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why its okay to eat turmeric powder and not okay to eat onion, garlic, or potato powder?

Posted By Viral Choksy, Friday, February 27, 2009
Why can't we eat onions, potatoes and garlic powder? Why are root vegetables prohibited in Jainism? Why is eating turmeric allowed when it is also a root vegetables?

Tags:  garlic  onion  potato 

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Dharmaraj Khot says...
Posted Friday, May 15, 2009
Jay Jinendra Vikas,

Answer and Analysis:

The practice of prohibition on consumption of root vegetables is advocated in Vitraag Jain Dharma on the grounds of upholding the primal philosophy of non-violence.

Root vegetables should not be consumed not because they are cultivated underground. The “underground” was meant to be a symbolic of the true reason of not consuming root vegetables. Over the period of time, the symbolic explanation itself became the reason.

The true reason for not consuming root vegetables is as follows – Plant kingdom (Vanaspatikaya Jiva), one among the 5 immobile Jivas (Stavar Jiva), is divided into two main categories in Jain Dharma.

Ordinary Plant Kingdom (Sadharan Vanaspati) and Single Plant Kingdom (Pratyeka Vanaspati)

Ordinary Plant Kingdom is that type of plant which provides accommodation to infinite souls – i.e., one body of plant is a house to infinite souls. Consuming such type of plant causes infinitely more violence. Majority of root vegetables fall in this category – potato, onions, garlic, raddish, carrots, etc.

Single Plant Kingdom, as name suggests, is that type of a plant which is a home to one soul – i.e., one soul occupies one plant body. Thus, consuming such plant involves lot less violence. Turmeric, although underground, is considered Single Plant Kingdom, just as pea-nuts are considered Single plant kingdom, although grown underground. Just there is no restriction on eating pea-nuts, there is no restriction on consuming turmeric.

Therefore, Jain Dharma advocates the prohibition of Ordinary Plant Kingdom on the grounds of non-violence.

Please pardon any shortcoming in this reply.

Sincerely,
Dharmaraj Khot
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Bruce J. Perry says...
Posted Friday, December 18, 2009
hmmm...if one single plant root hosts infinite souls, then no other plant can host any soul as there would be no souls left over to inhabit any other plant, thing, animal or person; therefore this reply is not rational and therefore is not TRUTH. Not being TRUTH, it is not actual Dharma. TRUTH is basic, simple and not complicated or circular in its reasoning.
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Himanshu K. Gandhi says...
Posted Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Hello Bruce,
To your logic assumes that "infinite" is a given number. Which is incorrect, just from simple mathematical modeling perspective. Jainism expounds that none other then Arihants and Siddha's know of absolute and complete truth. And, to that Dharamrajji has already acknowledged his shortcoming and asked for being pardoned. In the glory of countering his argument you have lost out on the essence of core of his comment; respect and love of all jeeva's.
Best.
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