know why it's considered rude?